Season Ten

By Rave

Season Nine had ended on a high note for CHIKARA, as the Campeonatos de Parejas had been liberated from Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes. For the BDK, though they had suffered setbacks before, Reality is Relative was the beginning of their end. Not only had they been defeated for the highest accolade in CHIKARA, all of the power that they had held prior was stripped away. Dieter VonSteigerwalt was ousted from his position as Director of Fun following the show, replaced by Wink Vavasseur (appointed by his father, Conrad Vavasseur, Executive Vice President of Acquisitions for the Titor Conglomerate, which through their subsidiary the Worldwide Media Development Corporation had arranged the purchase of CHIKARA for reasons that would only become clear two years later), and Derek Sabato was subsequently forced to become a regular referee once more. Their personal ring announcer Jakob Hammermeier soon became a regular competitor in addition to his ring announcing duties, offsetting the further loss of Lince Dorado, who vanished from CHIKARA without explanation within the first half of Season Ten. While they would remain together as a collective unit for a good portion of the Season, they would also be involved in more individual pursuits, such as Tim Donst‘s quest to become the greatest Young Lions Cup champion (something that would contribute to his later descent into insanity) and Claudio Castagnoli‘s increasingly-personal feud with Eddie Kingston.

UltraMantis Black, having succeeded in forming an alliance with Frightmare and Hallowicked, led the newly formed Spectral Envoy into battle. While they would continue to clash with the BDK, they would mainly square off with the Dark Army (Sinn Bodhi, Kodama, Obariyon and Kobald, the latter three collectively known as the Batiri) over the entire season. At one point later in the season, the Spectral Envoy would be aided by Crossbones, a member of UltraMantis’ former faction, the Order of the Neo Solar Temple, who had not been seen in CHIKARA since being seriously injured by Delirious during Season Nine.

On February 3rd, 2011, Wink announced that a brand new singles championship would be introduced during the Season. He organized a CHIKARA-wide vote amongst the roster, with the only stipulation being that nobody could vote for themselves. This led to wrestlers openly pleading for votes for the next two months, and to Castagnoli ordering the rest of the BDK to vote for him. This revealed an additional crack in the once-invincible BDK’s armor, as Sara Del Rey asked for votes for herself as well.

CHIKARA was soon purported to become the target of another invasion, as the Band (Archibald Peck and Veronica Ticklefeather, later renamed March Madness with the inclusion of Colt CaBunny) marched into Operation: Big Freeze. Unfortunately for them, they marched straight into an angry Kingston who had been ambushed by the BDK prior to the match, and their invasion did not fare quite as well as invasions prior. Peck would fare much better against Colt Cabana on Night Two of King of Trios, though he would later tell a curious story as to why this was. According to Peck, receiving the Backfist To The Future from Kingston had actually transported him to the year 2015, where he had purchased a sports almanac (later retconned as a CHIKARA Yearbook) which revealed to him just who he would face at King of Trios, as well as information that he would attempt to use for the rest of the Season. While the subject of time travel had come up in CHIKARA prior (most notably in the backstories of Vokoder and Carpenter Ant, as well as both Lance Steels), Peck’s time traveling would become an important plot point in later Seasons.

As Castagnoli, Ares, and Tursas had decided not to enter the King of Trios tournament, Donst was selected to head the team representing the BDK, and soon announced Hammermeier and Delirious as his partners. They made it to the quarter finals, only to once again be knocked out of the tournament by the Colony (a match that included Green Ant actually bodyslamming an interfering Tursas, a feat he had attempted to do earlier in the day during a bodyslamming contest only to be thwarted by Hammermeier), who went on to win their first King of Trios by defeating F.I.S.T. in the finals. During the tournament, the Spectral Envoy confronted the BDK team, and UltraMantis promised that he would right his past wrongs, especially in regards to Delirious, who ran out of the building and disappeared from CHIKARA until the following Season.

The voting to get into the championship tournament (soon named the 12 Large: Summit in memory of “Sweet ‘n’ Sour” Larry Sweeney, who had passed on a few days before King of Trios) was tallied at the end of April. The competitor with the most votes was, unsurprisingly, Castagnoli, though he had only received five votes from his seven faction-mates. The others who would take part in the tournament were Jigsaw, Amasis, Brodie Lee, Kingston, Fire Ant, Hallowicked, Icarus, Mike Quackenbush, UltraMantis, Vin Gerard, and, surprisingly, Del Rey. Over the next month, more details regarding the 12 Large: Summit would be revealed. The tournament itself commenced at Aniversario & His Amazing Friends. Also occurring in the show’s main event was the official disbanding of the UnStable at the hands of 3.0. STIGMA would subsequently disappear from CHIKARA.

In June, Amasis would be forced to drop out of the 12 Large: Summit due to injury. This time, the CHIKARA fans were allowed to vote as to which of Amasis’ Osirian Portal teammates (Ophidian or Hieracon, the latter having been introduced to the group in Season Nine as Jonathan Gresham before donning the mask and identity of Hieracon) would be allowed to replace him, and Ophidian was selected, only to have to drop out himself in July. Injury also claimed Lee, who was allowed to rejoin once he had healed, but declined. Jigsaw started the tournament on the sidelines, having to wait until July to take part, though he picked up a forfeit win due to being in the same tournament block as Lee. At the end of July, the BDK crumbled even further as Castagnoli and Del Rey squared off, and Del Rey pulled off a shocking victory over her faction’s leader. This prompted Castagnoli to exile Del Rey from the BDK. When fellow faction-mate and Del Rey’s regular tag partner Daizee Haze stood up to Castagnoli on behalf of her partner, she was exiled as well. This led to Del Rey formally announcing her resignation from the BDK several days later, as well as an announced leave of absence for Haze, who Castagnoli had physically attacked. (Haze would subsequently retire from professional wrestling.) At the end of August, Castagnoli would become the first person to actually be eliminated from the tournament, after a loss to Icarus. He was said to have been so embarrassed by this loss that he left the BDK and CHIKARA completely, fleeing to the WWE. (Also of note was fellow BDK member Pinkie Sanchez departing CHIKARA that same day.) It was also announced in August that the finals would take place during Season Ten’s finale and CHIKARA’s very first live Internet Pay-Per-View, High Noon, in November. The name of the singles championship was also revealed as the Grand Championship. In October, Quackenbush and Kingston secured their spots in the tournament finals, the former defeating Del Rey and the latter ascending when Jigsaw defeated UltraMantis. Even though he had secured his spot, Kingston had drawn the ire of Gerard along the way (to the point where Gerard forfeited a match with UltraMantis to prepare himself for Kingston), who would soon place Kingston’s participation in the finals in doubt following a vicious assault with a chair. Gerard would be subsequently exiled from CHIKARA until he resorted to blackmail to regain his roster spot in the next Season.

Outside the 12 Large: Summit, Green Ant embarked on a “Flex Express” bus tour in July in preparation for a match with Tursas, who had angered the Colony member by writing several anti-American blogs. Older wrestling fans should find this saga involving Green Ant and Tursas familiar, as it pays homage to a similar saga involving Lex Luger and Yokozuna from 1993. Luger himself would appear during an edition of the Event Center to voice his support for Green Ant. Unfortunately, Green Ant would lose the match, thanks to further interference from Hammermeier, but he would revenge himself upon Hammermeier by defeating him in the semi finals of that year’s Young Lions Cup tournament, before being defeated by Tadasuke in the finals. (Interesting note about this tournament: Peck, who had relied upon his attorney R.D. Evans to gain access after being disqualified for being overage, claimed that his own loss to Tadasuke in the semi finals was contrary to the information he had received earlier in the Season, indicating that the future he had been Backfisted to was no longer valid.) In September, the Campeonatos de Parejas changed hands once more, as Quackenbush and Jigsaw were defeated by F.I.S.T. members Chuck Taylor and Johnny Gargano at Martyr Yourself To Caution, following two straight falls of dishonest refereeing by Sabato. Gran Akuma made his return to CHIKARA at Cibernetico: The Animated Series in November, with F.I.S.T. firmly in his sights and revenge on his mind, though he wouldn’t get his hands on his former partners until the following Season. Cibernetico: The Animated Series also saw Del Rey achieve victory over several of her former faction-mates in the BDK in the Cibernetico match, becoming the first woman ever to do so and last eliminating Donst, who had named himself captain of his team.

All of this led up to the Season Ten finale, High Noon. Amasis announced his retirement from professional wrestling as a result of his injury from earlier in the Season, only for his own tag partner Ophidian to turn rudo and unmask him. (Amasis would return to seek revenge upon Ophidian for this traitorous act in Season Twelve.) Green Ant avenged his defeat at Tursas’ hands earlier in the Season via a new submission, a variation of the CHIKARA Special that would be called the CHIKARA Special: Green. The last major item in the possession of the BDK, the Eye of Tyr, was reclaimed by UltraMantis following a Lucha de Apuesta tag match which also saw Donst abandon his own faction-mate Ares to avoid his head being shaved and Hallowicked take Donst’s Young Lions Cup. (The theft of his Cup, combined with his obsession with the Cup in general, sent Donst spiralling into madness, triggering the behavior he would display in later Seasons.)

The main event of High Noon was the finals of the 12 Large: Summit tournament, pitting Quackenbush against an ailing Kingston…and after over seventeen minutes of Quackenbush targeting Kingston’s knee and Kingston returning every bit of punishment he received, the match was decided. Kingston had won. Like they had done at the end of the preceding Season, the locker room (which included figures from CHIKARA’s past, such as Reckless Youth) emptied into the ring to congratulate Kingston on his hard-fought victory. This outpouring of love brought the Season officially to a close.

Following High Noon, every member of the BDK that was left, save for Donst, Hammermeier, and Delirious (who had disappeared following King of Trios), departed CHIKARA. Though Donst and Hammermeier tried to keep the faction alive by themselves, the glory days of Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes were well and truly over. In addition, UltraMantis honored the original deal he had made with Sinn Bodhi, giving him the Eye of Tyr…until it was revealed that the Eye that had been given to Sinn Bodhi was a fake. There was a method to UltraMantis’ duplicity: the promise he had made to Delirious earlier in the season. He would make good on his promise, but not until the following Season. (This would also lead to the destruction of Wrestling Is Art in 2013 at the hands of Bodhi, who was well aware of the fake Eye.)

Unusually, this Season had a set of three post-Season shows: Joshimania. Though these shows were largely a showcase of top talent and thus did not affect the Season itself, it included Fire Ant and Soldier Ant of the Colony cashing in the points they had earned during the Season in a losing effort against F.I.S.T., and the short-lived return of Brodie Lee.