Wrestling company CHIKARA has gone through some interesting stuff in the last nine months. They died and did a rebirth, partially told through a series of YouTube movies that will be shown in its full form in a theater setting in a couple months. So yes, weird.
For Den of Geek US, I’ve been working on a primer for the Death and Return of CHIKARA angle as told via a who’s who of all the players involved. While that should be going up sometime next week or so, there’s one part that I felt such joy in writing about and that’s Archibald Peck. The time-traveling marching band leader’s ridiculous storyline since starting in CHIKARA has been an absolute treasure and even summing up his recent behavior in a couple paragraphs felt wrong. So join me as I go in-depth on the man.
It all started in early 2011. CHIKARA started releasing videos hyping up that the Band was coming. The videos acted like this was a major huge deal and included black and white historical footage and the first two seconds of the New World Order theme. The timing here was key. Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and X-Pac, three major members of the nWo, just left TNA, where they called themselves the Band due to rights issues. CHIKARA was about to build up towards its annual King of Trios tournament, so were they really suggesting that Nash, Hall and Pac were on the way to compete? It was possible. Those guys did do a lot of indy appearances. On the other hand, it probably wouldn’t have been a good idea in the long run due to their personalities and the fact that only one of them was capable of putting on a decent match at the time.
As it came closer to the debut time, it became a little more apparent that it wasn’t going to be the nWo in CHIKARA. Nash just made a big appearance in WWE and Hall was in no condition to compete. Coincidentally, X-Pac would show up at King of Trios a few months later as the 1-2-3 Kid, but the whole “Band is coming!” thing was just a red herring. The band was really Archibald Peck and his majorette Veronica.
It usually takes people months to pick up on how they’re “Archie and Veronica.”
The loudmouth Marchie Archie had his first match against CHIKARA’s top name Eddie Kingston, who destroyed him with his finisher, the Backfist to the Future. Archie then appeared at King of Trios to put out an open challenge, which was accepted by none other than indy wrestling staple Colt Cabana. Thanks to chicanery via Veronica’s baton, Archie was able to win the match. He explained exactly why he won via blog post on CHIKARA’s site. You see, when Archie took Kingston’s Backfist to the Future, it actually sent him forward in time! All the way to the year 2015! From there, he was able to find out who would accept his open challenge and be ready for them before being brought back to the present.
At the time, this was just regarded as him being a dipstick while making fun of how super-serious Kingston has such a silly name for his striking finishing move.
Archie was on a winning streak for the next few months, but the Young Lions Cup tournament was on the way and that created a roadblock. You see, the Young Lions Cup is only for those who are 25 and younger. Archie didn’t make the cut and that made him furious. He immediately got on his “phone from the future” (a cumbersome helmet phone) with his lawyer, RD Evans. Evans was from Ring of Honor and to the untrained eye, you might suspect that they’re really the same person under two separate gimmicks.
Anyway. Archie told him about how he was unjustly being kept out of the tournament and in doing so, went on about how his father is Walter Peck, a Canadian man who moved to New York City and got a government job until being fired in response to a situation involving a certain foursome of ghost-busting professionals and a giant made of marshmallow. Yes, that Walter Peck. When told Archie’s birthday, which most definitely made him older than 25, Evans shrugged and wondered what the problem was. It was then that Archie told him that in America, they measure everything weird. They use human feet to explain distances and, similarly, they don’t use the metric system to measure age. Evans got on it and was able to convince the CHIKARA officials to let Archie into the tournament. He lost in the semis.
Archie bounced back to his winning ways after debuting his new mascot, Colt Cabunny. Okay, so some background on this one. In the early, early days of CHIKARA, CM Punk wrestled every now and then. You’ve heard of him, right? He had a falling out with the company due to a last-minute cancellation (that sounds rather familiar…) and the company ended up debuting CP Munk, a man in a plush chipmunk costume with a Pepsi logo patched onto his shoulder and the same shorts that Punk competed in. Punk was genuinely annoyed at this. Down the line, they introduced Munk’s partner, Colt Cabunny, a send-up of Punk’s best friend Cabana.
So due to his inability to leave well enough alone, Archie kept ragging on Cabana via parading around the creature created for the sake of mocking him. Archie and Veronica were also rather abusive towards the poor bunny too. It all came to a head at the 2011 season finale High Noon, where Cabunny betrayed Archie and helped Cabana win the big rematch.
2012 was off to a rough start. Archie couldn’t get a win to save his life. It didn’t help that when he had the full advantage, he would mildly hold his opponent at bay while announcing to the crowd, “HELLO, EVERYBODY! I AM ARCHIBALD PECK AND THIS IS MY FINISHING MOVE! I HOPE YOU ALL ENJOY IT!” because that never went well. Veronica grew more and more disgusted with Archie’s inability to win and soon started to have eyes for another man on the CHIKARA roster, rookie sensation “Mr. Touchdown” Marc Angelosetti.
As predicted, Veronica left Archie for Touchdown, causing Archie to go under an emotional breakdown. He kept losing and it caused him to snap into overcompensating. Archibald Peck the happy-go-lucky band leader wasn’t manly enough, but maybe he’d be considered cooler and tougher if he started getting into mixed martial arts! In a parody of indy wrestlers who are way too into MMA, Archie rechristened himself Mixed Martial Archie. He even competed for the promotion Wrestling is Serious, which has mysteriously never been recorded in any way.
MMArchie had a little more success, winning one match in his new persona against the demonic Kobald. He had a match with Touchdown where he did beat him down, but got disqualified for not letting up on the offense. A challenge was made for a tag match. Touchdown and his partner/family member Dasher Hatfield against MMArchie and a partner of his choice. Whoever got pinned would have to leave CHIKARA. Archie ended up being joined by Colt Cabana, who was unsure why Archie even considered him to be his arch-nemesis when they’ve only fought twice. As Team Tap Outback Steakhouse, they went into the iPPV Chikarasaurus Rex side-by-side.
This is when things get really goofy.
THE EVENTS AS WE SEE IT:
During the match, MMArchie received a spinebuster onto the stage ramp by Touchdown, sidelining him for much of the match and making it two-on-one against Cabana. He was taken backstage and returned later on in his marching band duds to the delight of the crowd. Despite being a house of fire, the cheating of Touchdown led to his defeat. Archibald Peck was no longer allowed on CHIKARA premises. At the end of the show, he walked off into the Philadelphia night, still wearing his tights, looking like something out of the Incredible Hulk end credits.
In the weeks that followed, the CHIKARA YouTube channel started showing a series called “Where in the World is Archibald Peck?” which showed the dejected wrestler walking through various cities across America, still in the same tights from his big loss. After two months of wandering, Archie found himself in Dallas, Texas, where he stopped walking and gave a big smile for once. That was the last installment.
Then this man started wrestling in CHIKARA. The Handsome and Mysterious Stranger debuted against Icarus, met with cheers from the crowd of, “WE DON’T KNOW YOU!” The cowboy newcomer cut through the competition while cutting Dusty Rhodes-style promos and constantly walking around with a pigeon named Sapphire on his shoulder. Through veiled threats, he let the world know that he wanted a piece of Young Lions Cup champion Mr. Touchdown. Coincidentally, Veronica found herself rather intrigued by the handsomeness of this masked stranger.
A four-corners elimination tag match took place, where two of the teams included not only Mr. Touchdown and Dasher Hatfield, but the Handsome and Mysterious Stranger and Sapphire. Yes, the pigeon figurine was competing in the match. During the madness of it all, Touchdown grabbed Sapphire, shoved her in a sack and then proceeded to angrily crush her repeatedly. It was a truly horrific scene, reminiscent of the time Earthquake crushed Jake “the Snake” Roberts’ snake Damien. Many videos surfaced online of fans and wrestlers disgusted at Touchdown’s actions, including Jake Roberts himself.
At the 2012 season finale Under the Hood, Mr. Touchdown defended his Young Lions Cup trophy against ACH. Touchdown won and in celebration, he and Veronica had a drawing for the prom king and queen of the show. Veronica won prom queen, but the winning prom king was none other than the Handsome and Mysterious Stranger! He came to the ring, where he quickly dismantled Touchdown, leaving only he and Veronica. He told her to close his eyes, then snuck out of the ring to grab a bucket of slop. He spilled it over her, unmasked and revealed himself to be none other than Archibald Peck!
Security immediately threw him out because he was supposed to be fired.
As it is, the story was cut and dry. It’s something wrestling’s done many times with the Midnight Rider, Mr. America, the Machines, etc. Even CHIKARA did the same storyline with Ricochet becoming Helios years earlier. Yes, it was a very basic, yet effective, wrestling angle.
But we couldn’t have that.
RD Evans went to CHIKARA Director of Fun Wink Vavasseur and explained that legally, Archibald Peck should not be barred from CHIKARA as he has yet to lose that match. Why? Time travel!
THE EVENTS AS IT HAPPENED:
At the 2012 iPPV Chikarasaurus Rex, after Mixed Martial Archie took that spinebuster, he was brought backstage, where he got into an altercation with one Eddie Kingston. Once again, Kingston nailed him with the Backfist to the Future and it actually sent Archie into the past, the Wild West to be more specific, where he donned the identity of the Handsome and Mysterious Stranger. He then received a backfist from one Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen (of Back to the Future Part 3 fame) and that sent him back into the present… sort of. He appeared a couple months after his Chikarasaurus Rex match, where he returned to action in his Stranger guise.
You see, the Archie who lost against Touchdown and had to quit CHIKARA? That was an older Archie who was destined to go back in time once again. Therefore, the Archibald Peck who unmasked at Under the Hood had NOT been fired yet. Wink Vavasseur took this nonsense at face value, but then came to a realization. If all of this was true, then what happened with Where in the World is Archibald Peck? Wouldn’t that mean that there were two Archies walking around? Evans let out a horrified, “GREAT SCOTT!” and we next saw Archie – STILL WEARING THE TIGHTS FROM HIS CHIKARASAURUS REX LOSS DESPITE IT BEING SEVEN MONTHS SINCE THEN – wandering into the snowy whereabouts of Parts Unknown.
Yes, the time travel claims were indeed legit after all.
Reinstated, Archie started 2013 with a big blow-off match against Touchdown. In a match that involved a neck brace-wearing Sapphire being wheeled out by a nurse, Archie won decisively and humiliated his enemies enough that Touchdown and Veronica broke up on the spot. That led to a brief feud against Tim Donst, a self-hating manipulator of others who was able to bring Veronica into his entourage based on her weakened emotional mindset. After a few matches, Archie came out on top and moved on to getting a title shot against CHIKARA Grand Champion Eddie Kingston.
Archie would face his first opponent once again, only for the title. The crowd was behind him and he seemed to be doing really good for himself. That is, until he saw someone watching him from up in the balcony. It was none other than Archibald Peck! Seeing his time-displaced doppelganger distracted him enough that he once again fell prey to the Backfist to the Future. The lights went out and once they turned back on, both Archies were gone. Kingston won by default.
The insane thing in all of this is that as confusing as all this time travel garbage is, it’s actually competently written! Here’s the chronology:
Mixed Martial Archie takes part in the tag match against Touchdown. Touchdown spinebusters him onto the ramp. MMArchie goes backstage and gets backfisted by Kingston. MMArchie ends up in the old west where he becomes the Handsome and Mysterious Stranger. Buford Tannen backfists him forward in time a couple months after the Touchdown tag match. Stranger competes in CHIKARA, humiliates Veronica and unmasks. Stranger continues his feud with Touchdown and wins a feud against Tim Donst. He gets a title match against Kingston where he gets backfisted. He winds up backstage during that tag match where he goes out and loses to Touchdown, thereby getting fired. He wanders the continent for months without changing clothes until ending up in Parts Unknown. Then he goes to watch his own title match and sees himself compete for the title. Now there’s only one Archie.
At the iPPV Never Compromise, the show ended with the evil corporate overlords of Titor Conglomerate interrupting the main event and destroying the set. Archie was seen in the shadows, running off. At least, he was seen by some of the live crowd while the commentators exclaimed his presence right before the iPPV feed went black. Why was he of all people there? What was the connection?
Shown through the Ashes YouTube videos, Shane “Big Magic” Matthews and Scott “Jagged” Parker, otherwise known as the tag team 3.0, decided not to let this go. They wanted answers and figured that perhaps Archibald Peck could bring them some insight. After all, he was there when it went down. Surely he knew something.
They found RD Evans, who was able to lead them in the direction of Parts Unknown. The two journeyed on through the frosty wilderness and discovered a cabin in the middle nowhere. There they found a bunch of insane notes written on the wall.
Archie appeared, telling them that they shouldn’t be there. Presumably, after his very first match when Archie was knocked into 2015, he got to see that CHIKARA no longer existed and since then, he had been trying to figure out how that came to happen. 3.0 pointed out how an army of CHIKARA-hating bad guy wrestlers (a massive team made up of Dr. Cube and his posse, the BDK, GEKIDO, the Odditorium, the Wrecking Crew and Colony XTREME Force) were laying waste to every last remnant of the company and they needed to band together to fight.
Archie explained that it was too late. The final attack by this Secret Society of Superheels would take place at National Pro Wrestling Day and due to the way time moves differently in Parts Unknown, they’d never make it there in time. Matthews asked if there was anything they could do and a longshot of inspiration struck Archie as he looked to the blueprints on his wall for the flux capacitor.
At National Pro Wrestling Day in early February of this year, Icarus led the CHIKARA faithful in a last stand against the massive heel army led by Jimmy Jacobs. About forty wrestlers brawled it out, but it seemed to be all for naught. The bad guys were winning and the last remnants of CHIKARA was about to be snuffed out.
Then, in the darkest hour, the doors to the outside opened up and a car drove in. Not just any car but a Delorean! Archie and 3.0 burst out of there and ran into battle, helping turn the tide and ultimately causing Jimmy Jacobs and his army to run off to fight another day. Once the dust settled, even Mr. Touchdown was happy enough to embrace Archie. Meanwhile, Icarus pointed out to the camera that on May 25, they’re coming back.
And that’s why Archibald Peck is the best character in wrestling today.