If you check this site regularly, you know that a week and a half ago, I went to Easton, Pennsylvania to check out CHIKARA’s 2012 King of Trios. The reason you would know is pretty much the same reason it’s taken me so long to even write about it: I just did an excessive amount of posts about the previous five years of shows. So I kind of needed to take a writing break.
Don’t worry, I’ll be back to talking about comics in a little bit.
I won’t get too in-depth on the trip, but it was easily one of the most fun weekends I’ve ever had. I was joined by my co-worker buddy Colin, his brother Sean and fellow internet writer guy and enthusiast of bat-related people Chris Sims. I had only met Sims once prior at Comic Con back in 2010 and he admittedly doesn’t even remember it. Anyway, after months of pestering him, I convinced him to fly over and check out the show. Everyone got along swimmingly and not a problem was to be had outside of my questionable driving. Sims is a really nice guy who I have a strong respect for, so it was great that he was able to make the trip.
I’m not going to go over the events of the show itself because you should really just check it out yourself. Only 24 hours after the third night, Smart Mark Video released all three shows. They’re available in streaming form for $10 each (Nights 1, 2 and 3), downloadable MP4 form for $12 (1, 2 and 3) and DVD for $15 (1, 2 and 3). While I do the first two options most of the time these days, I went with the DVDs because I felt the need to physically own them. I lucked out because for some reason my DVD cases are cherry-scented.
If you can only get one show, do Night 3. The second half of it is completely amazing stuff with the best comedy match, an incredible joshi match, a very violent singles contest and the finals, which itself is pretty epic. Also, the Tag Gauntlet earlier on introduces the first major CHIKARA appearance by my new favorite tag team, the Devastation Corporation, made up of Blaster McMassive and Max Smashmaster.
Somebody took the big comedy match from Night 3 and turned the highlights into a Vaudevillian silent film. Give it a look.
The Fan Conclave was an absolute blast. Jakob Hammermeier was schooling everybody in Smash Brothers Brawl, wrestlers took pictures with fans in front of a yearbook-style backdrop, Soldier Ant was playing Battleship with some folks and I got selected to take part in CHIKARA’s Not-Jeopardy gameshow. It’s just like Jeopardy with the differences of being hosted by Leonard F. Chikarason, it had the Swamp Monster remove the points squares off the wall and Icarus was there to make fun of you for getting the answer wrong… and often getting the answer right.
I did really well. In fact, I was cheated. You see, right before Final Not-Jeopardy, I was in the lead. I bet all but 100 points on the final question for strategy purposes. The final question was in the form of a sheet of paper asking various number-based questions (ie. how many people unmasked as Vokoder, how many matches has Mixed-Martial Archie won, how many moves is Johnny Saint a master of, how many title defense has Eddie Kingston had, etc.) then adding it all together. Nobody got it right. In fact, I was the closest by being only two points off! But then ol’ Chikarason had to suddenly curveball me with, “the closest without going over”. COME ON! This is Not-Jeopardy, not Not-Price is Right! So I got second place, netting me a $50 voucher for anything at the CHIKARA merch table.
The wrestlers were extremely cool in person. I found out that Chuck Taylor was reading up on the King of Trios Retrospective, which was major. At my B&N, one of my customers is Green Ant’s mother, so I awkwardly told him, “This is going to sound extremely weird and random, but I work at a Barnes and Noble and—” and he interrupted with, “Oh yeah, my mom.” Heh. Scott Parker and Shane Matthews both loved my vintage “Big Shot” Hardcore Holly t-shirt, especially when they saw the “NUT UP OR SHUT UP” text on the back. Matthews laughed and pointed out that he only said that catchphrase for like two weeks. I even briefly got to talk to the Warlord and told him that his match with the British Bulldog at Wrestlemania 7 is my all-time favorite match.
The best interaction was with Mr. Touchdown. I bought his t-shirt at the merch stand during one night’s intermission and he pulled out an 8×10 and a pen.
“Wait, before you go. What’s your name?”
“Gavin? Like Gavin Loudspeaker?”
“Okay. And how do you spell that?”
“What was that?”
He started writing. “G-A-V…?”
“All right. Here you go.”
And so, he gave me the signed 8×10. At the top of it? “To: NERD!“