King of Trios; or how I learnt to stop worrying and love CHIKARA

September 3, 2017

When I first started watching CHIKARA, a friend of mine offered to lend me his collection of DVDs so I could catch up. He began going through the storylines, filling in the history, trying to make sure I knew as much as possible about all of it before I got any further into it.

Now, usually I’m a completist. Let’s be real here. Words and phrases that have been used to describe me, with varying degrees of accuracy from people with varying degrees of affection for me, include “obsessive”, “nerdy”, “control freak” – ploughing through dozens of DVDs to watch something I love seems right in my wheelhouse.

I never felt like that about CHIKARA, though. I didn’t need to instantly begin to fill the gaps, to make myself as knowledgeable as possible as quickly as possible, to make myself a “better” or “more real” fan, to make myself worthy of being part of the Chikarmy.

And that interested me from an objective point of view. In my academic life, my thesis was on female soccer fans in England; and one of my arguments there was that in such a macho environment, women find themselves asked to prove their fandom again and again and again, in a way that men aren’t. There are trivia quizzes, there are interrogations of attendance, there are comments about appearance and “which player do you fancy, then?”. Fighting one’s corner is stupid, and exhausting; but so often necessary.

But it wasn’t that way with CHIKARA. I fell in love head over heels and that was it. CHIKARA asks for nothing more from me. The fact that I love it is enough. And it loves me too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Facts from 4FW, Chipping Sodbury Town Hall, March 8th 2013

March 9, 2013

1874_10152654594240374_750499510_nI’ve done a fair bit of travelling to see wrestling shows, but the village of Chipping Sodbury on a rainy, foggy Friday night? Well, I have to be honest and say that the attraction was the main event, pure and simple – Kenny Omega v friend of TOWIS Zack Sabre Jr.

I know there’s a school of thought which criticises the use of imports on UK shows, but the fact of the matter is that if you’re a British wrestling fan attending shows regularly, you’ve seen pretty much all the best talent multiple times, and the chance to see them wrestle each other for the nth time isn’t necessarily going to get people to pay for a ticket. The use of imports – booked and used correctly, without over-expenditure – can be a draw, and there’s no denying that – I heard a couple of casual fans after the show enthusing, “I enjoyed the Canadian guy [Omega], he was something a bit different!”

And sure, some other matches on the bill looked interesting – the card also featured Sha Samuels v The Saint, and Dave Mastiff v Eddie Ryan, as well as Pete Dunne v Fujita ‘Jr’ Hayato – but it was the lure of seeing a couple of the world’s best that convinced me that being crushed into a car with six wrestlers and driving for three hours was a good idea.

I’m glad I went, too. Read the rest of this entry »