This is, by no means, the easiest post that I have ever written for this blog. That honor falls to me taking apart Glen Gilbertti’s ridiculous arguments. However, this one, for the pure joy that the words make me feel, comes close. You see every person who is a fan of Pro Wrestling has their “gateway wrestler”, the person they mark out for above all others and the one who introduced them to this intoxicating world that they now live in. My first gateway wrestler was…. Jushin Liger. I, as so many of our peers did, grew transfixed with hearing the stories about this brilliant star with his innovative style who we could never see because he worked only in Japan, save for a few appearances on pay-per-view which we could never afford to see or a Clash of the Champions which was on a cable channel that not a one of us got. Nevertheless, the stories we heard, the tapes we procured as we grew older, made us endlessly fascinated by the brilliance we saw.
Well today…. I say that I have found a new person to mark out over, a new source of great intrigue for not only his style but the way that he conducts himself. Ladies and gentlemen…. The Majesty of Wrestling is proud to announce that we, proudly and with every last fiber of ourselves, announce that our new mark-out subject is none other than….. “Lightning” Mike Quackenbush. Let’s see if I can’t explain to you the meaning of why I like him so.
First, to understand Quack as his fans call him, it is perhaps in your own best interests to understand what he isn’t. First off, he isn’t packed head-to-toe with useless muscle mass. Standing at just 6 feet tall and weighing in at 191 pounds, he is, by the oft-cartoonist standards of the sport that he competes in, perhaps skinny. While us having to use this designation says perhaps more about the often size-obsessed world of Pro Wrestling than the man we are speaking of here the truth is this: In today’s modern world of pro wrestling he’s skinny. Capable of making you believe he is a pro wrestler, but still not someone who will at any point be on the cover of a bodybuilding magazine.
Secondly, he’s smart, and not in the way that people fool you into thinking that Triple H or Batista are. He’s actually intelligent. Like he can put together a sentence well and can reasonably carry on a conversation about matters that have nothing to do with his sport, a fact that is a welcome oasis in the way non-fans manage to treat pro wrestling, when they deign to think about it at all. Proof of this is in his podcasts, and they are many.
Now that we have gotten what he isn’t out of the way let’s dwell heavily instead on what he is. First I would submit to you that there are few wrestlers in the world today who show as much of a desire to learn about other forms of pro wrestling as he has. Name me someone who went, on their own dime no less, and learned about the fast-paced lucharesu of Michinoku Pro, and then took several camps with the llave master Jorge “Skayde” Rivera (another person for whom this blog has a great appreciation), and then melded that with the best of the American style and the European technical wizardry into something that worked for him.
Simply put…. He’s tremendous. And I’m proud to say I’ve seen him in action, live, twice. And I hope to tell him so next time I get the chance to interview him.