An Interview With CHIKARA's Mike Quakenbush!
1) Who was the one wrestler as a child that really got you hooked into wrestling and why?
—Personality-wise, I really liked Jake Roberts, but it was Jushin Liger that made me admire the art form.
2) When you broke into the business did so with out any real formal training. Could you tell us some of the major trial and errors you went through early on?
—Errors aplenty, to be sure. I didn’t know anything, other than what I guessed at. I didn’t know the protocols, the etiquette, any of that. The most I could do was some flying moves that I had worked on myself, and could do without really killing myself or my opponent. All the finer points – the important stuff – was lost on me.
3) One of the things I respect the most about you is the love that you have shown for the Indy circuit. Whether it was the NWA, IWA, Shimmer, I could go on but there are too many to list, do you feel that the Indy circuit as a whole is in good shape in the U.S.?
—I think the state of the Indies is largely dependent on the state of the WWE. When they are up, business is up all around. It’s an interesting time on the Indies, because tools like YouTube and such have leveled the playing field so the little guys can make just as big an impact internationally as the big guys. This is the first time in history that’s been possible.
4) After Gabe left ROH I felt that the product as a whole was missing something. While I still think it’s a good promotion, I just don’t enjoy as much as I did before. In your opinion how much did Gabe leaving affect ROH?
—It’s no different than when we elect a new president of the United States. It’s a regime change. Some people will like the new guy. Some will pine for the old guy. But the promotion marches on, just like the country does.
5) You have clearly stated your disliking for the current WWE and TNA programming. While I agree with a lot of what you have said regarding the concerns of the big two. I think sometimes you may be a little two harsh on them.
I feel that watching guys like Jericho, Mysterio, Angle and a few others make it big is a positive for the business. Would you at least agree on that aspect, or no?
—Certainly you’re as entitled to your opinion as I am to mine. I’m a big Rey Misterio, Jr. fan, and have been for the last 14 years. But at the end of the day, even when he appears on the show, I find the WWE to be stale and dull. The Rey Misterio, Jr. of modern Smackdown! Is a far cry from the guy that was lighting the world on fire at the 1995 Super J Cup.
6) For the most part I prefer watching a good solid technically sound match. I still enjoy a good brawl between the big guys. Do you still think there is a place for big guys in the business?
—Of course. There’s room for all shapes and sizes.
7) Do you think that promotions like CHIKARA, Dragon Gate, and EVOLVE, are the future of pro wrestling?
—Absolutely. There must be room for new concepts, fresh ideas and innovation, and it’s up to groups like these to blaze the trail.
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