Blog: Sloan Caprice (4.19.18)
Make no mistake, I've always known, Rick Roland has always known, heck even the new boss knows that The Throwbacks are the biggest threats, and the biggest challenge since our rise to tag team dominance in CHIKARA began. In our family, respect is always paid after all business is concluded, so it's a little uncharacteristic that we, The Closers, can state for the record that we have the utmost respect for The Throwbacks. Mark, Dasher - you are both talented professional athletes. That’s something I personally never thought I’d say. I know Rick feels exactly the same.
However Talent recognizes Talent, Skill recognizes Skill, Power recognizes Power. Now on April 28th, we get to see if the respect we've paid you is earned, Throwbacks. This isn't some multi-team scramble or non-stop gauntlet match. It's one family against another. Best two out of three falls. As skilled as you might be, do you really think you can take away the thing we covet most? The Campeonatos de Parejas? Do you think you are tough enough to take those belts from around our waists? Because I happen to think tag teams don't come any tougher than The Closers.
This is our first title defense, and I'm betting it won't be our last. And as talented as you two are, I don't think anyone is betting on The Throwbacks this time around. You hit your stride as a team back in 2014. But since, it's been one failed attempt to win a belt after another. Come April 28th, there will be one more failed attempt to add to that list. Yes, you had quite the lucky streak to carry you through Tag World Grand Prix. Next Saturday, your luck runs out. It's not because you aren't experienced. It's not because you aren't talented. It's because Rick and I are just that much better.
Blog: Travis Huckabee (4.9.18)
I have never been one to accept not being good enough...but lately I haven't been able to escape it. Since losing the Campeonatos de Parejas in somewhat embarrassing fashion, Solo Darling and myself have been unable to maintain a certain level of success. We've yet to even earn 3 points, and unlike many of the other people of my graduating class from the Wrestle Factory, I was never a challenger for the Young Lions Cup. The main goal I had upon entering the Wrestle Factory was put off, for other pursuits that, so far, have been pretty unsuccessful. While I couldn't ask for a better partner, it may not be in the cards for us and after a lot of thought I had to make a choice. That's why I said what I said back at "Young Lions Cup XIV - 2nd Stage." If The Rumblebees do not win this Saturday at the Tag World Grand Prix, we must separate to pursue other opportunities. I don't plan on entering Tag World expecting to lose, and no bee ever goes down without a fight.
As I studied the footage from our last match, I heard something disturbing on commentary; once again it seems like I am being accused of being "soft." This sentiment rings loudly, as it reflects those recent realizations I’ve had about my current tag team efforts. These comments weren’t an act of hazing from someone like Rory Gulak, they came from someone I’ve looked up to for years. Icarus wasn't just the type of wrestler I admired as a fan, he set the standard for success - a former Grand Champion, King of Trios winner, and Campeon de Parejas as part of F.I.S.T. Even if I had not been such a fan of his for years before entering training at the Wrestle Factory, I would be thrilled to have a mentor such as him in The Furies. Before the implosion of The Furies at the end of last year, he was a veteran who was supposed to help support the rookies such as myself. That was one of the goals of the group.
But where is that support now? No matter the changes I make, the number of days at the Factory, or the work I put in outside the ring...it is still not good enough. The harder I try, the less respect I get. Maybe instead of just earning respect, I've got to go out and grab it by the horns. I know I can do it. Either by conquering the Tag World Grand Prix with Solo Darling, or maybe as your next Grand Champion.
Blog: Vlad Radinov (3.14.18)
Even before I tsar-ed any parties, I was a fan of CHIKARA. They seemed willing to take risks and pull wrestling in new directions. You could put their trainees and talent up against anyone, and know they'd have a match you could not see anywhere else. In an artform often derided for not listening to its fans, the story, the delectable payoff, the fan experience, seemed to be paramount.
Since late in Season 15, I have had the pleasure of helping to create that fan experience. Being your Master of Ceremonies has been a dream realized for me. I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from world class talent. I've had a front row seat to watch friends go from students to champions. Most rewarding has been the opportunity to entertain the best fans in wrestling. It's been a pretty great party.
It is with a complex depth of sadness only capable of being felt by Russians that I must step away from CHIKARA. Years of partying have take a bit of a toll on me, and like a gilded, hirsute Mary Poppins, the wind has changed and I must go where I am needed.
To the office and roster, my heartfelt thanks for letting me be part of the team.
To the CHIKARMY, thank you for support, encouragement, and friendship. It has meant the world to me. Any successes I have had I owe to you. I know you will embrace my successor as warmly as you have me.
I won't say goodbye, I'll just say good journey.