June 24, 2010
CHIKARA debuts in Detroit with Danielson in tow
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling
CHIKARA's debut foray into Michigan has taken on added sizzle in the last week.
Bryan Danielson will make his return to the independent scene when CHIKARA debuts in Metro Detroit at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Taylor Town Trade Center in Taylor, Mich.
Danielson, who was fired by WWE on June 11, will make his first two independent appearances since being let go this weekend for CHIKARA with the second coming Sunday in Cleveland.
He is scheduled to face Eddie Kingston on Saturday and Tim Donst on Sunday.
"I think it's great that Bryan Danielson makes his comeback on the indies at CHIKARA," CHIKARA co-head trainer Claudio Castagnoli told SLAM! Wrestling in an e-mail interview earlier this week. "It proves that CHIKARA is always trying to put out the best product possible and is always good for surprises. We want to put on the best product possible for our fans and adding Danielson to the shows this upcoming weekend just proves that."
Before the in-ring action is even considered, the debut of one of America's higher-profile independent promotions into the Metro Detroit market has two things going for it: Danielson's return to independent wrestling and a catchy slogan, "We Must Eat Michigan's Brain."
Castagnoli, who is scheduled to compete on the card with the reigning King of Trios Bruderschaft des Kreuzes against Da Soul Touchaz in six-man tag action, said fans who haven't seen a CHIKARA show before should expect a fun show.
"If you love wrestling, you will love the show," Castagnoli said. "If you just want to have a good time, you will love the show. CHIKARA is full of colorful characters, great and detailed storylines (don't worry, you can enjoy a CHIKARA show without knowing much, but trust me, you'll want to know more), athleticism and great wrestling."
For CHIKARA, making its Detroit debut signifies more than just running another town. It marks the promotion's continued expansion outside of its home base of Pennsylvania.
Detroit's location on the Canadian border also makes it an attractive location for CHIKARA because it allows Canadian fans to cross and see the show.
"CHIKARA is trying to expand a little bit more every year," Castagnoli said. "It started with a trip to Massachusetts a few years back. Last year we played Streamwood, Ill., and Cleveland. This year the decision was made to come to Detroit to also give some of our Canadian fans the chance to come experience CHIKARA live."
Saturday's show is being run in conjunction with CLASH Wrestling, a local promotion that will provide a few matches for the undercard. But even with a local promoter, there still is an uncertainty when running a new market.
"There's always the unknown factor," Castagnoli said. "You don't know how many people will show up. You can't do the local promotion yourself. You will have to put on a really strong show and have a great lineup to get people's interest and to make an impact in that market so that people will come back when you return. And I think CHIKARA has a very strong show coming to Taylor."
In other action on the scheduled seven-match show, 2009 Wrestling Observer Rookie of the Year Frightmare will battle Tim Donst for the Young Lions Cup, The Future is Now and 3D will face UnStable and F.I.S.T. in eight-man tag action and UltraMantis Black will square off with Delirious.
Matt Bishop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and hometown. Click here to follow Matt on Twitter. And if you're interested in mixed martial arts, check out Matt's weekly podcast -- Lights Out Radio. Should be a good one!.