Mike Quackenbush releases apology video, denies some allegations

Three days after announcing that he was closing Chikara and resigning as head trainer of the Wrestle Factory school, Mike Quackenbush released a 14-minute video Saturday where he accepted responsbility for some of the allegations, admitted to others, and denied others.

The first half of the video was devoted to a single female trainee who came forward as part of #SpeakingOut and chose to remain anonymous while addressing other allegations in the second half.

Quackenbush (Mike Spillane) said he first heard a few days ago of the allegation from one trainee that another was “blackout drunk” at a coach’s residence and sexually assaulted. He said that coach was removed several months ago, but that safeguards must be put in place so that never happens again.

He said he had no first hand knowledge of a male wrestler exposing himself to a female trainee on a road trip, but since the trip was organized under his purview, he accepts full responsibility. He said he was alerted by a coach of “unprofessional behavior” during the trip and that discipline was handed out at the time, but the behavior was not reported to him in this level of detail. 

He addressed a leg injury that was suffered by the trainee and jokes made at their expense by others. He said he was in the ring with the trainee when the injury happened and did go to the hospital with them, but did not hear any jokes about it. He said he believed the accuser and apologized, but denied any allegation an injury would be caused on purpose. He also stood by his call of not letting the woman continue training due to the injury and denied any “manipulation or gaslighting”, saying she didn’t have the proper upper body strength to safely keep doing so. 

He denied another allegation where it was said he was openly talking about his sex life, saying he never had done so publicly. He admitted that at two points of his professional life, he was involved with active Chikara performers, but that they were consensual and are those two are free to talk about it if they choose. He denied ever being involved sexually with a trainee.

He didn’t recall making a comment about an “attractive female fan” at an event or a trainee later having sex with that fan, but apologized and accepted responsibility, giving the accuser the benefit of the doubt.

He got emotional when addressing allegations he made inappropriate comments against a wrestler with autism. He said he didn’t hear the comments, but believed the allegations and apologized to his friend. He also said he very well might have been a narcissist during that period and apologized.

He admitted that he did likely use homophobic language during 2010-11, but didn’t recall making other remarks. However, he he should own that he did and accept responsibility as he did say “ignorant things in my past”. He said he didn’t do enough to change the culture and reflected on an exit interview with a trainee where they said how hurtful it was to hear anti-gay slurs used aloud.