Guerrilla Chikarticles: A Recap of All Things Indy

The Opening Segment
P-R-E-S-T-I-G-E. FIND OUT WHAT IT MEANS TO ME

“Prestige (noun) 1. The level of respect at which one is regarded by others. 2. A person’s high standing among others; honor or esteem.”

When it comes to sports, prestige is everything. University of North Carolina’s Men’s College Basketball Team wouldn’t be where they are today without their past achievements. Held in the highest esteem, they are one of the toughest colleges to get into, and to receive a scholarship for basketball is even more of an honor. The Lombardi Trophy is THE most prestigious trophy in (American) football. 32 Teams battle for the trophy, and within the span of 16 weeks you can tell who the winners are and the losers are. The winners are the ones who made it into the playoffs, and the losers are the ones who say “Well, there’s always a next season”.

The “sport” of professional wrestling is similar in that manner. The coveted Ring of Honor Title is a belt that everyone on the ROH Roster (and some off the ROH Roster) dreams to win. Each and every single title reign (with the exception of Homicide) has been a lengthy, honorable reign where every single title defense could be the last. Much like the Lombardi Trophy, it separated the contenders from the pretenders. It elevated CM Punk, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, Homicide, Jamie Noble/James Gibson, Low-Ki and others into superstardom, whether it was in the independent wrestling community or in WWE or TNA.

But when Ring of Honor is doing something right, they are also doing something wrong. While the ROH World Title is still cherished and carefully handed down from one star to the next, the Ring of Honor Tag Team Titles have been carelessly tossed around in attempts to get the team over with the fans. While there were only four ROH World Title changes within 25 Months, the ROH World Tag Team Titles changed nine times in the same time span. Gabe Sapolsky was employed under Paul Heyman in ECW circa 1990’s and learned a lot from him. The one thing that Paul accentuated was that the titles were given to people who NEEDED a boost to be over.

In December 2005, Roderick Strong and Austin Aries of Generation Next won the tag team titles. They were the next hot thing in Ring of Honor and just needed the straps to get completely over with the fans, and that they did. As a matter of fact, they got so popular that Total Nonstop Action called both men up for tryout matches… against each other. After eight months of dominating all tag teams who tried to win the belts from them, Generation Next had nowhere else to go. They were SO over, that they had no tag team storylines left except for a split. So before they did that, there had to be something that caused dissension in the team. What better way than to lose the straps?

KINGS OF WRESTLING Up next in line for the belts were independent sensations Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero, better known as the Kings of Wrestling. They took the indy scene by storm after capturing the CZW Tag Team Belts and the Chikara Tag Team Belts. Invaders of Ring of Honor, the Kings of Wrestling saw a chance to capture ROH Gold, which would setup a brilliant angle to shake up ROH like never before. They won the belts from Generation Next at Glory by Honor V Night Two setting up a title run that would elevate them to the top. Out of nowhere, they were forced to drop the titles because Claudio Castagnoli signed with the WWE. ***FLUSH*** A potential awesome title run flushed down the toilet.

CHRISTOPHER DANIELS AND MATT SYDAL So the Kings of Wrestling had to drop the titles, and drop them quick. So Gabe thought quickly and handed the belts to Matt Sydal and Christopher Daniels. Apparently, Gabe thought a little bit too quickly. At this time, Matt Sydal teamed up with about every single face you can imagine of. If he were to get the belts, nobody would’ve cared by then. Christopher Daniels was already super over with the fans and had no need for the belts. Just when I thought the title run could only get worse, Gabe’s genius side started to show through the storylines, claiming that the Ring of Honor titles were resting on Ring of Honor Wrestler’s shoulders once again. It put Matt Sydal and Christopher Daniels in a light that they were never in before: ROH Saviors. Who knew what Castagnoli and Hero could’ve done with the belts in CZW? Luckily, Sydal and Daniels saved us from that. Just when it was getting good, another good title run was flushed down the toilet.

BRISCOE BROTHERS The Briscoe Brothers were the next hot thing in Ring of Honor and they were ready to show the fans what they had. They won the belts at Fifth Year Festival: Chicago from Daniels and Sydal, setting up a title run that would secure the Briscoe’s spot at the top of Ring of Honor for quite some time. Ring of Honor officials set up a match between the Tag Champions and Dragon Gate sensations Naruki Doi and Shingo just a week after the Briscoe Brothers won the belts. If the Briscoe Brothers were to win, they would prove that they are not only the best in Ring of Honor, but the best in the world (which would make ROH look better). If Naruki Doi and Shingo won the belts, it would tarnish the Briscoe’s buildup to becoming the champions.

NARUKI DOI AND SHINGO So Ring of Honor let The Briscoe Brothers lose their belts to tag team invaders setting up another “What’s going to happen to the ROH Belts?” angle. Okay, so they decided to hold off on the Briscoe Brother’s push and went with another tag team to save Ring of Honor.

BRISCOE BROTHERS Or maybe not. Naruki Doi’s and Shingo’s title reign came to an end just after 27 days at All Star Extravaganza III. Now, please tell me what the whole point of them losing the belts in the first place? Well, it doesn’t even matter. The Briscoe Brothers could draw WITHOUT the belts. Why put it on them again? After an agonizing feud with Kevin Steen and El Generico (which featured The Briscoe Brothers tossing the two wrestlers around from town to town, completely burying them), in came in The Age of the Fall. Their mission was to destroy Ring of Honor and all that it stood for, and their first target was going to be the heart and soul of ROH, the Briscoe Brothers. With a tag title match setup at Final Battle 2007, Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black of The Age of the Fall had The Briscoe Brothers right where they wanted them.

JIMMY JACOBS AND TYLER BLACK OF THE AGE OF THE FALL OK! We have something good going here. Even though it’s the ROH Invader thing going again, it can work since they took it into such a dramatic direction. Castagnoli and Hero never claimed to dismantle Ring of Honor, we just assumed they would. Doi and Shingo were no real threat to Ring of Honor, and once again we assumed they were. But now, Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black ANNOUNCED they were going to do anything to destroy Ring of Honor. They had the belts. They were the face of Ring of Honor and they were ready to take on anyone who challenged them. They walked out of an Ultimate Endurance Match (which is a convoluted match that was probably created by one of the Masterminds from TNA) against The Briscoe Brothers, Jack Evans/Jigsaw and Brent Albright/BJ Whitmer victorious. 25 Days later, they were thrown into another Ultimate Endurance against Davey Richards/Rocky Romero, Bryan Danielson/Austin Aries, and Whitmer/Albright. ***DUN DUN DUN… ANOTHER POTENTIALLY AWESOME STORYLINE BITES THE DUST***

DAVEY RICHARDS AND ROCKY ROMERO The current and reigning champions of Ring of Honor, they have already successfully beat Jigsaw and Ruckus to further secure their belts. These two are a good combo and can pretty much take ROH by storm even though they are heels. Let’s just see if they hold the belts for more than a couple months.

Hey you. Yeah, YOU. If you have a question you would like to see answered on a future Opening Segment, send it in to jkirschner@insidepulse.com. If you have a question and can’t wait for my answer to be posted, IM me at OcopacabanaO.

Independent Wrestling News
Featured This Week: CHIKARA and PWG

Chikara News
1. King of Trios is THIS WEEKEND! Night One will take place on Friday night, Night Two will take place on Saturday Night and Sunday will hold Night 3. Online tickets aren’t being sold anymore, but you can still grab some tickets at the ECW Arena door the night of the event! Go! Now!

2. All of the combatants are announced and all of the matches have been set up. Go check it out in the upcoming event section.

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla News
1. “Scared Straight” will be PWG’s next event on March 7th 2008. It will feature the return of Jack Evans, Human Tornado’s first PWG Title defense and more.

Upcoming Independent Wrestling Shows
Featured This Week: Chikara, IWA-MS, CZW and PWG. (Dating to 3/8/2008)

Chikara: King of Trios Night One (2/29/2008) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1. The Colony (Soldier Ant, Worker Ant and Fire Ant) vs. Team El Dorado (Go, Michael Nakazawa and Mototsugu Shimuzu)
2. Team Ring of Honor (Shane Hagadorn, Alex Payne and Rhett Titus) vs. Team Las Chivas (Chivas II, Chivas III and Chivas IV)
3. Brodie Lee, Colin Olsen and Jimmy Olsen vs. Cheech, m.c. KZ and Cloudy
4. The Osirian Portal (Amasis, Ophidian and Mecha Mummy vs. Mike Quackenbush, Shane Storm and Skayde
5. The Order of the Neo Solar Temple (Ultramantis Black, Hydra and Crossbones) vs. Team Kaiju (D.W. Cycloptopuss III, Unibouzo & Call-Me-Kevin) (WINNERS FACE EDDIE KINGSTON/JOKER/RUCKUS)
6. Naptown Dragons (Drake Younger, Dustin Lee and Scotty Vortekz)vs. Team IPW:UK (Martin Stone, Sha Samuels and Terry Fraizer) (WINNERS FACE RICOCHET/DELIROUS/HALLOWICKED)

IWA-MS: 500th Show (3/1/2008) in Joliet, Illinois
1. Eddie Kingston defends his IWA-MS title against Scorpio
2. ??? vs. Brain Damage and Deranged
3. The Vacant IWA-MS Strong Style Title will be rewarded to the winner of Drake Younger vs. Roderick Strong vs. Michael Elgin vs. Viking
4. Jimmy Jacobs vs. Jack Thriller in an I Quit Match
5. Necro Butcher defends his IWA-MS Death Match Title against Danny Havoc
6. Toby Klein vs. Davey Richards
7. The Iron Saints will defend the IWA-MS Tag Team Titles against Sabian and Joker of BLKOUT.
8. Human Tornado vs. Ash vs. Devin Moore vs. Ruckus vs. Sexxy Eddy vs. Mickie James vs. Brandon Thomaselli vs. Dustin Lee (xOMGx withdrew his spot.)

Chikara: King of Trios Night Two (3/1/2008) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1. Team IWS (El Generico, Stupefied and Player Uno) vs. Team First (Arik Cannon, Darrin Corbin and Ryan Cruz)
2. Team Stranglehold (Tim Donst, Andrew Sumner and Drew Gulak) vs. The Marvelous Three (Larry Sweeney, Mitch Ryder and Shayne Hawke) (WINNERS FACE ONE MAN GANG/AX/SMASH)
3. Sweet and Sour INC. (Tank Toland, Sara del Ray and Bobby Dempsey) vs. Team FIST (Chuck Taylor, Gran Akuma and Icarus)
4. The Southern Saints (Shawn Reed, Marcus O’Neil and Reno Diamond) vs. Miyawaki, Susumu and KUDO (WINNERS FACE AKUA AND THE IMMORTALS)
5. Team Mexico (Lince Dorado, Incognito and El Pantera) vs. Los Ice Creams (Ice Cream Jr, El Hijo del Ice Cream and a Mystery Ice Cream)
6. The Soul Touchaz (Acid Jaz, Willie Richardson and Marshe Rockett) vs. Team BSE (Kobra Kai, Super Xtremo and La Sabra)

Chikara: King of Trios Night Three (3/2/2008) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This night will feature the semi-finals and finals of the King of Trios Tournament, as well as a number of non-tournament matches.

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla: Scared Straight! (3/7/2008) in Reseda, California
1. Human Tornado will defend his PWG World Title against Jack Evans
2. Scott Lost and Joey Ryan will defend their PWG World Tag Team Titles against The Briscoe Brothers
3. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Roderick Strong
4. Eddie Kingston vs. Necro Butcher
5. Los Luchas vs. The Young Bucks
6. Hook Bomberry and TJ Perkins vs. Ronin and Scorpio Sky

CZW: Lights! Camera! CZW! (3/8/2008) in Philadelphia Pennsylvania
1. Brain Damage defends his Ironman Title against Insane Lane
2. Dustin Lee and Scotty Vortekz defend CZW Tag Team Gold against Drew Gulak and Andy Summer
3. Nick Gage and Ruckus vs. Drew Blood and Devon Moore
4. Joker vs. Vordell Walker
5. Whacks vs. DJ Hyde
6. Pinkie Sanchez vs. Spyral BKNY

CONTEST TIME

Topic: Send me who you think will be the “Next Big Thing” in the independent wrestling scene. Years have passed and we’ve seen the likes of CM Punk, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Homicide, Bryan Danielson, Nigel McGuinness, Mike Quackenbush and more. Who’s next?
Length: However much you feel like you need to prove your point.
Due: March 14th 2008
Prize: The winner will win a retail Best of Chikara DVD which includes a bonus Chikara Trading Card (sealed) and a Pro Wrestling Guerrilla DVD and your answer will be posted on the 3/14 edition of Guerrilla Chikarticles.

Don’t feel like you have to be “organized” or “professional” with your writing. You can send it in a rant. Send your answers to jkirschner@insidepulse.com. Good luck and take your time.

That has been another edition of Guerrilla Chikarticles.
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