Wrestling is often compared to other forms and methods of art and entertainment, from popular culture, like sitcoms to sophisticated culture, like ballet. So why not compare it to Ancient Greek Theater? Today, ancient works seem dry and boring; however, in Ancient Greece, it was quite different, as their plays were a popular and enjoyable type of entertainment. They were also religious in nature and the stories examined the human condition.
There are three types of Ancient Greek plays – comedic, satyr, and tragic, which is our focus here. In tragedies, protagonist, the hero, is a man of importance and status who experiences some misfortune, usually caused by his own actions and behaviors. The hero’s suffering is attributed to a flaw in his character, most commonly hubris (excessive pride) or an inability to cope with the consequences of his mistakes. Tragedies often involve destiny, as the hero can’t prevent making the mistake that begins his misery, even if he tries. The aftermath of the hero’s mistake and it effect on everyone around him is also told. Most tragic plays end with the hero in pain and misery, but there are some that have happier endings.
To me, Ultramantis always seems to play the tragic hero. For example, consider his participation in the feud with Delirious. First, Mantis is not only the central character, but he is also vitally important to Chikara as one of the elder members of the roster and former leader of the Neo Solar Temple and current leader of The Spectral Envoy. Second, Mantis is the one who makes two tragic mistakes, which sets the feud in motion. The first occurred the moment he decided to obtain the Eye of Tyr back in 2008. He did this by discovering how to apply The Chikara Special and teaching it to Chris Hero, in exchange for him wrestling for Dr. Cube in Kaiju Big Battel. In return, Dr. Cube gave him the Eye. The second was using the Eye to control Delirious. He could have used it on anyone, but he chooses Delirious for two reasons. One, The Temple needed a third member. Second, breaking up Incoherence was revenge on Hallowicked, who at the time was his former partner.
There are two caveats that come with using the Eye. If the user gains it by underhanded methods, like Mantis did, bad luck and tragedy will befall them. Also, those things will occur if the person who uses it does not give it away afterwards. Mantis decided he didn’t believe in the curse and did both. He was smart enough to get the Eye, but foolish enough to ignore the dangers and consequences. This is Mantis’ flaw and it’s hubris. Mantis’ stubbornness and over confidence in his own deviousness and cunningness made him feel invincible, as if he was beyond suffering the ramifications of his actions. He was wrong and he wasn’t the only one to suffer because of it.
While Mantis realized the error of his ways and turned technico, but it was too late as the events had been set in motion already. Bringing the Eye to Chikara led to the BDK’s formation and invasion. Ares claimed that it has been stolen from his family and one goal of The Bruderschaft was to get it back. When they did, they used it to gain control over Delirious and turned him into the BDK’s pet and weapon. It’s not directly Mantis’ fault, but it wouldn’t have happened if Eye wasn’t in Chikara. Mantis did make it his mission to fight the BDK; but even then, those efforts brought more bad luck, as it unleashed The Dark Army, The Batiri. He won the Eye back from Ares at High Noon. However when he destroyed it to give Delirious back his free will, he released a very angry man who “remembers everything.” Delirious has vowed to make him suffer for two years for the abuse he suffered under both Mantis and the BDK’s control.
While The Spectral Envoy was able to win King of Trios, they have had to fight the Delirious’ army of The Batiri and Ophidian (Interestingly, it was Mantis’ staff that was The Catalyst for his transformation into The Serpent Spirit.) In addition, he’s been to war, almost de-masked, injured bad enough to miss the beginning of this Season, and we haven’t gotten to 2014 yet. There’s still plenty of time for Delirious to gain more revenge against Mantis and make our tragic hero suffer further. Or maybe he will be lucky and get his happy ending by finally defeating Delirious and his army.