It often leads to great wrestling, but it doesn’t offer much in the way of solid storytelling pre- and post-match outside of the “I don’t like you” and “I want my revenge”. Both key features to wrestling storytelling, but not the only features to wrestling storytelling.
Which brings me in a roundabout way to the promotion I want to talk about today: CHIKARA.
Built around the talents coming out of the CHIKARA Wrestling Factory as well as Quackenbush’s friends, the promotion brought elements of Lucha Libre in to the United States full-time for the first time. With the Mexican element of pro wrestling came a lot of high-flying maneuvers, innovative rules changes, and masks, a lot of them.
And with those masks came characters and comedy. Some of the earliest masked wrestlers were comedy gimmicks at best, but over the years the company proved to be able to make its fans take even silly gimmicks seriously.
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Tag teams and trios also play a major part of CHIKARA wrestling which adds another layer of action to an already solid format.
The levels of storytelling have varied over the promotion’s history but over the last two or so years a lot of effor has went in to forming a coherent ongoing narrative for the program.
The driving force behind this narrative, a new group known as Der Bruderschaft Des Kreuzes. More on them in a future column.
CHIKARA DVDs (over 145 of them) are available from their distributor Smartmark Video, including several best of DVDs. But the fine folks at CHIKARA won’t make you buy a DVD without ever seeing anything about their promotion. Every week they bring an episode of their Podcast-A-Go-Go, a ten minute show focused on what’s happening in CHIKARA today. It is available free through ITunes, on Youtube, or through the CHIKARA Podcast-A-Go-Go website.
If you are a wrestling or comic fan, I highly recommend you check them out.