(Originally published July 19, 2015)
In this edition of “Chattin’ with the CHIKARMY,” I’m happy to present the second written episode of the show, this time with CHIKARA 101’s own Ice Ant. We talk about The Colony, BDK, and the 101 Colony. This chat was done through messages here on 101 and I think it’s just as interesting an in-depth as any audio episode.
Please enjoy Episode 21 of “Chattin’ with the CHIKARMY”!
Thank you for all your support!
I’m really familiar with you from here on CHIKARA 101 and with the 101 Colony. But I don’t know too much else about you and the CHIKARMY might not either. So, please introduce yourself and share whatever information you feel comfortable with.
Well, my real name is Sean but I prefer “Ice Ant.” I was from Antarctica but now I’m residing in an undisclosed location in Parts Unknown. I’m sure that comes off as condescending but really it’s just me embracing my identity here on the forum. I have ZERO social media presence elsewhere, and prefer it that way, but I’ve always felt comfortable being who I really am here… even if it is under a mask.
I’m just a private a guy, and the 101 has felt like home for years. I am “Ice Ant.”
Not pretentious at all. It’s totally cool, Ice (pardon the pun.) You’re the first Ant I’ve met from Parts Unknown. So, how did you get interested in CHIKARA?
Now this is the question I’ve been waiting for! Honestly, I think there’s two parts to this whole: The first starting with PWI and the second with Brian Kendrick.
… But for those folks that (understandably) don’t want to read all of the following, the short answer is “Claudio Castangoli.” lol
Anyway, like most every wrestling fan, I started fairly “uneducated” about the business. I was introduced to the WWF in the late 90s and didn’t really become obsessed with pro wrestling until about the time Mick Foley retired. He was one of my heros — and an inspiration to my personally — so to see him leave was heartbreaking… That same year, I got my first PWI 500 and that’s where I first read the names “Mike Quackenbush” and “CHIKARA.” I was immediately fascinated reading about all these guys on the independents, plying their trade and working to get noticed. Hearing about the worlds outside of the WWF, ECW and the dying WCW was eye-opening to put it mildly.
… Fast-forward a couple of years later to Velocity where the masked “River Rat” debuted and suddenly I found myself, for the first time, avidly trying to “wipe away the grape jam.” The “Rat” BTW was of course Kendrick. One thing then led to another and before I knew it I learned what the “Swiss Money Holdings” were and even found some photos via WHACKS (yes, the CZW wrestler) of CHIKARA’s first Tag World Grand Prix. I then quickly became more and more educated about CHIKARA’s wrestlers and brand. I’ll confess I didn’t totally “get it” at first, mostly because all I had to go on were photos and rumors. But when Claudio debuted in ROH at “Joe v. Kobashi,” suddenly I realized what I had been missing.
I’ve never been much of fan of buying things online but I made sure to purchase CHIKARA’s only retail DVD. In time, I did become a more avid consumer and I’ll add my first blatant shill here, saying THANK GOD for CHIKARAtopia! lol
Nice. I love all the different ways that we discover CHIKARA. I don’t think you answered this or it’s too close to my last question, but what is your favorite aspect of CHIKARA? (Yes, this is purposely vague.)
Simple put: the care put into everything.
I love practically everything about CHIKARA! From the characters, to stories, to the wrestling, the FORUM and course, all the men and women who bring it all to life. I love that CHIKARA — while relatively silly on the surface — puts so much care into its angles and wrestlers that we as fans really feel something. We have connection to it; whether it be a Goblin Prince suddenly cut down in the prime of his life, a feral pigeon is almost mortally wounded, a wrestler forced to bare his or her shame by unmasking, or even the whole darn company being shut down… we care because they do. EVERYTHING in CHIKARA matters, both in story and a presentation, and it’s that commitment and downright love that connects us.
I love that wrestling and wrestlers matter to CHIKARA and then even in dramatic or sad times… it’s a fun experience. We care because they do.
That’s a really great observation. And I agree that like you said, commitment and love runs through everything in CHIKARA. What are some of your favorite CHIKARA stories/angles and wrestlers/personalities – and why? What makes you connect to them?
Oh God, where to begin? lol
… Well, obviously I have a deep love for the Colony. Fire Ant was my character’s inspiration and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a match with an ant that I didn’t like. They’re CdP match at Revelation X against the Osirian Portal is just a joy to watch. I love Fire Ant’s YLC win over Vin Gerard and Green Ant’s rise and wins over Tursas and even Mike Quackenbush were great moments. The Double Hair vs. Mask match with FIST is a classic and of course I marked for their KOT victory.
But that’s just the ants; I’m really having a hard time thinking of something I didn’t like.
I will say, watching High Noon live was a real treat. It was CHIKARA’s first iPPV and the culmination of the 12 Large Summit. That match with Eddie Kingston and Quack to crown the first Grand Champion was so special for so many reasons. With the specter of the late-great Larry Sweeney still vivid in our memories, the emotion and impact just keep building and building as more and more wrestlers came to ringside to support CHIKARA’s two best batting in an intense test of wills… It’s an incredible match, bar-none, but watching it live made it all the more powerful.
… And then of course, there’s actually attending a CHIKARA show too.
How did I know The Colony would be mentioned? 🙂 But seriously, I find that a lot of people have a hard time with that question. It’s not easy. Have you been to a live show? And if so, how would you compare that to the experience of watching an iPPV, like High Noon?
Yes, I actually got to go to “Smack in Middle” in the summer of 2012. My wife and I actually celebrated our one-year anniversary with CHIKARA and it was an awesome experience!
She (my wife) snagged some front-row seats, and I just remember being overwhelmed by everything. By then, I fancied myself fairly “smarky” but that left me pretty quick as deviANT and Green Ant started off the night in surprisingly physical affair. My first memory of that night is always just how LOUD it sounded when a body hit that mat! I couldn’t believe it; I never knew and frankly it was kind of startling! lol
I marked pretty much the whole night, and it’s crazy to me to think that at one point I was standing at a merchandise table where El Generico was signing T-shirts. Knowing where he is now (you, the orphanage?) that’s just really cool…. Oddly enough though, my three favorite moments from that show all happened off camera. Don’t get me wrong, the show was excellent — a great tag bout with the Spectral Envoy and the Bravados, Solider Ant and assailANT three years early and a SUPER FUN Atomico with FIST, Ophidian, Akuma and 3.Ole — all of it was great!
But these moments hold something special in my heart:
1.) Getting to hand Green Ant a bag of sugar (yeah, I know) and having him tell me I “got the good stuff” before snapping a picture with him is something I’ll never forget. He also sold me my one and only CHIKARA shirt (his).
2.) Watching Jakob Hammermeier and my wife carry on conversation entirely in German that I did not understand in the slightest. lol
And 3.) After the show, all of the tecnicos including Mike Quackenbush shaking hands with all the patrons as they left, thanking them for their viewership and support. THAT was something so special! Soldier Ant held a salute the entire time.
… Only CHIKARA could provide memories like that and you only get that by being there live.
I’d love for them to come back.
Those are some amazing memories! Did your wife ever tell you what the conversation was about? I’m curious now!
I’m sure she did the day-of, but when I asked her about it yesterday, she’s all: “Honey, that was three years ago; I don’t even remember what we had for breakfast today!” lol
… If I had to wager a guess though, earlier that night Jakob was trying to get me to buy his T-shirt but I only had enough cash for the Green Ant one. He probably tried to sway her into give me more money, what with her being my wife and thus being the obvious family bank vault.
How do you say “husband’s allowance” in German?
Hahaha! Jakob was always good with the hustle! I hate to say opportunist here, because I think of Edge, but I think it fits him and I feel that’s how he ended up taking over the BDK and getting The Eye. What do you think of the new BDK and his new Thursday’s on the Throne videos?
Well, while I have mixed feelings about Soldier Ant, I’ve really enjoyed the BDK under Jakob’s rule overall. Seeing him evolve from an obnoxious announcer… to a wannabe wrestler… to Donst’s whipping boy and then finally this, has been really interesting. I love how CHIKARA never gives up on its guys. Jakob was pretty over from the start and he’s grown in leaps and bounds. I’m really enjoying his weekly rants (really, who can keep up with the Kardashians?) but I do wonder where this is all going.
Presumably, possessing the Eye will lead to Jakob and the BDK’s downfall (again) but I really don’t see how. Jakob’s flipped his wig for sure, but he doesn’t seem to be losing anything yet. Soldier’s a machine, Pinky’s nuts in a good way and Nokken gets better with each match; they seem solid. My only guesses are that either some of the former BDK members take umbrage with the new regime and there’s a revolt, Hallowicked’s new master somehow takes the reigns and the two factions yoke into the “Brotherhood of Nightmares,” or maybe even Dr. Cube exacts some kind of kaiju-intensive revenge for Jakob’s masquerade? I really don’t know.
… But as for Solider, I do wish there was a way to somehow rewire him. After his previous exit, I can only assume his mind and body has been twisted by nefarious means to mold him into this sawed-off juggernaut. My hope is that his inevitable one-on-one with Fire Ant will help him to see the light but honestly, I have my doubts.
Also, Tursas is still around, right? Do we know where his allegiances lie?
A lot of people have that same opinion about Soldier Ant – that he’s been twisted by some evil force. I think his Colony brother will eventually get through to him, but it’ll take time. There’s a lot of processing to work through.
I think it was interesting, but not surprising that Jakob pledged allegiance to Nazmaldun – he did say that he sold his soul to a few devils to the get the Eye and Nazmaldun is connected to it. I hope the Eye was worth it. I am wondering what he promised in exchange though and if that will be what ultimately brings down the BDK. What do you think it could be?
Tursas has come back from Valhalla somehow and he’s teamed with Nokken – so maybe he’s still loyal to the BDK? But I have no idea what his allegiance is. He could be an ace in Jakob’s hole.
I love the Thursday’s on the throne as well. It’s hilarious and irreverent. It always brightens up my day and makes me laugh.
Speaking of Nazmaldun – what are you thoughts on the changes Hallowicked and Frightmare have gone through because of the Eye – and the addition of Blind Rage into the fold and the recruiting of Silver Ant.
Well first, to quickly address the Jakob issue, I can only guess what deals (for that matter, what devils) Jakob has been involved with since the events of “Never Compromise,” but I’d wager they involve some combination of the following…
1.) Tim Donst: Ever since getting his lights knocked out, and losing his match and his hair to Gavin, all we’ve seen of Donst is him living a relatively sedated life outside of CHIKARA. He appears to be controlled or “numbed” by some kind of drug that’s taken away his identity. It’s pure speculation, but I could see Jakob selling Donst into some form of servitude in exchange for the Eye.
2.) Soldier Ant/Pinkie Sanchez: Both Pinkie and Solider were cast aside by CHIKARA and their then-supposed comrades in the seasons leading up to “Never Compromise.” Pinkie just sort of disappeared from the CHIKARA consciousness, and with it, likely his mind followed. Soldier’s case is a bit more documented, and I could see both him and Pinkie leading a sort of similar post-CHIKARA life. Hammermeier, after recently emancipating himself from the abusive Donst, finds the former ants and there’s a common thread between the trio. All were overlooked, under-appreciated and eventually rejected by those they thought were family. Jakob then, either by cunning or sheer force, has someone (or something) pervert Solider and Pinkie into his loyal followers, again using the Eye as a bargaining chip.
3.) Gavin Loudspeaker: I know this sounds a bit out of left field but at the conclusion of “Never Compromise,” we see a glimpse of Gavin lying strew over a sarcophagus as the set is being torn down… I’ve always assumed no good would come from that moment. Is it still possible there’s a sleeper agent amongst the CHIKARA faithful?
Again, I know that’s pure speculation, but if someone like Hallowicked could be so easily turned… who’s to say someone as unassuming as Gavin couldn’t?
… And if I’ve somehow missed a piece of the puzzle there, please feel free to correct me. lol
Anyway, as far as Hallowicked and his rise as a devoted soldier for Nazmaldun, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I love that he’s Grand Champion. As (arguably) CHIKARA’s first home-grown star, fresh from the Wrestle Factory, it feels very fitting to see him carrying CHIKARA’s premier singles championship. In fact, Hallowicked has done pretty much everything anyone could dream of achieving in CHIKARA, short of winning the annual Torneo Cibernetico. Hallowicked has been involved in some of CHIKARA’s greatest moments and it feels good to seeing him on top.
However, his turn — well, really Delirious’ and then by virtue, his — saddens me frankly because after striving so many years for an identity, working so hard to find allies he trusts, I feel like all his autonomy has been stripped away from him. In an ironic twist, hearing Hallowicked use recognizable, English verse in his promos, somehow is not only harder to understand but feels less empowering. He had distinct personality and now it feels like he’s just the trophy case for Nazmaldun’s greatest prize. Compound that with Frightmare’s change — all the more heartbreaking IMO — and even seedlings for Sliver Ant’s brainwashing and I am not a fan of the Nightmare Warriors.
Oh, and while I’m on the subject of “identify crises,” I have to confess I miss Green Ant.
I saw this mentioned on the forum ages ago, but wasn’t the whole point of assailANT earning the right to fight as “Worker Ant,” not only because he (rightfully) earned his stripes, but because Green Ant was proud of “heritage,” so to speak? That he took the “greenhorn” stigma and it used to motivate, strengthen him and prove his doubters wrong?
I worry that “Sliver” had already started to change as soon as he put on that new mask. Could we really see another ant turn? I fear so…
- I’ve often wondered in the back of my head if Jakob ever got the Young Lions Cup that Donst wanted Icarus to deliver. Do you think he did, or no? The idea of Jakob selling Donst into some servitude is a wonderful sort of revenge.
2. Your comments on Soldier and Pinkie remind me of what the BDK originally was to start with – a group of people who felt discarded and disrespected by CHIKARA. I think that’s the main link between the two. And where Nokken falls is anyone’s guess – I am curious as to where Jakob found him.
3. Gavin as a sleeper agent…I would never have thought that. It would certainly be shocking. I think that would rock CHIKARA to the foundation.
I don’t think you’ve left anyone out. They are all interesting theories and in the realm of CHIKARA, anything is possible…
I want to change the subject a little and talk about The 101 Colony. How did you first get involved with it?
The 101 Colony started out of pure happenstance really, with a handful of users donning ant monikers and just sort evolving into characters organically. I’m 99% certain I was the first user to take on an ant identity (joining only three days after the forum’s creation) but I actually wasn’t the fist member of the 101 Colony, that honor going to “Replic Ant.” Rep was really the first guy to give us our name, look and make us a formal e-fed. Over the years, he became one of my best friends ever and simply put: we never wouldn’t have been “a thing” without him.
That said, I need to back up a little…
First, I was very new to internet culture and forums in general when I joined the 101. I wouldn’t have done this for anything other than CHIKARA, because I knew the kind of fans and wrestling CHIKARA fostered. I always felt safe here. In the 101, I made an identity for myself where I wasn’t afraid to chat openly with a group of strangers. I purposefully took on character that A.) paid homage to my favorite ant, Fire Ant and B.) gave me a sense of security. I love that I wear a mask; often times, I wish I did it in real life.
Here’s my first avatar BTW:
And just as a quick aside, I need to thank RHP and Canenigma for really being the first people to reach out to me in private. Both are great guys and both really welcomed me openly and helped me get a better footing on being a part of this forum, and just being a CHIKARA fan in general. Guys like them help make being a fan fun!
… Anyway, the 101 Colony formed about four years ago in August with our earliest incarnation consisting of the original “Seven Anturai” (I’m the 4th) and the already-cannon ants from CHIKARA. We almost unconsciously did a one-match, unnamed show involving of giant Torneo Cibernetico. Then in no time following that, we were crafting more distinct characters, moveset, shows and angles and by about Christmas we had an established roster — with many more users, all ants — and a pretty meaty story going.
We also had deluge of graphics and other pieces of art that really help bring all the writing to life.
It’s wild how fast everything developed. We almost even moved into a separate forum we were growing so fast but that just wasn’t meant to be… The 101 Colony is, at its core, a giant and ongoing tribute to CHIKARA and all things wonderfully silly, dramatic, and just fun. EVERYTHING that happens in CHIKARA matters, and we’ve always tried to stay true to that. IMO it’s the perfect outlet for wrestling fans to role-play, be creative and just escape into whatever world and/or character that inspires you.
It’s honestly therapeutic at times…
I think it’s fantastic that you have an outlet like this to be inspired by and support you when you need it, especially with it being CHIKARA-centric. I’d like to wrap it up, so we can share it with the CHIKARMY. Is there anything else you’d like to add or share with the CHIKARA fans and where can people find you online, if they want to talk with you about CHIKARA or the 101 Colony?
It’s been a pleasure chattin’ with you too, Babs. Thank you for all your patience and time, passing PMs with me over the past month. I know it’s not ideal and it’s really appreciated.
… I’ll confess I agonized for a while over how to answer this last question because it’s very hard for me to say goodbye in general. I’m actually going to wipe off some of the grape jam here and take a bite of dry toast to say that while indeed the 101 Colony has been a passion and joy of mine for almost four years, real life has lately made it increasingly difficult for me to put into it as much as I have in the past. I’m pretty much an all or nothing kind of guy and I know that my time is passing me by.
I’m planning to write my last match sometime in August. Hopefully following that, I can focus more on just my character(s) and everything will feel less like a (self-imposed) obligation.
That all being said, I encourage ANYONE who has something inside them that they want to get out — maybe they don’t know what it is, maybe they do — but if there’s something there, I hope they find the 101 Colony. Whether it’s emotional, silly, dramatic or whatever, if you want to share something of yourself in a creative and safe way here on the forum, then stop by the Anthill. Please.
The 101 Colony is always looking for new members and (I swear) there are no obligations. Anyone can put in as little or as much as they want; just please have fun!
And now that my obligator pitch is out of the way (lol), I do want to thank pretty much everyone for always making me personally feel at home here on the forum. I specifically want to thank RHP, Replic Ant/Soulyss, Canenigma, Cjb01, MZA and ALL my 101 Colony brothers past and present. I need to thank Leonard F. Chikarason and the rest of the forum administrators for carving out a little space for all us ants to do our thing. And I’d like to thank Mr. Mike Quackenbush for being gracious enough to actually pass a few PMs back and forth with me over the years. It’s overwhelming carrying on a conversation with him and he couldn’t be nicer.
… If anyone wants to contact me, my inbox is always open.
And finally, thank you again Babs for having me on your show and for being so accommodating and understanding. It’s really been a blast and honor.
Thanks everyone for reading and, as always, stay cool.
Thank you to Ice for being on the show. I appreciate you taking the time out to talk with me and do a Chattin’ episode. It’s been an honor and pleasure for me too.