Hello once again wrestling fans. I know it’s been a while but once again I am back. This time yours truly, Marguritte Tackett, will be bringing you an interview with none other than internationally known “Lightning” Mike Quackenbush.
Let me just start by saying it’s my privilege and honor to be conducting this interview with the “Master of 1,000 Holds”. You are a published author as well as the founder of one of the best indy federations around and that is CHIKARA. For those reading this who may not know much about you, let’s start from the beginning.
Q. First of all Mike how long have you been in this business? Who trained you and where did you get your start?
A. That’s tougher to answer than you might think. I’ve been wrestling in one form or another since 1991, but the popular concensus is that my career didn’t begin in earnest until 1994. So, about 15 years, give or take. My early training came from guys like Ace Darling and Devon Storm, and years later, Jorge “Skayde” Rivera.
Q. What made you want to be a pro wrestler?
A. Guys like Jushin Liger, Owen Hart, and even the 1-2-3 Kid made me realize that a person my size could be a pro-wrestler.
Q. Who were your biggest influences growing up?
A. As a kid, I really didn’t care for wrestling. All we got in my hometown was the WWF on TV, and this was when the three main players were Hogan, Savage and the Warrior. Over time, I started to notice the undercard players, especially Jake Roberts, and Owen during his first singles run as “The Rocket” (before the New Foundation or High Energy) and they were far more captivating than the players being pushed at the top level.
Q. You have literally wrestled all over the world so where is your favorite place to wrestle?
A. Probably Germany. The fans there are a joy to perform in front of. When the shows are over, I feel like the fans are just old friends I haven’t seen for a while. They are fun, and respectful.
Q. What was your most memorable match? And greatest feud?
A. It would be tough to pin down just one. I think the match that best represents my style is the singles match I had against Claudio Castagnoli at the 2006 Ted Petty Invitational. He has turned into one of my greatest in-ring rivals, and always forces me to be on top of my game. I saw a cool highlight video recently of the match, and it reminded me of how much I enjoyed it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QB8E7_neuU
Q. Do you have any advice for young guys just trying to break into the business?
A. Take it from someone who learned this the hard way – train with someone reputable, well-connected, and interested more in helping you succeed than lining his pockets with your cash. When I started out, I had no formal training, no one to watch out for me, network for me, or help me out. The result was, I languished in loser companies wrestling against bottom-of-the-barrel guys for years.
Q. Some of the moves you do are unlike any others. Do you invent them?
A. There are a few dozen of my own creation. Sometimes I’ll see something on video, and give it a little twist, and come up with something new.
Q. What kind of injuries have you sustained in the ring?
A. There’s quite a laundry list. I’ve had 13 or 14 diagnosed concussions, the last of which came in September of 2007, and slowed me down more than any other injury in the previous ten years. I fractured my skull in March of 1995; cracked, sprained, broken or bruised most everything else at least once. In December of 2005 I had back surgery which sidelined me for quite a while, and unfortunately, I have recently discovered that I will have another operation just like it sometime soon. So, I’ve taken my lumps and bumps over the years
Q. You are a man of many talents only one of which is wrestler. What’s your first love? wrestling or writing?
A. I was a writer before I was a wrestler. But over time, I’ve come to find, the writing I do that is most accepted is the stuff about, or pertaining to wrestling. The two have sort of become one.
Q. If you had to describe yourself what would you say?
A. My business card reads: Wrestler – Writer – Trainer. Can’t argue with that.
Q. Any upcoming events you’d like to promote?
A. Certainly CHIKARA’s King of Trios 2009 tournament – which, with 48 wrestlers participating – is the largest pro-wrestling tournament of the year. Read up on it at chikarapro.com!
Q. If someone wished to book you for a show where can you be reached?
A. The best bet is to just visit my website or MySpace page, both of which reach me directly.
M. Tackett: Well, that’s all the questions I have for now. I’d like to once again thank you for your time Mr. Quackenbush and it’s been a real pleasure getting to know a little more about you.