The time for CHIKARA’s premier event, King of Trios, draws nigh. King of Trios (KOT) is CHIKARA’s version of WrestleMania, it is their biggest and grandest stage. Every event at CHIKARA is themed, and this one is themed after Star Wars. This is the 11th incarnation of the tournament, hence it has been titled Episode XI: The Saga Ends. This is KOT’s big return to the Funplex in Easton, PA. Last year the tournament was held abroad in England, where British Strong Style – Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate & Trent Seven – won (they are not in this year’s field of competition to defend their medals).
The concept for this tournament, which takes place across three days of events, is like that of a six-man championship. Instead of regular tag teams, they use teams of three (trios.) Regular tag team match rules apply to the matches. Eliminated trios can be broken apart to compete in the concurrently held Rey de Voladores and Tag Team Gauntlet tournaments. KOT is also unique in that it incorporates a great number of guest stars or visiting wrestlers as well as CHIKARA regulars.
THE NEXUS ALLIANCE (Justin Gabriel, Darren Young & Michael Tarver)
The first team announced for this field of sixteen was The Nexus Alliance. Making their CHIKARA debuts are PJ Black (Justin Gabriel), Tyrone Evans (Michael Tarver) and Fred Rosser (Darren Young.) Despite just making their CHIKARA debuts, they are favorites based on their notoriety alone. During the beginning days of the Nexus, the group’s dominance as a unit was prolific. In their first reunion since those days, will their former dominance as a unit bring them Trios gold?
THE NEW REPUBLIC (Kikutaro & Los Ice Creams)
The second team announced was nothing short of royal. Princess KimberLee returned to CHIKARA for season 19. She was set to team with Los Ice Creams as The New Republic. However other dreams came calling for our fair Princess, namely Stardom in Japan. A suitable replacement was found in Kikutaru to fight in Princess KimberLee’s stead. El Hijo Del Ice Cream and Ice Cream Jr. have been in a bit of a tailspin for most of season 19. This began when they lost their Campeonatos de Parejas titles to The Closers at National Pro Wrestling Day. By having been rescued by Princess KimberLee and now teaming with Kikutaru, Los Ice Creams hopes to turn their luck around.
THE OHNAKA GANG (Rey Bucanero, PCO & Katarina Leigh)
The third trio, The Ohnaka Gang, has a distinct swashbuckling flavor. Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL)’s King of Buccaneers, Rey Bucanero has returned to CHIKARA after seven years. He didn’t come alone either. Also making their CHIKARA debuts are Jean-Pierre Lafitte (aka PCO) and Katarina Leigh. Another trio of guest stars, Bucanero leads in a resurgent PCO reprising his mid-90s character of Jean-Pierre Lafitte. Katarina Leigh will also be returning to her sea-faring roots (aka her WWE gimmick of Katie Lee Burchill). Will our pirate friends shanghai the Trios medals?
THE REGIME (Juan Francisco de Coronado & The Closers)
Joining the field with his trio called The Regime, is Juan Francisco de Coronado. He leads the current Campeonatos de Parejas, The Closers, Rick Roland and Sloan Caprice. Before Chikarasaurus Rex, this was the trio to beat, as they held all the gold. However, with Juan Francisco de Coronado’s loss of the Grand Championship, it was a major blow to the team. It will be interesting to see how this affects the team dynamic. Surely, they will be even hungrier to add more gold to their coffers.
THE SHIMMER COLLECTIVE (Madison Eagles, Shazza McKenzie & Jessica Troy)
Australia’s Madison Eagles, Shazza McKenzie and Jessica Troy come in as The SHIMMER Collective. Madison, a 2x SHIMMER Champion, has appeared at KOT before – not in the tournament itself, but in a historic match against Manami Toyota. This will also be Jessica’s return to CHIKARA, as well as Shazza’s debut. Shazza McKenize is the reigning 2x PWA Women’s Champion in Australia, as well as a former Heart of SHIMMER Champion.
THE ANCIENT ORDER OF THE NATIONS (Adam Hoffman, Mick Moretti & Jack Bonza)
Jack Bonza, Mick Moretti, and Adam Hoffman make up the other Australian trio, The Ancient Order of the Nations. Bonza and Moretti are making their return to CHIKARA where Hoffman is also making his debut. This is also Adam Hoffman’s first appearance in the United States in quite some time. Their trios teamwork is very noted, and they are a favorite in this regard. Will one of our Aussie trios be taking the medals back with them on the long trip home?
TOKYO JOSHI FREEDOM FIGHTERS (Miya Tamashita, Yuka Sakazaki & Shoko Nakajima)
Keeping with the guest stars, our next is the Tokyo Joshi Freedom Fighters. Miya Yamashita, Yuka Sakazaki, and Shoko Nakajima represent the promotion Tokyo Joshi Pro. Tokyo Joshi Pro is the sister promotion to DDT in Japan. Miya, Yuka, and Shoko are big-name players for Tokyo Joshi Pro and bring a lot of star power. They look to do what House Sendai Girls could not do in the 2017 tournament: win it all. Sendai Girls were unable to send any representation to play at this year’s KOT. They had participated in the last two years (winning it in 2016), but are needed home in Japan for shows during the same weekend.
DARK LORDS OF THE PROTEUS (Callux the Castigator, Frantik & Volgar)
Next in joining the King of Trios hunt are the Dark Lords of the Proteus. Callux the Castigator, Frantik, and Volgar hope to strengthen the power of Professor Nicodemus and the Proteus Wheel. This group of super-heavyweights will certainly give their opponents a mighty challenge.
THE SISTERS OF THE MIGHT (Molly Holly, Solo Darling & Aja Perera)
To counterbalance the darkness, we have the Sisters of the Mighty joining the fray. Led by the former WWE Women’s Champion “Mighty” Molly Holly, she is joined by fellow superheroines Solo Darling and Aja Perera. Solo Darling has gone through a very emotional season 19, following the disintegration of the Rumblebees and her friendship with Travis Huckabee. She’s come out on the other side stronger though and looks to prove her worth. Aja Perera is also making her CHIKARA debut and is the ‘x-factor’ of this team.
XYBERHAWK TECHNO UNION (Razerhawk, Nytehawk & Danjerhawk)
Also descending onto the Funplex for King of Trios action are the Xyberhawk Techno Union. Razerhawk, Nytehawk, and Danjerhawk hope to divebomb the caw-caw-competition! They may be a very young trio, but they have been off to a hot start. Danjerhawk, with only seven professional matches to his credit, is the current Young Lion’s Cup holder and recently won the Infinite Gauntlet.
GALACTIC WILDLIFE COMMISSION (Thunderfrog, Air Wolf & Wildcat)
The Galactic Wildlife Commission was the tenth trio announced. Thunderfrog, Air Wolf, and Wildcat are also known as the Minnesota Wrecking Zoo. Thunderfrog is a familiar face to the CHIKARA faithful, last seen in season 16. Wildcat also debuted in season 16, against Thunderfrog. Air Wolf is the youngest cub, having just debuted in March.
SOCIETY OF THE DEEP (Merlok, Hermit Crab & Cajun Crawdad)
Oceanea’s Society of the Deep have also entered King of Trios competition. They are the only trio returning from the 2017 tournament. Merlok, Hermit Crab, and Cajun Crawdad look to turn around their bad tournament juju. They haven’t had much success in finishing them on the winning side. Oceanea will certainly do whatever is in her power to lead her creatures to victory.
THE F.I.S.T. ORDER (Icarus, Tony Deppen & Travis Huckabee)
Icarus leads The F.I.S.T. Order into the King of Trios. The winged ring warrior is joined by Tony Deppen and Solo Darling’s former partner, Travis Huckabee. Travis is obsessed with success and gold, this is what led to the destruction of the Rumblebees. He’s been quite successful though, as he is the 2018 Johnny Kidd Invitational winner. All three members of F.I.S.T. show no mercy and will fight to the death for whatever is in their sights.
THE resistANTce (Fire Ant, Green Ant & Thief Ant)
No CHIKARA event would be complete without a few ants. The ResistANTce sees Fire Ant finally team with Green Ant (II) and Thief Ant. Fire Ant has had a rough couple of seasons in CHIKARA. He’s had to witness his friends and colony members be ripped away from him, one by one. Eventually, he was the last Ant in CHIKARA. When Green Ant (II) and Thief Ant joined the ranks of CHIKARA, he was loath to accept them, or even be around them. Throughout season 19, they have been growing closer and this new ResistANTce represents their coming together as a colony.
RAIDERS OF THE BEYOND (Cam Zagami, Brian Milonas & Chris Dickinson)
Despite losing at Clan Wars, Beyond Wrestling will have a trio in the gold medal race. Dubbed Raiders of the Beyond, they have sent Cam Zagami, Brian Milonas and Chris Dickinson. Cam Zagami is a former Young Lion’s Cup holder. Brian Milonas may best be known in CHIKARA for having been Zagami’s insurance policy. He would very instrumental in Zagami’s Young Lion’s Cup defenses. 2x EVOLVE Tag Team Champion Chris Dickinson may not always get along with his partners, but he is willing to put that aside in the name of Beyond Wrestling. They look to avenge Beyond’s loss and claim victory at King of Trios.
THE MILLENNIUM THROWBACKS (Mr. Touchdown, Dasher Hatfield & Boomer Hatfield)
Rounding out the field of competition we have the Millennium Throwbacks. Dasher Hatfield will team with his son Boomer Hatfield and Mr. Touchdown. Boomer is the rookie of the team and he’s always wanted to team with his dad. Dasher and Boomer are the first ever father/son duo to compete in King of Trios. They look to capitalize on Mr. Touchdown’s recent Grand Championship win and finally capture King of Trios gold.
Sixteen teams will enter the Palmer Center on August 31st. However, only one trio will hoist the gold medals on September 2nd. Who will it be?