Chikara accusations (updated - closing down)

More news from the #SpeakingOut movement…
Accusations, followed by a mass public exodus of talent, including longtime talents like Hallowicked, Dasher Hatfield, and others.

And now… Looks like Chikara is done, according to PWInsider.

PWInsider.com has been told in the wake of allegations against CHIKARA and owner Mike Quackenbush, an announcement is forthcoming that the promotion is shutting down.

We are told by multiple sources that Quackenbush will also announce he is resigning at the head trainer of the WrestleFactory wrestling academy in Philadelphia, PA.

CHIKARA was founded by Quackenbush in 2002 in Pennsylvania, eventually running all over the Eastern seaboard and internationally in Great Britain. It held working relationships with numerous international promotions and brought in a slew of unique international stars from Japan, Mexico, Great Britain and beyond over the years, including lots of joshi puroresu talents. It’s flagship weekend was the King of Trios, a multi-day six-person tag team tournament.

There were numerous allegations made overnight, describing alleged systematic abuse towards female trainees and staffers. You can find those accounts at this link. We are told in the wake of the allegations, Quackenbush held numerous meetings with Zoom overnight and this afternoon with talents and staff.

CHIKARA regulars Hallowicked, Jacob Hammermeier and Kimber Lee earlier announced they were done with the company. Numerous other talents are distancing themselves from the company publicly as well.

The announcements PWInsider was told about came to fruition. Nothing beyond the non-apology announcement from Quackenbush yet.

Of the few promotions that regularly ran within a comfortable driving distance from me in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area, Chikara was by far my favorite (ROH certainly was there as well prior to the HDNet and SBG eras but only came to Philadelphia sporadically). For nearly fifteen years, I have followed, watched, supported, and overall loved this promotion. If they were still going to run, I know longer could that. All of the allegations I saw yesterday have gutted and angered me.

I had heard rumors about seven years ago of Quackenbush having an affair with the wrestler/trainee Saturyne (later Hania the Howling Huntress once she left Chikara), Quackenbush’s wife finding out, and that she apparently provided a lot of the funds for Chikara, so those getting cut off led to their hiatus between May 2013 and May 2014, where they chose to do that Ashes storyline, making short movies and running much smaller shows in different parts of the country. Again, those were all rumors I heard.

These recently revealed accusations just paints it all as a spider web of systemic oppression and awfulness. In addition to Hallowicked (a huge one, since he’s been there from the start), Frightmare, and Jacob Hammermeier, a lot of the younger talent tendered their resignations from Chikara before Quackenbush’s announcement. A lot of young wrestlers and wrestlers-in-training that didn’t do anything wrong and now have nowhere to go, except later I saw the likes of Matt Tremont and the Monster Factory’s Danny Cage open their schools’ doors to them, which is really nice to see. Hopefully all of those guys rebound from this and thrive within healthier systems.

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