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YMMV / Chikara

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  • Badass Decay:
    • Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes, excluding Claudio, Ares and Donst, came down with a pretty severe case of it. Pinkie Sanchez and Death Haze got the worst of it, although Sara Del Rey recovered after turning face.
      • Jakob's version of it was so weak that after Jakob's failed powerplay using the Eye on Hallowicked again, they got wrecked singlehandedly by Eddie Kingston (with Pinkie splitting from Jakob after the loss and forming a loose association with the Colony, only to get Put on a Bus by Frightmare) and were all gone from the promotion within 4 months.
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    • combatANT was the first member of GEKIDO to get noticed and picked up their first few wins. Then several months of nothing and then a career ending neck injury at the hands of Quackenbush.
    • Obariyon slipped from a threatening up-and-comer and potential Big Bad for 2012 with a Flying DDT finisher that qualified as The Dreaded, to just another midcarder.
    • The Proteus Wheel have lost more matches than they've won following the feud with Lucas Calhoun, Jeremy Leary, Brett Michael David, Missile Assault Man, and Axel Ford.
  • Broken Base:
    • The Chikara fanbase, over the Ashes angle and the closure of Chikara. The fans hardcore enough to want to participate in the angle - show up to the rallies, buy Chikarmy T-shirts, etc - loved it. Casual fans didn't see the point. "Mediumcore" fans, however, loathed and detested the angle for depriving them of actual wrestling matches, as did some hardcore fans who didn't happen to live in the northeastern USA and were thus unable to physically participate. While active fans tried to help bridge the gap via livestreams and social media documenting the events, there was not much done on the CHIKARA side of things to try to include everyone.
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    • The Challenge of the Immortals tournament broke them again. Some loved how everything had settled down after the shutdown and the Flood, while others thought it boring and dragging and still others wanted more focus on the bits of plot going on around it. It was certainly not helped that, for a good portion of the tournament, no official point totals were provided by Chikara, leading to mass confusion and many fans struggling to keep sense of it all.
      • Golden Opportunities, which the Challenge of the Immortals helped introduce. Some fans dislike Chikara's version of WWE's Money in the Bank, others consider it a worthwhile addition, and still others don't mind it but wish that the rules for it would've been laid out from the beginning. Two incidents soon came from there not being set rules, one being the incident cited in N_R_G's Creator's Pet entry below and the other being Danjerhawk being able to use it to challenge for the Young Lions Cup, something that was never mentioned could be used for it (and the reason that it was even able to be used like that was because there were no rules against it!). Some even disliked champions and those with Golden Opportunities already being entered in a battle royale for another, citing that they had no use for them. After the incident mentioned below, they were largely phased out, with only one being given out per Season via the above-cited battle royal.
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    • King of Trios 2016. Some took issue with no CHIKARA teams being in the final. Some derided Team JWP getting into the finals by disqualification. Some did not like the reveal of Jigsaw as the Betrayer, citing the utter lack of exposition to go along with it (and it certainly wasn't helped by the original blog hinting at Kevin Condron, who had departed CHIKARA earlier in the year, possibly being the original choice for the role). And still others were angered by the tag gauntlet, citing that no challengers for Moustache Mountain had been decided by it and that the end appearance of Billy Gunn and Sean Waltman completely derailed everything for the sake of a long-running joke.
      • King of Trios 2017 drew fire for much of the same reasons as its predecessor. Another disqualification finish during the tournament, House Rot having to forfeit during the semifinals instead of the traditional random draw replacement, no CHIKARA teams in the finals (though some chose to classify winners House Strong Style as technically a CHIKARA team due to their history with the promotion), and the tag gauntlet being won by Campeones Los Ice Creams instead of deciding a challenger for their titles. This was also a case of the fanbase breaking when King of Trios was first announced, as it took place in England as opposed to their usual Easton stop, though it was later explained that the Palmer Center was unavailable due to being remodeled.
    • The decision to fire (and Un-person, as later attempts to view his roster page resulted in this) Joey Styles following an ill-advised joke for another promotion (EVOLVE) resulted in a minor case of this, as some supported the decision, others derided it, and still others believed everyone was making a figurative mountain out of a molehill.
    • UltraMantis Black's Grand Championship reign. Many did not appreciate his title chase and win happening during the pre-taped Season Seventeen, citing that him winning his first major singles championship in CHIKARA would've been much better in front of a live audience, instead of happening on a taped Season and getting sprung on everyone randomly. Others were annoyed by it petering out only a few months after the reveal, as he lost it to Juan Francisco de Coronado.
      • And de Coronado's reign resulted in further breaking. Not only did fans not like that he had upset UltraMantis for it, but as it went on, many further turned on it, citing that his defenses were all happening the same way (copious loads of cheating) and that next to nothing was happening during it, the latter of which was viewed as majorly unacceptable due to it being over a year in length. The decision to align him with then-Campeonatos de Parejas The Closers in the Regime only added to the issue, as it resulted in one faction controlling the major titles. By the time he lost the title to Mark Angelosetti, he had been champion for almost a year and a half with not much to show for it, and he was promptly ejected from the title scene afterward.
    • The treatment of the tag division as a whole in recent Seasons, with some citing things like Moustache Mountain's defenseless reign, N_R_G's bad habit of defeating challengers in non-title contests when they were campeones (and later Los Ice Creams pointblocking via interference), the above-mentioned King of Trios incident, the "dispute" mentioned in the N_R_G entry under Creator's Pet below, too many one-and-done inactive teams, and there being months without a single tag match on the shows.
    • Season Eighteen, especially the latter half, began to draw criticism from fans due to roster members leaving left and right and not much of anything in the way of storyline development happening on the shows themselves.
    • Much like the firing of Joey Styles, the decision to trademark Jervis Cottonbelly and attempt to prevent the performer from using the gimmick outside CHIKARA resulted in a minor case of this, as Jervis had departed CHIKARA some time before the trademark was even filed and had become a very popular performer on the independent scene. It was also seen as a very petty move on Mike Quackenbush's part, as there exists a well-documented animosity between him and Kevin Condron. It quickly died down after a name change and slight mask modifications turned Jervis Cottonbelly into Gentleman Jervis. As of this writing (June 2020), while the trademark was eventually successfully registered in late 2019, nothing was ever done with it.
    • A small amount for Beyond Wrestling's Cam Zagami outright refusing to defend the Young Lions Cup in CHIKARA after winning it during the 2018 Young Lions Cup tournament, which resulted in one of the Golden Opportunity-related incidents mentioned above.
    • There has always been a bit of controversy over discussing the identities under the masks of certain Chikara wrestlers, so much so Quackenbush has often stopped working with people who discuss this. Defenders of this stance often will say it is respecting Lucha Libre traditions in which many masked luchadors don't mix their personal lives with their wrestling lives, and under Quack's philosophy this is why you shouldn't ask or care. The opposite opinion states that, while it is often true that many luchadors don't give their real names unless they lose a lucha de apuestas match, most of the time when they change their name or gimmick moving to a new promotion that is information they rarely conceal.note  In addition to the two viewpoints mentioned above, there are some fans who have no problem playing along inside of CHIKARA, but would genuinely like to know if some of the characters they see in CHIKARA are being played by people they see unmasked elsewhere on the indies moreso than knowing their real identities.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Lince Dorado had a severe case of it after his debut. He seemed to veer from being booked entirely too strongly to being booked realistically to being booked entirely too strongly again periodically, and he was never popular enough to justify his mega-push. This reaction even spilled over to the other two members of The Future Is Now (Equinox and Helios), making them the least popular tecnicos on the roster to the point where, after being beaten by super-rudos FIST during the King of Trios 2009 event, the fans chanted "THANK YOU FIST!" Went downhill after winning King of Trios 2008.
    • Jigsaw, prior to his late 2012 heel turn. Some fans find it strange that Jigsaw, after his stunt quitting Chikara, joining the Vulture Squad, unmasking and burying his gimmick and Chikara itself, was allowed back into the company, let alone made into the #2 hero behind only Quack himself. The fact that he's one of the blander babyfaces on the roster doesn't help much.
      • Again in 2016! After disappearing in 2014 and spending the entirety of 2015 elsewhere, he made his return in mid-2016 to wrestle a handful of matches seemingly as a face...only to be suddenly turned heel and shoehorned into the Nazmaldun storyline as the Betrayer for no discernable reason, prompting mass groaning and facepalming. He then disappeared again at the beginning of 2017, only returning for one appearance that year.
    • And the QuackenSaw team is a funny sort of Scrappy. Because they don't compete much outside Chikara, the team draws in outside fans from Ring of Honor and the like, and they always get great reactions on the shows. But check the forums dedicated to Chikara, and it at least appears the homebase is getting tired of "Quackensue" and was not at all enthused at them winning the tag belts.
    • Hieracon. Jonathan Gresham was re-gimmicked to become the third member of the Osirian Portal. But while Amasis and Ophidian had insane chemistry with each other, Hieracon lacked that chemistry. Add to that that the storyline behind him joining was "hey he's pretty good let's give him a mask and an Egyptian gimmick now", and the whole thing came across as horribly forced. It didn't help that while Amasis and Ophidian would interact and play to the crowd, Hieracon would mostly just stand on the ring apron looking awkward at best and bored witless at worst.
      • This was later retconned into being part of Wink Vavasseur's attempts to adulterate CHIKARA teams through CHIKARAbermetrics.
    • N_R_G. Once just a rookie team, their booking became inexplicably strong to the point where they were a constant presence in main event multi-person matches, a short-lived product placement deal got them to the Campeonatos de Parejas (and drew unfavorable comparisons to 3.0), and they soon began participating in Four Corner Elimination Tag matches and shutting out potential challengers in non-title competition. Race Jaxon being extra obnoxious in blogs did not help their cause any. Mike Quackenbush's love of early 90's WWF and gimmicks like High Energy (of which N_R_G is arguably a tribute) is very well known.
      • Made even worse by Quackenbush "disputing" N_R_G's title loss via Golden Opportunity and stripping perennial favorites Los Ice Creams of the Campeonatos de Parejas. Many fans rallied behind Los Ice Creams, citing that Quackenbush had never specified that the Golden Opportunity could not be used to take the titles in one fall and speculating if he would've "disputed" the change if it had been a team other than N_R_G on the receiving end. Fortunately, their strong booking abated after this, as they were first eliminated from the match that resulted from the "dispute", then began to argue amongst themselves before breaking up at the beginning of 2017 and eventually feuding.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Mr. Touchdown's murder of Sapphire. First he threw her in a sack. Then he slammed the sack into the ring several times. Then he did a series of jogging in place chest drops on the sack. And then he stopped and Tebowed next to it while the fans chanted "You're a monster!" at him.
  • Crowning Moment Of Awesome: Yoshiaki Yago vs Necro Butcher at Tag World Grand Prix 2006. What really put this over the top was Eddie Kingston on commentary totally marking out the whole time.
    • Night One of the 2007 King Of Trios. Team Japan vs The Thomasellis. Miyawaki and Sal slug it out. Then...
    • The Torneo Cibernetico between Team CHIKARA (UltraMantis Black/Eddie Kingston/Icarus/Larry Sweeney/Jigsaw/Mike Quackenbush/STIGMA/Hallowicked) and the BDK (Ares/Claudio Castagnoli/Tursas/Sara Del Rey/Tim Donst/Delirious/Daizee Haze/Pinkie Sanchez) at The Dark Cibernetico, October 23, 2010. Whereas previous Ciberneticos had run an hour or longer, this one manages to pack in years of storylines into a, by comparison, mere 35:45.
  • Crowning Moment Of Funny: The match in slow motion mentioned under Rule of Funny on the main page.
  • Crowning Moment Of Heartwarming: Hydra's farewell.
  • Dork Age: Ryan Cruz (of the North Star Express)'s "Version 2" gimmick of being a Matt Hardy rip-off.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: UltraMantis Black. At Pick Up Or Delivery, April 9, 2004, BLKOUT (Joker and Sabian) d. UltraMantis and Mister Zero when UltraMantis turned heel and told BLKOUT, "Be my guest," with Joker pinning Zero after a Sabian top-rope senton. Someone in the crowd said, "You're supposed to be a Superhero." UltraMantis got on the mic and ran down Zero and the fans, declared "UltraMantis is dead", changed his mask and said that he was now UltraMantis Black, and the fans said "Thank God." Thus, after he had blatantly screwed over his own partner, costing his team the win, and verbally buried Zero and the fans and said that he was sick of the human species, it turned out the fans actually preferred him as a heel.
    • Larry Sweeney could be a huge heel on the mic, but, all he needed was to start a strut-off and he'd have the fans on his side. Well, except if someone defeated him.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • UltraMantis Black is by far one of the most popular wrestlers in spite of not having won anything major for the first ten years of the company's existence.
    • Despite the fact that Crossbones has spent his career in CHIKARA as a lackey and hasn't ever really been a top tier guy, he has a very vocal fanbase.
    • Kobald of the Batiri
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Titling the July 22, 2006 event The Crushing Weight of Mainstream Ignorance, since that was pretty much what happened with the storyline of Princess Kimberlee as CHIKARA Grand Champion (which the promotion billed as the first female wrestler to hold the top title of a not-exclusively-female promotion); it never received the mainstream attention the promotion expected.
  • Narm: Jigsaw's promo on Armdrags to Riches, due to his delivery and some rather unfortunately phrased sentences ("we've done everything you can possibly do in a ring together!").
  • Nightmare Fuel/WTH, Casting Agency?: CHIKARA announced on its Twitter that one of the teams for King of Trios 2019 will be captained by SCOTT STEINER! Some people are actually happy about this, despite the fact that (A) no sane person wants to give that psycho a live mic; (B) he hasn't had a good match since Bill Clinton's first term as President; and (C) If his team loses, how do you stop him from trying to kill anyone in his path/Trash the Set?
    • Fortunately, this didn't go as badly as some people thought it would. After getting up to his usual behavior the first night, Steiner apologized on the second and put the contents of his wallet into a swear jar, with no further incidents from him.
    • Similar reactions were had when Nick Gage (who is also infamous for such behavior) was announced for an event, and continue to happen each time he's announced despite his having been fairly well-behaved each time.
  • Paranoia Fuel/Most Wonderful Sound: The whistling at the beginning of the BDK's entrance music, a remix of Rammstein's "Engel."
  • Periphery Demographic: On the DVD Commentary track for CHIKARA The Renaissance Dawnsnote , Mike Quackenbush noted that, since the original CHIKARA Wrestle Factory in Allentown, PA was behind a Comic Book store, comic book fans would come in to watch the shows. They didn't react, not because they didn't enjoy the action, but, due to not being wrestling fans, they didn't know how to react.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Johnny Gargano for Gran Akuma, after Akuma was kicked out of FIST and legitimately left Chikara. Made worse by the absolute lack of anyone talking about Akuma's reason for leaving, and Akuma's apparent good health in his appearances for Dragon Gate USA and other indies. Fortunately, Gargano rescued himself fairly quickly - being charismatic, good in the ring and devoted to the wrestling business makes it hard for someone to stay a Scrappy.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Lince Dorado, to an extent. After failing as a face, he turned heel and joined the Bruderschaft. Adjustments were made to his gimmick to try and turn the things that gave him X Pac Heat into things that gave him regular heat - for example instead of having the commentators spew copious praise on his high flying, Jakob Hammermeier would hold up score cards declaring the dives a 10.0. They also balanced this out by being careful not to overpush him, and even made him the BDK member left off the Bruderschaft's Cibernetico team. He also started using fewer high flying moves and polishing the ones he did use so he landed them properly. Fans were divided on whether he was redeemed or not, when...
      • He no-showed two shows in March 2010 and appeared on a Scott Hall video without his mask. The fans immediately turned against him again, and for good measure he was fired and hasn't appeared in Chikara since.
    • Equinox was a truly dire high-flyer, talking about a guy who had a 50-50 chance of pulling off his finishing move. Gerard now works a style more fitting to him, and improved a lot.
    • Johnny Gargano. He was already gaining acceptance due to being pretty solid in the ring. Then he suffered a back injury and completely won the fans over with his devotion to wrestling and having good matches despite being in incredible pain. It almost reached the point of the fans who hadn't liked Gargano going My God, What Have I Done?.
    • Borderline with the mentioned below Submission Squad. When the Flood appeared to cause chaos at National Pro Wrestling Day 2014, the Squad (who'd broken down on the side of the road again) appeared to the surprise of everyone proclaiming that if they wanted to take down Chikara they'd have to go through them... they then proceeded to get beat down but most wrestlers and fans respected the effort regardless of their feelings on the Squad as wrestlers.
      • It helps that the Squad have spent the years since their infamously awful match at King of Trios '09 improving and are considered among the best guys on the Texas indy wrestling scene now.
      • Came completely full circle for them five years after their disastrous match, as their match against the Gentleman's Club at King of Trios '14 was very well-received by fans to the point of "Match of the Year" chants.
    • Race Jaxon post-N_R_G, reinventing himself twice over (first as the narcissistic "That Young and Handsome", then as the egocentric artiste BLANK) to escape the Creator's Pet label the team had been tarred with. The latter persona in particular quickly became highly regarded, especially after the introduction of his "creations", the Nouveau Aesthetic. BLANK and his sole remaining "creation", Still Life with Apricots and Pears, still compete post-CHIKARA as the Nouveau Aesthetic.
  • The Scrappy:
    • "wmdchikara" aka Anton Frady. He wasn't a wrestler - he was actually a moderator on their official forums - but he was in-character while moderating. If a post was overly critical of Wink Vavasseur or really anything related to Titor Conglomerate, he'd either delete the post entirely or edit it to remove the offending content and send a nasty private message to the person who posted it. Most fans agreed that this really added next to nothing to the angle and did make the boards less fun to post on, and he disappeared entirely in July of 2013.
    • The Submission Squad of Davey Vega, Gary Jay, Evan Gelistico and Pierre Abernathy. Their tag match from King of Trios 2009 is widely considered to be the worst match in Chikara history and they were promptly booed out of the building for it.
    • Juan Francisco de Coronado, primarily for his never-ending reign as Grand Champion. He wasn't really involved in angles or much of anything at all outside the Championship during his reign, but until he was finally unseated by Mark Angelosetti, he was Champion for almost a year and a half.
    • Cajun Crawdad and Hermit Crab because, well, they're pretty bad in the ring (and show no signs of improvement), and not very interesting as characters either, basically being filler for the Creatures of the Deep. Any time the discussion of 'what went wrong with Chikara' starts, they're going to get mentioned as embodying the problems with post-slump Chikara.
    • Jakob Hammermeier. Gavin opened The Dark Ciberknetico with a song based on Jermaine Stewart's "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off." The crowd cheered when he sang, "Maybe somebody will break Jakob's other leg." At The Secret Of The Ooze, they cheered when Hallowicked stole the Eye of Tyr from him, even though Hallowicked was a rudo.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: It's not quite a 'mechanic', but fans are generally quite tired of watching characters suffer career ending injuries to write them off shows. It was both innovative and shocking when 17 of GEKIDO first started doing it. Now that it seems to be the go-to method of writing someone out of storylines - and that it's become rather common knowledge that the threat of killing their characters is something that Quackenbush uses to keep the roster in line - it's seen as a prime representation of the problems that have caused Chikara's reputation to plummet in the last half-decade.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The fans reaction to Gran Akuma being kicked out of Team F.I.S.T. and being replaced by Johnny Gargano at Chikarasaurus Rex: King Of Show.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: CHIKARA simply announced that Wani would be on Juan Francisco de Coronado's squad for the Torneo Cibernetico at Top Banana and never developed a character or backstory for him. He didn't do much of note during 2016. Then he defeated Space Monkey for the Young Lions Cup and, once he lost it to Sylverhawk, he left and was completely forgotten.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • UltraMantis Black's return from injury and subsequent Grand Championship victory. Many have pointed out that it would have been better for them to have happened in front of a live audience as opposed to being pre-taped then, in the case of the latter, sprung on people out of nowhere. Most of his reign taking place during the pre-taped Season 17 then not having it for long after NPWD '17 only made it worse.
    • Moustache Mountain being built up to win the CdP. Many were already very annoyed by Los Ice Creams being stripped of the titles (see N_R_G's entry under Creator's Pet above for more details), and it became even worse when the Mountain proceeded to be in-absentia champs, with them not defending their titles for the whole of their reign thanks to a combination of there being no challengers (due to the general poor state of the tag division as a whole) and them being signed by WWE. They were eventually stripped of the titles as well. Despite this, they got to win King of Trios 2017, likely due to the event being held in England.
    • The secret that Princess Kimberlee was being blackmailed over. It was built up and treated like it was some deep dark thing that she didn't want to reach the light of day at any cost, it turned out that it was that she was a jerk to Knight Eye 4 The Pirate Guy years ago in Wrestling is Fun. This was something that most people knew already, others could find out about in minutes, and nobody seemed to really have that much of a problem with. It's entirely possible that the secret was meant just to be a dangling plot point to cover her leaving for WWE and not actually meant to be revealed in the first place, but her coming back necessitated that something be done with it.
  • Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things: The original official Chikara forums were the fan-run ChikaraFans. And the owner and moderators fell afoul of the G.I.F.T. and started acting like Internet Big Deals and running the forums like a fiefdom. So Chikara ended the affiliation with ChikaraFans and created their own official forums, Chikara101. Predictably, the guys who ran ChikaraFans turned completely against the promotion, renamed the forum to the Jorge Rivera Appreciation Societynote  and then the Tuck Hanson Fanclubnote  and used the boards for mudslinging and outside-kayfabe rumors until the owner let the domain die.
  • The Woobie: Archibald Peck at Chikarasaurus Rex... Not only did he lose a loser leaves town match to Mr. Touchdown, he had to watch Veronica kiss him. The final shot of the show is of him sadly walking away from the stadium.
    • And video updates on CHIKARA's official Youtube channel showed that at least a month later, Archie was still walking. Despite the time travel shenanigans that followed, this Archie ended up walking all the way to Parts Unknown.
    • May sound strange, but, honestly, Crossbones, if only for how UMB treated him while they were the Order of the Neo-Solar Temple.
  • X-Pac Heat: The rare version where the heat is caused by something hitting too close to home rather than just because the person portraying the wrestler has alienated the fans somehow. Eddie Kingston was, from 2009-early 2013, the face of Chikara, the guy who'd given everything to the promotion and would fight for it until his dying day. Then in mid-2013 he turned heel and decided he didn't care about Chikara anymore and hoped it would stay dead. Some fans felt outright betrayed.

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