Interview with “Lightning” an interview with "Lightning" Mike Quackenbush

Our friends over at Westside Pro Wrestling did a great interview with NWA Jr. Heavyweight Champion, “Lightning” Mike Quackenbush recently. With their permission we are re-posting this interview. To keep up with the all the news, results and info on the Western Australian wrestling scene, subscribe to
[Mana, The Polynesian Warrior], brings Westside Pro Wrestling newsletter a monthly column in which he gives his thoughts on the current scene or talks with superstar friends from his past in the United States.  For this article I thought I would get in touch with one of the most amazing wrestlers I have ever had the opportunity to be in the ring with. Some of the stuff he pulls out can be called nothing but amazing. If you don’t believe me look him up on you tube for sure and you’ll see what I mean. His name is “Lightning” Mike Quackenbush and he is the founder of CHIKARA pro wrestling. I first studied Mike Quackenbush matches against Reckless Youth who back then stupefied me just as to how the hell they pulled a lot of there moves off so damn quick and so crisp. These days Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero do this with Mike and they are giants.   Quack has been one of the premier wrestlers on the circuit for over ten years now as well as publishing his own books. He is one of the forefathers to a style that can only be described as Lucha / Japanese and X Division all combined into one.  I am proud to put together this interview with one of my good friends and one of the best cruisers in the American Independent scene as well as the world – “Lightning” Mike Quackenbush.
Mana:  How did the name “Lightning” Mike Quackenbush come to be?  
Quack:  It was really something pushed on me in the mid-90’s, to try and become more marketable. At the time, I was wrestling as M. Quackenbush. The promoter I was working for at the time felt it needed something more, so I added “Lightning” in tribute to Jushin “Thunder” Liger, who inspired me.  
Mana:  You and the wrestlers/students of CHIKARA received training from Jorge “Skayde” Rivera, how do you think his influence has improved your abilities?
Quack:  He opened up a whole new world of wrestling for me.  He’s in his mid-40’s now, and he is more active and more creative than guys half his age.  
Mana:  You have wrestled in many top U.S indy promotions, as well as overseas in Europe and Japan, which experiences have been the most memorable in your career thus far?
Quack:  For different reasons, wrestling in Mexico, Germany, and Japan are very memorable experiences. My first match in Mexico, I was given a death threat from a fan. Which is kind of awesome, if you think about it. In Europe, the fans have a great respect for my style, and so I always feel well-appreciated when I perform for them.  In Japan, because I had longed to go there, and worked for years with that as my goal, I found it  especially satisfying just to climb in the ring, and hear the announcer call my name in Japanese. 
Mana:  What was it like to square off with someone you had idolized, British pro wrestling legend, Johnny Saint?  
Quack:  Humbling, of course. He’s such a gentleman, in the ring and out. At times, it was almost like I was not in the match, but  watching it on TV. Prior to the day we wrestled, the only way I had even seen him was on TV.  
Mana:  Who is on the list of people you’d like to lock up with one day?  
Quack:  Christopher Daniels is always on that list. I would love to have a singles match with him. I think it would be a lot of fun to wrestle  Ultimo Guerrero, or Averno from CMLL as well.  
Mana:  You’ve held the NWA Junior Heavyweight Championship for over two years, who in the NWA would you like to defend it against?
Quack:  Anyone. Bring ’em on. I’d love to be out there defending that title every month, if they could line up the challengers for me.
Mana:  In the past couple of years, you have taken CHIKARA to many different states in America, as well as Germany and Japan, where else do you see CHIKARA in the near future?
Quack:  It would be great to play Mexico, since that is where our stylistic roots are, but really, those kinds of things represent great risk.  
Mana:  Is there a possibility of Mike Quackenbush coming to Western Australia in the foreseeable future?

Quack:  There is talk of a trip to Perth, I am pleased to report. I would love to play Australia before I hang up the boots. The birthplace of tag team wrestling! It would be a lot of fun.  Any last words?  Please check us out online, we have a free weekly podcast you can watch on iTunes under the name “CHIKARA Podcast-A-Go-Go”.  

Mana:  Thanks for your time – hope you check out some of Mike’s matches they are amazing and he is sure to be hitting our shores in 2010.

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