Mike Quackenbush recently joined Spencer Love of the Conversations With Love podcast. Quackenbush is currently celebrating his 25th year in professional wrestling.
Below are some highlights sent to Fightful
On his 25th Anniversary Tour:
“There’s so much in professional wrestling which is insincere – wildly insincere. People imagine that they can – and you do, to an extent - you have the freedom to invent any wild persona for yourself. A lot of times wrestlers, especially nascent performers, will choose characters that embody traits or characteristics that they themselves do not have. That way, they get to play a character that’s really not like them, and that can be fun! It’s like putting a Halloween costume on for a bit and being like ‘tonight, I’m going to be Batman. Tonight, I get to be Optimus Prime.’ I understand that. I understand the allure of that escapism.
The problem with that is all performers, myself included, will go through a phase where it’s almost more fun to be the persona and not take it off and return to being a real person. There is something that lacks consequence about that, it lacks a certain maturity, and it lacks a certain grounding in reality. I think we can all think (of) especially pro wrestlers from the ‘80s that began to live their character in day-to-day life; they started to lose their touch with reality. All of this kind of contributes – as well as of course the advent of social media and the way in which we communicate online – this overwhelming insincerity.
“Where I’m at now – and I hate this term, but I feel like it’s kind of the one that fits me now – as like an elder statesman of independent wrestling, the thing I am pushing back against is that insincerity. If there isn’t something sincere at the root of this, if it doesn’t mean something to me to perform with this person, or it doesn’t mean something to them to share the ring with me, then I don’t care. Maybe that seems corny, or cheesy, or outdated or needlessly sentimental, but I will not put on the sparkly pants, work up a sweat, and risk another injury given the cavalcade of injuries I’ve had over 25+ years, unless doing it really and truly means something.”