Blog: Hermit Crab (1.13.17)
On October 10th, 2015, Hermit Crab first appeared in a CHIKARA ring. He showed the world how dangerous him and his claws can be. When he walked outside the curtain to the ring, people didn't quite know how to act. Some laughed. Some didn't think much of him. But as they watched Hermit Crab walk along the second rope in awe and then hit Fire Ant with an elbow drop, they knew he was destined for greatness.
On February 6th, 2016, Hermit Crab had a chance to prove how great he was. He set his sights on the Young Lions Cup. A trophy, of which Hermit Crab knew the importance. Some of the greats has held this trophy and eventually went on to bigger things. The trophy seemed like it was getting closer to Hermit Crab. He eliminated one opponent. He could now see the trophy. He eliminated another. He can almost touch the trophy. But then in an instant...the trophy was out of reach.
On November 5th, 2016, Hermit Crab had another chance at the Cup. He had to strike lightning through the heart of ThunderFrog. Hermit Crab pulled out all the stops. The trophy was his....it had to be his. But after realizing that ThunderFrog was a little more skillful than Hermit Crab originally anticipated....it was all over. Never again. Never again will Hermit Crab lose sight of the Young Lions Cup! It can't happen again. It won't happen again.
Hermit Crab has been sharpening his claws. Hermit Crab has been training. He marked February 4th, 2017 on his calendar. That day keeps ringing in Hermit Crab's ear. He doesn't care who or what he has to put his claws through. The third time is the charm.
Blog: Cornelius Crummels (1.10.17)
Please kindly pardon me for any inconvenience this missive may have caused you, as I know we have no previous correspondence. I am Mr. Cornelius Crummels a professional in the ring with many a year of experience facilitating gold exportation and sales. Generally, I prefer to allow my business colleague, the esteemed Mr. Defarge to transact and communicate on my behalf, as he has a large sum of money in an open account in Burkina Faso. (This money will need to be moved soon, and he may require your assistance, for which, he is willing to offer you a considerable fee.) However, he is unable to write today from his bed, suffering a longtime illness.
I have been specially chosen as the first entrant into the Young Lions Cup XIII tournament, and adding this accolade to my growing collection of golden treasures is a rare opportunity. All participants were selected through a multi-international computer ballot system drawn from 98,000 (Ninety eight thousand) names of lions around the world, as part of an expansive international promotion programme. You can be assured of a tournament field with only the most distinguished competitors. But my mind is not at rest because I am writing this letter now through the help of my computer.
While it is an honor to be the first one named, I feel this puts me at a serious disadvantage. My opponents now get more time to prepare for me, than I do them for them. Both myself and Mr. Defarge are proven champions of men, but demonstrating our prowess as singles competitors is something most dear to our trust worthy hearts. There are no tactics I would hesitate to employ in pursuit of this goal. I will use all skills and gifts at my disposal to secure the Cup. Your support comes at this most desperate of times, and it will be most appreciated if sent to the attention of @CCrummels with well wishes and regards. This is to ensure that nothing jeopardizes what might be my last wish on Earth.
Compliments of the day,
Mr. Cornelius Crummels
Blog: Mike Quackenbush (11.17.16)
Got a letter that was kinda angry, but also, kinda true.
It’s true that when I was first breaking on the East Coast independent scene I was different, and by wrestling standards of the day, small. I was 19 years old, dumb, gawky and immature; I liked weird wrestling styles and did overly-complicated moves and showed up in my pathetic homemade gear. People rolled their eyes, and I was often the punchline of jokes. In the locker room, it was always made clear I did not belong. I was made to know it backstage, and sometimes, made to feel it in the ring.
Back then, I was starting as a freelance writer for the wrestling magazines of the day. Insider newsletters were growing in popularity to keep pace with the Monday Night Wars, and the internet was expanding exponentially. I had connections in all those realms, and it’s true that I manufactured my notoriety. I manipulated every aspect of the media that was available to me for maximum exposure and coverage. I did it shamelessly. There’s no denying the truth of that.
It’s true that I was never one of the boys. The generation of pro-wrestlers, and managers, and valets, that think the only way to honor tradition and legacy is by clinging to the old ways of doing things…I will never be one of them. The performers who were hand-selected, because of their size and stature, and then afforded every opportunity at success by the old guard…I will never be one of them. That old paradigm has no room for an undersized nerd with a pathetic homemade costume and weird ideas about “the business." For that reason, and for so many more, I will never be one of them. It’s so true.
I think about the favored few, those well-tanned guys and their awesome physiques, and those gorgeous ladies and their perfect poise, and me - the awkward neurotic freak in their midst. They were not my tribe. I’ve always been a misfit toy and no matter how hard I work, that will never change…and I guess in the intervening decades I forgot that. I needed to be reminded, and luckily, this letter said just that in explicit terms that could not be ignored.
Thank you. Thank you for reminding me not just that I am an outcast, but also the feeling of being ostracized. You’ve given me new resolve. This simple reminder of the sting of exclusion makes it so clear to me that pro-wrestling must grow to include everyone. These last couple days have been filled with impossibly complicated decisions and conversations, and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t second-guessed the things I’ve said and done. It’s been so hard. But nowhere near as hard as it was to swim with the sharks that mocked me, and pummeled me. Thank you for the insults and the lumps that have made me who I am today. Thank you for excluding me, so that I could grow up to learn the value of inclusion.
I’m not that gawky kid in the homemade gear anymore. And better still: I’ve found my tribe. Because I’ve spoken loud enough and often enough about what I believe professional wrestling can be, I’ve attracted a tribe all my own. So many misfit toys in one place, we are practically an island unto ourselves. We are not the hand-selected. We are not the favored few. We will never be one of them, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I had only to read this letter, and then it Dawned on me: my responsibility is to manipulate and manufacture an island where no misfit toy will ever feel the alienation that I did.
Ideologies like the one in this letter, they are relics of the past. And yes, the old paradigm has written the history books. But the future? That is ours to write.