One of the most distinct promotions in indie wrestling is Chikara Pro. It’s played host to mainstream stars like Young Bucks and CM Punk, who main evented Chikara’s first show, and has counted Cesaro and Brodie Lee among its regulars. Its annual King of Trios tournament attracts high profile talent from all over the indies, from WWE legends like Demolition to future stars like Johnny Gargano. But big names aren’t the heart and soul of Chikara.
Chikara thrives on outlandish gimmicks straight out of a comic book or Saturday morning cartoon. They’ve occasionally led to viral moments, like the Osirian Portal hypnotizing their opponents or AEW’s Chuck Taylor tossing an invisible grenade. That sensibility, crossed with a lucha libre style, has helped the company carve out its niche as a family-friendly promotion on the indies. No member of their current roster embodies that more than Officer Magnum.
Police gimmicks aren’t unusual in pro wrestling. What sets Officer Magnum apart from the Big Boss Man or the Mountie is that he’s a member of the K9 unit. Magnum is a Basset Hound/Golden Retriever mix who was adopted by fellow Chikara roster member Solo Darling. Darling, who has competed in Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling, is currently one half of Chikara’s Campeonatos de Parejas (their version of the tag team champions).
Darling told the All Night Long Wrestling Podcast that after adopting Magnum, she started taking him with her to training sessions at Chikara’s Wrestling Factory. Mike Quackenbush, Chikara’s promoter who’s been a guest coach in NXT, suggested Magnum become part of Chikara’s roster. Darling says she had a meeting with Magnum about it and “he agreed.” The rest was history.
Magnum accompanies Darling to the ring across the indies. In Chikara he’s also appeared with his fellow officers of the law, tag-team the Force, in entrances and promos. He’s even a champion; he’s the reigning Midcard Champion in Xtremely Serious Wrestling, a wrestling/sketch comedy hybrid show.
Like most modern wrestlers, Magnum has a healthy presence on social media. He has dedicated Twitter and Instagram accounts (it appears even wrestling dogs have abandoned Facebook). He also shares a shirt with Darling on her Pro Wrestling Tees store.
While dogs have been part of wrestling for years, from the British Bulldog’s mascot Matilda to Cody and Brandi Rhodes’ Pharaoh, none has ever represented their promotion the way Officer Magnum does. Making a dog part of the show is one thing, but giving him a new identity is literally straight out of a comic book. It’s one of the things that sets Chikara apart from anything else in wrestling, especially on the indies.
Chikara carved out a niche on an indie scene that’s other most prominent promotions are descended from ECW (CZW, GCW), are obsessed with work rate (PGW), or have become WWE feeder systems (Evolve). Chikara has always been committed to being a family-friendly promotion that patterns itself after Quackenbush’s wrestling and geek culture influences. Giving wrestling its own version of Ace the Bat-Hound fits that to a T.
That makes a police officer who is also a dog the perfect mascot for the company. “The Absolute Good Boy” represents the fun and whimsy of Chikara better than even its many masked luchadors (even the ants). Anywhere else in the wrestling world, a dog mascot would come off as an unbearably cheesy throwback. In Chikara, it makes all the sense in the world.
Chikara Pro is home to a number of talented wrestlers, but none more so than the Absolute Good Boy: Officer Magnum.