On Wednesday (June 24), Chikara founder Mike Quackenbush announced the independent promotion was shutting down after it was the focus of several #SpeakingOut stories. A number of current and former wrestlers with the company, which also included the Wrestle Factory school, tweeted to say they no longer wanted to be associated with Chikara due to the culture of abuse depicted by the accusations.
This morning, Quackenbush - whose real name is Michael Spillane - posted a lengthy explanation/defense/apology to his YouTube channel.
“Statement” has drawn praise for its willingness to directly and specifically address the allegations about Spillane and the company he’s run since it was founded in 2002.
It’s also drawn criticism for claiming to be “entirely separate from the fictional world of pro wrestling” in an edited video where Spillane introduces himself with his kayfabe name and delivers his message with the same voice and cadence he uses for promos.
However you perceive the overall production, the end message of listening to those who are speaking out is valid. How well the man Chikara fans have long known as Quack does that may determine whether or not fans accept whatever he tries to do next in the wrestling space.