Hustle Is Posting Right Now - King Of Trios (Round One Voting)
Sep 13, 2012 - 10:18:35 PM
"Can't stop my squad.."
Can I just say, first and foremost, before I even get into the column itself, that this was a very difficult piece to put together. As you'll see when things move along, it took me forever to start crafting the ideas here before I could even start the column officially. Nearly four days of studying and thinking took place, but I'm finally done, so I can finally move forward.
CHIKARA's King Of Trios tournament is one of the biggest and most highly anticipated indy tournaments of the year, with the company putting teams together from all over the wrestling world, bringing in international teams regularly. In today's wrestling scene, tournaments are rare enough, but a trios (six-man tag) tournament? Good luck ever seeing WWE do something like that. TNA has come close with their World X Cup tournaments, where each team had three people on it, but they weren't usually six-man tags. You'd see the team members competing in singles matches, tag matches, etc.
With this year's KoT coming up, I wanted to do a KoT-based column. I thought about doing a straight preview of the event, but that just didn't jump out at me as being "fun" enough. Then, an idea was pitched to me on Twitter. Why not just create my own version of the King Of Trios tournament?
That idea jumped out at me.
My first "rule" was that I couldn't include top-level WWE or TNA guys. That means people from way up top such as John Cena, Triple H, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton and The Undertaker, down to people like Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, and Austin Aries. It just wouldn't be fair to have the top-tier guys mixed in with some guys from small indy promotions.
My next "rule" was something that is similar to the way CHIKARA puts their trios together. Sometimes you just have to bend the rules a bit, as long as you don't bend them too far. By that, I mean that some of my trios are real teams from the past or present. Maybe they're a real stable, or guys that used to be in a stable together. Maybe they're related. However, there are other trios that are put together specifically for King Of Trios, so that's what I did here for a few teams. Those teams feature people that are either connected directly (they don't team together, but are well-known competitors for the same promotion) or indirectly (they don't team together, but have had similar gimmicks through the years that would have their team make sense). Another thing that I'm keeping similar to CHIKARA's line of thinking is the use of women. You'll often see women facing men in CHIKARA. The promotion is a family-friendly one, so the matches are often a lot of fun, and don't come across as sick and twisted domestic violence like we've seen in WWE through the years whenever men face women in matches. Therefore, there are a handful of women involved here, but not too many. I'm also going to be using some old names and/or gimmicks for some of these people, so don't be too concerned if you see someone that hasn't been called that particular name in a while.
After all of that thinking, I was actually able to come up with a full 64 teams, which is much more than I originally thought I'd be able to come up with. I'm going to put them together in a 64-team NCAA basketball tournament-style grouping. Think of it as another edition of Hustle Madness, for better or worse. I'm going to leave it up to you, my readers, to pick a winner each round, but this is obviously more challenging than just choosing your favorite wrestler from a batch of 40 Hall Of Famers and 24 future Hall Of Famers. As I said, this tournament features no huge names from the WWE or TNA rosters, and mainly focuses on names from the past and names from the indy scene. Some are deep on the indy scene, not working for promotions like Ring Of Honor. Some names are solely from Mexico and Japan, and rarely wrestle in America, if at all. Consider this a bit of a test, really. I've been wanting to include some more indy names in future Hustle Madness tournaments, but based on the average age of my readers and the general knowledge of wrestling based on feedback they've left me through the years, I wasn't sure how well those names would be accepted. This will test just that. If this tournament features nothing but the bigger "names" advancing round after round, I'll know to stick to more mainstream wrestling and wrestlers for future editions of Hustle Madness. If this tournament is relatively normal, I'll know that I can include more indy and foreign wrestling and wrestlers in future editions of Hustle Madness, depending on the subject. This is either going to go really well or really poorly. I don't think there's an in between. Fun times!
Let's get this going. I've got a lot to cover.
#1 Team Kings & Queen (Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, Sara Del Rey) VS #16 Team Beyond (Aaron Epic, JT Dunn, Mark Angel)
#8 Team Fightin' Taylor Boys (Chuck Taylor, Brian Cage-Taylor, Ryan Taylor) VS #9 Team Midwest Militia (Jessicka Havok, Allysin Kay, Sassy Stephie)
#4 Team New Hart Foundation (Tyson Kidd, David Hart Smith, Natalya) VS #13 Team Batiri (Obariyon, Kodama, Delirious)
#5 Team House Of Truth (Roderick Strong, Michael Elgin, Josh Raymond) VS #12 Team D.U.F. (Sami Callihan, Arik Cannon, Pinkie Sanchez)
#3 Team Hillbilly Wrecking Crew (Jay Briscoe, Mark Briscoe, Brodie Lee) VS #14 Team CZW (Masada, Drake Younger, DJ Hyde)
#6 Team Blackjack (Bray Wyatt, Bo Dallas, Kendall Windham) VS #11 Team Jackson (Nick Jackson, Matt Jackson, Malachi Jackson)
#7 Team Zero-1 (Steve Corino, Masato Tanaka, Shinjiro Otani) VS #10 Team Redemption (Tyler Reks, Johnny Curtis, Derrick Bateman)
#2 Team Age Of The Fall (Jimmy Jacobs, Tyler Black, Necro Butcher) VS #15 Team Tonga (Haku, The Barbarian, Donny Marlow)
There are certainly some things that stand out about this particular bracket. A very strong top seed, featuring two of the biggest "indy darlings" alive and many people's choice as the best female wrestler on the planet today. An all-female team that is actually going up against a team that isn't exactly featuring the largest and most physically intimidating men in the business. A few teams featuring brawling, hardcore-style workers, which actually dominates this bracket, style-wise. In fact, almost every match features at least one person who would bring that smash mouth style into the mix, and matches like Team Hillbilly Wrecking Crew VS Team CZW would break down into a huge brawl immediately. There are a few solid teams here, and I like how this bracket turned out overall.
#1 Team United Kingdom (William Regal, Finlay, Dave Taylor) VS #16 Team Ohio Valley (Crimson, Sam Shaw, Alex Silva)
#8 Team Swarm (combatANT, assailANT, deviANT) VS #9 Team Jimmyz (Genki Horiguchi H-A-Gee-Mee, Ryo Jimmy Saito, Jimmy Susumu)
#4 Team CHIKARA (Eddie Kingston, Mike Quackenbush, Jigsaw) VS #13 Team 3 Count (Shane Helms, Shannon Moore, Evan Karagias)
#5 Team F.I.S.T. (Johnny Gargano, Icarus, Sugar Dunkerton) VS #12 Team Embassy (Jimmy Rave, Tommaso Ciampa, Mia Yim)
#3 Team Colón (Carlito, Epico, Primo) VS #14 Team Cryme Tyme (JTG, Shad Gaspard, Slam Master J)
#6 Team Bufete del Amor (Marco Corleone, Maximo, Rush) VS #11 Team nWo (Scott Steiner, Buff Bagwell, Scott Norton)
#7 Team Canada (Eric Young, Petey Williams, Tyson Dux) VS #10 Team Extreme (Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman, Rhino)
#2 Team NOAH (KENTA, Naomichi Marufuji, Go Shiozaki) VS #15 Team M.I.A. (General Hugh G. Rection, Lt. Loco, Cpl. Cajun)
There's a bit of an international feel with this bracket, starting at the top with the technical wizardry of Team United Kingdom, and spreading to Puerto Rico with Team Colón, Canada with Team Canada, two teams from Japan, and some various names from other countries sprinkled here and there. This could very well be a top bracket to keep your eyes on, based on the way things are spread out, and the way some of these matchups unfolded. There's also a heavy WCW vibe to this bracket, with an nWo team, a Misfits In Action team, 3 Count, Marco Corleone (Mark Jindrak in his WCW days) and Team United Kingdom hanging around. That's two brackets in a row with some major similarities that I didn't purposely intend to have, but I'm glad that it happened nonetheless.
#1 Team Fortunate Sons (Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, Michael McGillicutty) VS #16 Team Juggalo (2 Tuff Tony, Jake Crist, Dave Crist)
#8 Team Nexus (Darren Young, Heath Slater, David Otunga) VS #9 Team Rottweilers (Homicide, Ricky Reyes, Rocky Romero)
#4 Team Second City (Colt Cabana, Ace Steel, Adam Pearce) VS #13 Team J.O.B. Squad (Al Snow, Hardcore Holly, Scorpio)
#5 Team Enmascarado (Sin Cara, Argenis, Volador Jr) VS #12 Team Broski (Zack Ryder, Robbie E, Robbie T)
#3 Team New Japan (Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima) VS #14 Team Ascension (Conor O'Brian, Kenneth Cameron, Raquel Diaz)
#6 Team Diamond Ring (Kensuke Sasaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Satoshi Kajiwara) VS #11 Team Ambition (Davey Richards, Tony Kozina, Kyle O'Reilly)
#7 Team Psycho Circus (Monster Clown, Psycho Clown, Murder Clown) VS #10 Team Fatu (Rikishi, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso)
#2 Team World-1 (Masato Yoshino, Naruki Doi, Ricochet) VS #15 Team Freeze (Glacier, El Hijo del Ice Cream, Ice Cream Jr)
There are two things that really stand out in this bracket, at first glance. One is a stronger WWE vibe, with three teams made up completely of WWE talent, one team that was a former stable in WWE, one team that is a family that has run wild as WWE talent for two straight generations, and two other WWE workers mixed in. The other thing is yet another strong Japanese representation, with three teams from Japan, representing New Japan, Pro Wrestling NOAH and Dragon Gate. I'm really interested to see how the votes go for Team Nexus, Team Broski, Team Ascension, and Team Ambition. I gave them some interesting pairings, and some even more interesting matchups, and really, I think this entire bracket is wide open with the directions things could go.
#1 Team International Air Boom (Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne, Justin Gabriel) VS #16 Team Soul Touchaz (Marshe Rockett, Willie Richardson, Acid Jaz)
#8 Team Spectral Envoy (UltraMantis Black, Frightmare, Hallowicked) VS #9 Team Cut A Rug (Brodus Clay, Grandmasta Sexay, Scotty 2 Hotty)
#4 Team Dudley (Bubba Dudley, D-Von Dudley, Spike Dudley) VS #13 Team Mexicools (Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis, Super Crazy)
#5 Team Dude Busters (Trent Barreta, Curt Hawkins, Caylen Croft) VS #12 Team BLKOUT (Ruckus, Joker, Rich Swann)
#3 Team Mad Blankey (Akira Tozawa, BxB Hulk, Uhaa Nation) VS #14 Team F.B.I. (Little Guido, Tony Mamaluke, Johnny The Bull)
#6 Team Secta Bizarra (Cibernetico, Billy el Malo, Dark Cuervo) VS #11 Team Michinoku Pro (Jinsei Shinzaki, Great Sasuke, Super Delfin)
#7 Team PWG (Super Dragon, Joey Ryan, Scorpio Sky) VS #10 Team Kaientai (Taka Michinoku, Dick Togo, Sho Funaki)
#2 Team Kamikaze (Shingo, YAMATO, Jon Moxley) VS #15 Team Fang (Gangrel, Kevin Thorn, Vampiro)
Another internationally heavy bracket here, with Japan being well represented yet again. What can I say? I'm a fan of the Japanese wrestling action, and I had to include some of their teams. In this bracket, Japan is represented by a mix of old and new, as the old Michinoku Pro organization is represented twice, with a team that features a name of the company itself and a team of Kaientai, the most popular Michinoku Pro wrestlers as far as America is concerned. Also involved in the bracket is a team that I'm interested to watch in the voting, as three popular WWE high-fliers are bunched together in the top seed. Sure, Kingston, Bourne and Gabriel aren't at the main event level or anything, but they're over to different degrees, and they would certainly work well in a trios situation. Team Cut A Rug was thrown together as something that is obviously more humor than anything else, but the more I think about it, the more that team just works. Yes, Rikishi danced when he was in Too Cool, but his dancing was always more of a serious thing, showing off his pop-n-lock skills as a big man. Brodus and his silly, bad dancing is a much better fit with Grandmasta Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty, in my opinion. Overall, though, this is another wide open bracket, and I see five or six teams (not necessarily the top five or six seeds) that have a good chance to come out of the bracket victorious and advance in the tournament.
With that, I turn things over to you, ReaderLand. Again, this is going to be a very interesting experiment, as I see how well my readers can accept the independent scene, as well as wrestling from other countries and from a different era. Some of you might be wondering why I didn't do a breakdown of each and every team in the tournament. Normally, I would have, but as part of the test, I chose not to this time around, in an attempt to see how much is known about these people already. This leaves things completely up to you. If you know these people already, fine. If you'd like to get to know them, the internet is a beautiful thing. Get your votes in, through all of the normal ways of leaving me column feedback, and I'll be back in a week or so with the next installment. Get busy.
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