Headquarters by Mike Quackenbush

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 would be a disservice to readers, but suffice to say it is highly memorable and an insight into the way storyline triumphs can be less important than more personal moments in the business.

While long out of print, the book is still available through the Chikara website.

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