“The Party Tsar” Vlad Radinov Leaves CHIKARA

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Photo: CHIKARA

To those of you who have never watched or experienced CHIKARA (more specifically live), well, frankly I’m surprised you made it this far in the article. But for the communal cult followers of the fantastical indie promotion CHIKARA, this headline probably hit right in the feels. Yesterday CHIKARA’s party host and MC, Vlad Radinov – aka “The Party Tsar” – announced he was departing CHIKARA after nearly two and a half years tsar-ting the party.

Radinov’s full announcement was posted on The CHIKARA Special blogsite as follows:

Even before I tsar-ed any parties, I was a fan of CHIKARA. They seemed willing to take risks and pull wrestling in new directions. You could put their trainees and talent up against anyone, and know they’d have a match you could not see anywhere else. In an artform often derided for not listening to its fans, the story, the delectable payoff, the fan experience, seemed to be paramount.

Since late in Season 15, I have had the pleasure of helping to create that fan experience. Being your Master of Ceremonies has been a dream realized for me. I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from world class talent. I’ve had a front row seat to watch friends go from students to champions. Most rewarding has been the opportunity to entertain the best fans in wrestling. It’s been a pretty great party.

It is with a complex depth of sadness only capable of being felt by Russians that I must step away from CHIKARA. Years of partying have take a bit of a toll on me, and like a gilded, hirsute Mary Poppins, the wind has changed and I must go where I am needed.

To the office and roster, my heartfelt thanks for letting me be part of the team.

To the CHIKARMY, thank you for support, encouragement, and friendship. It has meant the world to me. Any successes I have had I owe to you. I know you will embrace my successor as warmly as you have me.

I won’t say goodbye, I’ll just say good journey.

-VR

Vlad Radinov took over in late 2015 from the electric boogalo of Gavin Loudspeaker. The slightly more strung out brother of Russell Brand, Loudspeaker’s vulgar 5am heroin chic was a stark contrast to the more whimsical Walt Disney meets Robert Crumb Muppetesque landscape of CHIKARA. It was like Ozzy Osbourne landed in the Land of Oz (Loudspeaker has since moved on to WrestleCircus, where he’s the MC known as Louden Noxious). But when Radinov took over as the new host, he brought a persona that was as colourful, bright and magical as the rest of CHIKARA itself. “I am all about a good time, but more than that making sure everyone is having a good time,” Radinov told Someone Stop The Damn Match Blog in August of 2016. “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!”

Photo: Dorothy Lee

Loudspeaker brash glam metal bombast was replaced by Radinov’s big Russian teddy bear, who had the charm that outsized his robust figure. At live events, he always had time for fans, encouraged their involvement, and helped out where needed. He was like the fun uncle at a family gathering. His involvement became as much a part of each CHIKARA’s live show as the main event. “Wrestling is the perfect art to me, in that has the potential to combine and contain all the other arts,” Radinov told Someone Stop The Damn Match Blog in the August interview. “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 its unlimited potential for expression and engagement.”

Amen, Party Tsar. And best of luck on your next adventures.

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Jamie Greer is the Managing Editor and lead writer for Last Word on Pro Wrestling. A lifelong wrestling fan who started with the WWF in the early 80's, he now follows everything from the smallest indie to WWE. He's also written for WrestleZone, The Windsor Star, Windsor Independent and other publications. He lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, with his wife and son.

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