In this age of "pop" wrestling, where all anyone knows or cares to know is the WWE, finding and promoting really legitimately good indie wrestling is a bit more impossible than you might imagine it to be on first blush.
Wherever you might be reading this blog from, there's a realistic chance that there's an indy fed running shows sometime this weekend. Sure, you might not know all the names on the card, or even any of them, but that isn't the point of this. The point is that when you go out there to that armory, or highschool gym, or wherever else, you're going to get the chance to see stuff you won't see on TV.
But where is the best place to go? Where's the best place for your money? The answer to this question is easy. Chikara Pro.
To be clear, they don't run all 50 states. But if you live in the Northeast, or the Mid-Atlantic, or the Midwest, they've been where you are. And largely, I can find something that any person watching Chikara Pro might like. Interested in cool, unique characters and storylines you can get sucked into? Chikara vs the BDK. It's extraordinarily complicated, so complicated in fact that to describe it here would take too long.
Wanna see high-level actual wrestling? Mike Quackenbush, Claudio Castagnoli, the criminally underrated Hallowicked, and a phalanx of guest stars.
Speaking of those guest stars, we get to my favorite type of style which you will get to see July 30th and 31st. British Lancashire style. Here is the description of it that I sort of cribbed from my earlier article on the subject (http://themajestyofwrestling.blogspot.com/2008/10/three-countries-main-styles-of-japan.html): Now then to the fun one. The British Lancashire (Or World Of Sport as it is more commonly referred to) style practiced extensively in Europe is in a lot of ways more closely resembling amateur wrestling than anything you will find with the possible exception of the UWF and RINGS stuff. It is entirely based upon wrestling skill and technique in applying a variety of holds, pinning combinations, and locks. Striking is at a minimum, and there are very few “gimmicks”. Out sized personalities do exist, in the awesome heel work of Jim Breaks and the babyface skills of Johnny Saint, but by and large it is about the skill inherent in the men who choose to compete in it. There are five 5-minute rounds in non-title matches with victory being achieved by one person who can get 2 falls by pin, 3 submissions, or 1 knockout. In the title matches there are 10 rounds of 5 minutes each and the same basic rules apply. Any participant who is knocked down to the mat has a 10-count to rise back to his feet and continue the battle.
Another interesting distinction is that the referee does not audibly count the pin falls, meaning that the crowd and the viewing audience is fully expected to figure out on their own steam that the 3-count is occurring.
Largely this style has been consigned to the mists of history and DVD’s, with only a few stars left from the era still capable of performing it. However, the current generation of American independent workers has mastered many of the spots, men like Mike Quackenbush, Chris Hero, Alex Shelley, and the Best Wrestler in the World, Bryan Danielson. If you wondered where Hero’s cravate came from, for instance, it’s in the time that he spent studying under the British style.
Thank you for listening. Thank you for reading. And go support CHIKARA PRO