This year, the regular factions of Chikara were rearranged due to the Challenge of the Immortals tournament. Instead of most of Chikara's regular trios, the teams are based around the COTI teams, which leads to break ups of long running groups like The Osirian Portal and The Colony. I'll run down all the teams as I look at their first round tournament matches.
- The United Nations vs. Team Attack!: Juan Francisco de Coronado's faction consists of Mr. Azerbaijan and the Proletariat Bear of Moldova, two strange international wrestlers on the Chikara roster, both with still mysterious pasts. They take on another international unit in the form of Mark Andrews, Pete Dunne and Morgan Webster. TNA's Andrews worked the BOLA last week and has worked with Dunne at Chikara events before. Webster is new to the promotion so could be a wildcard here. I suspect the homegrown UN team to take the win, freeing up Andrews, Dunne & Webster for the Rey de Voladores mini-tournament and the tag gauntlet on Night Two and Three.
- BDK vs. Fight Club Pro: Jakob Hammermeier's reunited Bruderschaft has been dominant thanks to Soldier Ant's involvement, but this might be close to the end for Soldier Ant's run with the promotion. Fight Club Pro is another British unit, consisting of Daniel Maloney (standing in for an injured MK McKinnan, a former Young Lions Cup competitor) and the tag team of Trent Seven and Tyler Bate. Seven has worked Chikara and CZW in the past, but this is their first time in the tournament. Again the UK team makes a lot of sense for the Voladores and tag tournaments, so I see the BDK moving on here.
- Crown & Court vs. The Arcane Horde: I love Princess Kimberlee's unit with Los Ice Creams, but the Ultramantis Black assembled team of Oleg the Usurper and The Batiri look very strong. I suspect a meeting between the Arcade Horde and the Devastation Corporation at KOT, if only to finally determine where Oleg stands with his running mates in the Wrecking Crew.
- Devastation Corporation vs. The BWO: Last year's King of Trios winners are the only winning team still united in this year's event, which gives them a strong chance of continuing. But the classic team of Big Stevie Cool, Da Blue Guy and Hollywood Nova definitely come to the tournament with a fun bit of momentum as the long time vets. I suspect the Corporation gets upset at some point in the tournament (though maybe not until the finals), but I have doubts the comedy team will do so. But having the BWO back should be tons of fun.
- Battleborn vs. Dasher's Dugout: I'm still not sure what to make of Kevin Condron and his unit of Missile Assault Man and Lucas Calhoun, but I don't see them going deep against last year's Golden Trio: Dasher Hatfield, Mark Angelosetti and Icarus. That team went to the finals last year and seem like a strong contender again this year, where a rematch of their battle with the Devastation Corporation seems like a very solid bet.
- Battle Hive vs. Bullet Club: The Chikara regulars often do really well in KOT, but the team of Amasis, Fire Ant and Worker Ant have me questioning that when they go up against the huge team of AJ Styles and the Young Bucks. It's possible that Styles and the Bucks move into Rey de Voladores and Tag Team Gauntlet action, but I suspect they will at least make it to the second round to take on Dasher's Dugout, giving that team a huge win in the tournament.
- Nightmare Warriors vs. The Snake Pit: I love the team of Ophidian, Shynron and Eddie Kingston, but they have little chance in my mind against Chikara Grand Champion Hallowicked's team of Frightmare and Silver Ant unless the Colony member completely turns on his nefarious stablemates, something that doesn't make sense to me yet. This could prove to be the big upset of Night One thought with Kingston delivering a sharp end to Hallowicked's run here.
- The Gentlemen's Club vs. Team AAA: Chuck Taylor, Drew Gulak and the Swamp Monster are a great team, but they're also not deep players usually. With Gulak and Taylor both rumored to be WWE-bound, I suspect the awesome team of Lucha Underground regulars Fenix, Aero Star and Drago will move on to a second round match-up, barring plans for all of them in the Rey de Voladores the next night.
That's the full line up for Friday night in Easton, but the action will continue on Saturday and Sunday with the next rounds, the full Rey de Voladores tournament, a Young Lions Cup defense and the always entertaining tag team gauntlet. This should be a great time for anyone in Easton over the weekend.