The Philadelphia-based organization has seen top WWE talent like Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Cesaro rise through its ranks.
What initially attracted me to Chikara was not only its lack of both pretense and shock value, but its emphasis on the brand.
Rather than menacing body-building type superstars, expect to see comedic athletes and characters in storylines that are both fast-paced and family-friendly.
An entire match in slow-motion? That’s happened. Just as an in-ring baseball game has.
Senior referee Bryce Remsburg (@dabryceisright on Twitter) took the time to answer some questions about the past, present and future of Chikara.
New Yorkers will be able to see a Chikara event first-hand at Stage 48 on Saturday, July 19. Simply put: It will be the sort of live event that even someone not into wrestling can get behind.
TheImproper: What do you think makes Chikara different from the big leagues of wrestling (e.g. WWE, TNA) and the major indies (e.g. ROH, AAA)?
Bryce Remsburg: It’s something for everyone – 8-year-olds and 80-year-olds love us. It’s pro wrestling for the non-wrestling fans.
IM: When people have condescending things to say about wrestling, how do you usually handle this? Do you have a usual line of defense, or are you more the “smile and nod” type?
Remsburg: Someone wise somewhere once said, “for those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who don’t, no explanation will do.” That encapsulates my thoughts nicely.
IM: In general, what do you wish more people knew about Chikara?
Remsburg: It destroys the pre-conceived muscles and steroids notions many have about wrestling. It’s not that. It’s performance art of the most entertaining degree. If you ever enjoyed Blue Man Group or Cirque du Soleil, we are right up your cultural alley.
IM: And what do you wish more people knew about you personally?
Remsburg: When bad guys break the rules, it hurts my feelings a whole lot.
IM: What’s the hardest part about being a referee?
Remsburg: Exceptionally in a CHIKARA 8-man tag team match environment, staying out of way and making sure my hair doesn’t get messed up.
IM: What’s to be expected from the upcoming Chikara show at Stage 48 in New York?
Remsburg: Our fun filled lucha super-party in full effect. New York crowds have always been good to us, and I expect this Saturday to be no different.
IM: Is a Simon & Garfunkel return likely for the Stage 48 show?
Remsburg: I’m bringing my copy of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” just in case.
IM: Finally, Bryce, any last words for the kids?
Remsburg: Wear your seat belts, listen to “Weird Al” Yankovic and use manners. They’re the best.
For more on the organization check out Chikara online.