A semi-faux documentary, The Ashes of CHIKARA, was made before the CHIKARA return show and I figured it would be a good starting point to get me familiar with the characters and certain angles. There were a few wrestlers I already knew from their time in other promotions so I was able to recognize them off the bat. I was disappointed though that there was little to no explanation as to who anyone else was. As a person who had no idea what was going on this is what I gathered:
- CHIKARA was shut down by an evil corporation during their final event, they essentially pulled the plug on the show and started taking everything down before the final match ended. Everyone seemed very surprised at this happening and it seemed like it was going to be it for CHIKARA.
- The main character in the documentary was Icarus, a guy who seemed like he lost who he was when CHIKARA was shut down and he went to each character trying to get them to get the band back together, he even went to characters that he didn't particularly get along with.
- Eddie Kingston, CHIKARA's champion upon their closing, is shown with Icarus and he seems too busy to bother to come, but he does show the Grand Championship in his bag so he must still care a bit. Mike Quackenbush looks like he lost a child with the destruction of CHIKARA and it seems to bring him too much pain to think about trying to get it back.
- These two guys (who I later found out to be a team called 3.0) went on a mission to find some guy who could travel back in time. (I already knew what happened on National Pro Wrestling Day so I could see the reason behind it). That guy was named Archibald Peck and he had a time travel machine. These guys had to travel some rough terrain to find PARTS UNKNOWN. They eventually found it and in turn found Peck. Peck was surprised to see them and seemingly in PARTS UNKNOWN, time moves much slower but even Peck couldn't figure out how to travel back in time to stop the evil corporation from destroying CHIKARA.
- There was a bit with some Ants and they were actually drinking alcohol...I assumed they would of been drinking something else but anyways. Green Ant was looking for Soldier Ant but I assume he couldn't be found.
The story ends at National Pro Wrestling Day during the final match, a crew comes in to stop it and it seemed like they were going to stop the show and end it like CHIKARA and all the various Wrestling Is promotions. This crew was led by Jimmy Jacobs and they looked formidable but finally the CHIKARA crew came in to defend it and 3.0 and Peck even came in with a DELOREAN!! The evil guys ended up retreating and that was it...CHIKARA WAS BACK!
Even with all the interweaving storytelling, I was still kind of lost after watching "The Ashes". I thought it was an interesting film but I didn't particularly learn anything from it. Luckily, I ended up going to the CHIKARA website to find out more information and that is when I found a BEGINNER'S GUIDE PDF. This 20+ page document, a must have for any other fans like me, explained the major players in CHIKARA and let me know who each person was and who their friends and enemies were. After reading it, I am both informed and hooked. I think I am ready for you CHIKARA.
Bring on "YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE" and beyond!
Andrew Sanford can be found on da Twitter @TheSanford1.
Image Credits: CHIKARA logo (chikarapro.com), Gulak (reddit.com), Icarus (reddit.com)