April is here, spring is in the air, the days are growing longer, it’s time to celebrate!
It’s time for Wrestlmania folks!
Forget the fake sports like football, basketball or soccer it is time when the toughest athletes from around the planet congregate on one city, this year it’s Orlando Florida, to test their might and their minds in the greatest sporting contests known to man.
CHIKARA is an independent wrestling company from Philadelphia and it is a wrestling company unlike any other.
For the last 15 years and 16 seasons CHIKARA has pushed the boundaries of the sport, science and stories of Pro Wrestling.
With an emphasis on family friendly fun and comic book inspired action CHIKARA is the fun-filled Lucha Super Party.
An organisation bringing together the finest fighters from across space and time.
Armies of Ants, they’ve got them!
A wrestling Rock Lobster and his Hermit Crap Companion!
Bumbling Buffoons in Ice Cream Masks, of course!
Ancient Viking Magic Artifacts capable of controlling even the most power of minds!
Vegan Insectoid Overlords, thankfully there’s only one of those!
CHIKARA’s host with the most, the dashing and debonair Master of Ceremonies, the Party Tsar Vlad Radinov talked to us about his history with the Philadelphia Promotion, the importance of super heroes to the fun-filled Lucha Super Party and what to expect from Season 17 and 18 of CHIKARA’s unique of wrestling, characters and comedy.
AC: First of all Vlad I know you are always a very well dressed man. Tell us about your Spring / Summer wardrobe for 2017. What will you wearing as a you tour the world with CHIKARA this year?
VR: You have to understand that “dressing up” as you would call it, is an important part of Russian culture. We like to look our best, even if we are just running to the store. The closest I get to “leaving the house in sweats” is a snakeskin patterned tracksuit. I have changed the look up at little bit since Seasons 16 & 17. I think it’s important to evolve. Style is substance. I don’t want to reveal too much, you’ll just have to sit back and enjoy the ensembles.
AC: You debuted for CHIKARA around 18 months ago towards the end of Season 15 at Key Decisions in Reading, can you tell us about the events that led to stepping into a CHIKARA ring?
VR: I was partying on Ashley Remington’s boat in the Caspian Sea and who should I run into but Gavin Loudspeaker. We discussed our love of partying and CHIKARA, and the rest is, as they say, history!
AC: Were you bestowed with the title of Party Tsar as part of that transition of power or is that a familial title?
VR: Actually, I won the title of Party Tsar, or Russian King of Parties, from the old Party Tsar in a dance contest…ok it was eating contest…take your wins where you can get them, kids.
AC: CHIKARA is a Superheroic world of heroes and villains. What drew you to it in the first place?
VR: What drew me to CHIKARA was not only the world class wrestling, but also the stories and attention to detail. The care for the fans, the desire to give them an immersive experience, a journey. CHIKARA has thrilling, gripping stories you just can’t get anywhere else in wrestling. It is it’s own unique blend of hero’s and villains, good vs evil, party & performance, with feats of strength and agility so dazzling and rare, I sometimes forget I am watching a live show and not a video game!
AC: How important are comic books and superhero culture in informing and shaping the CHIKARA World.
VR: I think comic fans would find a lot to love in CHIKARA. It is no secret a good amount of the roster are big comic readers, and our flashy heroes and ruthless villains would be right at home in the pages of a comic, in fact, CHIKARA has put out a few itself.
AC: CHIKARA makes wrestling for everyone. Fans ranging from 8, 18 or 80 attending their first or hundredth CHIKARA show. As CHIKARA’s Party Tsar how do you rise to the challenge of getting the party started for the people in the audience?
VR: It is important to being a good energy to the table, to set the tone. I have my trusty Vlad Blaster (™), and when they see that confetti fly, the Chikarmy knows it’s time to party! The talented roster makes it easy, and the veterans in the crowd are more than excited to bring new folks on board!
AC: CHIKARA has really upped its game in the last year or adding more and more titles to CHIKARAtopia, the streaming service, but also branching out in Facebook Live and Periscope. What new challenges and opportunities does that bring to you as CHIKARA’s Master of Ceremonies?
VR: Youtube, Facebook, our streaming service CHIKARATOPIA, there are so many ways to engage fans old and new. It is a great time to be a wrestling fan! No more waiting for physical media in the mail! It is an exciting time to be a part of CHIKARA, because we have the world at our doorstep, and it’s up to us to deliver the Fun Filled Lucha Super Party we’re known for.
AC: Season 18 brings an interesting mix of faces old and new to the CHIKARA Faithful; from 15 year veterans like Icarus, Hallowicked and Ultramantis to evergreen favourites the Colony, Ophidian and Lucas Calhoun to the sinister new Whisper or Xyberhawx2000. How does CHIKARA bring to together such a wide variety of amazing athletes and compelling characters from across the cosmos?
VR: Our director of fun has quite the eye for talent. It’s evident in just how many wrestling stars have passed through our ring. The wrestling is world class, the level of talent and competition is unsurpassed, and when it comes to training, the Wrestle Factory has the most comprehensive wrestling curriculum in the world. I think that is what makes us a featured destination for wrestlers from across time and space.
AC: Many of your Eastern European brethren such as the Latvian Proud Oak, Lithuanian Snow Troll and the Brown Morning of Belarus have left the Wrestle Factory leaving you with only the Proletariat Boar of Moldova and Mr Azerbaijan to remind you of home. Do you ever miss life back in the old country?
VR: To be honest, while Russia holds a special place in my heart, I love traveling the world, partying, and getting to be a small part of my favorite wrestling promotion in the world. I’m too busy to be homesick!
VR: Wherever possible! When I had first visited America as a young Vlad, I toured the Mrs. T’s pierogi factory here in PA, and they said ” you can try one right off the production line.” Well, one turned into many, and it was like the chocolate scene out of “I Love Lucy”. My family had to drag me out of the factory that day.
AC: All the titles for the Chapters in Season 18 are references to Doctor Who Episodes? Are you a fan of the Doctor’s Adventures across space and time?
VR: I am! 5 was the most fashionable, and I loved the 9-10 run, but stopped watching very early into 11’s run. I have caught a few episodes of 12, but I find my party schedule gets in the way of my TV schedule, so I have to be selective.
CHIKARA is taking part in the More than Mania celebration of independent wrestling in Orland Florida but you can find out if they’re coming to your town by heading to CHIKARA’s website or following them on Twitter and Facebook.