6.25.2008

My First Interview ever.... With "Lightning" Mike Quackenbush

When i started this blog there were a few people I wanted to get in touch with, and pick their brains on what they thought was good wrestling. And chief amongst those was the subject of my first interview... "Lightning" Mike Quackenbush. The current NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion, Mike is one of the most erudite guys on the scene today and is also a solid businessman considering that he runs his own successful promotion called Chikara Pro which is a mix of the best of lucha libre and puroresu. My questions are coded in blue, and his answers follow below. (Ed.Note: There can be no doubt that Quack is one of the nicest guys on the scene. Support Chikara and wherever else he is at.)

Q: If you had the chance to make a mix tape of your favorite matches to watch that DON’T include you what would they be?

Here's some easy ones:
1) Michinoku Pro 10-man tag from October 10, 1996 (Delfin/Naniwa/Hamada/Tiger IV/Yakushiji vs. Togo/Shiryu/TAKA/Teioh/Funaki)
2) Ken Joyce vs. Tony Costas (World of Sport...circa 1979?)
3) New Foundation vs. Orient Express (1992 WWF Royal Rumble)
4) Dean Malenko vs. Eddie Guerrero (ECW Farewell match)
5) Johnny Saint vs. Mike "Flash" Jordan (World of Sport)
6) Rey Misterio/Juventud vs. Psicosis/La Parka (WCW Monday Nitro 12/15/97)
7) Owen Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid (King of the Ring 1994)
8) Jushin Liger vs. Dick Togo (Skydiving J 1997)
9) A crapload of 2005 & 2006 Mistico matches from CMLL
10) Jorge Rivera vs. TARUcito (T2P 1/23/2002)

Q: Based on the relative success of the World X-Cup concept for TNA if you could book your own Super Juniors World Cup with the same basic idea (Team USA, Team Canada, Team Mexico, Team Japan) who would they be?
I don't really follow TNA, but if I could pick a team to represent each of those groups, and budget was no object:Team USA would be Claudio Castagnoli (he is a citizen, after all) & Christopher Daniels
Team Canada would be the Super Smash Bros. (I love those guys! And they're from Canada!)Team Mexico would be Mistico & Incognito
Team Japan would be Naomichi Marufuji & Stalker Ichikawa

Q: And in what will be our last non-CHIKARA question of these proceedings….. Where do you get your ring gear? I ask because all of it looks fantastic. ---

Coco Verde in Mexico has made the lion's share of it in the last 4 years. Some bits and pieces come courtesy Daizee Haze and Dustin Rayz as well.

Q: Now to the CHIKARA questions. When was the last time you saw Gran Akuma busting out laughing?---

Is this a trick question?

Q: How often do you watch the Colony stuffing Vin Gerard in the garbage can at King of Trios and bust out laughing? ---

Not as often as you might think. I stay rather busy. My favorite moments from King of Trios, in no exact order, are the Team IWS vs. F1rst Wrestling tournament match, the random selection of Glacier as Los Ice Creams' partner, the wonderful moment when Hydra and Crossbones think they've won the tag team gauntlet only for the lights to dim and Demolition's music to come blaring over the sound system, and the inevitable meeting of Dr. Cube and UltraMantis Black.

Q: Which one of the alumni of CHIKARA would you most like to have back in your rings? ---
I'd love to have either Milano Collection A.T. or El Oriental pay us another visit. A lot has changed since we saw them last.

Q: Did you watch with your hands over your eyes, horror-movie style, when Eddie Kingston beat the stuffing out of Tim Donst? And did you stare at Chikarason like he shot your dog in the stomach when he booked the rematch?---

Luckily, I didn't see it until the DVD came to my house, so I could watch it in bite-sized chunks so as not to upset my stomach. But any time you get a crowd response like that, for reasons good or bad, there is almost always a rematch coming.

Q: What is the official relationship between Chikara and the NWA? Or is there even one, and you just defend the title in Chikara with a nod of understanding from the NWA?---

There is no exact relationship. When a title defense comes to CHIKARA we have to go through the same channels to get approval that anyone else would. We get no preferential treatment whatsoever.

Q: Do you speak Delirish? Does anyone, with the exception of Cheech and Cloudy, actually speak the language? ---I suspect Hallowicked does. Every once and again, I think I understand it a little, but you can never be sure.

Q: Here is the space that you have to plug all of your various and sundry projects upcoming?---

Come see CHIKARA live on Sunday, July 13 if you are in the Philadelphia area, or wait for us to come to the Midwest in September. If for some reason you do not live in those areas, you simply must watch our free, weekly podcast entitled CHIKARA Podcast-A-Go-Go via iTunes, YouTube, etc

6.06.2008

A Challenge for DK Wilson

Sometimes by virtue of having this blog which makes no secret of the fact that I am a pretty good fan of wrestling people make the assumption that all this is about is pro wrestling, although that’s not even close to the truth. Here I'm going to be covering MMA, and amateur wrestling which will be especially interesting considering that the Beijing Olympics are coming up.
But this becomes the problem: http://sportsonmymind.com/2008/06/02/it-called-mma-him-name-kimbo-%e2%80%93-you-love-both/. A cheaply biased piece that trades in the same stereotypes about MMA fans that are held by people who honestly ought to know better. MMA is an art form, a craft, and yes a sport. But people, like the man who wrote this article, refuse to see that and instead continue to trade on the worst of what they imagine MMA fans to be.
While I could quote and rebuke the most inflammatory portions of the article, including his mistaken belief that anyone who can enjoy MMA at a real honest level is somehow some desensitized barely-human child, I'd instead make this offer to the man who wrote this.
DK Wilson from Sports on my Mind… the next Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Grappling Championships here in the United States will be on October eighteenth and nineteenth. I extend you an offer, when the time comes, that you and I go together and you can see what the real influences of MMA are. And how people who are the real fans can see everything but the vicious brawls you imagine them looking for.
I'll be waiting for your response.