411 Interviews: Mike Quackenbush of Chikara
Posted by TJ Hawke on 11.08.2011
The founder of Chikara sits down with 411mania to discuss the promotion's first iPPV on November 13th where he will challenge Eddie Kingston to determine the first Chikara Grand Champion!
Chikara has their first iPPV, High Noon, which you can pre-order HERE. This show will be the season finale for Chikara's 2011 season. The card features the usual great Chikara roster along with numerous guest stars like El Generico, Colt Cabana, and the Young Bucks. The full card for the iPPV is available HERE
TJ Hawke: CHIKARA will present its first iPPV on November 13th, "High Noon." In the past, you have publicly stated your reservations of the reliability and the quality of the iPPV format. What has persuaded you that iPPV is now ready to present CHIKARA in the best possible way?
Mike Quackenbush: I think the technology has really come along in the last year. It is still not a perfect medium, but I think our fan base has demanded we get in the pool and test the water for ourselves.
TJ: In the (presumed) main event of "High Noon," you and Eddie Kingston will do battle to determine the first Grand Champion of CHIKARA. You and Kingston have been two of the biggest stars in CHIKARA, but this will be the first time you two will face each other 1v1 in CHIKARA (if I am not mistaken). What are your thoughts on this match-up? Can you give the fans any insight into what the Grand Championship will look like, or how challengers to the champion be determined in the future?
MQ: You are correct, we have never faced each other one on one before. Not at CHIKARA, not anywhere. It's more than just student vs. teacher on November 13th. It will be something very special, and the stakes could not be higher. You can see the Grand Championship title for a moment in this video:
TJ: Your battle with Eddie Kingston is the finals of the very successful "12 Large: Summit." Are you proud of the way the "12 Large: Summit" played out overall? Did you have a favorite 12 Large: Summit match of your own, and a favorite one that you were not a part of?
MQ: I always enjoy testing myself against CHIKARA's finest, and I was really proud of how my matches turned out, even my loss to Hallowicked. I think Jigsaw vs. Eddie Kingston from back in July was something incredible to behold. That was two guys just giving it their all for the fans, and for the memory of our departed friend.
TJ: In terms of the growth of CHIKARA, the promotion used to have the live events primarily in Pennsylvania. However, in the last two years, CHIKARA has been to NYC, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Connecticut, Maryland, and more. Are there plans or hopes of CHIKARA touring overseas in Europe again, or possible even Japan? How do you feel CHIKARA is doing in "not getting too big" for a small promotion, but also not being too small to be big?
MQ: This question would probably be better addressed to Wink Vavasseur our Director of Fun, but I for one would love to see CHIKARA venture back to Europe. We have loads of great fans in the U.K., Germany and beyond. It would be great to travel overseas, but that can be a costly, risky venture to be sure. As it relates to the size of our organization, I think we cast a larger shadow than some suspect we should. We just have to be careful that more predatory groups don't regard us as a threat - and we're not. We're fun and friendly. Don't mind us over here.
TJ: For this section of the interview Mike, I was hoping you could give the readers some thoughts on some of the prominent matches in your CHIKARA career:
The Renaissance Dawns 2002: Mike Quackenbush, Reckless Youth, & Don Montoya vs. CM Punk, Chris Hero, & Colt Cabana
MQ: I remember it was very, very hot in that little garage in Allentown that day. We couldn't open the back door because kids from the neighborhood kept sneaking in to watch the matches without buying a ticket. If you look back at that footage, it is very much the picture of a "humble beginning."
Aniversio 2007: Mike Quackenbush vs. Chris Hero
MQ: I've been headbutted by a lot of people over the years. The only person to ever headbutt me as hard as El Hijo del Santo was Chris. He's either got a metal coating over his skull, or a lot of dead brain neurons rolling around up there.
Reality is Relative 2010: Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw vs. Claudio Castagnoli & Ares for the CCdP
MQ: This was very special for me, because I remember the awful feeling I had back at the TWGP 2006, watching from Commentation Station as those belts were awarded to Hero and Castagnoli. It took almost five years for me to find the right partner and capture the titles for myself, and it was especially fitting that Castagnoli was in the match where it happened.
King of Trios 2011: Mike Quackenbush, Jigsaw, & Manami Toyota vs. Greast Sasuke, Dick Togo, & Jinsei Shinzaki
MQ: A once-in-a-lifetime encounter. As surreal as any match I've ever been part of.
Chikarasaurus Rex 2011: Mike Quackenbush & Johnny Saint vs. Johnny Kidd & Colt Cabana
MQ: Another rare thing. Johnny Kidd was the architect of this match - he had asked for it. We were all too happy to host it at CHIKARA.
TJ: Mike, fans of the WWE and/or TNA product have been increasingly frustrated with the mainstream products. What does CHIKARA have to offer to pro-wrestling fans that have grown tired of the products in TNA or WWE?
MQ: At CHIKARA, we believe wrestling should be fun. It should be something you can enjoy with your whole family. We believe it should never insult your intelligence. We want to give you colorful, fun characters in a narrative that you can invest yourself in, with cutting edge in-ring mechanics the likes of which you'll never see from the big leagues. We are changing pro-wrestling one fan at a time, and expanding what can be accomplished with our art form.
TJ: Thank you so much Mike for taking the time to do the interview Mike. Is there anything else you want to plug while you are here (Facebook, Twitter, merch, how to be booked, etc)?
MQ: Please check out our iPPV this Sunday at 4 pm Eastern, and keep up with all my podcasts via GrizzlyProductions.TV . Last but not least, we are running a special promotional giveaway for just a few more days - YOU could win tickets to CHIKARA for life! Enter for free here
One last time, you can order Chikara's first iPPV HERE
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Be sure to check out some of my past 411 Interviews