#Preview: CHIKARA Pro Presents Tug Of War (11/9/19)

Since 2002, CHIKARA has been home of the most colorful characters and playful stories in the wrestling business, you cannot help to name them as one of your favorite companies on the independent scene. Well known for their diverse roster and the legendary King Of Trios tournaments, Chikara has always been a step ahead in character-driven shows that make people pack out any venue they are in. For their next event, they return to The Wrestle Factory for an epic conclusion of Season 20, Tug of War.

Fresh off their 2019 version of the King of Trios tournament, Chikara presents Tug Of War!

Creatures of the Deep (Hermit Crab, Merlok & Oceanea) vs. The Crucible (Devantes, E.M. DeMorest & Matt Makowski)

In a sure-fire hot opener to the season finale, Hermit Crab, Merlok & Oceanea face Devantes, E.M. DeMorest & Matt Makowski in an exciting Trios match. For the members of Creatures of The Deep, it’s a chance to bounce back in Trios action since losing in the first round of this year’s King of Trios tournament. For The Crucible, it’s a chance to remain dominant over the strong-armed sea creatures as they handed them a loss previously at Chikarasaurus Rex over the Summer. This has been a hot rivalry for most of this season that I expect to continue into next season but you never know in the world of Chikara.

Prediction: Creatures of The Deep avenge their previous loss with a big win over The Crucible.

Thief Ant vs. Icarus

In an interesting, and expected hard-hitting match, the 6’4 Ant and the 17-year veteran look to go head to head in the season finale. Debuted back in 2018, Thief Ant has been one of the impressive members of The Colony in recent memory, helping secure another Trios win for the faction in that year. But Icarus, whose feud with The Colony goes back to his hair loss days in his ’09 loss to Fire and Soldier Ant, looks to control the less experienced Ant. Will Thief Ant avenge his loss over the summer to the F.I.S.T. member? Or will F.I.S.T. ride high and take a 2 match sweep on the season finale? Either way, I expect this match to be solid ring work between the two superstars.

Prediction: Icarus shows why he’s the “Winged Ring Warrior” in an emphatic win

John Francis of Coronado vs. Lance Steel

In a battle of submission artists, John Francis of Coronado and his Ankle Lock goes one on one with the might of the Boston Crab and Lance Steel. While this may not be the same wrestling clinic John Francis and Thomas Santell had at night 2 of King of Trios, which he won, this is still expected to be a solid match. Steel focus may be too much on getting Mike Quackenbush into The Crucible, he’s made it clear he’s out for blood in changing things in Chikara. “The Man” is riding a hot streak since his last loss from Crucible member Matt Makowsy back in July so this may be a personal win for John. While I do expect some impressive momentum from John Francis, Lance may have some outside inference that will halt Coronado’s win streak here on the season finale.

Prediction: Lance Steel gets a definitive win.

Tug Of War
Missile Assault Man vs. Hallowicked

In an age of social media, it doesn’t take much for a feud to begin. For the former Ant, it took one September 16th tweet to get what he wanted. This isn’t a match or even a battle, this comes down to an all-out war between these two men. Between singles matches, trios matches, promos left and right, this match may literally tear the house down. Missile is looking to finally get his victory after the veteran Hallowicked holds several victories over him, with his win over Kobald, it may kick start his winning ways. However, Hallowicked is a man possessed that literally, as the below tweet states, has nothing to gain from this match. For me, I can watch these two… dare I say, fight forever? MAM gets the much-needed W here and Season 21 is looking like another clash for these two men.

Prediction: Missile Assault Man gets the upset win, via roll-up.

Still Life with Apricots and Pears vs Sonny Defarge

The CHIKARA Young Lions Cup XV Champion Still Life With Apricots And Pears no longer want to be recognized as an underdog anymore but he may be heading into a match with the Shaker Heights superstar. The former Campeonatos de Parejas champion is looking to stand out in this match as the usual tag team partner of Cornelius Crummels is wrestling in his first singles match debuting in the Philadelphia-based company. For Still Life, a new start is in order since losing his singles match on Day 2 of the King Of Trios event against BLANK. I expect the Young Lions Cup champ to return to his triumphant winning ways.

Prediction: A clever counter of an over-aggressive Sonny Defarge gets Still Life With Apricots And Pears the win

Boomer Hatfield vs. Rory Gulak

An interesting matched booked for the season finale finds Boomer Hatfield and Rory Gulak going head to head at Tug of War. Interesting for several reasons; for starters, both superstars are looking to bounce back from their losses. Boomer, who was on a 3-match win streak after defeating the current Grand Champion earlier this summer hasn’t fair well. A loss to Volgar II at Chikarasaurus Rex and a loss to the Ant’s in the King Of Trios tournament finds the masked Hatfield searching for a big win to end the year.

For Gulak, a 7-match single losing streak is needed to be broken. His last win in Chikara: a definitive win over the talented Travis Huckabee at Chikara National Pro Wrestling Day in 2018(!). As far as the match, Boomer got the best of the Catch Point member two months ago at Chikara’s Coca-Cola Park event in August. However, I have Gulak overcoming the offense as Boomer continues to be a man without guidance.

Prediction: Rory Gulak taps out the masked Hatfield in a competitive match

The Bird & The Bee [Willow Nightingale & Solo Darling] vs. F.I.S.T. [Travis Huckabee & Tony Deppen] for the Campeonatos de Parejas Championship Match

The titles are on the line here as the team of Williow Nightingale and Solo Darling look to become the Campeonatos de Parejas champions against the holders Travis Huckabee & Tony Deppen at Tug of War. The intangible here will be all about familiarity as Darling and Huckabee, a former tag team, have a score to still settle since he joined the seasoned team of F.I.S.T. The Bird & Bee come in riding high with a recent win in Shimmer. But the two native New Yorkers who’ve had success as a singles star have a major hill to get over against the two veterans looking to maintain tag team dominance in Chikara.

But even with their title defense win against Lucas Calhoun and Stray Kat back at Chikarasauras Rex in July, the loss in the King Of Trios tournament still looms. Regardless of this, I expect the titles remain with the champions.

Prediction: F.I.S.T. retains the Campeonatos de Parejas Championship by underhanded tactics
Tug Of War

Mike Quackenbush vs. Thomas Santell

Once in a while, you get something special in wrestling. Not just a dream match, but just a moment where you are easily ecstatic about a match that you may just watch in silence. Introducing a match announced on Monday, the Chikara living legend Mike Quackenbush goes one-on-one with the catch wrestling savant Thomas Santell at Tug of War. Rarely you get a contest that doesn’t need a story but it’s 2019, and we’re getting treated to literally a wrestling clinic, a master class… whatever wrestling adjective you want to use just insert it here. Outside of Missile Assault Man vs. Hallowicked, this match has the potential to steal the show. And honestly, out of all the matches on the night, this is the hardest to call.

My love for the Chikara Founder is near and dear to my heart, but I expect the ‘retro grappler’ to eke out a win in his showing.

Prediction: Santell comes away with a VERY close win over Quackenbush
The Whisper vs. Dasher Hatfield for the Chikara Grand Championship

If you have not bought into the hype that is Dasher Hatfield by now, you have literally been living under a rock. Since winning the championship back at Once Upon A Beginning, the champion has held on to the title with no clear cut challengers. But the 6th longest reigning champion finally has an interesting case as he faces The Whisper in the main event. The best part about this match is the already budding story between these two superstars. From their battle for the title exactly one year ago at Don’t Go To Sleep!

Until now, you had to expect these two to clash again. While Hatfield has had a notable victory over Mick Moretti, the unmasked superstar isn’t riding a high like The Whisper. From the 3 points he racked up over the summer, being ½ of the Campeones de Parejas, and the impressive place in Chikara history as the only two-time Rey de Voladores tournament winner, it may be time for the Innovator of Silence to solidify himself as the top guy in the company.

Prediction: #AndNEW Chikara Grand Champion, The Whisper, in an instant classic!

If Chikara has not sold you with this card for Tug of War, I sure hope my review for the upcoming end of Season 20 does. This is a stacked card for what is sure to be the end of an eventful season in the Philly-based companies history. Be there November 9 at the Wrestle Factory (tickets here) and witness Chikara make history once again at Tug of War.

John Caul is a longtime wrestling fan since the Attitude Era. A former color commentator for several independent companies and former owner of independent wrestling company Imperial World Wrestling, John currently spends his time interacting with wrestling fans on Twitter while enjoying podcasts such as Cheap Heat and Jobber Tears.