The world of professional wrestling is a special place in itself, but many question if it could potentially be better.
Enter Chikara Pro.
In a sport where competitors do everything from execute maneuvers from high altitudes and wear colorful masks and costumes, the Philadelphia based promotion takes things up a notch as their company is vastly becoming a household name with wrestling fans everywhere. Built in a fan friendly environment know for crowd participation, Chikara Pro has played home to many decorated stars who have gone on to have substantial careers in larger organizations, but more impressive is the fact that they have also built a home-grown roster of talent known for being Chikara regulars.
In the wonderful world of Chikara, it seems everyone is treated with equal praise and esteem; something almost unheard of in many other promotions. From the ring announcers to the referees, Chikara talent is regarded and appreciated all around. I was very fortunate to have some time to catch up with one of the most interesting people on Chikara’s roster, referee Larry Peace.
Larry’s presence is felt each time he enters a Chikara ring and the fans chant “Keep the Peace” back at him. He is a near 20 year veteran of the stripes and a regular Chikara favorite who was nice enough to take a few minute to sit down with Fightbooth and answer some of our lingering questions.
What made you fall in love with professional wrestling?
When I was 7 years old my grandfather took me to a WWF live event at the Hershey Park Arena in Hershey, PA that’s where i first saw George “The Animal” Steele and instantly fell in love with pro wrestling. I call this my George “The Animal” Steele moment.
Some wrestling fans don’t realize that becoming a professional referee comes with a lot of hard work and training (just like a wrestler) can you walk our readers through the steps of how you got to wear the stripes?
I started training in November of 1997. I graduated May 8th, 1998 and debuted on April 25th of 98. I went to training 2 days a week. (3 hour round trip) all while I was a senior in high school. Working ring crew..20 years later and I still help with ring crew duties. I was trained by Simon Diamond (Pat Keeney) & Delaware promoter Jim Kettner.
Can you tell us how it feels to work for an amazing company like Chikara?
The fans aka “CHIKARMY” are awesome! They make this unpopular guy feel like the cool kid. 2015 King of Trios hearing 900 plus chant “Keep the peace” was awesome!
What are some of the most memorable matches you have ever officiated?
The finals of KOT 15; Bullet Club vs Team Triple A. Anytime I reffed a Reckless Youth match. When i teamed up with my trainer Simon Diamond to take on ROH Ref Paul Turner & Ty Streets. Christian…Yes from the WWE..versus… I believe he wrestled Glen Osbourne. Christian won the ECWA Heavyweight Title that night. The Chick Magnets last match in Right Coast Pro…all were good experiences.
Who are some of your heroes through the history of professional wrestling?
As far as Refs… Dick Worhle, Mike Chioda, Earl Hebner. Wrestlers… George “The Animal” Steele, Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Bill Apter. Reckless Youth.
I may be crazy, but did I read somewhere that you rap? Bust a line or two!
Yo! In my life I have a chaperone his name is Jesus Christ.. not Mr Brad Stone. You without Christ …you’re like Macaulay Culkin your Home Alone…me with Christ i’m like E.T. i’m gonna phone home….
(Laughs) That is awesome…In regards to the “montreal screw job”, what would you have done in Hebner’s shoes?
My job…so basically what Mr. Hebner did.
Any parting words?
Thank you and always Keep The Peace!
You can follow Larry on Twitter @RefLarryPeace