I vividly recall the first time I met Ophidian...
It was a cold winter day in December of 2007. I hopped in my 1979 Mercury Grand Marquis with a couple of
other wrestlers, and
made the three hour trip from Cleveland to Pittsburgh. It's funny, because back then, especially in snowy
weather, a three hour drive seemed like a lot. Now, the average eight to ten hour commute to events seems to
fly by...it's amazing how being a traveling wrestler really messes up your perception of what a "long
drive" actually is...
Anyhow, this particular three hour drive seemed to fly by unusually fast. Me and my tag team partner
at the time, Matt, were very excited to face off with our opposition. On that particular evening, the
team of Matthew Justice and Gregory Iron would face off against graduates of the famed Chikara Wrestle
Factory, Amasis and Ophidian - The Osirian Portal.
That night, the four of us battled back and forth, in a very fast-paced, high energy contest. Matt and
I were still trying to figure how to be a well-oiled duo. But it was clear that Amasis and Ophidian were
already a cohesive unit. At some points, I began to the think the two shared the same brain, as everything seemed
to be done with pinpoint accuracy, timing, and precision. After the bout, we all shook hands mid-ring, to the
applause of the fans. In the locker room, Matt, Ophidian, Amasis, and I chatted for a bit. We instantly
bonded, as we were all basically rookies, having all been competing for just over one year. As I listened
to the Portal, you could tell that they not only had a mutual love and respect for professional
wrestling, but they held each other in the highest regard. Even with their faces hidden behind masks,
you could almost see the glimmers in their eyes...like two soldiers who experienced the crucible of
combat together, the comraderie that they had for one another was evident. When the evening ended, and it
came time to head down I-80 back to Ohio, we all made sure to shake hands once more, thanked each other
for a hard-fought match, and went our separate ways. On the drive home, I thought about how good those two
would inevitably become.
As time passed, Matt and I chose to go separate ways and embark on singles careers. Amasis and Ophidian
continued growing, becoming one of the hottest young tag teams ever, not just in CHIKARA, but in all the
world. They toured Europe and Japan, became overnight internet sensations. Knowing that those two were
like brothers, I felt, in my mind, that the sky was the limit
for them. Nothing, no one would ever separate The Osirian Portal...
But I could not have been more wrong.
I am still shocked and appalled thinking about it. I don't even want to go into detail about it. It has
to be seen to believed. All I can say is, on November 13th, 2011, when Ophidian assaulted his best friend,
Amasis, AND removed his mask...he proved he REALLY IS a snake. In front of the entire world, on internet
pay-per-view, Ophidian showed the world the coward that lurks beneath that mask.
On December 3rd, in Everett, Massachusetts, I will face Ophidian one-on-one. It's going to feel like
I am meeting him for the first time again...as far as I can tell, it's not the same individual I met
four years ago. He's more ruthless...more cold-hearted than I could have ever imagined. Ophidian, you
claim that my inspiration will meet its expiration...? I beg to differ. "The Handicapped Hero" has a
long shelf life left, but your new scales have already gotten stale. Amasis deserves redemption, and I
hope I can give him a small bit of satisfaction when I leave you to gulp down the agony of defeat.