Headquarters by Mike Quackenbush
Review / September 24, 2019

Somewhat reminiscent of a low-level indy version of Have A Nice Day, this is a book with as much interest in its non-wrestling content as the in-ring tales. It’s important to note the book was released in 2001, a year before CHIKARA’s launch, so it’s about Quackenbush’s youth and early in-ring career rather than his training and promoting days, though on the basis of this there’s potential for a worthwhile second volume. Large parts of this book deal with Quackenbush’s attempts to navigate an American adolescence and find a creative outlet, with tales of experiences as diverse as playing in high school bands, attempting to get a journalistic scoop from the Iraqi embassy, and an illusion-shattering visit to a sperm donation clinic. There is plenty of wrestling content though, covering an intriguing period when “independent wrestling” changed from the realm of former WWF stars in no-bumps matches and local DJs winning battle royales to cards full of younger and more athletic wrestlers with a modern fusion of international styles. Fans of a certain age will enjoy the nostalgia of names such as Reckless Youth, Julio Dinero and star of TNM7 “Beef Stew” Lou Marconi. To spoil the ending of this book…