NOTE: This interview was conducted by me for EGW, but to share this with all of you, I’ve decided to post it here too.
Mike Quackenbush took some time out to answer a few of my questions.
For those who don’t know, Mike Quackenbush is a pro wrestler, author and founder of the CHIKARA Wrestle Factory. He is dubbed as the patriarch of CHIKARA, and for his great work in the independent circuit. He has written seven books, which is a great feat by itself. He has held approximately 30 titles and is considered one of the most creative minds in this business.
Here is the interview:
SiD: First off, thanks for conducting this interview with EGW. My first question to you is, how did you get the idea to open up the CHIKARA Wrestle Factory?
Mike Quackenbush: My partner and friend Reckless Youth and I had spent several years traveling all over the United States, and we felt like there was no one place training people in all the various styles of wrestling. We wanted to change that, and so we formed the Wrestle Factory in 2002.
SiD: Did your family members support the idea of you becoming a pro wrestler?
Mike Quackenbush: Not one bit.
SiD: Who is your idol? And which matc do you think is the best match ever?
Mike Quackenbush: My wrestling idols include Jushin Liger, Manami Toyota, Owen Hart, Satoru Sayama, the 1-2-3 Kid, Dean Malenko and Johnny Saint. The best match ever took place on 10 October 1996 at Sumo Hall as part of Michinoku Pro’s “These Days” event. It was Super Delfin/Gran Hamada/Gran Naniwa/Tiger Mask IV/Masato Yakushiji vs. Dick Togo/Shiryu/Men’s Teioh/TAKA Michinoku/Shoichi Funaki.
SiD: You’ve held 30 championships approximately, and that’s a big achievement. What, in your opinion, separates you from the rest of the pack?
Mike Quackenbush: Diversity. I pride myself in being able to wrestle any style against any opponent.
SiD: How do you think that CHIKARA is different from other promotions?
Mike Quackenbush: CHIKARA is fun, first and foremost. That’s what makes us stand out from the pack. That might be hard to qualify further, but if you watch just one of our events, you’ll understand.
SiD: Most of CHIKARA’s DVD’s have a comic touch, could you tell up why?
Mike Quackenbush: We have a heavy-handed comic book influence over top of everything we do, including the art you mentioned.
SiD: What was your MOST memorable moment in life?
Mike Quackenbush: In life? That’s a hard question. In my wrestling career, there have been many. Wrestling my idols – Liger, Saint, Guerrero, etc. – those memories will stay with me forever.
SiD: Who, according to you, stands out of the pack at CHIKARA?
Mike Quackenbush: I don’t know that any one person stands out more than another. We are very much a team. The brand stands out more than anything.
SiD: Would you like to give any advice to the young wrestlers trying to make a name for themselves?
Mike Quackenbush: I get asked this in pretty much every interview I ever give. Let me say this. I have never had a major league contract. Never had a major run on TV, never filled giant arenas, never made millions of dollars. But I am content with what I’ve done. Never discount the value of each tiny victory.
SiD: How would you describe your stint in ROH?
Mike Quackenbush: I would describe it as “brief” and “somewhat unremarkable.”
SiD: How many years do you have left in yourself before you hang up the boots?
Mike Quackenbush:My mother asks me that same thing every Christmas (I admit, I laughed at this one).
SiD: If you had the option of choosing your opponent for your final match; who would it be?
Mike Quackenbush: That would be very hard to choose. Probably Claudio Castagnoli.
SiD: And finally, do you have any last words for your fans?
Mike Quackenbush: Thank you for supporting me, and CHIKARA, and the belief that there is more to pro-wrestling than the monotonous stuff that gets churned out on cable TV for all those unwatchable hours every week. We could not do what we do without you. Thank you.
Please visit CHIKARA’s official website (chikarapro.org) and watch amazing videos at CHIKARA’s YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/chikaraoffice). Follow Mike Quackenbush on Twitter @MikeQuackenbush.