No Alternative? The Dragon Gate USA interview

No Alternative? is an annoyingly titled series of interviews that will hopefully introduce you to some of the independent wrestling promotions that we have come to love here at the blog. Rather than forcing yourself to sit through a dreary episode of Raw or a frankly embarrassing episode of IMPACT Wrestling (or whatever it’s called now) we want to show you that there is an alternative out there.

The fourth interview in the series is with Gabe Sapolsky, vice-president of Dragon Gate USA – originally an offshoot of the established Japanese promotion, but rapidly gaining fans off their own talent roster.

Thanks for agreeing to this interview. For some of our readers that might not be familiar with you could you give us a brief introduction to Dragon Gate USA?
Dragon Gate is the most cutting-edge promotion in Japan, based on incredible, athletic wrestling. We are Dragon Gate USA, which is the American branch of Dragon Gate. We have forged our own identity and talent roster based on the principles of Dragon Gate in Japan. DGUSA is all about action, excitement and the most amazing wrestling in the world

What would you say sets Dragon Gate USA apart as an alternative from the mainstream promotions such as WWE and TNA?
We cater to the diehard fans that love great wrestling. We won’t have over the hill wrestlers, a cookie cutter wrestling style, too many promos or all the negative things that come with sports entertainment. If you sit there and watch Raw waiting for an awesome CM Punk or Evan Bourne match to come on or sit there and watch TNA waiting for the X Division to be given a chance to shine than you can get those things with DGUSA, taken to the next level, without having to sit through all the crap and other stuff to get there.

Do you think WWE and TNA present a reasonable view of professional wrestling to the mass market? Do you feel they do anything right or are you not a fan at all?
They definitely do things right. They wouldn’t be around if they didn’t. In fact, you can’t argue with what WWE does. They are going for the mass, mainstream market and they do that very well. We are going for our niche of diehard, appreciative wrestling fans. It is all about what audience you are trying to satisfy.

One side of the 2 main promotions which gets heavy criticism (and that we on the site have been more and more interested in) is the womens’ divisions. Where does Dragon Gate USA stand on womens wrestlers? Are you fans of the more hard-hitting female wrestlers and intergender matches or would you prefer a more Diva/Knockout style division?
I think if you are going to do a serious women’s division, not like a Divas T&A thing, you need to really devote a good deal of your show to it. While we appreciate women’s wrestling in DGUSA, we are concentrating on the Dragon Gate stars from Japan mixed in with our homegrown talent roster we have developed so it’s hard to devote the proper amount of time to women’s wrestling without ending up with 4 or 5 hour shows, which we don’t want to do.

Are there any WWE/TNA wrestlers you would like to bring into Dragon Gate USA? Conversely, are there any of your roster that you feel would fit in well in one of the mainstream companies? And would you want them to?
Yes, of course there are WWE and TNA wrestlers who would make great fits in DGUSA. At the same time, I feel anyone on our roster would fit in with WWE or TNA if booked properly. I believe every wrestler, especially once they get near 30 years old, should go to WWE and make tons of money. I think younger guys, like 25-27 or so and younger, should work the indies and Japan so they can vastly improve themselves, gain confidence and maturity and also so they can fulfill themselves artistically.

Where can people find out more about Dragon Gate USA online?
Our website is www.DGUSA.tv and our Twitter is @DragonGateUSA. You can also look for the Dragon Gate USA Official Facebook group.

What do you have coming up?
We have a full schedule of shows coming up including 9/9 Indianapolis, 9/10 Chicago, 9/11 Milwaukee, 11/11 Boston, 11/12 Philadelphia, 11/13 Manhattan, 1/27 in LA and then in Miami on Wrestlemania weekend. We also have several new DVD releases including all three “United” weekend events with the awesome Open The United Gate Title tournament, which was a round robin tag team tournament over all three events. Akira Tozawa also had an incredible weekend, which is worth going out of your way to see. We have so much great stuff on those shows. I’m really proud of them.

Do you have a match/trailer online that would give people an idea of what to expect at an Dragon Gate USA show?
We have lots of free videos on our Youtube channel at Youtube.com/DGUSAdotTV so hopefully anyone reading this will take a few minutes and go check it out. You can really get a good idea of the kind of action we offer with all the free videos we have.

Any last words for the readers?
We are here to serve true pro wrestling fans and give you the kind of action you crave. I think if you give us a chance you’ll end up really happy. Go to www.DGUSA.tv for all the info.

No Alternative? The EVOLVE interview

No Alternative? is an annoyingly titled series of interviews that will hopefully introduce you to some of the independent wrestling promotions that we have come to love here at the blog. Rather than forcing yourself to sit through a dreary episode of Raw or a frankly embarassing episode of IMPACT Wrestling (or whatever it’s called now) we want to show you that there is an alternative out there.

The third interview in the series is with Gabe Sapolsky, promoter and founder of EVOLVE – a relatively new promotion but one which is definitely gathering a lot of fans.

Thanks for agreeing to this interview. For some of our readers that might not be familiar with you could you give us a brief introduction to Evolve?
EVOLVE is wrestling with a pure sports presentation. We are modernizing the presentation of pro wrestling. If you don’t see it in boxing, MMA or a competitive sport, you won’t see it in EVOLVE. We are building a new wrestling brand here where wins and losses count and ridiculous, outdated things you frequently see in sports entertainment won’t be tolerated. We are the breath of fresh air that pro wrestling needs.

What would you say sets Evolve apart as an alternative from the mainstream promotions such as WWE and TNA?
I think if you watch one show it’ll be clear. You can start with the action in the ring, the cutting-edge style of our wrestlers. Then you look at our straight-forward show format. This is wrestling as a sport. I think a lot of things in wrestling look ridiculous to today’s sports fan. We are trying to eliminate those things and bring back pro wrestling as a sport.

Do you think WWE and TNA present a reasonable view of professional wrestling to the mass market? Do you feel they do anything right or are you not a fan at all?
They do what they feel they need to do to appeal to the most people possible, they are mass marketed. WWE in particular does a great job of this. The thing to understand is they don’t care about the diehard wrestling fans. They want to be sports entertainment conglomerates, which is fine, but that’s how you have to approach it when you watch their products. You can’t watch them thinking you are going to satisfied with a product designed for true wrestling fans.

One side of the 2 main promotions which gets heavy criticism (and that we on the site have been more and more interested in) is the womens’ divisions. Where does Evolve stand on womens wrestlers? Are you fans of the more hard-hitting female wrestlers and intergender matches or would you prefer a more Diva/Knockout style division?
There are plenty of very talented women wrestlers out there and we have featured them in the past in EVOLVE, particularly Mercedes Martinez, who put on some dominating performances on the early EVOLVE shows.

Are there any WWE/TNA wrestlers you would like to bring into Evolve? Conversely, are there any of your roster that you feel would fit in well in one of the mainstream companies? And would you want them to?
Yes, there are several great wrestlers in both TNA and WWE who would be great in EVOLVE. At the same time, I think many of our wrestlers would be great in WWE and TNA. Everyone we book has talent and a special quality. In fact, Shiima Xion, Tony Nese and Austin Aries were all in TNA recently, and they have seen plenty of action in EVOLVE. Meanwhile, our EVOLVE 7 event featured a great moment with a farewell to Jon Moxley, who just signed with WWE.

Where can people find out more about Evolve online?
They can go to www.EVOLVEwrestling.com for all the info and also Youtube.com/EVOLVEwrestling. We also have The Official EVOLVE wrestling Facebook group that people can join.

What do you have coming up?
We have a huge show on July 26th with Fit Finlay making his EVOLVE debut. It’s in NYC. You can get tickets now at EVOLVEwrestling.com. If you can’t be there in person you can watch it on live iPPV at www.WWNLive.com. In fact, we also have several EVOLVE shows available on demand at www.WWNLive.com.

Do you have a match/trailer online that would give people an idea of what to expect at an Evolve show?
We have lots of great videos at www.Youtube.com/EVOLVEwrestling so go check some out.

Any last words for the readers?
Your support is very important to us. We want to build a new brand of wrestling known as EVOLVE together. We are all building this from the ground floor together. Please check out our DVDs. We have some great deals and affordable prices.

No Alternative? The Inter Species Wrestling interview

No Alternative? is an annoyingly titled series of interviews that will hopefully introduce you to some of the independent wrestling promotions that we have come to love here at the blog. Rather than forcing yourself to sit through a dreary episode of Raw or a frankly embarrassing episode of IMPACT Wrestling (or whatever it’s called now) we want to show you that there is an alternative out there.

The second interview in the series is with a Canadian promotion that I was originally made familiar with through their working relationship with CHIKARA. Inter Species Wrestling from Canada are definitely a company you could claim to be “alternative and different” (and I get the feeling they would be proud of that label) and they were kind enough to answer a few questions for us in the run up to their upcoming Burger King of the Ring tournament.

Thanks for agreeing to this interview. For some of our readers that might not be familiar with you could you give us a brief introduction to ISW?
Inter Species Wrestling is an exceptionally unique brand of pro wrestling, combining all styles of professional wrestling with crude humor, over the top gimmicks, and other fun stuff. We’re based out of both Canada and the USA, and we’ve been around since 2005.

What would you say sets ISW apart as an alternative from the mainstream promotions such as WWE and TNA?
Millions of dollars. Oh, and the fact that we hate politics – and are in the wrestling game for the right reason – fun. We don’t limit our performers as much, and I feel it makes for a better overall in-ring product. Oh, and we use the f-word. A lot.

Do you think WWE and TNA present a reasonable view of professional wrestling to the mass market? Do you feel they do anything right or are you not a fan at all?
Do they present a reasonable view? Probably not. Everything on their shows seems to be a commercial for something else – and to be honest – I don’t mind that. I just wish there was less of it, and more actual wrestling. I think WWE does many things right. They’re the best in the world. TNA/Impact Wrestling, however, is the polar opposite. Just a massive crap-pile.

One side of the 2 main promotions which gets heavy criticism (and that we on the site have been more and more interested in) is the womens’ divisions. Where does ISW stand on womens wrestlers? Are you fans of the more hard-hitting female wrestlers and intergender matches or would you prefer a more Diva/Knockout style division?
Diva/Knockout style women’s wrestling does women wrestlers as a whole a disservice. It’s awful stuff, and basically crushes the dreams of any actual talented female wrestler who isn’t “magazine hot”, blonde, or stacked. There are some really talented female wrestlers out there.

Are there any WWE/TNA wrestlers you would like to bring into ISW? Conversely, are there any of your roster that you feel would fit in well in one of the mainstream companies? And would you want them to?
If anyone on our roster has a chance to make it, I’d be nothing but supportive. If you asked me this 5 years ago, I’d tell you that nobody on our roster could get there. Not slighting their talent at all – it’s just that they’re all less than 6’2″, 300 lbs of roided up mass. Now, with WWE using smaller guys – pretty much anyone could get there. It’d be very cool to see some of my friends live the dream.

I’d love to have R Truth and Daniel Bryan in Inter Species Wrestling. I just really feel like they’d fit in with our group.

Where can people find out more about ISW online?
We’re online at www.interspecieswrestling.com , but you can also find us on facebook at www.facebook.com/interspecieswrestling or twitter at @ISDub.

What do you have coming up? (Shows/DVD releases, etc)
We’ll be presenting our first ever tournament show on July 23, 2011 from the Heirloom Arts Theatre in Danbury, CT. It’s called Burger King of the Ring, and it’s sure to be a blast. The show also features the first ever “Fans Bring the LEGO Deathmatch” on American soil.

Check out the trailer/commercial for the show here

Do you have a match/trailer online that would give people an idea of what to expect at an ISW show?
Our youtube channel is jam packed with promos, full matches, and trailer videos. http://www.youtube.com/user/interspecies

Any last words for the readers?
Thanks for taking to time to check out what I had to say. I appreciate it, whether you agree or not. If you’re tired of what’s on TV, or just want to see wrestling done differently – check us out! Our DVDs are available through www.smartmarkvideo.com :)

No Alternative? The CHIKARA interview

No Alternative? is an annoyingly titled series of interviews that will hopefully introduce you to some of the independent wrestling promotions that we have come to love here at the blog. Rather than forcing yourself to sit through a dreary episode of Raw or a frankly embarrassing episode of IMPACT Wrestling (or whatever it’s called now) we want to show you that there is an alternative out there.

The first interview in the series is, fittingly, with our favourite wrestling promotion. Both Boss Lady Ray and myself have said that CHIKARA would be our “Desert Island Wrestling” were we to be dumped on a desert island together and forced to choose only one company to be able to watch the rest of our lives. Erstwhile “CHIKARA Director of Fun” Leonard F Chikarason was kind enough to take time out and answer a few questions for us.

Thanks for agreeing to this interview. For some of our readers that might not be familiar with you could you give us a brief introduction to CHIKARA ?
I could go right from the website, www.chikarapro.com, but instead, can sum CHIKARA up as “wrestling for everyone.” WWE purposes themselves as wrestling for the whole family and TNA claims “Wrestling Matters.” If both of these statements were true and awesome, that would be CHIKARA.

What would you say sets CHIKARA apart as an alternative from the mainstream promotions such as WWE and TNA?
As I mentioned before, CHIKARA bring you wrestling for everyone without insulting any group. From what I hear, the live non-TV/PPV WWE and TNA shows are fun, but the wrestling you may see there is just nowhere near as entertaining as CHIKARA provides at each and every show.

Do you think WWE and TNA present a reasonable view of professional wrestling to the mass market? Do you feel they do anything right or are you not a fan at all?
Unfortunately, WWE is what the majority of the mainstream world sees as “Wrestling” even though THEY don’t see themselves that way. I’ve been a fan of wrestling since 1984 and probably will never stop watching WWE out of habit. Not really sure what to think of TNA.

One side of the 2 main promotions which gets heavy criticism (and that we on the site have been more and more interested in) is the womens’ divisions. Where does CHIKARA stand on womens wrestlers? Are you fans of the more hard-hitting female wrestlers and intergender matches or would you prefer a more Diva/Knockout style division?
I think you answered your own question. Nothing makes me go for my channel changer quicker than a Divas match on WWE. The cornerstones of CHIKARA’s women’s division are Daizee Haze & Sara Del Rey, the later of which is the only women in the 12 Large Summit to determine the first ever CHIKARA singles champion.

Are there any WWE/TNA wrestlers you would like to bring into CHIKARA ? Conversely, are there any of your roster that you feel would fit in well in one of the mainstream companies? And would you want them to?
I’m torn on seeing anyone from CHIKARA leave. Many wrestlers in CHIKARA I’ve become friends with over the last six years and would miss them, but would be great full to see them get a shot in the “big leagues.” People like Brodie Lee, Hallowicked or Claudio Castagnoli would be the first three off the top of my head that would be huge no matter where they wrestled.
As for someone from WWE or TNA coming to CHIKARA, I can list your Evan Bourne’s and Sin Cara’s but in all seriousness, I would LOVE to see John Cena in CHIKARA.

Where can people find out more about CHIKARA online
CHIKARA has one of the strongest internet presences in all of wrestling. Your main hub would be, of course, www.chikarapro.com, where you can find any and all information about upcoming events merchandise and more. Our roster section now also links to most of the CHIKARA wrestlers on Twitter. Our own Twitter is @ChikaraPro and you can find our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/chikaraoffice, which is updated with new content every single weekday. Also, you can friend us, poke us or whatever you do on Facebook to us at www.facebook.com/pages/CHIKARA/53425196299.

What do you have coming up?
The weekend of July 30th and 31st is CHIKARAsaurus Rex – King of Sequel in Reading, PA and Philadelphia, PA respectively. In addition to all the CHIKARA regulars and several 12 Large Summit tournament matches, we have visitors from England in Johnny Saint and Johnny Kid, Japan in Ice Ribbon standouts Makoto & Tsukasa Fujimoto and Japanese and Mexico super star, Mima Shimoda. Also, many of our friends such as El Generico and Colt Cabana are making their return as well.
As for DVDs, Smart Mark Video turns our shows around in record time, usually within 2 weeks of the show. They even went as far as having all three nights of King of Trios 2011 available the very next day! Check em out at www.smartmarkvideo.com!

Do you have a match/trailer online that would give people an idea of what to expect at an CHIKARA show?
As mentioned above, we have TONS of introductory videos on our YouTube page. (Sidekick Andrew edit: this is true, in fact we listed a few of the matches available for free here but I’ll link this one because it’s really worth a watch)

Any last words for the readers?
Thank you giving me to the time to let your readers know what CHIKARA can show wrestling fans. We ask you support not only CHIKARA but all wrestling where ever and whenever you can!

CHIKARA King of Trios: Bryce Remsburg interview

Not sure if I’ve quite managed to get this across over the last couple of days, but I’m really excited about the CHIKARA King of Trios this year. Actually, I’m really excited about it every year, but the line-up is especially strong this time around

One of the (many) things I love about CHIKARA is that every last person involved just seems to “get it.” Whether its The Batiri offering the bronzed skulls of The Colony for sale on Craigslist or the guy who decided to update the Paypal account to list WMDCorp, nothing is left to chance.

This also goes for the referees, in particular Bryce Remsburg – a graduate of the first class at the CHIKARA Wrestle Factory and probably the best known referee on the independent circuit. Remsburg can sell a move better than most wrestlers, a skill which makes him an integral part of any match he officiates. Bryce was kind enough to answer a few questions for us in our third EXCLUSIVE (yes, still all caps, like MATTHEW used to be) King of Trios interview.

Bryce Remsburg, thanks for the opportunity for an interview. Could you briefly introduce yourself for readers that might not be familiar with you?
I am just a dude who loves me some wrestling from Philly. I referee, commentate, and it is my opinion that I make an excellent wedding date.

How would you explain CHIKARA to someone who may not have seen any of the shows before?
CHIKARA is everything wrestling should be: athletic, colorful, compelling, and overall FUN. Its a comic book come to life, and it takes spandex playfighting to a whole new level.

King of Trios is the biggest show of the CHIKARA year, possibly the largest in the world of professional wrestling. How big a deal is it for you to be part of the show again this year?
It is my privilege. This is the one weekend a year the wrestling world is watching us, and we all know it. Everyone is set to make an amazing lasting impression with our best foot forward. It is without question our big show, without all the acromegaly.

Who are you most looking forward to officiating for during the tournament?
A 10 year kid who lost his mind when the 1-2-3 Kid pinned Razor Ramon will be standing in a ring with him tomorrow night. 28 year old Bryce has not fully processed this yet, for fear of imploding before the tournament concludes.

If you could pick a fantasy Trio of any three wrestlers, alive or dead, who would you pick?
Hmmm… I would like to think the trio of Andy Kaufman, Orange Cassidy, and Max Moon would be entirely unbeatable, NAY, invincible. Sidekick Andrew: Is there any indie wrestler who doesn’t love Orange Cassidy? Not sure I see the appeal myself…

CHIKARA’s DVD covers are incredibly popular with fans due to their comic book homages. If you could be a comic book character who would it be?
I would be Guy Who Doesn’t Read Comics Man. He never loses, and gets to make out with all the pretty ladies. I do enjoy our DVD covers though.

Of all the CHIKARA DVDs you’ve appeared on, which you recommend as really showing Bryce at his best?
Oh heavens, my dance movez (the z means its real) are on display in our Season 10 premiere, “Chaos In the Sea of Lost Souls“. This will erase all doubt that I make an excellent wedding date.



Overdone Tough Enough question: other than the obvious Alicia Fox vs Melina 5* epic, what is your favourite match of all time?
Wow, I gotta say, Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart from WrestleMania X has a special place in my heart. No pun intended. Okay, maybe a little one.

As we are also interviewing Jakob Hammermeier for the blog, which member of the BDK do you respect the most?
Meh, I say an all-way tie for none of them. Definitely not that used car salesman moron Derek Sabato. Sidekick Andrew: would you buy a used car from this man?

You’re also part of the improv comedy group Secret Pants – if you could choose any member of the CHIKARA roster to join you for a sketch who would it be?
Well, Colt Cabana has performed with us, and that was great. But I think I’d like to see Eddie Kingston in a sketch comedy universe. The thought of it is funny already.

You’re also one of the favourites at the CHIKARA Commentation Station – who has been your favourite commentating partner over the years?
Probably UltraMantis Black. He has an uncanny knack for catching me offguard and making me crack up. Also, he smells nice. Sidekick Andrew: My UltraMantis Black crush is pretty out in the open, but *SWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON*

Any final words for the Wrestlegasm readers?
Thanks for reading, thanks for supporting, and if you don’t come to King of Trios, we’re gonna club a baby seal. No pressure. Now that I’ve completed my Wrestlegasm interview, I may need a cigarette. See what I did there?!

And on that seal-clubbing, post-coital cigarette advocating note, I would like to say a big thank you to Bryce for the interview. Alongside Jakob Hammermeier and Green Ant, that wraps up our (wait for it…) Trio of interviews. Get it? Trio? Hahahaha!

CHIKARA’s King of Trios tournament is being held on April 15, 16 & 17 at the Asylum Arena in Philadelphia, and quite frankly if you’re in a position to attend and you don’t then I’m not sure I want to know you. As well as the CHIKARA and BDK regulars such as Mike Quackenbush, and my man-crush Ultramantis Black, there will also be Japanese legends Manami Toyota, Dick Togo, Jinsei Shinzaki and The Great Sasuke, as well as ex-WWE star the 1-2-3 Kid.

Tickets are still available at the official CHIKARA store as well as DVDs of the previous tournaments, every last one of which is worth watching.

CHIKARA King of Trios: Green Ant interview

You should all be aware of just how much we love CHIKARA and the King of Trios tournament here in The Bunker by now. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit, but every time I watch this video I get goosebumps.

As such big fans, we’re always happy to do anything we can to help promote CHIKARA, and following on from our EXCLUSIVE interview with Jakob Hammermeier yesterday, today we bring you an EXCLUSIVE interview with perhaps his fiercest rival, Green Ant. Yep, still not getting bored with typing EXCLUSIVE :D

Green Ant, thanks for the opportunity for an interview. Could you briefly introduce yourself for readers that might not be familiar with you?
Sure! I’m a member of a trio of wrestling (“ENTERTAINING”?) ants known as the Colony. My partners are the HOT PROPERTY Fire Ant and the Militant Mat Mite, Soldier Ant. We’re pretty great.

How would you explain CHIKARA to someone who may not have seen any of the shows before?
Well first I would probably direct them to the Youtube channel and the official seller of CHIKARA DVDs, www.smartmarkvideo.com because I’m a professional like that. But if I had to describe what we do, I guess I’d have to say that CHIKARA is professional wrestling done right with a slightly wacky edge. Some people look at CHIKARA and get the impression that we’re strictly a comedy promotion, but that’s certainly not the case. They judge the book by its cover, and I guess it’s kind of understandable since the cover probably had giant wrestling ants fighting Egyptian time travelers on it.

King of Trios is the biggest show of the CHIKARA year, possibly the largest in the world of professional wrestling. How big a deal is it for you to be competing this year?
Oh, it’s a huge deal. It’s the biggest weekend of my year and it’s constantly on my mind. Last year was my first time participating in the tournament, and ever since then I’ve been waiting for the next opportunity to prove that the Colony is the best trio CHIKARA, or the world, has to offer. I’m constantly training with my partners and trying to get better, and this weekend we get to put our skills to the test against a ridiculously stacked group of 16 trios. The world’s eyes are on us, and that’s heavy stuff. Also it’s like a real-life version of King Of Fighters and that’s awesome.

So I see...

Who are you most looking forward to facing during the tournament?
That’s kind of a tough one since the brackets are kept secret until the tournament is already in motion. I’m definitely hoping to face off with the BDK trio of Timothy Donst, Delirious, and most importantly, Jakob Hammermeier. I’m not sure if you saw the Creatures From The Tar Swamp show in Brooklyn, NY, but I’ve got some issues to work out with young Jakob. And of course there’s what happened last year in the finals of King Of Trios 2010, when the BDK quadrant of Tursas, Castagnoli, Ares, and Derek Sabato robbed me and my partners. They showed no respect for true competition and stole victory from us when we wanted to win more than anything in the world. However, this year is different. This year, we don’t WANT to win, we NEED to win. So Donst, Delirious, and Hammermeier, if the stars align and you end up across the ring from The Colony, you can throw every trick in your little scrapbook at us. We’ll be ready. [Sidekick Andrew: Scrapbook? Oh yes, *that* scrapbook...]

If you could pick a fantasy Trio of any three wrestlers, alive or dead, who would you pick?
Early 90’s Sting, Antonino Rocca, Kazushi Sakuraba

CHIKARA’s DVD covers are incredibly popular with fans due to their comic book homages. If you could be a comic book character who would it be?
I think I’m in one of those old CHIKARA comic books, so I’d say ME, Green Ant. If I had to choose someone else, I’m going to say THE MASK from the old Dark Horse comics. Don’t ask me why, haha.

Of all the CHIKARA DVDs you’ve appeared on, which you recommend as an introduction to Green Ant?
Definitely King Of Trios 2010, Night Three. Even though the finals didn’t have the outcome we wanted, I think that show is a great example of how hard my partners and I fight and how seriously we take what we do. Plus I jump off a really high ant-tower onto a Japanese guy.

Overdone Tough Enough question: other than the obvious Alicia Fox vs Melina 5* epic, what is your favourite match of all time?
I’m actually partial to the less-publicized rematch, Melina vs. Alicia Foxx II. Some people say it didn’t have the same magic as the first classic, but I just blame that on it being in such a large building. The sound went up, as they say. So yeah, Melina vs. Alicia Foxx TWO.

As we are also interviewing Jakob Hammermeier for the blog, which member of the BDK do you respect the most?
Blah. It’s hard to say I respect any of them after what they’ve shown us month in and month out. I respect Claudio Castagnoli’s ABILITIES the most since he was my trainer before all this BDK nonsense. I respect Jakob the least :)

Question from Boss Lady Ray: What are your thoughts on interspecies marriage?
Hmm. I’m pretty open minded, so I’d have to say I support it. Hopefully Jakob Hammermeier can find a nice donkey or something to settle down with. [BOSS LADY RAY: Clearly that marriage proposal was too subtle.]

Question from one of our regular readers, Charlie: How does it feel to be picked out to wrestle against Mike Quackenbush in opening wrestling clinics at Clutch of Doom and Michigan’s Brain?
It’s an awesome thing, and I hope to get more time in the ring one on one with Mike Quackenbush. I don’t feel like I’ve really showed what I can do on the mat just yet. I love that CHIKARA is a place where every style of professional wrestling can shine, and you can see every style represented on the same show in the same ring. So yeah, I hope to show more of what I can do on the mat. Thanks, reader!

Any final words for the Wrestlegasm readers?
No matter where you are on this earth, you need to find your way to Philadelphia this weekend. In my honest opinion, King Of Trios is consistantly the most exciting weekend of wrestling shows year in and year out. I’d also like to say that I really appreciate you guys helping to get the word out there about CHIKARA.

As I said above Mr Ant, always a pleasure. CHIKARA’s King of Trios tournament is being held on April 15, 16 & 17 at the Asylum Arena in Philadelphia, and quite frankly if you’re in a position to attend and you don’t then I’m not sure I want to know you. As well as the CHIKARA and BDK regulars such as Mike Quackenbush, Claudio Castagnoli (and my man-crush Ultramantis Black), there will also be Japanese legends Manami Toyota, Dick Togo, Jinsei Shinzaki and The Great Sasuke, as well as ex-WWE star the 1-2-3 Kid. (Sorry about the mistake yesterday, I could be professional and edit it out, but I know I’m not flawless. Claudio is in Japan this weekend instead.)

Tickets are still available at the official CHIKARA store as well as DVDs of the previous tournaments, every last one of which is worth watching.

In case you were wondering, the word of the day is still “EEP”

CHIKARA King of Trios: Jakob Hammermeier interview

As the more observant among you will have realised by now, this weekend is a pretty big deal in the indie wrestling calendar as CHIKARA hold their annual King of Trios tournament in Philadelphia. 16 teams, 48 wrestlers – all competing over three days of what will be, if previous years are anything to go by, amazing wrestling.

Excited as we are here in the bunker for this tournament, unfortunately we will be stuck back in the rainy UK. However, we do have a couple of readers attending (that we are insanely jealous of) and now we have an EXCLUSIVE interview with a wrestler making his debut King of Trios in-ring appearance, Jakob Hammermeier. And yes, the word “exclusive” really does deserve to be in bold and upper case. Hey, if I was writing this in a school exercise book I’d have underlined it three times… in red.

Jakob Hammermeier, thanks for the opportunity for an interview. Could you briefly introduce yourself for readers that might not be familiar with you?
Guten Tag! ( first of all pardon my English. I’ve just recently became relatively fluent within the past year or so.) So I’m Jakob Hammermeier, wrestler/announcer for the BDK in Chikara Pro (although were working on getting that named changed to BDK Pro) [Sidekick Andrew: Who are the BDK you ask? See below...]

How would you explain CHIKARA to someone who may not have seen any of the shows before?
Chikara (name change pending), is the future und the alternative of/in professional wrestling. It encompasses everything that made you fall in love with pro wrestling as a child, and then throws in a blend different wrestling styles, dashes of comedic and pop culture references all of which are depicted by dedicated, creative, innovative, and colorful athletes. Something entertaining for everyone of all ages.

King of Trios is the biggest show of the CHIKARA year, possibly the largest in the world of professional wrestling. How big a deal is it for you to be competing this year?
It is an amazing honor to compete in the same competition that mein trainers have dominated in the past. I can’t wait to make them proud!

Who are you most looking forward to facing during the tournament?
The team who is going to get 2nd place after we win!

If you could pick a fantasy Trio of any three wrestlers, alive or dead, who would you pick?
Ares, Claudio Castanoli, und Tursas.

CHIKARA’s DVD covers are incredibly popular with fans due to their comic book homages. If you could be a comic book character who would it be?
Thanos, the Mad Titan. Hands down my favorite comic book character of all time.

Of all the CHIKARA DVDs you’ve appeared on, which you recommend as an introduction to Jakob Hammermeier?
Any of them beginning with “A Touch of Class”. They all represent who I am.

Overdone Tough Enough question: other than the obvious Alicia Fox vs Melina 5* epic, what is your favourite match of all time?
Those would be a four-way tie between C.Castagnoli und Ares vs. The Colony (at Wit, Verve, and a Bit of Nerve), KOT 2010 finals, Tim Donst vs. Player Dos (A Touch of Class) und my most recent victory over Green Ant at (Creatures from the Tar Swamp).

As we are also interviewing Green Ant for the blog, which member of The Colony do you respect the most?
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

If you had to replace one member of the BDK with any other wrestler from the CHIKARA roster, who would it be?
I would never replace any member of the BDK with a member of the Chikara “roster”. But if I had to recruit one extra person it would definitely be the U.S.Ape because I feel that would really demoralize the Chikara roster to see such a symbolic image of U.S.Ape in BDK colors.

How devastated were you when Claudio spurned your hug after granting you a match?
What are you talking about? He totally hugged me back firmly, which says to me; “Great job kid, you’ve earned this, und I couldn’t be more proud of you.” you just couldn’t tell because it’s very subtle. [Sidekick Andrew: I guess I was wrong, but feel free to judge for yourselves below]

Any final words for the Wrestlegasm readers?
Everybody come out to King of Trios und bring out an extra $20.00 and buy my new shirt!!!! It’s super well done and looks sharp. (it also will make you live longer!) Danke for the interview!
Im namen der Bruderschaft
Jakob Hammermeier

Nein, danke schön Herr Hammermeier. CHIKARA’s King of Trios tournament is being held on April 15, 16 & 17 at the Asylum Arena in Philadelphia, and quite frankly if you’re in a position to attend and you don’t then I’m not sure I want to know you. As well as the CHIKARA and BDK regulars such as Mike Quackenbush, Claudio Castagnoli (and my man-crush Ultramantis Black), there will also be Japanese legends Manami Toyota, Dick Togo, Jinsei Shinzaki and The Great Sasuke, as well as ex-WWE star the 1-2-3 Kid.

Tickets are still available at the official CHIKARA store as well as DVDs of the previous tournaments, every last one of which is worth watching.

In the immortal words of Boss Lady Ray: “EEP”