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paul sosnowski

The End Of CHIKARA

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I have a lot of fond memories of going to Chikara shows from around 2007-2013.   This is sad what has happened to this company and what the people in charge may have done behind the scenes.   Anybody else want to talk about this?

 

From the Wrestling Observer Website

 

Following accusations including both inappropriate language and misconduct with students that emerged due to the #SpeakingOut movement, Chikara founder Mike Quackenbush announced on Wednesday he is shutting down the company and resigning as head trainer of Philadelphia's Wrestle Factory.

The statement read:

“I have been made aware of recent allegations about myself, and people in my employ. I take all allegations seriously – whether they are about me, or members of my team. Addressing these with openness and transparency is of the utmost importance to me. So these matters can be given the proper time and attention, I am discontinuing CHIKARA and resigning as head trainer at the Wrestle Factory. I’ll make a full statement on these matters in the near future.”

Quackenbush (Mike Spillane) has also been a regular guest trainer at the WWE Performance Center. 

The news follows several wrestlers announcing they were leaving the company including Hallowicked, Kimber Lee, and Dasher Hatfield. Chikara had been in operation since 2002 following Quackenbush and Reckless Youth (Thomas Carter) opening the Wrestle Factory school.

Last Friday, Chikara announced that wrestler Kobald (Anthony Wilson) was done with the company after claims from several women that he was both physically and verbally abusive

 

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It makes me sad. They were the promotion that brought me back to wrestling after the Benoit murders. They never quite found their groove post shutdown. 

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Yes I would agree with that.  I started going around November 2007.  I went to a few shows post-shutdown, but for me the company died on June 2, 2013.  Any connections I had were gone after that disaster.

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This really makes you wonder about that shutdown. I remember there was a huge rumor at the time that it was done because Quack's wife caught him sleeping with Saturyne and pulled the funding for the company.

I was also a huge fan of the company, jumping on around 2008 and buying pretty much all of the shows until the shutdown. After that I have kept up, but only made it a point to catch Trios and the Cibernetico shows.

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I enjoyed all the Chikara shows I went to or viewed on DVD, but I never really connected with the comic book/"it's all fun" style of presentation.  I guess you could say I "used" the company to go see Japanese workers and indy darlings live but I never cared a whole lot for most of the homegrown Chikara characters.  There were guys like Frightmare & Hallowicked who should have been much bigger deals elsewhere.  I also never understood that "closed society" mindset of the promotion where no one was really allowed to work elsewhere without permission and how the company thought they were exempt from hardcore fans trying to break thru their kayfabe by trying to figure out who guys under masks were.  Their legion of fans online acted as if you were trying to steal someone's identity for profit or something trying to figure out who was who and where else they may have worked.

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I wonder if the wrestlers will be allowed to keep their gimmicks,  or have to basically start over from scratch building their name back up.

 

Also it seems like there were stories about Quack forever varying from the usual asshole promoter stories to ones that seemed to suggest that maybe he was probably a d-bag in real life. 

FWIW, the worst I thought was that he was a serial adulterer....as in between consenting adults and not someone pressured into a relationship due to the balance of power.  

 

As far as the company itself, it seems like it ended for all intents and purposes when they did the shutdown angle. Their comeback seemed to me like the post 1993 version of the NWA, it just wasn't the same to me at least.

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Mike owns the copyright to all of the gimmicks. When Filsinger Games was doing Chikara cards any character in the history of the promotion was open to them because of this. 

Now if they all just use their gimmicks I doubt Mike can go after all of them. 

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Just to add. I believe he owns the copyright to Jervis Cottonbelly and hasn't really prevented the use of it elsewhere. The only time he stepped in and did stuff was when Kaiju were trying to say they had rights to the gimmick. 

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I was a big Chikara fan back in 03-06 or so, bought several of their DVDs.  I enjoyed the silly characters mixed with a few more serious ones, the style of mat wrestling mixed with lucha, and the intimate feel to their shows.  This was a time period I was the most interested in indies I've ever been, early 20's with a lot of free time and disposable income, and WWE and TNA weren't lighting the world on fire.  Chikara, ROH, JAPW, CZW, IWA-MS and early PWG helped fill that void, as they all had something unique to offer.

Really fell off following them in the later part of that decade.  The whole shutdown and re-boot I sort of followed from afar and it seemed like a total cluster. 

I don't know enough about the allegations or the people involved to really comment.  Sad if this is really the end.

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Claudio’s run was legendary. King’s title chase and win is a treasure. King of Trios was the most consistent annual independent show for a few years there. The comic book gimmicks were a breath of fresh air in the era of handshakes and workrate. Maybe not a top tier indie promotion, but it paved the way for the entire modern scene in a lot of ways. I never got back into it after the break and there was never much of an emotional attachment to begin with. The concept of wrestling being “fun” will live on with more aware promotions like F1RST and many many others. 

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I cried when Manami Toyota came out to the ring in Baltimore on September 18, 2010.

I got so nervous I had a minor panic attack when Aja Kong walked past me in Philly before the show on December 3, 2011.

Chikara was a very emotional experience at times, mostly all good ones

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19 minutes ago, paul sosnowski said:

I cried when Manami Toyota came out to the ring in Baltimore on September 18, 2010.

I was at that show.

Chikara guys had been showing up at the local indy shows, and they were clearly a cut above. The Osirian Portal in particular got over like crazy. I was thrilled when we got a full-fledged Chikara show at the Du Burns, and I had a blast, but they never came back.

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