(Originally published May 12, 2015)
In this edition of “Chattin’ with the CHIKARMY,” I’m happy to present the first written episode of the show. Not everyone has Skype and is able to use it, so I wanted to give options and make sure that anyone who is interested in “Chattin,’” can participate and be a part of it. And Adam Arthur took me up on the offer.
Two weeks ago, we had the pleasure of talking. Many of you know Adam as Canenigma on CHIKARA 101, but you can find him on Twitter @feedusrecords. We talked about intimate venues, the connections made in being a smaller crowd, and the healing/comforting power of wrestling and CHIKARA.
This chat was done through Facebook and I think it’s just as interesting an in-depth as the audio episodes.
Thank you and enjoy Episode 5 of “Chattin’ with the CHIKARMY”!
So, let’s begin! Evening Adam! Why don’t you introduce yourself and tell the CHIKARMY a bit more about you and where you’re from?
Well my name is Adam. I am from Cleveland, Ohio. Was born way out in Wyoming. I have been a wrestling fan since I was about 9 I think
I started as a huge WWF fan of coarse and branched out from there
Nice. What year did you start watching?
I think it was around 1988 but that was more of a casual fan sort of thing. My Mom was not a fan of wrestling so it took awhile for my Dad to convince her it was ok for me to watch. I think I became a hardcore fan in 1989/1990. That’s when I just couldn’t get enough
Awesome! And when did you discover CHIKARA?
Going back as far as I can remember, I was obsessed with the idea of keeping tabs on every wrestling promotion and every indy wrestler. So I had known of Chikara for a long time. Unfortunately I never really gave it serious thought. I don’t think I understood the concept which sounds odd. I just wasn’t paying close enough attention. In 2008 I saw a post on WWE’s website about Demolition teaming with One Man Gang at King Of Trios. Once I realized it was Chikara, I began looking much more closer at the company
I was so blown away at the idea of a trios tournament. A few months later my best friend and I needed to just get away. Times were tough and we needed an escape. We had a weekend off work that we planned a road trip for. I looked everywhere for a wrestling show. Finally I thought about Chikara. Sure enough they were running a show the same weekend in Hellertown. That was Café Culture. We drove about 8 hours to see the show and had the best time ever
That’s awesome! What was your favorite match/memory of that show?
I had just discovered a wrestler online at the time called Psycho. He was from Japan. It was just a massive stroke of luck that Chikara announced RDV tournament and that none of ther than Psycho was going to be on the show. I was so excited to see him. I think the whole “tournament” was a great match. Both 4 ways were so much fun. But what really stood out to me was Claudio vs Jorge Rivera. I remember seeing guys peek through the curtain to watch the match. I loved that
The Rey de Voladores (RDV) is one of my favorite events. The first one I remember seeing live was at KOT 2011, the final between El Generico and the 1-2-3 Kid was amazing.
I agree. I was so lucky to have seen one on my very 1st live Chikara experience. I’m very thankful for that. ALso Hellertown venue was such a fun place. Very small and intimate. I’m not saying it’s exactly like PWG’s venue in Reseda but it’s quite similar. I just love seeing shows in small intimate environments like that. The crowd was great too. There were a couple hecklers in the crowd that were really funny and interacted really well with some of the talent (not in a mean and annoying way but a more fun and playful way).
I was however afraid the floor was going to collapse because I swear it felt like the floor shook and made a loud sound every time a guy took a bump in the ring. The ring was on the 2nd floor
That would have been an experience to remember forever! LOL! I love small venues too. What do you think makes them special?
I have been a long time fan of independent music as well. I used to own a record store that specialized in new and used vinyl and indy music. Bands playing in small venues create the same special feeling. You feel special. You feel like you are having a unique experience. Everyone knows about WWE but when you find someone who knows about Chikara then you know you found someone special and you form an instant bond. Being in a small venue with a small group of fans, you can feel the energy more. You can feel the tension more. You get more of the awkwardness. Whatever the case may be. But at least you get more of an immediate connection with the performers. You see them more clearly and you hear them more clearly.
I think connection is important. That instant bond you mentioned seems to create community and brother/sisterhood amongst people.
If I’m in the nose bleed section of a big arena show, I feel like I miss a lot. But at a smaller venue, you can’t really have a bad seat. I feel like I get to see more and I understand more. I also love getting a much more closer look at things that are easy to miss even on TV. Watching submission holds for example. You can see better how they are applied sitting up closer to them. You can see how the wrestlers react (like facial expressions). It’s just cool to have ability because not everyone can get front row seats to a big arena show.
Absolutely! It’s the fun details that really make you appreciate wrestling as a sport and an art form. And especially with CHIKARA, where the small details matter…
I agree. There are so many moving parts in Chikara. Even at live shows. I watch most of my Chikara at home because I don’t live close enough to see Chikara often so I notice that there are things that you miss watching at home versus going to the show live. I love hearing the crowd. Sometimes the banter between the crowd and the wrestlers is incredibly entertaining. You don’t always get that full experience sitting at home watching. You can’t always hear what the crowd is saying or what one clever heckler is saying or what Chuck Taylor is yelling back to some kid. But on the slip side, that “home video” is very important because there are a lot of very important things said during commentary and during pre-match promos. Plus lately there have been some really cool post credits scenes in Chikara that really get you pumped for the next “chapter” in the story
True, like the ThunderFrog-Jervis story.
There are a lot of different stories being told in CHIKARA right now, do you have a favorite and why?
That’s tough. I guess I’m really intrigued by what Jervis has been tweeting. I’m also really nervous for Mantis and what’s to come in the war with the Nightmare Warriors. And I got to say, what is up with Oleg? Is he still tight with Bakabella? Or could he be feeling left out since he wasn’t chosen to be on the team for COTI? I don’t know. There is a lot going on and a lot of questions in my mind.
We are definitely early in the Season and a lot can change… I think what’s interesting about Jervis and Frog is the question of “How far would you go to help, save, or bring back your friend?”
That’s what I’m afraid of. We have lost so many beloved guys in the Chikaraverse. I just can’t lose Jervis. I’m nervous about who he’s working with and how far he might go to get Thunderfrog back. I don’t want Jervis to get hurt lol. He’s too nice.
He is the “World’s Sweetest Man” for a reason! But yeah, how much of yourself do you sacrifice or what lines would you cross? It’s a fascinating question.
If I were Jervis, maybe I would ask Ashley Remington for help. He’s got money from his inheritance right? Maybe he can do something lol.
a gift basket solves many problems
Gift Baskets are lovely, true. LOL!
I got to say something, my last live Chikara show was almost a year ago in Detroit. That was an amazing show. Aside from seeing King Of Trios and Chikarasaurus Rex live, Detroit was one of the best live Chikara shows I have ever been to. It was so good. My wife and I also discovered an amazing vegan restaurant just down the street to eat after the show. So good. Best wrestling road trip lol. Needless to say, I’m going through major withdraw on live Chikara shows. I need to see one so bad.
Goldfinger was a great show. You mentioned intimate venues, the venue in Detroit was really special. The lighting was really great and added to the mood. I have no idea if CHIKARA will be returning there though. Maybe it’s time for a trip to Easton and Trios?
I wish. I would love to so bad. unfortunately I am unable to do so this year.
Wrestling road trips this year need to be only like at most a 2 or 3 hour drive. Can’t really do the overnight trips this year due to work and family matters.
I’m sorry you can’t make Trios this year. But there’s still a few unannounced dates, so hopefully one will work for you.
Before we wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to talk about or share?
Speaking of King of Trios, I was able to go to the 2012 KOT. I just want to thank Chikara for that weekend. It holds a special place in my heart. My father is the reason I love wrestling. He took me to live WWF shows when I was a kid and always supported my love of wrestling. He passed away suddenly a few weeks before King Of Trios. We had the trip planned so I knew we had to go even though it was going to be rough. Going was very therapeutic. Especially given the fact that there were a lot of old WWF guys there that I had seen with my Dad as a child. It was emotional to see them live at that time and think about the times I spent with my father but it helped so much and gave s much comfort during the worst time of my life
I remember speaking with Tatanka and I told him about seeing him at the Richfield Coliseum working for WWF before he became Tatanka. He was billed under his real name. He remembered. He was such a nice guy and talked to me and took a picture with me. I just felt very fortunate at that time. Very happy that I had come to the show and didn’t cancel.
At one point during the fan conclave, Kikutaro had given my wife a hug randomly and said “free hugs”. So I said “I’ll take one” and he gave me a hug too. I couldn’t stop laughing. It really kept my spirits up
I’m sorry about your Dad passing. It’s amazing how wrestling and that kind of experience can really be healing.
Yeah. It really helped. So I just really want to thank Chikara for that. I’ll never forget them for that reason. They were a tremendous part of the healing process for me. I struggled a lot during that year because he was very sick at times. Chikara provided a much needed distraction for my wife and I. Going to King Of Trios was something we had done for our wedding anniversary and it just became something I never imagined.
their live experience is untouchable. There is no other company that can put on a live show quite like Chikara
I’m glad you were able to have that healing and experience during such a rough time! Adam, if the CHIKARMY would like to talk with you and continue the conversation/share their experiences and thoughts with you, where can they find you online?
well I’m terrible when it comes to twitter. I’m very inexperienced. I don’t think I have any followers I must say (sad I know). I am @feedusrecords on twitter. Maybe if I actually had followers I would start to use it more. Or you can find me as Canenigma on Chikara101. Or email me at canenigma@Hotmail.com. I will chat it up with fellow fans
I’m also a huge fan and collector of anything Jim Henson or Muppet related so we can chat abut that too lol
Muppets are awesome! I still have my copy of “Miss Piggy’s Guide to Life,” so I can definitely appreciate the Jim Henson/Muppet love. LOL! Adam, thank you again for joining me for this episode of Chattin’ with the CHIKARMY and being a guinea pig for this different format.
It was a lot of fun. Thank you so much for the chance to chat. I would love to do the podcast one day when I can get on Skype or something lol. Thank you again
Sounds like a plan!
Thank you for doing this. I really enjoyed it. It was fun doing something a bit different.
And remember to think happy thoughts for Jervis. Let no harm come to him