Blog: Jimmy Jacobs (12.31.14)
All good things must come to an end...sometime. Nothing lasts forever. The whole purpose of life is entropy. Good things happen, so bad things can happen, so good things can happen. It’s the Circle of Life without singing or cuddly animals.
And Yours Truly, Jimmy Jacobs, is proud to have been your agent provocateur. Your catalyst of change. You see, Jimmy Jacobs is the living embodiment of chaos. My mere presence disrupts the status quo and makes the future unpredictable. You need people like me, or else things would always stay the same. Boring. By the numbers. Me, I like to stir things up. Keeps us all on our toes and makes the game a lot more fun to play, wouldn’t you say?
Actually, there are probably lots of things you might like to say to me. What you should be saying is this:
“Thank you, Jimmy Jacobs. Thank you for helping CHIKARA stop Deucalion once and for all.”
You see, my curious readers, when Deucalion entrusted me to broker his confrontation with Icarus at “Tomorrow Never Dies," he never counted on the stipulations of a steel cage match. I held up my end of the bargain, and I delivered him where and when he was supposed to be. I made sure he was locked in that cell. Did I know Icarus was going to bring a weapon to ringside? No, I did not. That was an unforeseen circumstance that wound up working in our mutual favor.
When I was approached to begin assembling The Flood, I didn’t care very much about what motivates a man...a monster like Deucalion. Something happened to him during his days with Condor Security, working overseas. Maybe he woke up one day and realized that even if you are doing someone else’s dirty work, you end up in the filth just the same. He was the type of angry, the type of destructive force you can only hope to aim, never to control. He was almost a perfect weapon. Until Deucalion made the mistake of thinking that Jimmy Jacobs was just another expendable pawn.
Wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong.
If war is a game of chess, Deucalion may have been the king. But make no mistake, Jimmy Jacobs is the undisputed queen of the board. The king needs to be protected, while the queen has complete access to the playing field. Without that piece, chances of winning the game are marginal at best. Deucalion made the mistake of attempting to sacrifice the most important asset he had. Let’s just say I might have taken that act a little personally.
Deucalion is a terrifying figure. An engine of destruction. But he is not a wrestler. The Grand Champion of CHIKARA on the other hand, he is. Inside that cage, the spell of fear Deucalion cast over everyone was broken. Deucalion became a mortal man. His defeat would be his to bear alone.
I spent my 2014 squeezing the breath from CHIKARA’s lungs. For this, the CHIKARMY would probably like to see my head on a lance. But as you close 2014 in your minds, remember that your precious CHIKARA still breathes because I allow it. I made it possible. I put the engine of destruction in a cell, stripped the army from his side, and alone, I delivered him on a silver platter to be vanquished by your hero.
Now, try again: “Thank you, Jimmy Jacobs."
Blog: Juan Francisco de Coronado (12.4.14)
My name is Juan Francisco De Coronado, and there has been a recent string of events that have led me to write this piece and truly express what’s on my mind.
There comes a time in a man’s life when he must prove his worth, his potential, and put forth an effort to become all he can be. For most United Staters, this level of potential is never reached. The United Stations is at a disadvantage growing up because they solely rely on their technology to aid in their growth. In Ecuador, boys are raised into men. Through brutal and rigorous training that consists of battling lions, scaling mountains and even braving the piranha-infested Ecuador River with a wooden spoon for a paddle.
In my early years of living in Ecuador this tradition was no different. Papa Coronado knew his seed would go on to be the greatest warrior Ecuador has ever produced. So after my training was complete, my father taught me the maneuver I would go on to master for years to come…The German Suplex! Just like my great great great great great great great great grandfather, I would utilize this maneuver to claim my first victory when I sold out the Ecuadome. Since coming to the United Stations and CHIKARA, the results have been the same. Many have fallen to the German Suplex including: Jervis Cottonbelly, Billy Roc and even TNA superstar Rockstar Spud!
At King of Trios 2014, I was forced to attack Ashley Remington due to his total lack of respect toward the Coronado Family Legacy, as he “attempted” to perform a version of the German Suplex. Many of you United Staters have no sense of pride so I don’t expect you to understand my actions, justified as they are. Ashley Remington proved this when he later challenged me to a one on one contest. It truly had all the elements to be a recreation of the sellout I had back home in the Ecuadome. Except this time I was defeated, and by a variation of the German Suplex no less. Bad officiating aside, Ashley Remington was the better man that night. He in fact is quite the talented competitor. Unfortunately for Mr. Remington, I am a superior competitor and this showed to be true in our rematch.
As I pinned Ashley’s shoulders down to the mat, I could see the distress in his face. He knew that he’d been beat, by the Best German Suplex in the game! But he didn’t know why, and that’s what I am here to tell you. Juan Francisco De Coronado is better than Ashley Remington in any and every aspect. Ashley sails around the United Stations in a yacht, blasting 70's soft rock. But Juan owns a fleet of Yachts back home in Ecuador. And hates soft rock!
Ashley hands out fruit baskets as a sign of friendship. But Juan is the Possessor of the Potassium. Ashley is attempting to perform the German Suplex. But Juan has mastered the German Suplex. Ashley Remington, anything you can do, Juan can do better!
So Ashley, that brings me to this Saturday, December the 6th. You and I will stand across the ring from each other to do battle one last time and finally settle this affair. We are in for quite the suplex waging war, Mr. Remington. I am the Juan-Man Army, The Juan and only, Juan of a Kind, a man of not only great successes but great Value. So as the bell rings, just remember, you cannot win...because I will not lose.
Blog: Ashley Remington (12.3.14)
It was the Summer of ‘98 and I’d spent the better part of it with my cousins in Rhode Island, catching blue crab and telling stories of our boyhood heroes. We lived there for the few years my father worked at Howell Industries, a company that developed navigational systems for touring ships. I was only a child, and fascinated by Popeye the Sailor Man. I’d take a swig of Mountain Dew, pretending it to be spinach and toss crab traps twice my weight onto the dock. Even then I was absurdly hearty for my size.
When I wasn’t playing volleyball with my cousin, Wilson, we’d watch old wrestling tapes from his father’s collection. He’d told me one of our uncles, Lester Crabtree, was a well traveled professional wrestler. But "Darkness" Crabtree was never in the squared circle against Bret Hart. Or Shawn Michaels. Or Macho Man. Or even the first wrestler who really captured my imagination, Captain Mike Rotunda. Wilson talked Uncle Lester up against some of the greats of a generation before television -- wrestlers I’ve only otherwise heard Sidney Bakabella mention. Then Wilson showed me the film reels Uncle Lester would send home from his wrestling exploits in Europe, Japan and Australia. He was magnificent.
Lester Crabtree had the best German Suplex in all of Germany. It was a move I wanted to emulate as a collegiate wrestler. I wanted mine to have the same power and grace. It was a move opponents expected, feared and yet couldn’t avoid. Crowds came out to watch me toss the largest sandbags in their schools over my head like kegs at a fraternity house. Then one year, Uncle Lester came out to see me compete.
No one recognized the grizzled octogenarian. I’d barely recognized him from family photos. My mother had told him about my success in wrestling and Uncle Lester wanted to come see for himself if the wrestling gene passed on to another generation. He told me he was proud of me carrying on a family tradition. His tradition, with his signature move. Uncle Lester didn’t have much time to stay. He and his partner, Mr. Snodgrass were, defending their tag team titles in Czechoslovakia. Uncle Lester made me promise I would continue wrestling and keep our family legacy alive. I agreed.
Then on a Senior Class cruise aboard the Pacific Princess I became enamored with a graduating marine biologist. She was a lovely siren reminiscent of a young Daryl Hannah mixed with some Bryce Dallas Howard, with an insatiable passion for the soft-rock stylings of Christopher Cross and Kenny Loggins. That, my stalwart seamen, is a tale for another time. Suffice to say, I was set adrift on memory bliss. Honeydripping in a sea of love. I'd lost my way. Forgotten my promise.
This year, CHIKARA has shown me how the honored legacy of my Uncle Lester can live on, through me. CHIKARA has welcomed me as one of their own, and I’m profoundly humbled. A year after my uncle’s passing, I can proudly carry on his memory at CHIKARA’s biggest event of the year. What a fateful coincidence that it’s a contest contesting the very move my uncle mastered and later bequeathed to me. This is my chance to truly do him proud. I won’t let him down.
In a few short days I will test decades of dedication to the perfection of a single wrestling maneuver. My future career will be defined by this moment. Sink or swim, we're in for one titanic collision. The waters may be rough, the tide is high, but I'm holding on. And with the CHIKARMY as my mates on this voyage, I predict...smooth sailing.
Blog: Heidi Lovelace (12.2.14)
In every professional wrestler's career, there is one event that supercedes all others. Just the mere thought of it makes your heart race, gives you butterflies, and pushes you to your absolute limit.
For me that event is December 6th - this Saturday night, at the former ECW Arena. It's the finals of the Young Lions Cup tournament.
Being crowned the Young Lions Cup Champion is an achievement I have longed for since the beginning of my career when my trainer, Billy Roc told me of his journey to the tournament, years prior. I forgot about his story, his quest for a while. I had my own battles in Wrestling is Heart. But it was something I saw at Wrestling is Heart that brought Billy's story back to the forefront of my mind.
There, I saw my classmate from the School of Roc, Joe Pittman, capture La Copa Idolo. I saw how he wielded that trophy like a justification for his arrogance. Well it isn't the trophy that makes the wrestler. It is the wrestler that makes the trophy. Maybe a cup for a man who idolizes himself is appropriate where Joe is concerned. And La Copa Idolo is gone, destroyed in the chaos back at National Pro Wrestling Day. I will be proud to carry the cup that demands the heart of a lion to capture it - the Young Lions Cup.
After defeating many talented competitors in the YLC semi-finals last month in Norristown, I watched Missile Assault Ant obnoxiously shout his own name and pick up the very trophy that we will compete for this Saturday. That moment has stuck with me for weeks now, because it reminds me of what it felt like seeing Joe carry La Copa Idolo.
Missile Assault Ant, the Young Lions Cup is not about yelling your name in a vain grab at glory. As far as I can tell, that's about all you stand for. This Saturday, I'm going to win the 11th annual Young Lions Cup and I will do it not just for me, or to make my trainer proud, but to prove that the YLC is about heart, and dedication, and honor. And so am I.
Blog: Bryce Remsburg (12.1.14)
I've been here for 12.5 years now, so this concept of unwelcome visitors at the CHIKARA house is nothing new. Despite many odds, and even 8 months of darkness, our world is still spinning. Resiliency has long been a defining characteristic of the spirit of CHIKARA. Through our fans, and our locker room, the power of "us" is what kept us afloat many dark days. This time, this batch of unwelcome visitors - specifically one - is different.
This batch of unwelcome visitors has claimed the careers of several of our brothers. Never have the stakes been higher, never have the consequences been greater. Sure, Kobald smelled like a pet store that hadn't been cleaned in weeks, but I miss the little goblin. He was one of us. When we needed him the most, he was there. I miss the inadvertent political incorrectness of the Estonian ThunderFrog. In a short time, he had become one of us. He earned his spot. I miss the unmistakable dance moves of the Latvian Proud Oak. What he may have lacked in proper grammar and style, he made up for in spirit. While I didn't get a chance to know them personally, I admire the gusto of 3quinox and Create-a-Wrestler. Most of all, perhaps, I miss Archibald Peck. That goofy marching band leader was OUR goofy marching band leader, and few will forget the moment he rolled to the rescue in a DeLorean at National Pro Wrestling Day. At our darkest hour, he shined a light. Most of all, he made me smile more times than I can count. That's an invaluable service, that Archie no longer can no longer provide. All due to this one unwelcome visitor.
I've been around the circuit with Jimmy Jacobs for 11 of my 12 years in pro wrestling. I've stayed at his house, I've met his family. His intelligence and deep understanding of pro-wrestling and psychology make him extremely dangerous. But in this case, he's the known enemy. He might be pulling the strings, but he's not the puppet that's moving. This puppet is named Deucalion. The unknown is terrifying. Everything we know about him is alarming. The way he ends careers with one move. The way I watched him manhandle UltraMantis and Hallowicked a couple weeks ago in Haverhill, MA. His lack of remorse for his actions. His disregard for our family and its traditions is chilling.
I didn't like the BDK. I didn't respect the GEKIDO. I'm physically scared of Deucalion.
One place this animal belongs is inside of a cage. That's where he'll be on Saturday night. To be honest, I'm not looking forward to being in there with him. I'll be in there due to my love of CHIKARA, and if there's a main event of a CHIKARA iPPV, in my heart, that's where I belong. Luckily, there will be someone else inside that steel cage with us. He has heart for days. If it weren't for him, I'm not sure there would be an event this weekend, I doubt there would even be a CHIKARA. Icarus is our pulse. Our lifeblood. The concept of odds clearly hasn't phased or deterred him. Being locked in a cage probably isn't his idea of a fun way to spend a Saturday night. He knows he has to, though. For him, for us, for you, for CHIKARA. It's the only way. This "engine of destruction" must be checked, and taken off the roads for good. This cannot continue. If anyone can do it, it's our Grand Champ. He doesn't care about odds. He defies them.
It's hard to describe the feeling of being inside a steel cage. You feel trapped, you feel claustrophobic. You feel as if the walls are closing in. The last time we saw one at a CHIKARA event was September 7, 2008. I was in there with who you now know as WWE Intercontinental Champion Luke Harper and Cesaro. On that day they were known as Brodie Lee and Claudio Castagnoli, and all three of us had a bit more hair. They were rivals, they did not care for each other, but the stakes weren't this high. It wasn't this personal.
This isn't about championships. This isn't even about winning. I don't claim to know how, but Icarus must destroy Deucalion. For all of our brothers that Deucalion has destroyed. For our locker room. For our fans worldwide. For CHIKARA. If you have plans Saturday night, make sure they include "Tomorrow Never Dies." Feel the cage in the room in Philadelphia. See the cage live on iPPV. Somehow, some way, be with us. Icarus will need you more than ever. We will need you. We are CHIKARA.