I can't really appreciate Chikara, the Philadelphia-based pro wrestling venture that draws heavily on Japanese and Mexican influences, with colorful masked wrestlers, two-dimensional characters, frantic high-speed bouts, and a strong flavor of carnival. Something about it smacks too much of old Saturday morning television--circa H.R. Pufnstuf. Kids probably love it. It's certainly "safe" for kids--bloodless and sexless--more comic than intense. Ordinarily, I don't mind when wrestlers keep their bodies or faces covered--I'm of the general opinion that artful concealment can be sexier than most raw exhibitionism, though buck naked is guaranteed to catch my eye too. Still, Chikara should bring in a few dudes in thongs if, in the unlikely event, it ever wants to win me over as a fan.
This November 21 match catches my eye, though: Soldier Ant, 5'8", 162#, versus Pinkie "Pink Ant" Sanchez, 5'10", 168#. Soldier Ant is one third of The Colony, a stable of, well, ants, the other two being Fire Ant and Green Ant (previous members were Worker Ant and Carpenter Ant--how seriously I could ever be expected to take any of this is a mystery to me). In a recent angle, Pinkie Sanchez infringed upon the "ant" gimmick, dubbing himself "Pink Ant," much to the consternation of The Colony. What this setup sets up does interest me, because I think unmasking is one of the most erotically charged climaxes in pro wrestling and, perhaps, the latent queen in me can identify with a fight to the finish over two guys' wearing the same outfit to an event. Most of all, Soldier's humiliating finishing hold on Sanchez, his patented "Chikara Special," pretzel-ing and paralyzing the flashy heel's arms, neck and leg, is one of the hottest things I've seen in wrestling in a long time.
All photos: Scott Finkelstein