The masses have spoken and you chose for me to recap the year of 2012 for the most devious man in Chikara, Ultramantis Black. As you might have been able to surmise from looking above though, I am not just going to cover Ultramantis. This is because of one of my favourite aspects of Chikara, their use of smaller stables. Most people in Chikara travel in a small pack, usually a trio (this is the company who runs King of Trios, the largest tournament around every year!). Since these three are stale partners, I am going to include all members of the Spectral Envoy together. So let us jump right into the stories that were for the “Nightmare Warrior” Hallowicked, the “Frenetic Ball of Energy” Frightmare and the most devious man in all of Chikara, Ultramantis Black.
CHIKARA Debut - The Renaissance Dawns, May 25th 2002
Affiliations: Ultra Zero (w/Mr. Zero)
The Dark Breed (w/Hallowicked, Blind Rage)
The Order of the Neo Solar Temple (w/Hydra, Crossbones, Tim Donst, Vodoker)
The Spectral Envoy (w/Hallowicked, Frightmare, Crossbones, Blind Rage)
CHIKARA Debut - The Renaissance Dawns, May 25th 2002
Affiliations - The Night Shift (w/Blind Rage, Ichabod Slayne)
The Dark Breed (w/Ultramantis Black, Blind Rage)
Incoherence (w/Delirious, Frightmare)
The Spectral Envoy (w/Ultramantis Black, Frightmare, Crossbones, Blind Rage)
CHIKARA Debut - Armdrags to Riches, November 16th 2008
Affiliations - Incoherence - (w/Hallowicked, Delirious)
The Spectral Envoy (w/Ultramantis Black, Hallowicked, Crossbones, Blind Rage)
Season 11 for the Envoy had a particularly fascinating start. After retaking the Eye of Tyr from Ares at the Season 10 finale, Ultramantis Black was back in control of his most precious item. However, Mantis wasn't the same bug-man hybrid who possessed the mysterious trinket before. Walking into a cave before the season 11 debut show, Ultramantis Black and Hallowicked were taking the Eye back to Delirious, who it had been enslaved for the last 2 years by it. Trying to make amends, Mantis presented it to Delirious who took the Eye and smashed it, possibly fearing further captivity under its control. In a shocking twist, as he fled from his former partners/captors he screamed, “I remember everything!” Quite the powerful moment, since Delirious had not spoken a coherent word in Chikara.
Coming out of season 10, Mantis and Hallowicked had obtained the precious golden tickets of Chikara, three points to challenge for the tag belts. At the second show of the year, A Death Worse than Fate, the Spectral Envoy were poised to do battle with Johnny Gargano and the “Kentucky Gentlemen” Chuck Taylor. The only problem was, Gargano suffered a back injury earlier in the year. So the question arose, would the Nightmare Warrior and his captain be able to do battle for the belts? In all of his brilliance (sarcasm!) the Director of Fun decided that it would be okay for Icarus, the third member of F.I.S.T. and the man with a back tattoo that could make you cry blood, to sub in for Gargano. As the match got underway, the will to win was evident in the Envoy. Moments into the match Hallowicked and Mantis were employing double-team tactics, such as their Sidewinder leg drop. Through ill means, F.I.S.T were able to capture the first fall, but the long leg of Hallowicked secured the second for the Nightmare Warrior with a mighty yakuza kick. When the match seemed all but won for the Envoy, someone appeared. Delirious had made his way back to Chikara. Drilling Mantis on the crown of his head with a vicious Preying Mantis Driver, the Envoy had the belts stolen from them. It was clear, Delirious had emerged from the darkness to seek retribution.
Stopping by on Long Island NY, Delirious decided it was time to let the world in on his intentions for Ultramantis Black. While Frightmare, who was still injured from the previous year, and Hallowicked were absent, Mantis was in attendance to hear Delirious's sobering claim. Delirious said that Mantis had stolen two years of his life, so he intended to take two years of Mantis'. A bold claim, but one he was intent of keeping.
Chikara ventured into the frozen north for their first tour of Canada. Both shows had booked the tandem of Ultramantis and Hallowicked, and unknown to the duo, Delirious decided to follow along. On the Saturday evening, the Envoy were to be part of a tag team elimination match. This would benefit the duo who had been knocked down to zero points after being cost the CdP. During the match, Mantis and Hallowicked were distracted by Delirious who appeared on a balcony with a microphone. Chanting “bah bah bah” Delirious aided in the elimination of the Envoy, via knee to Hallowicked's skull by the Batiri. The next day in Ottawa, again the Envoy were attempting to gain some traction in the tag team race. This time however it was a single team format against the new rudo squad, Gekido. Fighting for the pride of Chikara, the Envoy were in control of the mysterious 17 and powerful Shard. For the second time on the Canadian tour, skulking near ringside, Delirious appeared. He did not however directly involve himself in this match. Instead, Tim Donst and Ophidian interjected themselves. Tim was attempting to take the Young Lions Cup that had been won by Hallowicked in the first ever tournament. He was chased off by Ultramantis and his peculiar staff. That would have been enough to cost anyone a match, but then Ophidian than came and misted Mantis in the eyes with his serpents venom. Stealing Mantis's staff, Ophidian made his retreat to the obvious pleasure of Delirious.
Furious with the loss of his staff, Ultramantis challenged Ophidian at I'll be a Mummy's Uncle to regain what was rightfully his. Again, Mantis would be thwarted by the venomous mists of Ophidian who was desperate to keep the staff to use it to resurrect Osiris and ascend to another form. The most Great & Devious Ultramantis was beginning to mass a few enemies, and it was only the fourth month of season 11.
Somehow, Tim Donst got the notion in his head that he was the greatest Young Lions Cup winner in the history of Chikara. That degree of title would be impossible to place on any one of the previous cup winners with such greats as Arik Cannon, Fire Ant and Chuck Taylor. Hallowicked was the first though, and that title comes with a great prestige. Not to Mr. Donst though. Tim had spent much of 2012 proving that he was “the man” by choking out his opponents with a shoelace. He had defeated many of the cups winners from the past, and he had set his delusional eyes on Hallowicked. During the intermission of Hot off the Griddle, Chikara and Ring of Honor's fusion event, Tim attacked Hallowicked while posing as another masked wrestler. The two were booked to face each other in a tag team eliminator that evening, but Tim couldn't wait to jump Hallowicked. Tim payed the price later during the eliminator, when he believed Hallowicked to be injured. The Nightmare Warrior attacked Donst, and chased him from the ring.It would appear as though a grand stage would need to be givento play out all of the drama that had been building between Ultramantis and Ophidian, as well as Tim and Hallowicked. June 6th came and Chikara returned to the world stage on IPPV for Chikarasaurus Rex: How to Hatch a Dinosaur. This was the perfect venue for the two warring factions to settle what had been building. Ultramantis Black would have his opportunity first, as his match with Ophidian was the opening contest of the evening. When Ophidian appeared from behind the curtain, he had transformed for the second time in season 11. Whatever sorcery he had needed Mantis's staff for, he had achieved it. His new form did not intimidate the most devious Ultramantis, and the contest came to heavy blows. Even though Ophidian attempted to blind Mantis again with his vile venom, Mantis dropped him on his head and took the victory.
Later in the evening, after intermission, it was time for Donst and Hallowicked to settle the title of Greatest Young Lions Cup Champion. This match stood for so much more than a simple title as the stipulation had been placed that the match would be Hair vs Mask. If Tim lost he would be shaved bald, but if Hallowicked lost he would be stripped of his mask. For those who are unaware, to lose your mask in Lucha Libre is the ultimate in shame. After a grueling physical dual, neither combatant appeared weary. Concerned, Donst pulled out the shoelace he had use to choke out so many others. Laying lifeless on the mat, Hallowicked's arm dropped three times and it would appear as though he would be shamed live on IPPV by the conniving Donst. It would not be though as fortune stood with Hallowicked. Tim raised his arm in victory and the shoelace that he had hidden under his arm fell out. There was only one thing for senior official Bryce Remsburg to do: he restarted the match. Using the same boot on Tim that he had Chuck Taylor earlier in the season, he put Donst on the mat and made him submit. Donst was shaved, and Hallowicked had claimed the title of Greatest Young Lions Cup Champion.
It had been nearly a year since Frightmare had competed in a Chikara ring competitively. He did make an appearance at Aniversario: the Ogg and I, but his ring time was limited since he was still injured. Returning, Frightmare would have to contend with the vile serpent who had battled with his trios mate Ultramantis. Frightmare proved to Ophidian at The Great Escape that his knee was healed, and that the Frenetic Ball of Energy could once again bounce around. His effort however would result in a loss, as Ophidian contained him and forced him to submit. The Envoy spent the remainder of the summer honing their strengths, and developing new tag team offense to take into King of Trios 2012. Delirious, who had recruited Ophidian and the Batiri to his cause at Chikarasaurus Rex, spent his summer scheming how he could further humiliate and torture Ultramantis.
September was upon us and the largest wrestling tournament in America was set to begin. This years King of Trios promised to be a interesting one with so many Wink created trios. In the first round of the tournament the Envoy were set to battle with The Submission Squad. Unfortunately, the Squad were unable to make it, so the trusty hat was brought out and names were drawn. Instead of the Submission Squad, the Envoy did battle with the very Mysterious and Handsome Stranger, Mihara visiting with Osaka Pro, and the legend Tito Santana. While the mismatched trio from the hat fought well, the summer conditioning of the Spectral Envoy was too much, and they were overcome. Night two came, and the Envoy stood across the ring from their familiar nemesis, the Batiri. Many believed that this match would be the finals, but the tournament brackets brought them together for a clash in the quarter-finals. As expected the battle was grueling and the demons fought the Envoy with great tenacity. A roll up proved to be the fate of the Batiri, and the Envoy advanced. It would not be so simple. The field general of the new Dark Army, Ophidian, was waiting for the matches conclusion. Causing mayhem and misting Mantis yet again, he assisted Kobald in landing a Demon's Toilet on the previously injured leg of Frightmare.
The final evening of King of Trios would not be an easy one for the Spectral Envoy. To reach the finals they would have to defeat F.I.S.T, the most dangerous trio. Without any interference from Ophidian or the Batiri, the Envoy triumphed over F.I.S.T in one of the best matches of the tournament. With this victory, the finals were set, the Envoy would face off against the outsiders from ROH. Team ROH had been cocky throughout the tournament, but a match with Team Sendai Girls had snapped them back into reality. The Envoy employed the same moves that had brought them victory all tournament. Unfortunately, they had two things against them: the meddling Batiri and a distracting Maria Kanellis. The Batiri were the first to interfere. What the Batiri could not know was that Crossbones, always faithful friend to Ultramantis was in the building. Tossing Delirious off the entrance ramp into a ring post, he set up Ultramantis to dispatch with the rest, landing one of the Jackson brothers outside the ring with a superplex. Using the Chikara Special, Hallowicked secured the victory for the Envoy. It took ten years, but Ultramantis Black final had won a major title in Chikara.
Back in the title race, and hot off their victory as King of Trios, Ultramantis Black and Hallowicked had attained three points for the second time in a year. In Chicago, they were brought face to face with the Young Bucks who they had defeated two months ago in the finals of King of Trios. Matt and Nick had not forgotten their bitter defeat at the hands of the Envoy, and intended to keep their belts. They would do so, but not by their own skill and ring knowledge. Again, Delirious would cost Ultramantis his title belts. This time it was indirect, as he sent his general Ophidian to lead his Batiri against the Envoy.The celebration was short lived however as on the very next show, Deep Freeze in Chikara's Piedmont, Alabama debut, Frightmare was again put on the shelf with injury at the hands...or behind rather...of Kobald, courtesy of a crushing Demon's Toilet. For the second time in three shows, the goblin's finishing maneuver was the chosen weapon in trying to eliminate Frightmare from the war between the Envoy and Delirious' Army. Frightmare was out of action for over a month returning to fight for Team CHIKARA at The Cibernetico Rises.
Blows had been suffered by both contingents, so their feud was set be settled on IPPV at the season finale Under the Hood. The Dark Army stood as five; Delirious, Ophidian, Kodama, Obariyon and Kobald. If the Envoy were to compete, they would need to dig into their reserves. Coming to their aid were Crossbones and his opponent form the very first Chikara show, Blind Rage. With five apiece, the teams were ready, and the battle field awaited. In the Match of the Night, the Batiri and Envoy clashed like monolithic titans. Punches were thrown, and moves not seen in years were utilized in an attempt to win. One by one, both teams lost members outside the ring, leaving Delirious and Ultramantis to wage their war uninterrupted. In their first major battle, Ultramantis would drop Delirious with his powerful Cosmic Doom for the victory. As the saying goes, Mantis had won the battle, but has he won the war?
2012 will stand as a amazing year of the Spectral Envoy. Winners of King of Trios, and two title opportunities leaves them the most successful team of 2012. Next time in the Dark Match I will be covering the Batiri, and their year that was 2012. As always, tell your friends about the Dark Match, and give me a follow on twitter @MurrayDarkMatch. Until next time, I hope you are all making good on those New Years Resolutions!