Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Dream Team

Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw

        Gosh does it feel good to be back and writing again! Hello CHIKArmy and as always I am sorry about how long it has been since posts. It feels like it has been awhile but really it has just been awhile since I delved into the vault that was 2012 to do a story line recap. Once I get this blog finished I will start in on the Florida shows from this year. Then there will be some more space for me to go back into 2012 and continue my recaps from last year. Today I am bringing you the year that was for Mike Quackenbush and Jigsaw. These two have been with the company from the doors opening. When someone thinks of the perennial Chikara stars, Mike and Jigsaw easily come into mind. Last year was quite the turbulent time for them considering their prior status as holders of the tag belts. I have decided to pair them in the same blog because so much of what happened between these two men surrounded each other. So without further adieu lets get into it!

Mike Quackenbush

CHIKARA Debut - The Renaissance Dawns  May 25th 2002
Affiliations: Quackensaw (Jigsaw and Mike Quackenbush)
                 Black T-shirt Squad (Quackenbush, Christian York, Reckless Youth and Don Montoya)
                 Superfriends (Chris Hero and Mike Quackenbush)
                 Shane Storm and Mike Quackenbush
                 Team Frightening (Mike Quackenbush, Frightmare and Hallowicked)
                 Sweet N' Sour International (Larry Sweeney, ShareCropper, Mano Metalico, Crossbones, Rorschach,                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Claudio Castagnoli, Ultramantis Black, Hallowicked, Spyrazul, Mobius, Flex Fenom)
CHIKARA Debut - Young Lions Cup 1 2002
Affiliations: Conundrum (Jigsaw and Rorschach)
                 Toxic Trio (Jigsaw, Eddie Kingston and Jack Marciano)
                 Shanesaw (Shane Storm and Jigsaw)
                 The Future is Now (Jigsaw, Helios, Equinox and Lince Dorado)
                 Quackensaw (Mike Quackenbush and Jigsaw)

        The opening of 2012 was a split for Mike and Jigsaw. While Jig was able to best the up and coming member of the Batiri, Kobald, Mike had his hands full of a different green character. Green Ant, who has been building his reputation as a submission grappler, and Mike had a hold for hold shoot-out to begin their year. The protege proved his worth and bested the Master of a Thousand Holds debuting his own variety of the Chikara Special, the Chikara Special: Green. Post match, Mike was rather upset and it seemed as though his emotions from losing the 12 Large Summit at the season 10 finale would carry over and he might take those out on Green Ant, he did not. Instead he shook his hand and left him to bask in the submission victory. For now, all things seemed to be okay between Mike and Jig, and Quackenbush was keeping himself composed. He would need it in the months to come.

        Branching out into the world, Chikara debuted in Long Island in February for their show Caught in a Spider's Den. Mike and Jigsaw were participating in a atomicos match with Fire and Soldier Ant against the always treacherous Batiri and BDK (at least what was left of the BDK, Tim Donst and Jakob Hammermeier). During what most could see was the final stretch of the match, one likely to be won by the technicos, Green Ant came out to the ring. That was followed up by Green Ant coming to the ring? This was a strange sight to behold, until the first tore off his mask revealing himself to be another ant. His comrades rushed the ring and five new masked faces assaulted the technicos. Only the locker room rushing to the aid of Mike, Jig and the Ants saved them from this new faction. Pictures surfaced only revealing three new ants and two other characters who vaguely resembled Mike and Jigsaw. These doppelgangers would reveal themselves to be 17 and the Shard.
        On Chikara's arrival to the Great White North in Vaughan, Canada, Mike and Jig were looking for revenge on the two masked assailants who attacked them on Long Island. As the match began, it took little time for the GEKIDO members to show that it was not only their look that resembled the Chikara favourites. First Mike was the victim of his own Quackendriver 3, and then Jigsaw was blasted in the face by a super-kick. Then it happened. While seated on the mat, 17 was able to manoeuvre himself behind Mike and put him into a very painful looking submission. Torquing the arm around 17 was able to make Mike tap and, in the process, broke his wrist. It took little time for GEKIDO to show Mike and Jig that they were more than new faces, they were a new threat.
        With a broken wrist, Mike was put onto the Chikara injured list for the rest of the Spring events. However, in classy style, that never stopped him from attending the shows in support of Jigsaw and the rest of the locker room. This attentiveness would allow him opportunities to observe the new GEKIDO stable and maybe figure out who was behind their masks. With Quack out of action, Jigsaw was able to focus on his singles advancement. With no system in place for who would be in line for the Grand Championship, Jig wanted to make sure he proved his singles worth and hopefully gain a title shot. Jig was able to best both Tim Donst and Icarus with his new super-brainbuster. It should be mentioned that he was one of the few who was able to escape the devious shoelace of Donst. Between those matches, he also helped the Colony defeat the GEKIDO at Hot Off the Griddle. It was during this match that Mike was on commentary with Gavin. One of the GEKIDO threw a deep arm drag and it got his gears turning. Mike jumped up from his post and rushed away ranting that he knew who the GEKDO were. He would reveal in a blog that the Swarm was Jose and the two Franks. These three gentlemen were once Wrestle Factory trainees but dropped out because they couldn't handle the rigorous methods of the the trainers. It would appear that the GEKDIO were trying to skip to the front of the Chikara line after quitting their ranks. Soon after in a blog, the Shard would reveal that he trained with Jigsaw before Jig was recruited by Mike to the Wrestle Factory.
        May brought Chikara's anniversary events and a once in a life time opportunity for Jigsaw. His singles competitions with Donst and Icarus did not go by the sometimes drowsy eye of the Director of Fun. Jig was awarded his title opportunity on evening two in New York. First, he would stand across from Eddie in a atomicos match in Easton PA. As he did in the past, Jig was able to end the match and pin Eddie with his super-brainbuster. This was the first time in 2012 that Eddie was pinned. A strong message going into New York for their title affair. Both men gave every ounce of blood and sweat that they could. In one of Jigsaw's finest matches he fought Eddie with cunning and guile. The wrestling enigma used almost every move in his arsenal, but it just wasn't enough the best the heavy weight beast that is Eddie Kingston. Post match Eddie and Jig had a beautiful moment of respect, mending any tears in their friendship that the match may have caused.
        After those two blockbuster events, Chikara rolled into Philly for their second IPPV event. Jigsaw was billed to stand with Eddie and the Colony in a match against the GEKIDO. Prior to the festivities, the Swarm assaulted Fire Ant and injured his leg. This would mean that Jig, Eddie and the Colony would be one man short against the doppelganger squad. As things began, it would appear as though the technicos might be able to defend themselves in the odd man assault. They wouldn't need to though because Mike returned from his injury unannounced! Hitting the ring with fury, Mike hit the very man who put him out of competition with a springboard drop kick. Back from injury and without missing a beat, Mike and Jig were hitting tag offence like they hadn't been apart for a moment. After defeating the rudos, Jig, Eddie and the Colony began to make their way to the back leaving Mike and 17 in the ring. Crouching down Mike whispered something mysterious into the ear of 17 before breaking his fingers! Mike took his eye for a eye, or in this case some fingers.
        After suffering a defeat at the IPPV and losing their ring general, GEKIDO did not appear to be the dominating force that they were a few months prior. In the early summer heat, Chikara visited Syracuse and Jigsaw finally had a opportunity to face his doppelganger one on one. Like previous matches the two had, Shard attempted several times to put Jig away with his own moves. A snake can not be poisoned by his own venom however and Jigsaw was able to defeat the Shard with his high flying ability. Shard had developed a strong striking offence but Jigsaw's lucha background enabled him to best his opponent. Oddly, after the match the Shard attempted to shake the hand of Jigsaw, but he was slighted as Jig passed him over.
        July came and went with little to say for the dynamic team, but August promised to be a more intriguing month. It would seem that 17 had recovered from having his fingers broken by Quack and was ready to return to action. His first obstacle would be Jigsaw in Everett, MA. 17 wrestled a smart match and if he had chosen to stay within the Chikara rule system he might have won the match. Instead, he decided to drive his leg into the nether regions of Jigsaw and disqualify himself. A reminded that the GEKIDO aren't around to win matches but to destroy the Chikara regulars. Mike ran out to make the save but 17 had already fled. This blatant disrespect for competition heated Mike's blood and prepared him for his match against the Shard and 17 the next evening. When the bell rang in Indianapolis, nothing was going to stop Mike from taking his revenge on 17 and the Shard. The GEKIDO tried their best to cut Jigsaw off from Mike and work over his leg but it wasn't enough to secure a victory. Instead, Mike made his statement to the world. Getting 17 in the ring with him alone he drove him into the mat four times using each of his signature Quackendrivers in order. Mike didn't make any attempts to win the match though, his only intent was to cripple and end the career of 17. The referee had no choice but to disqualify Mike for using excessive force. While the crowd was heartily in the corner of Mike, Jigsaw was furious. He screamed at Mike, telling him how it wasn't necessary to destroy 17 the way he did. Since they were disqualified Mike and Jig collected no points, even though 17 was clearly left unable to continue.
        A wedge was beginning to come between Mike and Jigsaw. The once strong tag partners were no longer seeing eye to eye. Instead a rage was building in Mike, a rage that saw him leave 17 without a career. King of Trios brought Mike, Jigsaw and Manami Toyota face to face with combatANT, deviANT and Soldier Ant in round one. Victory came to the technico side after some aerial assaults from one of the best female wrestlers of all time, Toyota. After their victory, while Jig's back was turned, Mike grabbed combatANT around the neck and gave him a strong jerk. He left him laying on the mat motionless. Once Jig realized what had happened he was again furious with Mike. He reminded him that tomorrow was round two and that he needed to focus. Mike's reality was slipping and instead of winning matches, he was destroying careers. On their way out for their round 2 match up, Jig and Mike were trying to rally themselves as a team. Mike promised Jig he would stay focused. The match appeared as though the duo was working the way they had when they won the belts: efficiently with one mind. That was until Mike accidentally hit Jig was a palm strike in the corner, removing him from the match. Mike was then subject to the onslaught of the Sendai girls and was pinned. Jig wasn't there to pick him up, he had already left down the ramp.
        Despite the obvious objections from Jigsaw, Mike continued his antagonizing of the GEKIDO. He began posting blogs asking deviANT and Shard which parts of their body they wanted to have broken. Mike would have to wait until November before he and Jig could get back into the ring with Shard and deviANT. As the match started in Cleveland, it would again look like Mike and Jig were on the same page. The tag offence was coming easily and Mike looked focused on gaining a point towards tag contention. As the match wore on, Mike's concentration slipped from victory to crippling either deviANT or Shard. His need for vengeance again cost himself and Jig points. Jig was furious, he screamed at Quack that you can't gain three points with this kind of attitude. His patience had ran out for Mike.
        One of the great Chikara annual events also came in November, the Cibernetico. Though neither Mike or Jigsaw had a match on the card, what transpired there would change Chikara for the foreseeable future. After his match, the Shard was taking his frustrations with Mike out on Fire Ant trying to snap the ankle he helped injure back in June before CRex. Mike came out to make the save, but Jigsaw came out to make the save on Shard! Mike gets on the microphone and explains to Jigsaw that while they might not agree about how to treat the GEKIDO, they are being torn apart. Mike asked Jig what needed to happen to fix their relationship. The crowd wanted them to hug it out but Jig answered by super-kicking his partner! Years of tagging together ended by a foot being launched into a throat. Jigsaw was under the belief now that Shard and deviANT needed a mentor to guide them, not destroy them. Mike was finished with invaders and only wished to be done with GEKIDO, even if that meant going through his partner.
        Landing a super-kick on Mike set up a atomicos match at the season finale between Mike and the new Colony and Jigsaw and the GEKIDO. It was obvious from the the ringing of the bell that Mike was conflicted by his own actions. He didn't want to hurt Jigsaw but Jig had no such qualms. He was out to prove a point to Mike, that he too could senselessly injure his opponents. He used Mike's emotions to manipulate him while he assaulted the leg of Fire Ant. In the end GEKIDO stole a win from the technicos, but the ramifications were there. Mike and Jig had lost their friendship, but more importantly Jig had crossed over and became the new leader of GEKIDO.
        It was quite the tumultuous year for Mike and Jig. Two men who went from being partners and best friends to enemies. I could have never guessed that when the GEKIDO invaded they would tear about such a strong team. My next two blogs will cover the Florida shows from March, but after that I would like you guys to pick my next 2012 recap blog! There will be a poll at the bottom of the blog so please vote! As always, if you like my work tell your friends. Follow me on twitter @MurrayDarkMatch and always keep your passion for Chikara hot!

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