We recently had the pleasure of chatting to the master of ceremonies and Party Tsar of CHIKARA, Vlad Radinov. Check him out on Twitter at @thepartytsar and all things CHIKARA at http://chikarapro.com
Tell us when did your love of wrestling begin?
My love of wrestling began when I was just a lower case tsar in Russia, watching my Uncles wrestle bears for tips in the town centre or watching national hero Alexsandr Karlein, the greatest Greco-Roman wrestler of all time go undefeated for so many years. A few years before the fall of the USSR, when I was still young, we came to America and one of my earliest memories of America was when my father ordered Wrestlemania III for us to watch and he rigged a Commodore 64 monitor to our TV so we had it on two screens at once! I felt like a king and I knew I would have a deep love for both America and wrestling.
Who was your favourite wrestler when you were younger?
This is very tough, like trying to pick a favorite caviar or tracksuit. I loved everything about the spectacle of wrestling! There’s a guy who comes out and puts a snake on people! There’s a guy with a green tongue who eats the turnbuckle! There’s a real life GI Joe! Perhaps no story of my wrestling obsession is recounted with as much laughter in my family as the month in elementary school I spent with an ever present toothpick in my mouth, calling everyone on the playground “Chico” with a poorly executed Cuban accent laid over my still thick Russian one. For some reason I thought I had found some great secret in wrestling and acting like Razor Ramon would rocket me to popularity!
What is Vlad Radinov all about?
I am all about a good time, but more than that making sure everyone is having a good time. They don’t call me the Party Tsar for nothing, I consider myself a facilitator of fun and I like to make sure everyone can get in on the action. Good friends, good food (clearly) and watching a good fight! That’s why CHIKARA and I are such a natural fit, who better to be the host for the Fun Filled Lucha Superparty!
What is the wrestling scene like in your home country?
For a long time all you could see was the WWF, but there are independents found in clubs and basements across Russia. The public attitude is maybe a little more judgmental of the perceived “violence” than here, but you find fans and wrestlers just as passionate as anywhere in the world.
You were over in the UK in May with CHIKARA, what were your favourite memories of the UK?
I have been to the UK several times in my capacity as an international party host, but never in a wrestling context, the whole trip was a delight! From the constantly available Egg n Cress sandwiches/Crunchie bars (a secret favorite of mine) our Starbucks adjacent dressing room in Manchester, a night out with some of the lads in Wolverhampton, to spending hours on the bus watching the gorgeous countryside roll by as we made our way from Newcastle to Glasgow and back to Manchester all in a day. The memories of my first international wrestling tour will stay with me forever and I was so glad it was in a place I love to visit so much like the UK.
What did you think of the British fans?
I love the British fans because when you chant or yell it’s usually clever and coordinated. It really adds to the atmosphere. Their passion was palpable and it made my job very easy! They were very welcoming to me and quick to offer a post-event pint!
Which of the British stars were you impressed with?
To be a wrestling fan and be ignorant of the British wrestling scene right now is to your own detriment. Almost everyone I had the chance to work with on our tour impressed me in some way. The charming diplomacy of Trent Seven, who was our Fight Club Pro host. The way he can grab the attention of a 3 person conversation or a room with hundreds of people. They style and confidence of Chris Brookes. The sheer power of Joe Coffey. Watching “The Kiwi Buzzsaw*” Travis Banks in matches and in the Manchester seminar, how he seems purpose built to be a wrestler. Young guns like Nixon Newell, Dan Moloney & Tyler Bate are so focused, dedicated and talented at such a young age. The work ethic of the Hunter Brothers, who I am pretty sure are supernatural beings who don’t require sleep. Rounding the corner in North Shields and coming face to face with the New Nation, Alexander Henry & Jason Prime and thinking “How are these guys not huge in the states” I found myself thinking that a lot on this trip “Why doesn’t more of Americans know about ______, why aren’t they on my TV every week” I have no doubt that many of them will make it there. British wrestling right now is like literature in Paris in the 20’s or music in Seattle in the late 80’s/early 90’s, they are doing things their own way and making a statement that won’t be ignored. It has nuance and depth and as a fan it’s a real treat to watch. *coined by yours truly
You have a very nice beard and moustache, do you think you have what it takes to become the third member of Moustache Mountain?
How did you get involved with CHIKARA?
I happened to crash a party on Ashley Remmington’s boat during a tour of the Caspian sea and who should I run into but my predecessor Mr. Loudspeaker. Introductions were made, I did a try out show of sorts and the rest is history!
What has been your proudest moment in CHIKARA?
As a man obsessed with wrestling and having a good time, I have been a fan of CHIKARA for a long time. The day my picture went up on that roster page amongst the luminaries I so admired, right next to our venerable Director of Fun a man I look up to. I am not sure I have known pride like I experienced on that day. I never thought I would get a chance to work with my favorite wrestling promotion and there I was amongst the ants, warriors, aristocrats and animals that make up CHIKARA.
What does wrestling mean to you?
Wrestling is the perfect art to me, in that has the potential to combine and contain all the other arts. What’s the oldest story in the book? Man doesn’t like the cut of another guys jib and they fight it out. Wrestling allows us to explore our most basic human emotions and stories. Good vs Evil, Brains vs Brawn. Yet, CHIKARA is not just the performers you see in the ring, but graphic designers, technical wizards, dedicated filmmakers, costuming experts, keen marketing minds, musicians, painters and writers. I love wrestling because of it’s unlimited potential for expression and engagement.
With CHIKARA’s King Of Trio’s around the corner, who is your pick to win?
The Trios card this year is stacked top to bottom with teams you could make a case for winning it all. I really believe there are no obvious first round outs. Team #CWC has 3 of the most talented cruiserweight in the world! Warriors Three has a former Grand Champion, our current Young Lions Cup champion and if that’s not enough a wild Viking! The original Colony is reuniting to enter and perhaps recapture their 2011 glory. Major League Moustache might be the greatest US/UK team up since WWII! Combine all that with our teams representing Shimmer, JWP, The original Diva’s revolution, it really is anyone’s tournament to win! All that being said, with as strong and uh aggressive as their group has looked recently, I think my pick is going to go to the team from Bled Island, the Batiri!
SOMEONE STOP THE DAMN MATCH!!
Massive thank you to Party Tsar himself for taking the time out to take part in this interview, let us know what you thought of the interview over on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SomeoneStopTheDamnMatch/