Chikara (stylized in all capital letters and sometimes referred to as Chikara Pro) is an American professional wrestling promotion based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The company takes both the name and logo from the Japanese kanji meaning strength. It was founded in 2002 by professional wrestlers Mike Quackenbush and Reckless Youth, who also served as wrestling trainers. Quackenbush has also been an active performer with the company.
The company focuses on promoting tag team matches, with emphasis on the high-flying lucha libre style. Two of their major events, the King of Trios tournament, originally held between February and March, but in 2012 moved to September, and Torneo Cibernetico, held between September and November, feature tag team matches. Their other major events include Aniversario in May and the Young Lions Cup tournament held between June and August. The company crowned its first singles champion in 2011, with the introduction of the Chikara Grand Championship.
Influenced by the lucha libre style, Chikara performers are grouped into técnicos and rudos, the lucha libre terms for heroic and villainous characters respectively. Just as in lucha libre, many performers in the promotion have also performed under masks and with unique gimmicks.
The promotion grew out with the Wrestle Factory, which was founded as a wrestling school in Allentown, Pennsylvania by Mike Quackenbush and "Reckless Youth" Tom Carter on January 7, 2002. After five months, the school started Chikara. The first class included UltraMantis, Mr. ZERO, Dragonfly, Hallowicked, and Ichabod Slayne. In May of the same year, Chikara expanded into a wrestling promotion with the intent of showcasing its students. The first show on May 25, 2002, featured not only the Wrestle Factory students and head trainers, but several other independent wrestlers, including Don Montoya, CM Punk, Colt Cabana, Chris Hero, Love Bug, Marshal Law, and Blind Rage. The main event of the first show featured Quackenbush and Youth joined by Don Montoya as the Black T-Shirt Squad defeat the Gold Bond Mafia of Chris Hero, CM Punk, and Colt Cabana. In the early days, Blind Rage, Hallowicked, and Ichabod Slayne formed a stable known as the Night Shift, which became the top group of rudos (or heels) in the company. They frequently feuded with tecnicos (faces) Quackenbush, Youth, and UltraMantis. Notable events of 2002 included an appearance by former WCW star La Parka, who joined Mister ZERO against Quackenbush and Youth, and the opening of the short-lived sister promotion Kiryoku Pro, which highlighted female wrestling.
2002 was also marked by a lawsuit against Chikara for promoting shows out of the Wrestle Factory. Neighborhood activists claimed that the building was not properly zoned for assembly, and that the shows detracted from the "complexion of the community". It was eventually ruled that Chikara provided inadequate parking for their shows, and would not be allowed to promote out of the Wrestle Factory any longer. This deterred Chikara from holding any more shows until October. During the Chikara hiatus, they released tapes of their early shows, titled "The Renaissance Dawns" and "Baila, Parka, Baila", and the wrestlers worked showcase matches in other promotions, such as IWA-MS. Chikara soon reached an agreement with St. John’s Lutheran Church in Allentown to hold shows there, only eight blocks from the Wrestle Factory. Chikara also began a second Wrestle Factory class, but lost trainer Reckless Youth at the beginning of the class, as he left the business. The first show in St. John's saw the Wildcards (Eddie Kingston and BlackJack Marciano), Gran Akuma, DJ Skittlez, Melvin Snodgrass and Lester Crabtree debut, and shortly after, they were joined by Wrestle Factory graduates Jigsaw and Bryce Remsburg.
Chikara soon debuted a concept that lasts to this day in their promotion, the Chikara Young Lions Cup. Commonly abbreviated as the YLC, the tournament was designed to showcase the best of the Wrestle Factory graduates. It continues to be a showcase of young talent from the independent circuit. Hallowicked defeated Mr. ZERO to win the first tournament. Chikara took a two-week break during Christmas before returning in 2003, establishing a tradition of "seasons" that they maintain today.
In 2004, Chris Hero became a co-trainer at the Chikara Wrestle Factory, replacing Carter. In 2005, Jorge "Skayde" Rivera joined as the third trainer. In March 2005, the school moved from Allentown to the New Alhambra Arena, in Philadelphia. They then took over the training for Combat Zone Wrestling, leading to the school's new name of CZW/Chikara Wrestle Factory. After the schools split in 2007, the training center became once again simply known as the Chikara Wrestle Factory. In 2007, Claudio Castagnoli took over Chris Hero's training duties.
Chikara drew their biggest crowd ever of over 550 at the New Alhambra Arena in Philadelphia to see the finals of King of Trios 2008 on March 2, 2008. That record was broken on January 31, 2010, when their first show of season nine, A Touch of Class, drew over 600 fans. Later that year, on July 25, the record was broken once again at Chikarasaurus Rex: King of Show, which drew 755 fans. The show was released by Smart Mark Video on DVD less than 24 hours after its conclusion.
Chikara also made Internet pay-per-views by the name of "Pod-Per-Views". Chikara also have a weekly internet show by the name of Chikara Podcast-A-Go-Go which contains matches and interviews.
On April 25, 2010, Chikara announced the release of a video game, titled Rudo Resurrection, for multiple gaming platforms later in the year.
On August 1, 2011, Chikara announced that their first ever live Internet pay-per-view, titled High Noon, would take place November 13, 2011, and would feature the crowning of the first ever Chikara Grand Champion. The event would again break Chikara's attendance record, drawing 864 fans. During 2012, High Noon was followed by the Chikarasaurus Rex: How to Hatch a Dinosaur and Under the Hood iPPV's.
Throughout the years, Chikara has worked with several Japanese promotions in bringing their talent over to the United States, including Dragon Gate, Ice Ribbon, JWP Joshi Puroresu, and Sendai Girls' Pro Wrestling. In December 2011, Chikara hosted the three day long JoshiMania weekend, which featured some of the biggest names in joshi puroresu. Wrestlers such as Aja Kong, Dick Togo, Great Sasuke, Jinsei Shinzaki, Kana, Kaori Yoneyama and Mayumi Ozaki have made rare American appearances for the promotion, while Manami Toyota has made several appearances for Chikara since July 2010. Since 2010, Chikara has had a close working relationship with the Osaka Pro Wrestling promotion.
Chikara Wrestle Factory 
Chikara currently runs a wrestling school by the name of the Chikara Wrestle Factory. It was founded in 2002 by Mike Quackenbush and Reckless Youth. After the debut of their first class of students that May, and the birth of the Chikara promotion, Reckless departed the company. Quackenbush trained the second through fifth classes of students by himself, before recruiting Chris Hero to assist him in the summer of 2004. Hero relocated to Pennsylvania to accept the position as co-trainer, and teach at the Allentown-based facility. In March 2007, Chikara Wrestle Factory separated from the CZW training facility, but the Wrestle Factory is still stationed inside The Arena. In October 2007, Claudio Castagnoli was promoted from his role as guest trainer to head trainer taking it from Chris Hero. Alongside Quackenbush, he helped aid in the training of the ninth class of students. Castagnoli signed with WWE in August 2011, and departed the Wrestle Factory. As ever, the responsibility for all training classes at the Wrestle Factory belongs to company founder and 20-year pro, Mike Quackenbush. He is assisted by Chuck Taylor, Fire Ant, Green Ant, Hallowicked and Ophidian. The Wrestle Factory offers training to prospective professional wrestlers, managers, valet, and referees, and is based in The Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Former guest instructors include Jorge "Skayde" Rivera, El Pantera, Terry Funk, CM Punk, Marty Jannetty, and many others. It offers training in all styles like Pro Wrestling, Lucha Libre, Puroresu, Lancashire, Catch, and among others. It claims to be the only such training center in the United States.
Current champions 
|Grand Championship||Eddie Kingston||Mike Quackenbush||November 13, 2011||Philadelphia, PA|
|Campeonatos de Parejas||3.0
(Scott Parker and Shane Matthews)
|The Young Bucks
(Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)
|February 10, 2013||Easton, PA|
|Young Lions Cup||Mark Angelosetti||ACH||August 18, 2012||Indianapolis, IN|
- Archibald Peck
- Dasher Hatfield
- Eddie Kingston
- Fire Ant
- Gran Akuma
- Green Ant
- Mike Quackenbush
- Scott Parker
- Shane Matthews
- Soldier Ant
- Sugar Dunkerton
- UltraMantis Black
- Arctic Rescue Ant
- Blaster McMassive
- Chuck Taylor
- Flex Rumblecrunch
- El Hijo del Ice Cream
- Ice Cream, Jr.
- Jakob Hammermeier
- Mark Angelosetti
- Max Smashmaster
- Missile Assault Ant
- Orbit Adventure Ant
- The Shard
- Tim Donst
- Bryce Remsburg – Senior referee, announcer, host of Chikara Event Center
- Daniel Yost
- Jonathan Barber – also host of the Barber Shop
- Bob Saget – Commissioner (2006–2008)
- Dave Coulier – Commissioner (2008–present)
- Leonard F. Chikarason – Director of Fun (2005–2009), Commentator (2009–present)
- Dieter VonSteigerwalt – Director of Fun (2009–2010)
- Wink Vavasseur – Executive Auditor of the Board of Directors; Director of Fun (2010–present)
- Cavalier Jones – Member of the Chikara Board of Directors (2004)
- Ed O'Mac – Ring announcer (2006–2007)
- Nick Papagiorgio – Ring announcer (2007–2008)
- Gavin Loudspeaker (formerly Louden Noxious) – Ring announcer (2008–present), Host of Chikara Podcast-A-Go-Go (2009–present)
- Derek Sabato – Official liaison to Gekido
- Crazy Frank – Czar of Security
- Dave Robel – Ringside physician
- Brendan O'Donnell – Concierge
- Steve "The Turtle" Weiner – Various
- Sidney Bakabella – manager of The Devastation Corporation
- Veronica – valet of Tim Donst
- Zia Hiltey – Photographer
- Wiggly – Co-host of Chikara Podcast-A-Go-Go (2006–2011)
- Chiz – Co-host of Chikara Podcast-A-Go-Go (2006–2009)
- Natali – Host of Chikara Throwdown Lowdown (2010–2012)
- Scarlett Bordeaux – Host of Chikara Throwdown Lowdown (2012–present)
- Jessie McKay – Host of Chikara High Noon Report (2011)
- Billy Kumohara – Host of Quiz Present Crisis Battle (2012–present)
- Amanda Hastings – Co-host of Quiz Present Crisis Battle (2012–present)
- Veda Scott – Host of Chikara Chikarasaurus Rex: How to Hatch a Dinosaur Report (2012)
Tournament winners 
- Young Lions Cup I – Hallowicked
- Young Lions Cup II – Larry Sweeney
- Young Lions Cup III – Shane Storm
- Young Lions Cup IV – Arik Cannon
- Young Lions Cup V – Chuck Taylor
- Young Lions Cup VI – Fire Ant
- Young Lions Cup VII – Player Dos
- Young Lions Cup VIII – Frightmare
- Young Lions Cup IX – Tadasuke
- Young Lions Cup X – Mark Angelosetti
- Tag World Grand Prix 2003 – The Night Shift (Blind Rage and Hallowicked)
- Tag World Grand Prix 2005 – AC/CC (Arik Cannon and Claudio Castagnoli)
- Tag World Grand Prix 2006 – Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli)
- Tag World Grand Prix 2008 – The Colony (Fire Ant and Soldier Ant)
- Tag World Grand Prix 2013 – Pieces of Hate (Jigsaw and The Shard)
- Torneo Cibernetico 2004 – Jigsaw
- Torneo Cibernetico 2005 – Gran Akuma
- Torneo Cibernetico 2006 – Icarus
- Torneo Cibernetico 2007 – Claudio Castagnoli
- Torneo Cibernetico 2008 – Jimmy "Equinox" Olsen
- Torneo Cibernetico 2009 – Carpenter Ant
- Torneo Cibernetico 2010 – Eddie Kingston
- Torneo Cibernetico 2011 – Sara Del Rey
- Torneo Cibernetico 2012 – Tim Donst
- November 12, 2006 Tag Tournament – F.I.S.T. (Gran Akuma and Icarus)
- Rey de Voladores 2007 – Chuck Taylor
- Rey de Voladores 2008 – Incognito
- Rey de Voladores 2009 – Kota Ibushi
- Rey de Voladores 2010 – Ophidian
- Rey de Voladores 2011 – El Generico
- Rey de Voladores 2013 – 2 Cold Scorpio
- King of Trios 2007 – Jigsaw, Mike Quackenbush and Shane Storm
- King of Trios 2008 – Los Luchadores de Mexico (Incognito, Lince Dorado and El Pantera)
- King of Trios 2009 – F.I.S.T. (Chuck Taylor, Gran Akuma and Icarus)
- King of Trios 2010 – Bruderschaft des Kreuzes (Ares, Claudio Castagnoli and Tursas)
- King of Trios 2011 – The Colony (Fire Ant, Green Ant and Soldier Ant)
- King of Trios 2012 – The Spectral Envoy (Frightmare, Hallowicked and UltraMantis Black)
- La Lotería Letal – Jimmy Olsen and Lince Dorado
- The Countdown Showdown 2010 – Johnny Gargano
- 12 Large: Summit – Eddie Kingston
Commercial DVD releases 
Big Vision Entertainment Releases
|DVD Name||Release Date||Region||Additional Information|
|Best of Chikara||November 6, 2007||Global||Contains 9 matches from 2005 & 2006.|
- "Wrestle Factory History". Chikara. Retrieved 2011-04-01.
- Chikara DVD
- "Thanks to the 755 fans who made C-Rex the biggest Chikara show ever! And if you missed it, don't fret - the DVD comes out TOMORROW at SMV!". Chikara. Twitter. 2010-07-25. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
- "DGUSA and Chikara reach working agreement". Dragon Gate USA. 2010-04-27. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- Martin, Adam (2010-05-14). "More details on a new Chikara video game". WrestleView. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
- Csonka, Larry (2011-08-01). "Various News: Chikara’s to I-PPV, Joshimania, Billy Corgan's New Promotion,More". 411Mania. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
- Martin, Adam (2011-11-24). "Chikara draws well for "High Noon" iPPV event". WrestleView. Retrieved 2011-11-24.
- Radican, Sean (2012-06-02). "Radican's Chikara "Chikarasaurus Rex" iPPV review 6/2 - live coverage of event from Philaldephia". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- Caldwell, James (2012-11-08). "Indy News: Next PWG main event set, Chikara returning to iPPV". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- Higham, Josh (2013-04-06). "Part two of the 4/6 Chikara show". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
- Boutwell, Josh (2010-07-30). "Viva La Raza! Lucha Weekly". WrestleView. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- Boutwell, Josh (2011-08-06). "Viva La Raza! Lucha Weekly". WrestleView. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- Magee, Bob (2011-12-02). "JoshiMania tonight in Phily with Toys for Tots". WrestleView. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- Martin, Adam (2012-03-19). "Indy News #2: KSWA Wrestling, Sendai Girls/Chikara". WrestleView. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "Past results". Chikara. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- Martin, Adam (2010-09-24). "Indy News #2: NWA Hollywood, Chikara and TWA". WrestleView. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "Frequently Asked Questions". Chikara. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
Further reading 
- Christian Science Monitor Article On Chikara
- Article On Chikara's Debut
- Article On Chikara's 5th Anniversary
- Chikara Trivia
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: CHIKARA|
- Official Website
- Chikara Official Web Comic
- Official Message Board
- Chikara Podcast-A-Go-Go
- Official Chikara Legends of Wrestling Game Site
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