CHIKARA Director of Fun and Senior Official Bryce Remsburg discusses the relationship with Beyond Wrestling and the November 24 doubleheader.
By Michael Melchor, Executive Editor
There’s a lot to digest heading into next Saturday’s CHIKARA / Beyond Wrestling doubleheader of “7 Man Army” and “Tournament For Tomorrow, Night 1.”
To wit: Nick Gage being let loose inside a CHIKARA ring?
Dropping a piranha into a bowl of goldfish aside, both companies enter the home stretch of 2018 on a high note with two signature events back-to-back. CHIKARA’s “7 Man Army” features the return of the Torneo Cibernetico.
A staple of CMLL in Mexico and a (mostly) annual event in CHIKARA (the only US promotion to hold such a match each year), the Cibernetico match is a multi-person elimination tag match usually featuring eight competitors on each side. While this may remind many of WWE’s Survivor Series annual elimination matches, one of the differences featured in a Cibernetico match is that standard lucha libre tag team rules apply, allowing a wrestler to enter the match when their tag team partner exits the ring as well as when they tag out. Eliminations happen by way of pinfall, submission, disqualification and count out. Another key difference is that Cibernetico utilizes a “batting order” among the participating teams, meaning wrestlers have a specific lineup order in which they must tag in and out.
In 2018, Cibernetico will make history with a pair of firsts. Instead of the usual eight, this year’s CHIKARA Cibernetico will feature seven competitors on each team. This will also be the first time CHIKARA takes on another company entirely in Cibernetico, as the CHIKARA squad – captained by Interim Grand Champion Dasher Hatfield with Icarus, Hallowicked and Boomer Hatfield (as of this writing) – faces the Beyond Wrestling team of Chris Dickinson (Captain), Brian Milonas, Cam Zagami, Ryan Galeone, The Beaver Boys (Josh Silver & Alex Reynolds) and the aforementioned piranha, Nick Gage.
Both companies are well familiar with each other as 2018 has seen them work together several times. Back at Clan Feuds in July, both companies participated in a best-of-five series of matches that CHIKARA won when “Mr. Touchdown” Mark Angelosetti defeated “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams in the deciding match. Two months later at CHIKARA’s King of Trios tournament, the Beyond Wrestling-composed trio of Chris Dickinson, Cam Zagami, and Brian Milonas made it to the semi-finals of the tournament, coming close to winning it all.
CHIKARA Director of Fun and Senior Official Bryce Remsburg explains that, while the competitive juices flow between the two companies, it is a by-product of pride rather than hatred. “This is by no means a blood feud, we don’t want to ‘put them out of business’ or anything like that,” said Remsburg. “There’s certainly mutual respect involved. I personally work for both companies, but I think we’re both looking to expand that sweet middle spot of the Venn diagram of our fanbases. Ideally, some Beyond fans become CHIKARA fans, and some CHIKARA fans become Beyond fans by the time this is all said and done.”
The lack of “blood feud” between the two companies stems from a mutual respect between then, according to Remsburg.
“I know for a fact we respect what they have accomplished, especially this year – with the YouTube subscriptions surpassing 1,000,000,” Remsburg said. “I’d like to think they respect what we have accomplished with our 16.5 year residency on the independents. We’re both DIY operations with VERY small full time staffs just looking to make our mark and do what we can to change the landscape for the better.”
As Remsburg stated, CHIKARA has more than its fair share of accomplishments as a company in its 16 ½-year existence. From its commitment to the most innovative storytelling in pro wrestling to alumni that are now making a worldwide impact such as Cesaro, Drew Gulak, NXT Assistant Head Coach Sara Amato, Lince Dorado, Kassuis Ohno and Eddie Kingston, CHIKARA has become a cornerstone of American independent wrestling.
In nine years of operation, Beyond Wrestling also has a claim to being one of the most innovative and influential wrestling companies in the United States. Having started as a company that did “studio tapings” with wrestlers as its only audience, Beyond Wrestling has grown into a YouTube powerhouse with more than 1 million subscribers. Stars such as Oney Lorcan, Danny Burch, Donovan Dijak, Matt Riddle, Brian Cage and LAX graced the company’s ring when they were virtual unknowns.
One of Beyond’s biggest strengths has been giving those just making their name a platform and a place to shine. A key part of that equation is the annual “Tournament for Tomorrow,” the first night of which in 2018 comprises the other half of the CHIKARA / Beyond doubleheader on November 24. Tournament For Tomorrow, Night 1 features Beyond staples such as Doom Patrol, the Beaver Boys and Brian Milonas & Cam Zagami mixing it up with teams such as the reunited Aeroform (Flip Kendrick & Louis Lyndon), Pretty Proper (Lady Frost & The Savage Gentleman Victor Benjamin) and #NoNewFriends. The aim of the tournament falls in line with Beyond’s philosophy of presenting the future of pro wrestling in the present.
Before #TFTNight1, however, the stars of Beyond will collide with the stars of CHIKARA in a battle for supremacy and pride. No matter the outcome, expect to see more from both companies – separately and together.
“I don’t think the Cibernetico will be the end [of the Beyond / CHIKARA relationship], result notwithstanding,” Remsburg said. “Despite the results of Clan Wars, or King of Trios, it has been a mutually beneficial relationship and will continue to be. They have an exceptionally talented roster, and there’s no denying the strides they’ve made over the past 5 years. Each year is bigger than the last. Who knows where it goes next? I do believe both companies are forward thinking and open minded enough to keep their eyes and ears open to go wherever it takes us!”
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