This year has really been a wild ride for those of us here at CHIKARA. We've had some high highs, like this past
weekend, or at King of Trios 2011, and we've also weathered some of the lowest lows. It seems like these triumphant
moments we get to share with you, the fans, are too often tempered by something unfortunate - there is always
some rain on our parade, always a little sour to balance out the sweet. I want to take a few moments though to savor
the sweet taste of "Chikarasaurus Rex: King of Sequel," which you
might know is already available on DVD, thanks to some round-the-clock craziness from the Smart Mark Video gang.
When Tom and I sat down to talk about the formation of Chikara Wrestle Factory, about 10 years ago, one idea we kept
coming back to was that of teaching the international styles of wrestling. The variety, we felt, would help attract
prospective trainees. For me personally, that variety is also something I like best about my job as a professional
wrestler. I pride myself in being able to wrestle any style I might encounter, no matter where on Earth
my travels take me.
This past weekend, you, the CHIKARMY, were treated to a remarkable array of wrestling styles. The stars of Ice
Ribbon, emerging on the joshi scene with more and more influence, showed us the future of Japanese women's
wrestling. Two of CMLL's finest, Rey Bucanero and Atlantis, who at once embody modern lucha libre but retain
its classic, timeless style, stopped by to grace our ring. Maybe rarest of all is that nearly-extinct British
style of wrestling that Johnny Kidd and Johnny Saint personify. These cards were filled with wrestlers from America
and Europe, Japan and Mexico, and this more cosmopolitan blend of wrestling that results from it, to me,
is what CHIKARA has been working toward since the day the Wrestle Factory threw open the doors and our first
five trainees walked in.
As the card for Night 2 was just beginning, I was up at Commentation Station with Colt and the Johns, and
there was a particularly festive feeling to the proceedings, which I think was captured nicely in this photo
Mr. Kidd snapped himself. The house was full, the crowd was buzzing, and we were all caught up in it. This
carried through right until I was toweling off my sweaty face after 27 minutes of a match I'll never forget.
If the fans in attendance Sunday night left the arena feeling just a bit of that positive energy we experienced
in the ring, then something truly special occurred in Philadelphia. Times like that, you'd stay in the ring all
night if you could.
The CHIKARA office is always busy in the days after a live event, as we play catch up, inventory our merchandise
and get ready for whatever comes next. As this takes place, it became apparent that the special shirts we had
printed in the memory of our friend Larry Sweeney have completely sold out. So I wanted to take this opportunity
to tell you a little about what we've decided to do.
As you may recall, the family of Larry Sweeney had asked that donations of any kind be made to a non-profit
organization called Threshold, which assists with employment opportunities (and all manner of things,) and this
group was particularly helpful to Sweeney during some dark times. However, you might be interested to know that
CHIKARA has supported Threshold in various ways dating back to our first event in Reading, PA all the way back
in 2004. We continue to do so, even as recently as this past weekend. So, all of us that were touched by Sweeney's
death spent some time reflecting on what else we, the CHIKARA family, could do.
This led us to the Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation, which you can discover more about by visiting bpkids.org.
Bipolar Disorder affected Larry Sweeney, as it does many, many people worldwide, and bpkids.org specifically looks
for ways to research the nature, cause and best treatments for the disorder in young people. In this way, they have
made it their mission to help improve the lives of people coping with Bipolar, as well as their families, through
education and support.
This week, we will donate the proceeds from the sale of that special Larry Sweeney shirt to bpkids.org, and
we will do so with the blessing of our dearly departed friend's family. We'd like to think the Golden Palomino
would support us in this move, and we hope you respect our motivations for doing so.