ARTICLE: The Princess Who Saves Herself
The enchanting Princess KimberLee first appeared on the CHIKARA radar in 2013, gracing the ring of our sister promotion, Wrestling Is Fun! Though she dabbled in singles competition during her brief tenure there, the Princess primarily accompanied the primary-color-clad tag team of “Knight Eye For the Pirate Guy”, comprised of Lance Steel, and Jolly Roger. She frequently took credit for any and all of the team’s success. In short order, Kim outgrew the humble confines of Wrestling is Fun!
And so, Princess KimberLee made her proper CHIKARA debut as one-third of Knight Eye For the Pirate Guy in 2014, at the massive King of Trios tournament. Her team lost in the opening round to GEKIDO (made up of the imposter 17, Jigsaw and The Shard,) but the Princess proved that she was no damsel in distress. More than either of her teammates, she took the fight directly to the GEKIDO, never taking a back-step or shortcut.
Slowly amassing more and more impressive wins, Princess KimberLee built her reputation through the Young Lions Cup XI, and then at our celebration of National Pro Wrestling Day 2015. As the gigantic, double round-robin “Challenge of the Immortals” emerged on the horizon, KimberLee was one of dozens of wrestlers that vied to be chosen as a team captain, and despite being a relative newcomer when compared to long-tenured veterans like Hallowicked and Fire Ant, Princess KimberLee was chosen.
Each "Challenge of the Immortals" squad would consist of four members - a team captain plus three handpicked partners. The draft for the tournament took place online, and in each round, KimberLee chose last, often leaving her with a diminished pool of options. With many of the most-proven performers plucked from availability, the Princess ended up with the unlikely combination of perennial losers Los Ice Creams with the time-displaced Jervis Cottonbelly. Dubbing them "Crown and Court," KimberLee set her sights on the tournament prize: a Golden Opportunity for every member of the team, and immortalization in the halls of The Wrestle Factory.
In the early going of “Challenge of the Immortals,” the clear underdogs were Kim's "Crown and Court" quartet, and for months, could not manage to post a win. Just a match away from being mathematically eliminated from the tournament, the Princess took it upon herself to inspire Los Ice Creams, and sang to them as a stunned audience looked on. The team embraced, and this pivotal moment sparked a turning of the tide. After enduring a long losing streak, "Crown and Court" started posting up points, hot off three consecutive upset wins over teams that were more heavily-favored to win the round-robin. As the tournament drew to a close, "Crown and Court" improved their place in the standings dramatically, finishing in Third Place, just one position shy of a berth in the finals.
Fate, or more accurately, fair play, intervened before the tournament reached its climax. Point-leading quartet "Dasher's Dugout" forfeit their points at the insistence of team captain Dasher Hatfield; he discovered that at least some of his team's wins were the result of cheating, and because it was not clear how many of his wins were "tainted" he chose to forfeit them all. Thusly, the Third Place team of "Crown and Court" found themselves inserted into the tournament final of "Challenge of the Immortals."
All eyes were on CHIKARA’s Season 15 Finale event called “Top Banana,” held at the ECW Arena in south Philadelphia. There, "Crown and Court" survived an onslaught from Sidney Bakabella's hulking foursome, "The Wrecking Crew" and in the final moments, they mounted a nigh-unthinkable comeback. To those that were witness to the "Challenge of the Immortals" final, the sight of Princess KimberLee tossing men twice her size, with one German Suplex after another, will remain eternally etched in our memories as a genuine, star-making moment. Victorious over the brawn and brute strength of "The Wrecking Crew," KimberLee and her comrades-in-arms were each presented with a Golden Opportunity, to use where and when they wished. Later on that same night, “Top Banana” would feature then-Grand Champion Hallowicked defending the title against both Icarus and Eddie Kingston. After Hallowicked proved his dominance by retaining the belt, an emboldened Princess would march down the aisle, hand her Golden Opportunity to the referee, and cash in immediately. Mere moments later, KimberLee would author one of the most memorable tales in CHIKARA history, by applying the CHIKARA Special submission hold and forcing Hallowicked to both tap out, and relinquish the big, gold belt!
What made this title change so significant, was not just that it made Princess KimberLee the first female Grand Champion of CHIKARA, but the first female wrestler to hold the top title of what many considered to be a "male-dominated" organization. (There is no division by gender, nor by weight class at CHIKARA.) As guaranteed, her team was immortalized with a regal banner that hangs to this day in the halls of The Wrestle Factory. Kim then went on to defend and retain the Grand Championship over the course of the following five months, defeating the likes of Oleg the Usurper and Heidi Lovelace (now better known as WWE’s Ruby Riott) before losing the championship back to Hallowicked in Glasgow, Scotland at "Aniversario: The Lost World."
Following her title loss, Princess KimberLee went on to have a successful year in her new role as a leader in CHIKARA. She continued a friendly rivalry with Heidi Lovelace up until King of Trios 2016. For this run in the tournament, the Princess formed the "Warriors Three," recruiting Oleg the Usurper and the Estonian ThunderFrog as teammates. Together, "Warriors Three" made it to the semi-finals of the tournament, first defeating Team CWC (Johnny Gargano, Cedric Alexander and Drew Gulak) as well as a trio representing the "Original Divas Revolution" (Mickie James, Jazz and Victoria) before finally facing elimination at the hands of Meiko Satomura and her "Team Sendai Girls" (featuring DASH Chisako and Cassandra Miyagi.)
Season 17 saw the Princess haunted by ghosts of her past, and subject to manipulation at the hands of a mysterious interloper. She went on to defeat supposed friends Fire Ant and Solo Darling in grim and violent fashion, before taking a loss to Ophidian. As the season came to a close, it was revealed that the Princess’ sudden shift in behavior was the result of being blackmailed by newcomer, The Whisper. The Whisper claimed to possess damaging information that would irrevocably taint KimberLee's squeaky-clean reputation. When KimberLee reneged on this arrangement by losing to Ophidian, she handed over her tiara to The Whisper, and made her exit from CHIKARA.
Exiled from CHIKARA under the threat of her secret being revealed, Princess KimberLee would find success in a new kingdom. She began making appearances on NXT's Florida circuit, even teaming again with old friend Lovelace (nee Riott,) until officially debuting in June of 2017 under the alias of "Abbey Laith." On July 13th, the Princess entered the Mae Young Classic, the first-ever women’s tournament held by World Wrestling Entertainment. Going into the tournament, Laith had an immediate advantage. Her inescapable pinning combination, the Alligator Clutch, had been passed down from Mildred Burke to tournament name-sake Mae Young, who taught the hold to Wrestle Factory head trainer Mike Quackenbush...who passed it on to Abbey Laith.
The Alligator Clutch would come in handy. After a stunning victory in the first round against Jazzy Gabert, in which Laith was once again the underdog that would overcome the odds, Laith used the Alligator Clutch to win and eliminate Rachel Evers in the second round. Laith advanced to the quarter-finals where her journey came to an end, eliminated by seasoned pro Mercedes Martinez.
Ditching her "Laith" moniker, Princess KimberLee made her grand return to CHIKARA on April 28th, 2018 at "Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes." There, the Princess announced she would enter the Infinite Gauntlet match. Despite a strong showing in the 33-person battle royal, (which included dumping CHIKARA’s resident menace Merlok on his head via German Suplex,) the Infinite Gauntlet match would ultimately be won by the debuting Danjerhawk.
Thereafter, the past she thought she’d buried came right back to haunt her, in the form of La Loteria Letal 2018. This unique tag team tournament randomly pairs up sixteen CHIKARA roster members and esteemed guests. The winning "odd couple" will have defeated three other duos throughout the tournament, thus earning three points (enough to challenge for Los Campeonatos de Parejas.) Princess KimberLee drew the unluckiest of partners: The Whisper.
Despite the Princess’ absolute disdain for her partner, these arch-enemies went on a rampage through the tournament. With the help of more than a few German Suplexes from the Princess, and Whisper’s use of a very familiar finisher, Lance Steel’s pet move the Boston Crab, Princess KimberLee and The Whisper won La Loteria Letal. With their wins and points, they were next in line to challenge The Closers, the powerful pairing of Sloan Caprice and Rick Roland, at the Season 19 Finale. In an effort to save herself from having to team further with The Whisper, KimberLee chose an opportune moment to launch The Whisper with a German Suplex, sending him sailing through the air, but he collided with, and ultimately landed atop, Sloan Caprice. With Caprice's shoulders both touching the mat, the referee counted three and awarded Los Campeonatos to The Whisper and a dubious Princess.
The odd pairing held on to the titles into the new year and Season 20, defending them against former campeones Crummels & Defarge at the Season 20 opener, National Pro Wrestling Day 2019. Despite all of the Princess’ attempts to sabotage their title run and end the partnership, every attempt backfired and she was forced to endure. KimberLee's feelings toward The Whisper were no secret: at "Once Upon a Beginning," Princess KimberLee challenged her championship partner to a one-on-one match. For the only time in CHIKARA history, the reigning Campeones de Parejas would do battle against one another. After nearly breaking the world record for Most German Suplexes In a Match, the Princess put The Whisper down for the count.
The champions continued to in-fight right up until CHIKARA’s "Fright Knight," where Princess KimberLee effectively threw the match, in a clever manner that prevented The Whisper from seeing her crafty play. This allowed their challengers F.I.S.T. (Travis Huckabee and Tony Deppen) to walk out of the Poconos with the two title belts. While KimberLee thought this would free her from further torment by The Whisper, she would receive a rude awakening just 4 weeks later at "Aniversario: The Apes of Wrath."
Ophidian’s clandestine group, revealed to be "The Crucible," comprised of a group of fighters that participated in an illicit, after-hours training program, made a bold move as the anniversary card closed. Physically attacking Princess KimberLee, The Whisper revealed that he had been blackmailing the Princess, pushing her out of CHIKARA and consistently attempting to ruin her career, because of how she had treated his older brother...Lance Steel. Since last being seen in a CHIKARA ring, Steel had acsended to the rank of "Jewel" within the cruel world of Ophidian's "Crucible." The Whisper asserted that the Princess had used Lance Steel as a literal stepping stone on her way to singles fame and the Grand Championship. Looking back on archival footage, there is evidence to support this claim. This physical attack, coupled with a verbal assault and ugly reckoning cast a dark shadow over the entire event.
Princess KimberLee had some time to consider her past actions and how to move forward. After a hard fought battle against Solo Darling at "Chikarasaurus Rex," The Crucible's self-appointed "Herald," Ophidian, took to the ring and made it clear to the Princess how to be forgiven for her past sins. Team with Lance Steel and make a path for his stardom, starting at King of Trios 2019. A sullen Princess agreed to this penance, and in joining Ophidian's trio, unknowingly took the place of The Whisper as a member of the threesome. In an effort to set old wrongs right, KimberLee must fight alongside Lance Steel once again.
Contributed by Neil May
Blog: Sonny Defarge (8.8.18)
To whom it may concern,
Mr. Crummels and myself made a clear declaration of intent from the moment we made our presence known in CHIKARA: be the most effective and prosperous legitimate businessmen to ever take part in professional wrestling. These intentions have never been altered and are more deliberate than ever. And yet, in spite of our unwavering dedication to our own success, the CHIKARMY, as well as members of the CHIKARA roster were surprised by our actions at Egg Monsters From Mars.
This, quite honestly, tickles me.
The fact that The Beast Warriors are taking our actions as personal attacks is even more humorous. We, as unbiased businessmen, share allegiance with none but our business partners. And some business partners simply have deeper pockets than others.
At this present moment The Beast Warriors, rather than reflecting on their present blessings, have chosen to reflect on past misfortunes. They now stand in the way of the future successes of Mr. Crummels and myself by opposing the two of us at Chikarasaurus Rex. In light of this Saturday's match, I must remind The Beast Warriors that the business in which we've invested ourselves, after all, is called: Professional Wrestling. It is not called "personal wrestling." To this end, no matter how big or strong they may be, the cunning, intelligence and wit of the Crummels and Defarge Business Empire™ will surely lead us to victory. They insist on taking our actions as a personal attack? Then we have no choice now but to deliver to them a very professional beating.
(Legitimate Businessman Extraordinaire)
Blog: Razerhawk (7.24.18)
I found out the same time you guys did.
Director of Fun Bryce Remsburg approved my request to fight Icarus at "Egg Monsters from Mars" right before I hit send on yet another e-mail to him. Then I was gonna send a DM. Then an IM. Then a text. I'd have paged him if he'd ever given me his beeper number. It's all I can think about.
There's still soot on the ceiling of the main hall on Level 1—remnants from the celebration I threw in honor of Danjerhawk winning the Young Lions Cup from Cameron Zagami a few weeks ago at "Clan Feuds." Danjer is fascinated by fire, and so I thought fireworks would be appropriate. (Note to self: Fireworks should always be set off outdoors.) Yes, there's still cleaning and maintenance to do around our Earth outpost; work that I'd normally have done by now. However, I've got a bit of an obsession at the moment.
We fought one-on-one over a year ago, and you beat me, fair and square. No distractions, no interference. You won. And ever since this most recent skirmish began, I've not been able to really get my talons on you. Danjer and I fought you and Travis at "Go Eat Worms!" and you managed to avoid most of my offense. When it was finally just you and me in the ring, face to face—just as I had you in my sights—Travis snatched that moment away. Then, at "Clan Feuds" you and I were in the ring together for 12 seconds—just enough time for you and Travis to double team me, while Bryce's back was turned.
You see, in these recent encounters, I've only ever gotten a small piece of you. A fragment. A portion. A sample. An iota. But that's not enough to satisfy me.
I don't want an iota, or a sample, or a portion, or a fragment—I don't want a PIECE!
I want ALL of what you will bring, and I will bring to you ALL of what I have to bring!
I want the WHOLE THING, ICARUS!
I want the guy who was Campeon de Parejas! I want the guy who won King of Trios! I want the guy who captured the Grand Championship!
I want the Worst in the World!
Maybe the upperclassmen are right—maybe I CAN'T beat you... but then again maybe I CAN... A lot has changed in the last year... I was a Young Lions Cup Champion. I helped end our feud with Hermit Crab and Cajun Crawdad. And when Sylverhawk was taken from us I became the leader of this galaxy's Xyberhawx2000 unit. It is said that with great power comes great responsibility. Well the reverse is also true. With great responsibility comes great power, and my responsibility this Saturday is to shut you up and shut you down.
This is for the good of the CHIKARA trainees, the good of the CHIKARA locker room, and the good of the CHIKARMY.