Season Nine

By Rave

The aftermath of the Season Eight finale, Three Fisted Tales, would affect the entirety of Season Nine, as tecnicos and rudos alike were forced to put aside their differences to battle the new threat which had formed: Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes (“The Brotherhood of the Cross”, or the BDK for short). These seven individuals (Ares, Claudio Castagnoli, Tursas, Tim Donst, Pinkie “Pink Ant” Sanchez, Sara Del Rey, and Daizee Haze) were soon joined by an eighth, as Lince Dorado had grown tired of fans booing him constantly despite his (now former) status as a tecnico. Their individual reasons were varied, but almost all of them had one thing in common. In some fashion, they each felt betrayed by CHIKARA enough to betray it right back. Ultimately, they were all used in the grab for power orchestrated by Ares and Castagnoli; one aided by newly appointed Director of Fun Dieter VonSteigerwalt and several East German members of the Board of Directors.

From the beginning, the BDK dominated CHIKARA, starting at the Season Nine opener, A Touch Of Class, as Donst took home the first of the championship accolades the faction would win by defeating Player Dos for the Young Lions Cup. The faction itself would also come to completion, as Dorado turned on CHIKARA and his partners in The Future Is Now. This was followed up by Ares and Castagnoli quickly picking up three points and capturing the Campeonatos de Parejas by defeating Fire Ant and Soldier Ant of the Colony two months later at Wit, Verve, and a Bit o’ Nerve (an event which also saw the Badd Boyz shed their denim and officially christen themselves 3.0), and eventually would culminate in the team of Ares, Castagnoli, and Tursas becoming the 2010 King Of Trios winners. However, the King of Trios tournament wasn’t a total victory for the BDK, as, on their own way to the finals, the Colony scored the first major victory for CHIKARA in the war by knocking the BDK’s secondary Young Lions team of Donst, Pinkie, and Dorado out of the tournament during Night Two. The BDK’s tournament win did not come without controversy: with the referee officially appointed to oversee the finals, Bryce Remsburg, removed from the proceedings by Tursas, it was former CHIKARA referee and polarizing figure Derek Sabato who would fast count the final pinfall before revealing his own connection to the BDK. He would continue to be their personal referee for the rest of the Season, though his efforts in assisting them to victory via underhanded tactics were impeded by auditor and future Director of Fun Wink Vavasseur, who would force him to maintain at least some degree of impartiality.

Despite stating multiple times that he did not care about the BDK (even going so far as to state that their arrival was not his fault), UltraMantis Black, left reeling by the loss of the Eye of Tyr, his enslaved minion Delirious (as the BDK had quickly brought him to heel via the power of the Eye at A World Of Comforting Illusions, though he would not appear again until Aniversario Zehn), the destruction of his Order of the Neo Solar Temple (as Delirious had seriously injured Crossbones), and chances at the Campeonatos de Parejas and entrance into the King of Trios tournament, attempted to form alliances amongst the rest of the roster to combat them, most notably with Mike Quackenbush. Upon being rebuffed, he hatched a new plan: the introduction of two new minions, Obariyon and Kodama (collectively known as the Batiri), to assist him. Unfortunately for him, the deal he made to receive their aid would soon go awry.

At Chikarasaurus Rex: King of Show, two months after King of Trios, something very strange happened. Vokoder, the identity Donst had assumed in the buildup to the BDK’s formation, appeared. Only Pinkie (as well as the fans) saw him, and he would spend the next several shows desperately (and unsuccessfully) attempting to convince his fellow faction members that he was not imagining things. Unfortunately for them, Vokoder was not a figment of Pinkie’s imagination, but real and lurking in the shadows. There wouldn’t be an answer as to who had taken over the identity of the robotic detective until The Dark Ciberknetico. This show also saw the birth of a new incarnation of F.I.S.T. (short for Friends In Similar Tights), as charter member Gran Akuma was kicked out of the group (and CHIKARA as a whole) in favor of Johnny Gargano, an event which would be revisited in Seasons Ten and Eleven.

Though the Colony had paved the way for the resurgence of CHIKARA against the BDK and Vokoder had succeeded in sowing some measure of discord within their ranks as they had become convinced that Pinkie was crazy and therefore not to be completely trusted, further victories would still be few and far between, at least for a short while longer. The second blow against the BDK came when, after several successful defenses, Donst was forced to vacate the Young Lions Cup in time for the yearly tournament. The BDK assigned Dorado (the increasingly-unstable Pinkie having been taken out of consideration the month before) to take it back to their camp, but though he made it to the finals of the tournament, he would be defeated by Frightmare. This was a turning point in the war, as BDK members started to lose matches more and more, their former invincibility (whether by skill or by cheating) seemingly wearing away. This would also mark the very start of Donst’s obsession with the Cup and the madness he would descend into in later Seasons.

The Dark Ciberknetico was the site of a showdown, as the entire BDK and Team CHIKARA faced off. Fittingly, Team CHIKARA, captained by UltraMantis, was comprised of those who had been there from CHIKARA’s earliest days: UltraMantis, Quackenbush, STIGMA, Icarus, Eddie Kingston, Hallowicked, and Jigsaw. To further that point, Icarus and STIGMA chose to reprise their former identities of Ichabod Slayne and Shane Storm (respectively) before the match. Vokoder became the eighth man and revealed himself to be a returning “Sweet ‘n’ Sour” Larry Sweeney (who had resurfaced as a vocal critic of Pinkie at the same time he had donned the Vokoder identity), who eliminated his months-long target from the match before being eliminated himself. Sadly, this would be Sweeney’s last match. Though he announced afterward that he would return in 2011, he passed away before he was able to do so. The match also saw one of the BDK’s main weapons, the feared Inverted CHIKARA Special, be neutralized, as Quackenbush (who had once claimed that there was no counter) was able to reverse it into the original CHIKARA Special, but not before Donst had eliminated Icarus and Jigsaw using it. The match was won by Kingston, who withstood a 2-on-1 assault by Castagnoli and Tursas before becoming the first man to stand against Tursas and actually beat him.

Even though he had captained the successful Team CHIKARA, UltraMantis’ woes were far from over. Near the end of the season at The Germans, the true master of the Batiri summoned them away as they tried to aid against both Ares and the interfering Tursas, resulting in a win for the BDK. At the Season finale, Reality is Relative, the master of the Batiri (accompanied by their third member, a hooded and masked figure who would soon be known as the Prince of Goblins, Kobald) revealed himself as Sinn Bodhi and demanded his payment for the Batiri’s services: the Eye of Tyr. When it was not produced (as it was still in Ares’ possession), UltraMantis’ allies became his enemies. At the same time, his enemies became his allies, as Frightmare convinced Hallowicked (who UltraMantis had been trying to ally with despite the feud between them) to help UltraMantis against the new faction that would soon be known as the Dark Army. This continued into Season Ten.

To close Reality is Relative, Ares and Castagnoli defended the Campeonatos de Parejas against Quackenbush and Jigsaw, who took the first fall in convincing fashion. With the match up 1-0 in favor of the challengers, referee Bryce (appointed to the match at the insistence of Wink) was once again removed from the proceedings, this time by Castagnoli. This heralded Sabato’s entry into the match, who proceeded to secure the second fall for his faction by literally making Quackenbush tap while he was in the Inverted CHIKARA Special. It was soon feared that the match would have the same result as the King of Trios finale, as Sabato displayed more biased refereeing over the course of the third fall. Unfortunately for Sabato, Bryce reclaimed his position during the third fall by forceably pulling Sabato from the ring and striking him in the face. Shortly after, the third fall was decided…and, after nine long months, the challengers had taken back CHIKARA’s highest accolade. As fans threw streamers and cheered them on (and ring announcer Gavin Loudspeaker attained a measure of revenge against the BDK for bullying him prior by delivering a Stunner to their personal ring announcer Jakob Hammermeier), the entire roster (which had gathered around the ring to watch) rushed the ring to congratulate the conquering heroes, a massive celebration which would end the show and the Season on a high note.