Tagged: the colony

CHIKARA: King of Trios 2012 Gallery

DDS ace photographer Gregory Davis was on hand for this year’s edition of CHIKARA‘s annual, massive, King of Trios weekend. 2012’s KOT was all about the Queens though, as seven Joshi came to CHIKARA and demolished preconceptions, gender barriers and, most enjoyably, Matt Classic. Tsubasa Kuragaki told me she’s looking forward to returning to America again soon. Until then you can enjoy Greg’s shots of three days of wrestling excellence. You can also order the shows via SmartMarkVideo.com.












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JoshiMania: Night Three – Joshi Forever

Each night of CHIKARA‘s JoshiMania raised the bar. As good as Philly was, Boston was that much better and as good as that was, New York easily ranks among the best wrestling shows in the US in the past several years. The wrestling, the crowd, the atmosphere all contributed to an unforgettable night in Manhattan.

The build for JoshiMania began with a promo by Aja Kong claiming that CHIKARA made a grave error in presenting Manami Toyota as the representative of Japanese women’s wrestling. Last Sunday the good friends and bitter rivals were given a chance to settle the issue in Manhattan. Likewise Sara Del Rey and Ayako Hamada were scheduled to face each other in a rematch of what many consider the greatest SHIMMER match of all time. Take that, then consider this was the last chance for all the visiting women to astonish US crowds and it’s no wonder JoshiMania ended with a standing ovation.

CHIKARA JoshiMania Night Three

December 4th, 2011
Highline Ballroom – New York City, NY

  1. Los Ice Creams defeated Dasher Hatfield & Saturyne
  2. GAMI defeated Portia Perez with a Fisherman Buster
  3. Brodie Lee defeated Ultramantis Black with a Lyger Bomb
  4. Toshie Uematsu & The Batiri [Obaryon, Kodama, Kobold] defeated Cherry & The Colony [Fire Ant, Soldier Ant, Green Ant] with a Top Rope Splash from Uematsu to Cherry
  5. Mayumi Ozaki defeated Kaori Yoneyama with an Running Enzuigiri in 10:22
  6. Aja Kong, Tsubasa Kuragaki, & Mio Shirai defeated Manami Toyota, Sawako Shimono & Hanako Nakamori with the Metal Wing by Tsubasa on Nakamori
  7. Sara Del Rey defeated Ayako Hamada with a Piledriver



The card was filled with legends and established stars, but began with the debut of someone brand new to Pro Wrestling. Saturyne. She took the took the place of the absent Sugar Dunkerton and teamed with Dasher Hatfield against Los Ice Creams in her CHIKARA debut. The rookie flipped circles around the soft serve goons with a level of athleticism rarely seen. Given more experience the US could have a masked high-flyer of the same caliber as Japan’s Ray. She was very, very impressive in the losing effort.

GAMI found a way to go 3-0 this weekend. Even without her noisemaker she bested Portia Perez with a Fisherman’s Buster. Portia was likely still reeling from the previous night’s match with Toyota (Portia told us it was the hardest she’s ever been hit in her life). Advantage GAMI!

Brodie Lee delivered what was, I’m sure, the hardest Powerbomb in the history of the CHIKARA ring (it sunk at least a foot on impact), when he soundly defeated Ultramantis Black. After the match Brodie signaled that he wanted a shot at the CHIKARA Grand Championship. Current Champ Eddie Kingston will need to continue to channel the spirit of Aja Kong if he wants to hold on to that belt. Lee looked unstoppable.



Toshie Uematsu, in her final US appearance, wore the face paint of The Dark Army. In her full her Demonic Empress form, she lead her minions to victory over The Colony and Cherry (who definitely should have been given a Pink Ant mask).

Mayumi Ozaki, founder of Oz Academy, took on former JWP Open-Weight Champion Kaori Yoneyama in a rather significant cross-promotion singles match. It meant all the more knowing that, like Uematsu, this would be Yoneyama’s final match in the United States before her retirement. Kaori looked as fantastic as she had at every JoshiMania night. America was fortunate to have her even for this short time. Ozaki won without using her signature chain. Ozaki really showed she still had more good years left in her illustrious career and didn’t have to relly on the usual entourage and weapons she has in Japan.

Then, Tsubasa Kuragaki destroyed New York.




The six woman tag match seemed like it would be about Toyota and Kong going at it one more time. Instead, it was about all six

putting on a 30 minute epic. Far too mucfaceh went on to capture accurately in detail. Everyone in the match gave their all. The young Hanoko Nakamori and younger Sawako Shimono had their best JoshiMania performances. There were no other options as Kong and Toyota battled like it was 1995, stage diving, piledriving, and avalanching each other as if they were back in the Tokyo Dome. Mio Shirai was as “Dangerous, Cheeky, and Foxy,” as her T-Shirt advertised. Again, a total star.

At the end, though, it was Tsubasa Kuragaki who stood alone on top the pile of broken bodies and smoldering ashes that used to be the Highline Ballroom. The crowd gave her a standing ovation and begged her to return to CHIKARA once again. If Tsubasa wasn’t an elite level Joshi when she came to America, she is now1. The woman is totally amazing, and it’s probably safe to expect her back in the US at some point.


The 6 Woman Tag was not the main event though. Any normal wrestlers would have had an impossible task in following it. No worries for Ayako Hamada and Sara Del Rey, with their combined 23 years of experience, most of which they’ve spent as the go to main-eventer in their respective countries. The two had another glorious and vicious fight that kept the crowd high on adrenaline. Each used nearly everything in their arsenal: Hama-chan cutters, Del Reyzors, Axe Kicks, AP Crosses, Royal Butterflies and more had to be deployed before this could end. Sara narrowly gained her second win over Hamada with a cringing Piledriver, propelling herself to 3-0 on JoshiMania weekend. The Queen Reigned Supreme.

After the match, fans rose and thanked Hamada for her efforts. She invited all the other women at ringside and in the back to join her as fans chanted, “Joshi! Joshi!,” and “Arigatou!” to the women who made this amazing event possible. That included former Jumping Bomb Angel Itsuki Yamazaki, whom Mike Quackenbush has credited for being the brains behind the JoshiMania. A tremendous moment to end a tremendous weekend for Professional Wrestling.


JoshiMania exceeded all expectations. It delivered shows that impressed neophytes and veteran followers of Japanese women’s wrestling alike. The New York audience especially had several audience members who weren’t regular wrestling fans at all, but came because they knew of the cultural importance of an event featuring the likes of Manami Toyota and Aja Kong.

That’s something special. Joshi Puroresu is something special. We talk about it a lot here on DDS because the athletes deserve it, for giving us decades of  fantastic, innovative, entertaining, and relevant wrestling to enjoy. Joshi is filled with some of the nicest, kindest, and most interesting people in the sport and we are happy to do our small part to support them.. We love Joshi Puroresu and couldn’t be happier that more and more people are starting to feel the same way. We give our thanks to the entire crew at CHIKARA, as well as Itsuki Yamazaki and our friends Shiori and Yama from M-Drop.com for helping to make this special event happen.

Now, all we need is JoshiMania II. Until next time order your JoshiMania DVDs. Peace!
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  1.  We’ll be in Korakuen Hall on December 23rd when she challenges Hailey Hatred for the JWP Open-Class Title. Hailey’s had a fantastic 2011, but it looks like 2012 will be Tsubasa’s year.

JoshiMania: Night One – Death Queen Battle

CHIKARA’s three-day dream slam of Japanese Women’s Wrestling, JoshiMania, had its first show last Friday at the historic ECW Arena. The event delivered an authentic Joshi Puroresu experience to American fans, with the added bonus of bringing stars from several different Joshi promotions. CHIKARA advertised this event as being a “Once in a Lifetime” opportunity for fans to see this sort of action without having to fly to Japan first. CHIKARA didn’t lie. Here’s how the weekend started:

JoshiMania Night One

December 2nd, 2011
ECW Arena – Philadelphia, PA

  1. Kaori Yoneyama, Hanako Nakamori, and Tsubasa Kuragaki defeated Archibald Peck and Los Ice Creams via submission as Kuragaki putting both Peck and El Hijo del Ice Cream in a Torture
  2. GAMI defeated Sawako Shimono with Top Rope Elbow
  3. Tim Donst defeated Green Ant with From Dusk ’til Donst
  4. Ayako Hamada and Cherry defeated Mayumi Ozaki and Mio Shirai via AP Cross from Hamada on Mio
  5. Manami Toyota defeated Toshie Uematsu via Japanese Cyclone Suplex
  6. Campeonatos de Parejas Title MatchFIST (Johnny Gargano and Chuck Taylor) (c) defeated The Colony (Fire Ant and Soldier Ant) 2 falls to 1
  7. Sara Del Rey defeated Aja Kong


The first thing, and perhaps only thing, you need to know about JoshiMania Night One is this: Tsubasa Kuragaki put Archibald Peck and one of the Ice Creams in a torture rack at the same time. The same time. Having the laws of physics challenged by one of the lesser known Joshi stars in the opening match set the bar fairly high for the rest of the evening. Japanese female wrestlers are known for their pride and competitive nature. The JWP women made it known from the outset they hoped to dominate this weekend (too bad the brilliant team of Peck and the Ice Creams were in the middle of that).

Of course, as everyone who has read our articles on her over at Diva Dirt knows 1, Manami Toyota is not satisfied unless she has put on the very best match on the show. That probably went double this Friday as Toyota was presented with the Diva Dirt Legacy award before her match with Toshie Uematsu. Toyota showed not only that she deserved the award for her past achievements, but also for her continuing performance and growth as a wrestler. Toyota has said that she felt invigorated by her trips to CHIKARA over the past year, and the new maneuvers she flaunted during JoshiMania were an example. Toshie, on her final tour of the US before her retirement early next year, was amazing as well. She showed once again that her larger than life character never overshadows her pure wrestling ability. It was an excellent match, perhaps the best either had had in the US.



Hoping not to be outdone by their guests, CHIKARA’s FIST and The Colony put on an exciting title bout. The ants showed off some JB Angels-esque fire while FIST resorted to L.C.O.-esque dickery. Dick won out, FIST retained, and Stargano remains a top champion in two of the United States’ finest wrestling promotions.

And then there was the much anticipated battle between Aja Kong and Sara Del Rey. As the most terrifying forces on their respective continents, the two death queens had been on a collision course for years. Somehow, Philadelphia managed to survive the inevitable crash.

Kong showed a lack of respect for Sara early on, refusing to shake hands. Sara returned the favor by barreling head first at her idol when the bell rang. The match was dark and unyielding. Sara kicked Kong as hard as she’s kicked anyone. Kong delighted in leaving handprints on the Death Rey’s chest, her thudding chops shaking the Queen to the core. After several minutes, but before either pulled out their MDK-level moves, Sara was able to dodge a Uraken and score a surprise pin on Kong to take the huge victory. A hard-fought battle for both, but each faced even tougher ones as JoshiMania went on.



It was the tag team contest between the team of Ayako Hamada and Cherry against the team of Mio Shirai and Mayumi Ozaki that proved to be the best of the night. While all women were familiar with one another,they don’t share any extensive history2. Still The beautiful and devious team of Mio and Ozaki worked very, very well together. The veteran Ozaki brought out her top shelf stuff this weekend, not that Ayako Hamada gave her a choice in the matter. Ayako was excited, and a bit nervous, about her CHIKARA debut. Of course, she performed to her usual standard of excellence.

The match also contained a revelation: Mio Shirai is a fucking star. Her mix of personality, style, humor, and sadistic violence won over the crowd. She helped make this semi-random tag flow gracefully. Mio showed she could keep up with two all-time greats in Oz and Hamada, and here’s hoping her success in the US pays dividends for her when she returns to Japan.



And that was Night One. A fantastic night of wrestling, no doubt, but JoshiMania was just getting started. You can already purchase the DVDs for all three nights at Smart Mark Video. While you wait on those to ship, enjoy the rest of the photos below the cut.

But just one more thing! Dig, if you will, this picture of The Beautiful One, Veronica, as she lays into a fan that she felt was a bit too bold. Maybe she’s just too demanding? She’s never satisfied with those in attendance. I took the photo as I wondered, “Why do they scream at each other?”

Peace!
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  1. Take a look at Manami Toyota’s Historic Career here as well as her Greatest Matches here on Diva Dirt.
  2. See a previous team-up of Ayako and Cherry as they take on Ayumi Kurihara and Michiko Ohmukai here.

CHIKARA 360

This is massive. Chris, Greg, and Ayzali took an incredible amount of pictures of CHIKARA this weekend. Nearly 360, covering every angle of CHIKARA’s return to Chicago as well as their appearance the next night near Detroit. Chris also provided a  write-up of the Chi-Town show. Enjoy these shots and share with your fellow CHIKArmy members!

CHIKARA: The Case of the Bullet-Proof Waldo – 6/24/2011 Chicago, IL.

1. The Batiri: Obaryion, Kodama, and Kobold def. The Throwbacks: Sugar Dunkerton, Dasher Hatfield, and Matt Classic with a Blockbuster – A back and forth match until a miscommunication between Classic and Dasher led to Kodama pinning Classic.

2. Ophidian def. Isaiahs Velasquez with the Cobra Clutch - A fine match which saw Ophidian gain the win by blocking a superkick with astonishing skill and locking on a bridging Cobra Clutch for the submission win.

3. FIST: Chuck Taylor and Johnny Gargano def. The Colony: Solider Ant and Green Ant with the Hertz Donut – An excellent match that capped off with some hard-hitting double team action by FIST and Gargano’s Hertz Donut for the pin on Solider Ant.

4. Young Lions Cup holder Frightmare def. Hieracon with a rollup in a Non-Title Match - Hieracon came close, but Frightmare survived a crossface and Lightning Spiral and secured the pin.


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Ten Questions with Icarus

For a man who gets “Worst in the World” chanted at him on a regular basis, CHIKARA’s Icarus doesn’t seem to be lacking in self-confidence, or success. While fans may think he’s only the 4th most valuable member of the F.I.S.T. trio, in reality he’s the one who has survived the endless battle of CHIKARA the longest. Names bigger and more loved have come and gone, yet Icarus remains. Having won both King of Trios and Campeonatos de Parejas, and now in the tournament to crown the first ever CHIKARA singles champion, Icarus is on his way to going down as one of the companies’ all time greats. We caught up with him as he prepares to start his campaign int he 12 Large Summit with a match against the formidable Sara Del Rey.

Interview by Sonny

For anyone that doesn’t know, please tell us who trained you.

I was trained by Mike Quackenbush, Reckless Youth, Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, and David Xanatos.

You’ve been in CHIKARA for 9 years now and the fans still hate your guts. How do you put up with it?

I have big ears and often times funny hair. I’ve also managed to stay better looking then 98% of the general population my whole life. I am used to people hating me. It never bothers me in the least. Some people spend wasted lives looking for approval. I’ve accepted hate and therefore accepted myself. The ones who hate are insecure thumbsuckers whose Daddies didn’t hug them enough.

The Warm-up jacket. Fans don’t want you to take it off, yet you always do. Is it to show off your impressive physique, or is to just shove it in their faces?

Neither. I take it off cause it gets rather hot. Also, the zipper can be dangerous to my very chiseled, yet baby smooth, chest.

F.I.S.T. are former King of Trios champions, and you were the runners-up this year. Before losing to The Colony in the finals, you had very impressive wins over Team Osaka Pro and Team Michinoku Pro. Please tell us your thoughts on those victories.

The Osaka gents took us to limits the modern day man will never know. Kotega, Harada, and Spider are some very impressive chaps. Men who fight with valor and integrity could never beat them. Men who blur the rules line go on to the semi finals. If you don’t own King of Trios Night 2 pick that up. That match alone is worth the money.

The Michinoku guys are legends for a reason. They showed us the meaning of the words “heart” and “dedication.” F.I.S.T. Showed them the meaning of “Win at All Costs”

You have another big match this weekend with the BDK’s Sara Del Rey. However, you’ve been very dismissive of her, in spite of the fact that she’s killed men, and women, bigger and tougher than you. Do you want to retract your statement about how you were going to spend an easy weekend “beating up a chick?”

My therapist says I’m “massaginistic.” Sara Del Rey is strong, tough, and relentless. However Icarus is sly, cunning, and has a strong hatred towards women. I retract no statement.

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CHIKARA: King of Trios 2011 Night Three

CHIKARA King of Trios is done. You can read the full play-by-play of Night Three here. You can even buy the shows sometime later today at SmartMarkVideo.com. You should probably do that, because you won’t easily find a better event in pro wrestling.

The Colony are your KOT 2010 Champions. Green Ant managed to secure the win over FIST with just one arm and one antenna. Despite being classless, cheating scumbags, I found myself strongly pulling for FIST. With the continued disintegration of BDK, CHIKARA’s heroes need new villains and FIST are the most dangerous group in the company; at least since they sent the chair using, Bon Jovi singing Great Sasuke of Team Michinoku Pro packing with a powder attack at the end of another amazing trios match.



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