Episode 25 of Conversations With Love is LIVE!
In this week’s episode, tune in as Spencer gets to know the host of ‘Til We Make It and the founder of both Chikara and the Wrestle Factory, Mike Quackenbush! In their exclusive interview, find out more about Quackenbush’s wide-ranging career as both a trainer and a wrestler on the independent scene, including:
- His brand-new YouTube series, ‘Til We Make It
- Pre-match preparations and rituals
- Selecting his opponents for his 25th-anniversary tour
- Leo London, Quackenbush’s scheduled opponent in Winnipeg on September 21st
- Coming to Manitoba for the first time
- Why he hates the term “legend”
- The necessary evil that is social media
- What you get out of a Mike Quackenbush seminar
- What differentiates him as a trainer
- Evaluating talent
- How he continues to personally improve as a coach
- The importance of comedic elements in pro wrestling
- Watching Cesaro face Aleister Black live at Extreme Rules
and more! It’s only available in this week’s edition of CWL.
Conversations With Love is a WCSN exclusive. Visit wincolumnsports.ca for all your previews, reviews and breaking news in Western Canadian wrestling.
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Conversations With Love 25: A Conversation with Mike Quackenbush
On his new series, ‘Til We Make It:
“I will come across people who won’t say to me ‘I don’t understand this, will you explain it to me?’ Similarly, there are the kinds of things I talk about on ‘Til We Make It where I know if I’m doing a seminar or I’m having a class and I ask the group ‘do you understand what I mean by this?’ they’ll all nod their heads and go ‘mhmm, yes, we do,’ and I know they don’t! For whatever reason – are they afraid to put their hand up? Do they not want to be singled out as the one person in the room who doesn’t know that thing? – I just want to help them get over that. That’s irrelevant.
“What’s really, really important is gathering all the knowledge you possibly can so that you have no limiters, or no handicaps, to prevent you from reaching the career goals you set for yourself.”
On coming to Winnipeg, Manitoba for the first time:
“Fortunately, I always do a little background on anywhere I’m going. Not just the person that I’m going to be wrestling with if I haven’t met them before, but the organization. Luckily, everybody I talk to about it (Premier Championship Wrestling) only gave the highest of marks. That gave me a great confidence that everyone was grading these guys very highly, and nobody really had a negative word to say. It alleviated a lot of my personal travel anxiety more than anything. Whenever I’ve got a big trip in front of me, man, I don’t get a restful night’s sleep the night before, I’m obsessing on all of the details, and carrying a lot of that with you sometimes is not the best way to walk to the ring.”
On hating the word “Legend”
“I always recoil a little bit when someone calls me a legend, and I’ll tell you why. I think somehow, (legend) became wrestling shorthand for a guy that just stuck around. Here’s a great example: Virgil. When Virgil goes to wrestling conventions, they say ‘that guy is a wrestling legend.’ You know how many legendary matches he’s had? None.”
How he continues to improve as a coach:
“When I first started out as the head trainer at the Wrestle Factory – and that comes just eight months after us opening for business - my business partner “Reckless Youth” Tom Carter resigns from the business, and at that point, it all falls on to my lap. The original division of responsibility between us put me more on the creative and character and writing end of things, and I would just kind of watch and imitate what Tom did, because I myself was not a good teacher. I had to become a good teacher, and that takes time. Unless you’re one of the lucky few who just happen to be gifted with that exact skillset, and I definitely was not, it was something that I had to work at very hard. I probably got it wrong, long before I ever got it right. But, along the way and like I alluded to earlier, putting myself in positions where I also had to be a good student really informed what I needed to be as a teacher.
“For example, maybe four or five summers ago, I took a couple hundred hours of improv comedy classes and workshops. My whole journey throughout that lasted about two years. I trained under various coaches, under various teachers, I took different types of classes, workshops, rehearsals, all that kind of stuff. That was an exceptionally illuminating process for me, and I think on the tail end of that, of having to had been coached by so many different styles, it helped really crystalize what my own coaching style would be.”
His thoughts on Cesaro vs. Aleister Black at Extreme Rules:
“Luckily for me, I was there in person to see that on (July 12), and that was thanks directly to Cesaro, who arranged this wonderful club/box thing; I don’t know what those things cost, but it’s the kind of thing that I never would have bought for myself if not for the fact that my most famous trainee gifted that to me so that I could be there to see him and Aleister. Just to be clear, Cesaro is a graduate of my Wrestle Factory, he trained under me, he moved to the United States to train with me back in 2003. I was the guy who picked him up at the airport. Aleister Black was not someone who came to my Wrestle Factory, but I trained him during camps that I would put on in the Netherlands, where he is from.
“Slightly different experiences, and yet. you know, you will see my fingerprints on their work. You’ll see the influence of my style in both.”
“I don’t know if I have ever been present to see such a high-profile match of two of my kids, and when it went to the ring, I just felt like I was glowing. I just felt such a deep swell of pride, and whether we were in an arena of, I don’t know, were there 20,000 people there, I have no idea what the attendance figure was, (but) it felt like 20,000 people, it was a surreal thing to realize that other than my other students, many of whom were surrounding me in that moment, there isn’t a single soul in this entire arena who realizes the role I played in that match walking out to the ring.
“Even 45-minutes prior to that, when Drew Gulak, the current Cruiserweight Champion – another guy who graduated from my Wrestle Factory, became a trainer at my Wrestle Factory, just like Cesaro did – when he was out there in front of the audience defending the Cruiserweight title, I’m sure less than 1% of that 20,000 had any idea what role I played in getting that match to the ring, and that did nothing to diminish how proud I felt in that moment of all my students.”
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