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 its 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 trainers and in-ring performers.
The promotion holds multiple live events per month, with the majority being held at the Wrestle Factory. Two of their major events, September's King of Trios, the promotion's premiere event, and April's Tag World Grand Prix are centered on tag team and trios matches. Their other major events include Aniversario, held in May, and the Young Lions Cup tournament, held between June and August. In 2011, Chikara introduced the Grand Championship, the promotion's primary singles championship.
Influenced by the lucha libre tradition, Chikara performers are grouped into tecnicos and rudos (the lucha libre terms for faces and heels respectively). Just as in lucha libre, many performers in the promotion have also performed under masks and with unique gimmicks.
In the summer of 2000, after "Reckless Youth" Tom Carter had been released from his World Wrestling Federation developmental deal, he, Mike Quackenbush and Don Montoya started talking about starting a wrestling school, which would teach professional wrestling in various international styles. Originally, the school was to be called "Impact Wrestling" (not to be confused with the later promotion of the same name), but when Montoya decided not to put up money for its foundation and left the project, Carter and Quackenbush decided they needed a new name. The Wrestle Factory was founded by Carter and Quackenbush in Allentown, Pennsylvania on January 7, 2002. The first class included UltraMantis, Mister 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 promotion. They frequently feuded with tecnicos (faces) Quackenbush, Youth, and UltraMantis. Notable events of 2002 included an appearance by former World Championship Wrestling 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 at 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 Mid-South. 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 wrestling 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. Soon after Chikara debuted the Young Lions Cup tournament, a concept still used by the promotion. Commonly abbreviated as the YLC, the tournament was designed to showcase the best of the Wrestle Factory graduates. Hallowicked defeated Mister Zero to win the inaugural tournament, becoming the first-ever Young Lions Cup Champion in the process. In December 2002, Chikara took a two-week break during Christmastime 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.
On March 2, 2008, Chikara drew their biggest crowd ever of over 550 people during the King of Trios finals. 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.
On April 26, 2009, Chikara announced a working agreement with Dragon Gate USA, which saw Chikara wrestlers take part in Dragon Gate USA events. Throughout the years, Chikara has also 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 2010, Chikara established a close working relationship with the Osaka Pro Wrestling promotion. In December 2011, Chikara partnered with numerous Japanese promotion to hold the three-day-long JoshiMania event, which featured some of the biggest names in joshi puroresu. Wrestlers such as Aja Kong, Dick Togo, The Great Sasuke, Jinsei Shinzaki, Kana, Kaori Yoneyama, Kota Ibushi, Manami Toyota, and Mayumi Ozaki have made rare American appearances for Chikara.
On April 25, 2010, Chikara announced the release of a video game, titled Rudo Resurrection, for multiple gaming platforms later in the year. After not being heard of again for four years, it was announced on May 2, 2014, that a new developer, Rotary Games, had picked up the rights to the game.
On August 1, 2011, Chikara announced that their first ever live Internet pay-per-view (iPPV), 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 Internet pay-per-views.
In February 2012, Chikara launched their first ever web comic, written by Joey Esposito and drawn by Alex Cormack, telling the secret origin of Frightmare. On April 6, 2013, Chikara took part in WrestleCon, held during the WrestleMania 29 weekend in Secaucus, New Jersey, holding an event, which again broke the promotion's attendance record.
On June 2, 2013, Chikara ran an angle at the conclusion of their fourth iPPV, Aniversario: Never Compromise, where the event was shut down by Director of Fun Wink Vavasseur. Following the event, Chikara went inactive, "canceling" all upcoming events, though in reality these events were never scheduled to take place. Chikara held no official events for the rest of 2013, though wrestlers from the promotion did hold a small event on November 2 in Philadelphia's FDR Skatepark with the storyline that they were trying to revive the promotion. In October 2013, Neon Alley acquired rights to 26 Chikara events, which would start airing on the channel on Sundays as part of the new fall lineup. On February 1 2014, it was announced that Chikara would be returning on May 25. On February 10, 2014, it was announced that The Wrestle Factory would start a new training class at the 2300 Arena on March 1.
In April 2015, Chikara made its debut in the United Kingdom with a four-show tour held across England and Wales and launched Chikaratopia, a streaming service featuring past events. That same year on July 29, the promotion launched a new weekly program, entitled Journey Into Chikara, which would air live on both Chikaratopia and YouTube. In December 2016, Chikara concluded its 16th season. However, when the promotion returned in February 2017, it was announced as the start of season 18. Season 17 had been taped during the break and would be streamed on Chikaratopia.
On January 7, 2002, "Reckless Youth" Tom Carter and Mike Quackenbush founded the Chikara Wrestle Factory, a wrestling school based in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Following the start of the Wrestle Factory's second class, Carter departed from Chikara and ultimately left the wrestling industry. In 2004, Chris Hero became a co-trainer at the Wrestle Factory, filling the vacancy left by Carter's departure. In 2005, Mexican luchador Jorge "Skayde" Rivera became the school's third trainer. In March 2005, the school moved from Allentown to the New Alhambra Arena, in Philadelphia. In 2007, Chris Hero left Chikara and the Wrestle Factory, with Claudio Castagnoli taking over Hero's training duties. In August 2011, Castagnoli signed with WWE, and departed the Wrestle Factory.
Head trainer Mike Quackenbush is now assisted by trainers Fire Ant, Hallowicked, Juan Francisco de Coronado, and Ophidian. The Wrestle Factory offers training to prospective professional wrestlers, managers, valets, and referees, and is based in Northeast Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Former guest instructors include El Pantera, Terry Funk, CM Punk, Marty Jannetty, and many others. It offers training in all styles of pro wrestling, including lucha libre, puroresu, Lancashire, and catch, among others, claiming to be the only such training center in the United States.
|Championship||Current champion(s)||Previous champion(s)||Date won||Days held||Location|
|Chikara Grand Championship||Dasher Hatfield||"Mr. Touchdown" Mark Angelosetti||April 5, 2019||48||Jersey City, New Jersey|
|Chikara Campeonatos de Parejas||F.I.S.T. (Tony Deppen and Travis Huckabee)||Princess KimberLee and The Whisper||April 27, 2019||26||Pocono Summit, Pennsylvania|
|Chikara Young Lions Cup||Still Life with Apricots and Pears||Boomer Hatfield||March 16, 2019||68||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Accomplishment||Latest winner(s)||Date won|
|King of Trios||The Colony
(Fire Ant, Green Ant (II) and Thief Ant)
|September 2, 2018|
|Rey de Voladores||Air Wolf||September 2, 2018|
|Tag World Grand Prix||The Throwbacks
(Dasher Hatfield and "Mr. Touchdown" Mark Angelosetti)
|April 14, 2018|
|Torneo Cibernetico||Dasher Hatfield||December 3, 2016|
|Infinite Gauntlet||Ophidian||May 11, 2019|
|The Johnny Kidd Invitational||Travis Huckabee||June 9, 2018|
|Ring name||Real name||Notes|
|Callux the Castigator||Unknown|
|Dasher Hatfield||Unknown||Chikara Grand Champion|
|El Hijo del Ice Cream||Unknown|
|Green Ant (II)||Unknown|
|Ice Cream Jr.||Unknown|
|Juan Francisco de Coronado||Joe Padilla||Trainer|
|"Mr. Touchdown" Mark Angelosetti||Unknown|
|Mike Quackenbush||Michael Spillane||Founder and owner|
Head trainer of The Wrestle Factory
Host of Chikara Podcast-A-Go-Go
|Missile Assault Man||Unknown|
|Officer Warren Barksdale||Unknown|
|Oleg the Usurper||Josh Thorman|
|Ophidian||Unknown||Host of Ring Shape Live|
|Princess KimberLee||Kimberly Frankele|
|The Proletariat Boar of Moldova||Unknown|
|Rory Gulak||Rory Gulak|
|Sloan Caprice||Michael Taverna|
|Solo Darling||Christina Garibaldi|
|Still Life With Apricots and Pears||Unknown||Chikara Young Lions Cup Champion|
|Travis Huckabee||Unknown||Chikara Campeon de Parejas|
|Tony Deppen||Unknown||Chikara Campeon de Parejas|
Director of Fun
|Mark Adam Haggerty||Host of Chikara Event Center|
Master of Ceremonies
|Robbie Ellis||Owner (kayfabe)|
Host of To The Points
|Mortimer||Manager of The Whisper|
|Professor Nicodemus||Manager of The Proteus Wheel (Volgar, Callux the Castigator, and Frantik)|
Big Vision Entertainment releases
|Name||Release date||Region||Additional information|
|Best of Chikara||November 6, 2007||Global||Contains 9 matches from 2005 and 2006.|
Chikara may refer to:
力, (Chikara), the Japanese word meaning power, capability, or influence
The Four-horned Antelope, Tetraceros quadricornis
Chikara (given name)
Chikara (instrument), a stringed instrument from India.
Chikara-mizu (力水), a ritual at the beginning of a sumo match
Chikara (album), a compilation album by rock band Kiss
Chikara (professional wrestling), a professional wrestling organizationChikara Campeonatos de Parejas
The Chikara Campeonatos de Parejas (Chikara Tag Team championship) is a professional wrestling tag team championship contested for in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania based promotion Chikara.Chikara Grand Championship
The Chikara Grand Championship is a professional wrestling championship owned by the Chikara promotion. The first champion was crowned on November 13, 2011, at the High Noon pay-per-view, when Eddie Kingston defeated Mike Quackenbush at the conclusion of a six-month long, twelve-person tournament.Like most professional wrestling championships, the title is won via the result of a scripted match. Since the founding of the promotion in 2002 and before the Chikara Grand Championship was created, Chikara promoted only the Chikara Campeonatos de Parejas, a tag team championship, and the Chikara Young Lions Cup, a championship for rookies, but did not have a major singles championship until an announcement regarding the creation of the Grand Championship was made in February 2011. On March 14, 2013, Chikara announced that in the future the title would be defended at every event held by the promotion. This was later negated following Mike Quackenbush's takeover as Director of Fun and on August 1, 2014, he announced a three-point system to determine contendership for the title, similar to the system used for the Campeonatos de Parejas. Under the system, wrestlers need to accumulate three back-to-back wins in order to be eligible to challenge for the title.Overall, there have been seven reigns shared among six wrestlers. One female wrestler, Princess KimberLee, has held the title. With the win, KimberLee became the first female wrestler to hold the top title in a major non-female promotion. "Mr. Touchdown" Mark Angelosetti is the current champion in his first reign.Chikara High Noon
High Noon was a professional wrestling internet pay-per-view (iPPV) event produced by the Chikara promotion, that took place on November 13, 2011 at the Asylum Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The event marked Chikara's first ever live pay-per-view and it was headlined by the finals of a tournament to determine the first ever Chikara Grand Champion. The event aired on GoFightLive, with a pre-show airing live on Ustream. The event broke Chikara's attendance record, drawing 864 fans into the Asylum Arena, and drew more than 1,000 buys online, beating Ring of Honor's previous iPPV, Death Before Dishonor IX, which drew 972 buys. The event was released on DVD by Smart Mark Video on November 25, 2011.Chikara Tomorrow Never Dies
Tomorrow Never Dies was a professional wrestling internet pay-per-view (iPPV) event produced by the Chikara promotion, that took place on December 6, 2014, at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The event marked Chikara's season 14 finale and was the promotion's sixth iPPV. Tomorrow Never Dies was also Chikara's first event at the former ECW Arena since the High Noon iPPV in November 2011. Much like several other Chikara events in 2014, including the previous iPPV You Only Live Twice, the event was named after a James Bond film of the same name.Chikara You Only Live Twice
You Only Live Twice was a professional wrestling internet pay-per-view (iPPV) event produced by the Chikara promotion, that took place on May 25, 2014, at the Palmer Center in Easton, Pennsylvania. The event marked Chikara's fifth iPPV and first event since Aniversario: Never Compromise in June 2013.Chikara Young Lions Cup
The Young Lions Cup is a professional wrestling championship contested for in the American professional wrestling promotion Chikara.Frightmare (wrestler)
Frightmare is an American professional wrestler. He performs primarily in the Chikara professional wrestling promotion, where he is a former Young Lions Cup Champion. He has also worked for promotions such as Evolve Wrestling, International Wrestling Cartel, IWA East Coast, Jersey All Pro Wrestling, and Synergy Professional Wrestling, where he is the current Synergy Pro Wrestling Champion. Just like his mentor Hallowicked, Frightmare wears a monster-themed mask and uses incoherent speech patterns.Hallowicked
Robert Goodwin (born November 1, 1981) is an American professional wrestler, better known by the ring name Hallowicked. He performs primarily in the Chikara professional wrestling promotion, where he started his career in May 2002. His accomplishments in the promotion include becoming the inaugural Young Lions Cup Champion, a one-time Campeon de Parejas, a two-time Grand Champion and the winner of the 2003 Tag World Grand Prix and 2012 King of Trios tournaments. He currently serves as an assistant trainer at The Wrestle Factory, operated by Chikara founder Mike Quackenbush. Throughout his career he has also worked for promotions such as Combat Zone Wrestling, Dragon Gate USA, Evolve Wrestling, Full Impact Pro, Jersey All Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Ring of Honor. He is known for his ghoulish looks and incoherent speech pattern.Icarus (wrestler)
Ronald Grams (born July 26, 1982) is an American professional wrestler. He performs primarily in the Chikara professional wrestling promotion, under the name Icarus, where he is a former Grand Champion, Campeon de Parejas and King of Trios winner. He has also wrestled for Combat Zone Wrestling, Dragon Gate USA, Evolve Wrestling, Independent Wrestling Association Mid-South and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.King of Trios
King of Trios is a three-night tournament promoted by the Chikara wrestling promotion. The tournament is a different take on the Tag World Grand Prix event that the company is known for annually promoting; in King of Trios, instead of tag teams, there are trios that will compete in six-man tag team matches to see which of them will advance. The tournament serves as the promotion's premier event, similar to what WrestleMania is for the WWE.La Lotería Letal
La Lotería Letal (English: The Lethal Lottery) is a tag team tournament that was held in autumn 2008 by professional wrestling promotion Chikara. It consisted of eight teams, who competed in a single-elimination tournament.Stigma (wrestler)
Stigma (stylized as STIGMA) is an American professional wrestler, best known for his work in the Chikara professional wrestling promotion, where he is a former Young Lions Cup Champion and King of Trios winner. He was previously known as Shane Storm and has also wrestled for other independent promotions such as Combat Zone Wrestling, Full Impact Pro and Independent Wrestling Association Mid-South.Tag World Grand Prix
The Tag World Grand Prix is a professional wrestling tag team tournament promoted by the Chikara wrestling promotion.Torneo cibernetico
A torneo cibernetico is a multi-man professional wrestling elimination match that was created and primarily used in Mexican lucha libre professional wrestling promotions, especially in Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL). The match format sees two teams of varying sizes face off against each other. It uses standard lucha libre tag team rules with elimination occurring with a pinfall, submission, disqualification and count out and allows a wrestler to enter the match when their tag team partner exits the ring as well as when they tag out. A special 'batting' order system is used in which the wrestlers are given a specific order and may only tag in and out in this order. If two or more men from the same team remain, they must face each other to determine one individual winner.Under the Hood
Under the Hood was a professional wrestling internet pay-per-view (iPPV) event produced by the Chikara promotion, that took place on December 2, 2012 at the Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The event marked Chikara's third iPPV, following November 2011's High Noon and June 2012's Chikarasaurus Rex: How to Hatch a Dinosaur. While the two previous iPPV's aired live through GoFightLive, Under the Hood instead aired through Smart Mark Video, Chikara's longtime DVD production and distribution partner. The event was headlined by Eddie Kingston defending the Chikara Grand Championship against the number one contender and 2012 Torneo Cibernetico winner Tim Donst. The event also saw The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) defending the Chikara Campeonatos de Parejas against 1-2-3 Kid and Marty Jannetty and "Mr. Touchdown" Mark Angelosetti defending the Chikara Young Lions Cup against ACH, making Under the Hood the first ever Chikara event, where all three titles were defended. Other featured matches saw the culmination of two year-long storylines, with UltraMantis Black leading his Spectral Envoy stable to take on a team led by Delirious and a match where two teams, mixed of representatives of both Chikara and the villainous Gekido stable, battled each other. Under the Hood was Chikara's season eleven finale event. The event was attended by 525 fans and drew 1,025 buys online. The event was released on DVD and downloadable MP4 by Smart Mark Video on December 7, 2012.