Chicago and Cleveland wrestling fans will get their first taste of Chikara wrestling this weekend.
The lucha-influenced, family-friendly promotion will come to Streamwood, Ill., on Saturday, Sept. 20 at Streamwood Park District Community Center, 777 S. Bartlett Road. Bell time is 7 pm.
On Sunday afternoon, Chikara will be in Cleveland at the West Park Party Center, 3556 W. 130th St. at 3:30 pm.
Colin Delaney has returned to Chikara from the WWE. He will face former partner Jimmy Olson in Chicago. Delaney used to be known as Colin Olson and teamed with Jimmy as The Olson Twins.
The main event in Chicago will be a six-man lucha libre match pitting Mike Quackenbush, Hallowicked and Incognito against Mexican star El Oriental and the Super Smash Brothers (Player Uno and Player Dos).
The Brothers are unique because their outfits feature working video game controllers. The key word is “working.”
Chikara doesn’t have a heavyweight title. It has tag team belts (Campeones de Parejas) and a Young Lions Cup, which is contested in an annual tournament and then defended throughout the year.
Fire Ant won the Cup this year but lost it one week later to Vin Gerard, who angered the locker room by pretending to be a Mexican luchador named Equinox. Their rematch for the Cup will also take place in Chicago.
Cleveland’s main event will feature Ring of Honor’s Delirious teaming with Hallowicked. The team of Incoherence will defend the Campeones de Parejas against the Super Smash Brothers.
The tag team belts are the top prize in Chikara. Every title match is two out of three falls (lucha libre style). In order to earn a title shot, a team must score three points by winning three matches in a row.
ROH’s Claudio Castagnoli will face El Oriental on the Cleveland show.
Another top bout in Cleveland is a 10-man lucha tag pitting Colin Delaney, Vin Gerard, STIGMA (Shane Storm) and The Order of the Neo Solar Temple (UltraMantis Black and Crossbones) against Mike Quackenbush, Tim Donst and The Colony (Fire Ant, Soldier Ant and Worker Ant).
As a former Chikara announcer, I have to say I am very proud of how far this promotion has come since it began in 2002. Everyone has gained experience, the promotion is invading new territory, and it’s just a lot of fun.