With the company in a massive upheaval, Wink Vavasseur opened up season twelve with even more changes. Vavasseur’s first edict was that all future matches for Eddie Kingston would be for the championship belt (drawing the ire of Kingston). Also, Marchie Archie would be reinstated leading to a confrontation with “Mr. Touchdown” Mark Angelosetti as Peck came out on top (while a returning Sapphire, in a wheelchair and wearing a neckbrace, cheered him on). The following month, Vavasseur introduced the action figure inspired Colony Xtreme Force with Arctic Rescue Ant, Missile Assault Ant, and Orbit Adventure Ant. While assailANT actually started to gel with the Colony, Soldier Ant could not stand his time in the Swarm. As a compromise, Soldier Ant was placed in charge of Xtreme Force only its members wouldn’t listen to him and started a feud with the Colony. Later, Vavasseur stripped the Colony of their King of Trios 2011 win and awarded their medals to Xtreme Force. That same night, Xtreme Force unmasked Frightmare and Soldier Ant quit the company.
While Wink Vavasseur was forcing Chikara to implode, something strange was going on. A series of promotions began to emerge beginning with “Wrestling Is.” At the end of 2012 came Wrestling Is Awesome followed by Wrestling Is Respect (January 2013), Wrestling Is Art (February), Wrestling Is Heart (April), Wrestling Is Intense (May), and Wrestling is Cool (July) where all featured performers from Chikara. Strange goings on were also happening in Kaiju Big Battel. Dr. Cube had reconstructed the Eye of Tyr and took it everywhere with him in an ornate box. On one evening in early April, KBB’s Kaiju Grand Champion American Beetle took on Dr. Cube’s entire posse only for the lights to go out and a single gunshot to ring in the darkness. When the lights came back on, American Beetle and Dr. Cube laid lifeless in the ring as the championship belt and Eye of Tyr went missing. At the next KBB show, a new Dr. Cube emerged (adorned with an ugly sweater) claiming to be the original but was likely someone new under the mask. Oddly enough, if you take the new six Wrestling Is promotions’ third word’s first letter and add it to the first letter of KBB, it forms the anagram CHIKARA.
Various other storylines were weaving within Chikara. Tim Donst, following the collapse of BDK (where Donst was largely the last person trying to hold the group together), developed a new emo/depressed personality and founded the stable The Nest of Donst with Jakob Hammermeier, Steve “The Turtle” Weiner, and Veronica. Two years prior, Donst started a feud with Hallowicked to prove who was the greatest Young Lions Cup winner (which he lost). After that, he feuded with Eddie Kingston for the championship belt (which he lost). The while, the member of BDK who stuck by him in Hammermeier was developing into quite the up-and-comer. Donst, likely jealous of this, cost him the Young Lions Cup in 2012. But still, Hammermeier stayed with him. For a time, Donst and Hammermeier were aligned with Delirious but after the formerly incoherent wrestler tried to enlighten Donst on karma, Donst parted ways with him. That said, in 2013, Donst started to notice changes within Chikara likely missed by others (like Kingston’s descent from Tecnico to Rudo). What maybe nonsense, he would exclaim that Archibald Peck was a bad guy and Hammermeier wasn’t destined to win the YLC (just like Donst wasn’t destined to be grand champion). A feud ends up raging between Donst and Peck with the latter coming out ahead (Donst would go on to self-implode, his group finally abandoning him, even Hammermeier). Following this feud, Peck beats Jigsaw and asked him why he was working with someone trying to destroy Chikara. A few weeks later, Peck battled Kingston and just when he was about to win the belt, he was distracted by seeing Lance Steel, Swamp Monster, and himself in the balcony. Kingston delivered the Backfist to the Future where the lights went out and Steel, Monster, and the Pecks disappeared when the lights returned.
Arguably, the biggest event of 2013 was the redemption of Icarus. For the overwhelming majority of Icarus’ career, he was the wrestler the audience hated. Whenever he entered the ring, it was often followed by boos and negative chants (notably, “Worst in the world”). People hated his arrogance, attitude, shortcuts, cheating, and they hated his elaborate tattoo that covered the majority of his back. But, in 2012, Sugar Dunkerton joining Team F.I.S.T. helped change all of that. When Chikara returned for season twelve, Icarus confided in Dunkerton he spent the break training with his idol Marty Jannetty and learned the value of watching a team mate’s back. The change in attitude divided F.I.S.T. coming to a head when the group had a match against 3.0, Gran Akuma, and Jannetty. When Johnny Gargano gave a low blow to Jannetty, an enraged Icarus slapped him across the face and used the Chikara Special on Akuma (a submission generally only used by Tecnicos). Gargano also superkicked Dunkerton during the match and quit the group afterward (Chuck Taylor seemingly also abandoning the stable) as well as the company. The following night, Dunkerton had a match with Akuma where Icarus cheated to help his friend. Ending in a disqualification, Dunkerton quit Chikara out of frustration and disappointment. The following month, Icarus would get a title shot at Eddie Kingston for Aniversario. In a turn of fortunes, the former was now a Tecnico and latter a Rudo. Following match after match where Kingston mowed down anyone in front of him, the crowd started to chant for his opponents because the champ appeared more like a bully than a competitor. Kingston became bitter and became an even greater monster. The champ and challenger met in an epic battle where just as Icarus was about to win, Condor Security pulled both performers from the ring and the event was promptly shut down.