REVIEW: CHIKARA ‘King Of Trios’ Night One (4/10/19)

Added by Liam Happe

Day one of CHIKARA’s annual three-day tournament is in the books. Friday’s event in Reading, PA hosted all eight first-round matches in the King of Trios tournament. Here’s who advanced to the quarter-finals:

Crucible A (Ophidian, Lance Steel, Princess Kimber Lee) defeated VeloCities (Mat Diamond, Jude London & Paris De Silva)

Kimber Lee was recruited into Ophidian’s underground fight club faction under duress, due to her backstory with Steel. Her and Lance were out in matching gear, however, and the Crucible worked fluently together before Steel tapped out ‘Jude The Dude’ with a Boston Crab to the midsection they’d been working over all match. Very positive reception for the defeated trio’s performance, expect them to be back beyond KOT.

The Four Nations (Mick Moretti, Adam Hoffman & Jack Bonza) defeated Karate Kat Xtreme (Lucas Calhoun, Stray Kat & Missile Assault Man)

Last year’s runners-up got off to a winning start in 2019 after a variation of a triple-team powerbomb finished off Kat, who had been softened up in the Nations’ corner for much of the match.

The Carnies (Nick Iggy, Kerry Awful & Tripp Cassidy) defeated Legion of Rot (Hallowicked, Frightmare & Kobald)

LOR came out with updated outfits and new music, but ended up falling to the first serious upset of the tournament as ⅔ of 2012’s winning trio were ousted by the Nashville newcomers. Tripp scored the flash pin on Hallowicked, which appears to further Cassidy’s stance as Wicked’s ‘bogey opponent’.

Dasher Hatfield, Molly McCoy & Boomer Hatfield defeated The Creatures of the Deep (Oceanea, Merlok & Cajun Crawdad)

The pre-intermission match pitted the two most dysfunctional trios up against one another. Crawdad is replacing an injured Hermit Crab. There was a palpable tension between father and son Hatfield before the match (they feuded in the first half of 2019, leading to Boomer winning the Grand Champion’s mask in non-title action) but they appeared ready to put KOT success first.

That soon changed when the bell rung, as Dasher alpha’d his son at every opportunity by forcibly tagging himself in et cetera. Molly did her best to prevent a falling out in subtle little ways, and Boomer gets the win with Code Red on the much larger Merlok. Post-match, Dasher stormed out alone before the COTD faction finally imploded, with the troops walking out on Oceanea.

The Colony (Fire Ant, Green Ant & Thief Ant) defeated Quack Attack (Mike Quackenbush & The Ugly Ducklings – Lance Lude & Rob Killjoy w/Coach Mikey)

The defending 2018 tournament champions advanced in light-hearted post-interval fare. Fire Ant and Quackenbush – two of the company’s most tenured stars – initially refused to tag anyone else in while frantically exchanging holds, before Fire scored a flash pin on one of the Duckings after withstanding a slew of big moves. Handshakes all round after the bell.

Crucible B (Devantes, Matt Makowski & E.M. DeMorest) defeated Solo Darling, Willow Nightingale & Freddie Mercurio

The novelty trio fell to the Crucible prospects, who spent the match working on Willow’s recently-healed neck. Makowski tapped Darling with an impressive Chaos Theory set-up turned into an armbar takedown after faking the German suplex.

F.I.S.T. (Icarus, Travis Huckabee & Tony Deppen) defeated The Embassy (Prince Nana, Jimmy Rave & Sal Rinauro)

CHIKARA’s love-to-hate-them stable were victorious over one of the US indie scene’s more infamous love-to-hate-them stables of yesteryear. And yes, both trios received toilet paper streamers to mark the occasion. Even more impressive was the sight of the two teams using the TP for several early spots, including a tug-of-war and a taped fist death match… using toilet paper. As expected, F.I.S.T progress.

Team Pump (Scott Steiner, Petey Williams & Jordynne Grace) defeated Team NDK (Nick Gage, Thomas Santell & Kris Statlander)

The sight of Steiner facing off with Gage in a CHIKARA ring served as the perfect tonic for those still reeling from the news of Kofi Kingston getting Bob Backlunded on FOX. To the surprise of many, it was Team Pump who reached the last eight after the Steiner Recliner finished Santell.

At time of writing, the quarter-final brackets had not been confirmed (they seldom are prior to Night Two kicking off). Saturday’s action will include the four QFs, BLANK facing off with his protege Still Life with Apricots and Pears, the two four-way Rey de Volodores semi-finals and an open challenge from John Francis of Coronado, who will earn his third point and a shot at the Grand Championship if he is successful.