The Wrestle Factory was founded in January, 2002 by Mike Quackenbush and Tom "Reckless Youth" Carter in Allentown, PA. After the professional debut of their first class of students that May, and the birth of the CHIKARA organization, Carter departed the company to pursue business interests outside of pro-wrestling. In March of 2005, The Wrestle Factory moved from Allentown to Philadelphia, absorbing the existing CZW school at the "New Alhambra,” better known as the ECW Arena. The staff of the Wrestle Factory was periodically augmented by other instructors during this time, most notably Jorge "Skayde" Rivera of Dragon Gate/Toryumon, Chris Hero, and legendary luchador El Pantera.
In March of 2007, The Wrestle Factory separated from the CZW training facility, but the Wrestle Factory remained stationed at The Arena in Philadelphia for years to come. That October, Claudio Castagnoli was promoted from his role as guest trainer to head trainer, alongside Mike Quackenbush, to aid in the training of the ninth class of students. Shortly thereafter, Sara Del Rey became a Wrestle Factory co-trainer as well.
Claudio Castagnoli (now “Cesaro”) signed with World Wrestling Entertainment in August of 2011, and departed The Wrestle Factory. The following year, Sara Del Rey (now "Sara Amato") also signed with the WWE, to accept a role as coach at their Performance Center in Orlando, FL. As ever, the responsibility for all training classes at The Wrestle Factory belongs to company founder and 26-year pro, Mike Quackenbush.
After 2 years in Huntingdon Valley, The Wrestle Factory returned to the City of Brotherly Love once more. Permanently installed in a state-of-the-art facility on Wingate Street since 2015, The Wrestle Factory has expanded its training schedule to include more options, more classes and more in-ring hours than ever before. As of 2019, six of CHIKARA’s finest have been promoted to the position of "co-trainer": Hallowicked, Fire Ant, Dasher Hatfield, Sonny Defarge, Travis Huckabee and Ophidian. Together with founder Mike Quackenbush, these talented professionals oversee the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced level classes each and every week.Check out our 2020 Class Options →