Palmer Center (Easton, Pennsylvania)
Chikara has a knack for getting a lot out of what appear on surface to be one-note gimmicks.
While Adam Rose is sputtering out of the gate over in WWE, Chikara has gotten years of service out of similarly one dimensional gimmicks such as wrestling ants; an old timey baseball player; a cotton-bellied, top hat wearing, English accented masked wrestler known as “the world’s sweetest wrestler”; and of course, a pair of wrestling ice cream cones. The promotion certainly knows how to get a lot of return out of seemingly very little.
Enter “Smooth Sailing” Ashley Remington.
Making his Chikara debut in this match, Remington strolls to the ring wearing a sailing captain’s hat to the accompaniment of a low key, easy listening number. He is joined by two decidedly classy-looking ladies who walk arm and arm with him to ringside. The announcers gush over Remington’s grace and charm. He spent four hours introducing himself to everyone in the back and held the door for all who entered the building, they say. Early in the match Remington backs Taylor into the corner. Acting on instincts, the referee aggressively starts the mandatory five-count to break the hold, no doubt assuming that Remington will take the full five seconds as most wrestlers do. Instead, Remington lets go of Taylor immediately and calms down the unnecessarily worked-up official.
“I break at one, my friend!” Remington proclaims to mollify the referee.
Played by wrestling disc jockey Dalton Castle, Ashley Remington is part Jervis Cottenbelly and part “The World’s Most Interesting Man”. The latter feels like the obvious inspiration for the character with the announcers in particular putting Remington over with praise that at times feels like it was taken straight from a Dos Equis commercial. Remington played the role with far more subtlety than the announcers, however, which is mainly why it worked so well.
His ring work supported the gimmick as well. The last thing you need is for your ultra-smooth, always-on wrestler to be sloppy or rigid in the ring. Remington kept things simple, complimenting his basic moves with a few smooth spots that he could hit with ease. Dalton Castle has been hit or miss, but Ashley Remington came off cool and confident, just as he should have. Taylor – who is equally hit or miss – was good here, downplaying his own large personality in favor of letting Remington shine.
Remington wins in his debut with a smooth looking (of course . . .) submission hold that was some sort of variation on Jamie Noble’s trailer hitch. Taylor is expectedly salty after losing to a newcomer. He sulks around the ring while Remington is handed something by one of his lady friends who have returned to ringside after the match. It is a wrapped fruit basket, which Remington hands to Taylor. The Kentucky Gentlemen is justifiably confused by the odd gesture at first. However, he looks at the gift, processes what the gesture meant, and suddenly an “oh shucks!” smile spreads across the often-villainous Taylor’s face.
Taylor is just another victim of “Smooth Sailing” Ashley Remington’s endless supply of charm.
One sub-10 minute match and I already want to see more of Ashley Remington. A debut – particularly one with as auspicious beginnings as this one – cannot be asked to accomplish more than that.
US Indie Singles | Worthwhile | Quality & Individual Performance (Remington)