The Fall and Rise of CHIKARA (Part 1)

Added by Alexander Kahrs

Hello Indy Corner friends! My name’s Alex, and I’ll be your guide to the whimsical world of CHIKARA Pro, one of my favorite promotions on the indy circuit. For the next seven weeks leading up to their big return show, I’ll be taking you on a brief tour of the past, present, and future of CHIKARA. This week, I’ll take a quick look at its history to answer a very important question:

What is CHIKARA?

Chikara is a unique brand of pro wrestling. It has a niche audience, but is easily accessible to all kinds of fans. Founded in 2002, CHIKARA is heavily influenced by lucha and puro wrestling. It is also storytelling at its very finest, both in and out of the ring.

The promotion began as a showcase for students of the CHIKARA Wrestle Factory, a wrestling school headed by Mike Quackenbush. The first CHIKARA show, “A Renaissance Dawns,” was held on May 25, 2002 in Allentown, PA. In addition to the graduating first class, the first show featured a main event starring Quackenbush and indy stars Chris Hero, CM Punk, and Colt Cabana at the start of their careers. Other matches included the debut of many household names in CHIKARA, including Mr. ZERO, Hallowicked, and Ultramantis.

Over the course of eleven years, CHIKARA has gathered a global following through its great shows, including special events like Tag World Grand Prix and King of Trios that bring fans and wrestlers from around the world. The promotion’s “Shoulder of Pallas” show during last year’s Wrestlecon brought around a thousand fans to come see what the hype is all about. In addition to their live events, one can find DVDs and digital downloads through Smart Mark Video, video on demand through SMVOD, and their latest distribution model: streaming of past CHIKARA events and more through their Shop.WrestlingIs website for a monthly fee.

Perhaps one of the best things about CHIKARA, though, is that they reward their fans for remembering the company’s past. That’s an important point as we move forward with this series. For now, I would highly recommend going deeper into the history of the promotion. A good starting point is their website, I hope this article gave you enough of a taste of CHIKARA to check it out. Next week I’ll be looking at things leading up to (and the immediate aftermath of) their iPPV event “Never Compromise,” which led to one of the most divisive storylines in professional wrestling.

Be sure to tune in next time…same CHIKARA time, same CHIKARA channel!

Alexander W. Kahrs

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