AS I SEE IT 2/25: CHIKARA presents a weekend for all wrestling fans

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

This coming weekend will feature the CHIKARA King of Trios 2008 tournament. Wrestlers from all across the US, as far away as Hawaii, as well as from Canada and Europe have already been confirmed for tournament action this year.

The CHIKARA King of Trios 2008 tournament starts Friday night, February 29th, and continues on both Saturday, March 1st, and Sunday afternoon, March 2nd. Half of the participating teams will wrestle on Night 1, the other half on Night 2, and the winners clashing on Night 3. All three days of the tournament will be hosted at the New Alhambra (the former ECW Arena) in South Philadelphia, and will feature:

Participants/Night One

Team El Dorado (Mototsugu Shimizu/Go/Michael Nakazawa vs. The Colony (Fire Ant/Soldier Ant/Worker Ant)

Dr. Keith Presents Brodie Lee/Jimmy Olsen/? vs. Team WTF? (Cheech/Cloudy/Dragon Gate's m.c. KZ)

Las Chivas Rayadas (Chiva II/Chiva III/Chiva IV) vs. ROH Grads (Shane Hagadorn/Alex Payne/Rhett Titus)

The Order of the Neo Solar Temple (UltraMantis Black/Hydra/Crossbones) vs. Kaiju's Sea Amigos (D.W. Cycloptopuss III/Unibouzo/Call-Me-Kevin)

The Naptown Dragons (Drake Younger/Dustin Lee/ Scotty Vortekz) vs. Team IPW:UK (Martin Stone/The Kartel: Sha Samuels and Terry Frazier)

Team Egypt (Ophidian/Mecha Mummy/Amasis, The Funky Pharoah) vs. Mike Quackenbush/Shane Storm/Jorge 'Skayde' Rivera

Participants/Night Two

Sweet n' Sour, Inc. (Tank Toland/Bobby Dempsey/Sara Del Rey) vs. F.I.S.T. (Gran Akuma/Chuck Taylor/Icarus)

Team IWS (El Generico and Super Smash Bros.) vs. Team F1rst Wrestling (Arik Cannon and The North Star Express)

The Fabulous Three (Mitch Ryde/Larry Sweeney/Shayne Hawke) vs.Tim Donst/Drew Gulak/Andy Sumner

Los Ice Creams and a partner to be chosen at random vs. Los Luchadores de Mexico (Lince Dorado/El Pantera/Incognito)

The Soul Touchaz (Acid Jaz, Willie Richardson, and Marshe Rockett with C-Red) vs. Team BSE (Super Xtremo, Kobra Kai, and La Sombra Canadienese)

The Southern Saints (Shawn Reed, Marcus O'Neil, and Reno Diamond) vs. Team Japan (KUDO, MIYAWAKI, SUSUMU)

Receiving byes into second round

  • The Golden Trio (Incoherence, and Helios)
  • The BLK Out (Eddie Kingston, Ruckus, and Joker)
  • Team WWF (Demolition Ax, Demolition Smash, and One Man Gang)
  • Team AZW (AkuA and The Immortals)


    Tickets are available online at the CHIKARA US online store, CHIKARA international online store, or at CHIKARA events.

    Saturday afternoon fan conclave

    Saturday afternoon will feature a fan conclave, with tickets for the Fan Conclave are $5.00 each, and ONLY be sold at the door for the Conclave.

    The event consists of separate autograph sessions with the Technicos and Rudos, a 30 minute Q&A session, and an opportunity to play Fire Pro R with the "CHIKARA company Playstation" hooked to the Arenatron.


    Directions from I-95 north (New York/New England/Central New Jersey)
    - Take 95 South to Exit 19 (Front Street exit)
    - Make left at light (Front Street)
    - Go to next light (Oregon Avenue) make right
    - Go under 95 underpass and make first left (Swanson Street)
    - Follow Swanson St. 3 blocks to Ritner St.
    - Make left at Ritner & New Alhambra is on the corner

    Directions from I-95 south (Delaware/Maryland)
    - Take I-95 North to Exit 20 (Washington Avenue)
    - Make right at light (Columbus Boulevard) (Staples is on the right side)
    - Stay on Columbus to fourthh light which is Snyder Avenue and make right (Bank of America is on corner)
    - Go to second stop sign (Swanson Street) and make left (Boston Market on corner)
    - Take Swanson Street south 3 blocks to Ritner Street
    - New Alhambra is on the corner of Ritner and Swanson

    Directions via I-76 east (Schuykill Expressway)
    - Take last exit (before Walt Whitman Bridge) exit to Packer Avenue
    - At light make left (Holiday Inn across the street)
    - Take Packer Avenue to end and at light (Front Street) make left
    - Go to second light (Oregon Avenue) and make right
    - Go under I-95 underpass and make first left (Swanson Street)
    - Follow Swanson Street 3 blocks to Ritner Street
    - Make left at Ritner Street
    - New Alhambra is on the corner


    Tickets are available online at the CHIKARA US online store, CHIKARA international online store, or at CHIKARA events.

    Travel/hotel information

    Airport: If you are flying to Philadelphia for King of Trios, the airport closest to the Arena is Philadelphia International Airport, which services all major North American and European airlines.

    Hotel: For those coming to the area for King of Trios weekend in need of a place to stay, we recommend the Philadelphia Airport Marriott. The hotel is connected directly to the Philadelphia International Airport, and is located just over 10 miles from the ECW Arena/New Alhambra, which makes for a short cab ride to and from King of Trios. You can call 1-800-682-4087 to make reservations and book your room. You may be able to find discounted room rates through online websites, but Marriott locations near airports rarely show much deviation from the established prices. The second floor of the hotel connects directly to Terminal B of the airport, so you do not need transportation to get there.

    Transportation: As stated above, the Philadelphia Airport Marriott is located just over 10 miles from the ECW Arena, accessible via a short cab ride. You will be able to arrange a rental car, or have the Marriott front desk call you a taxi cab.

    If you are staying elsewhere, call any one of the companies on this list to get a lift to the ECW (New Alhambra) Arena. Remember, the Arena is at the corner of Swanson and Ritner in South Philadelphia. For the purposes of some cab drivers who may not be familiar with the corner (see map above), you may wish to tell them to look for the Forman Mills store (a block from the ECW Arena), painted yellow on the outside. The Arena is just down Swanson Street, walking toward Oregon Avenue and away from Snyder Avenue.

    For those choosing public transportation, Philadelphia's SEPTA has bus and subway service that will take you to the ECW Arena.

    Anyone staying in center city Philadelphia, or points north, can get to the Arena using the Broad Street Subway (exit at Snyder Avenue Station). You will need to come to street level, buy a transfer, and take the 79 bus eastbound to Front Street. From there, take a RIGHT, and walk down to Swanson Street. Take a LEFT and walk one block, just past the I-95 viaduct; as seen on this map (Adobe Acrobat required).

    You can also take the Broad Street Subway to the Oregon Avenue stop. You will need to come to street level, buy a transfer, and take the G bus eastbound to Front Street. From there, take a LEFT, and walk down to Swanson Street. Take a RIGHT and walk one block, just past the I-95 viaduct; as seen on this map (Adobe Acrobat required).

    Parking: The New Alhambra has a fenced-in parking lot behind the facility. You can park there free of charge, but you will not be able to enter through the rear of the building. There is also parking around front where the main entrance and the blowing garbage is typically found.

    As Philadelphia is rather liberal about where people can park, don't hesitate to get creative, but we're not paying if you get a ticket. Besides, the lot around back can hold almost 200 cars, so you're better off back there.

    Admission: CHIKARA tends to open the doors to the general public about 30 minutes prior to belltime. For events like this, you can expect to see a line forming even before that, even in the worst weather. Those holding an official CHIKARMY membership card will be allowed in 15 minutes prior to the "official" opening of the doors. It will be possible to buy tickets at the door the day of the event(s), at no extra charge.

    Food: The Arena has a concession stand open during the shows with basic food and drink items, including pulled pork sandwiches, pretzels, soda, water, beer, and muffins.

    Other restaurants within a short walk for pre-show and post-show meals include the Oregon Diner, Tony Luke's cheesesteak stand (and the Tony Luke's Beef and Beer sports bar across the street), as well as McDonald's, KFC, and Dunkin Donuts are located about 3 blocks away from the Arena on Oregon Avenue.

    Slightly farther away on 330 West Oregon Avenue is the Empire Buffet with many Chinese, seafood (and some American) items [EDITOR'S NOTE: my personal favorite for pre-ECW Arena dinner]. There are neighborhood bars, including Nickel's Tavern, a favorite for some wrestling fans, inbetween the Empire Buffet and the Arena.

    2 blocks NORTH of the Arena on Snyder Avenue are several restaurants, including John's Roast Pork (reported as the best pork sandwich in Philadelphia), a Boston Market, and City Pizza.

    To conclude and yes, repeat for the third time: if you're an independent wrestling fan, you need to find a way to get here this weekend.

    Many of you send e-mails to me and post hundreds of messages on message boards bitching about Vince McMahon/WWE or Dixie Carter/TNA. Well, if you want an alternative to WWE or TNA, its time to put your time and your money where your mouth is. If you don't, more independent promotions will go the way of IWA Deep South...yes, even your favorite ones.

    Even Ring of Honor has had to make cutbacks in talent fly-ins for the coming year. If that fact doesn't drive home the point that independent wrestling has GOT to be supported, I don't know what will.

    When you have the opportunity, to go and see a weekend like King of Trios, get your ass in a car, your friend's car (and if necessary, beg or nag your friend to go) or carpool with someone you don't know except for a message board (CHIKARA's message board to asking around during the next four days is at

    If you've saved a few bucks and live a distance, fly in (Southwest Airlines and other low-cost airlines fly to Philadelphia), take a Greyhound bus (or if you live in the New York area, take one of the so-called "Chinatown buses" that run $12-15 one way to Philadelphia), ride a bicycle, or use whatever means you have to, in order to get to the ECW/New Alhambra Arena on February 29.


    Don't tell me "you're busy" this weekend. Don't tell me CHIKARA's "not your type of promotion". If you don't come to one or more shows at a weekend like this and make this King of Trios tournament profitable for CHIKARA, such a weekend won't happen again.

    Then you'll be stuck watching little more than Great Khali stumbling around a WWE ring for no other reason than he's well, big... or watching Shark Boy playing Stone Cold Steve Austin.


    Until next time...

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    If you have comments or questions, if you'd like to add the AS I SEE IT column to your website or for advertising requests, I can be reached by e-mail at Bob Magee.


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