TNA's Velvet Sky vs ZOO!
TNA returns to UK soon, why do you think there is such a demand from the UK fans?
The UK fans just don’t get the same opportunity to see TNA live because we are based in the US. Our fans back home can see us at the drop of a dime and get so many chances through our events, autograph signings and meet and greet sessions. It’s an exciting experience for me because I always look forward to being on the European tour and getting to perform for the UK fans. I’ll hopefully get to do a little bit of sightseeing too.
When growing up did you always want to be a wrestler?
No, I didn’t really have it in my mind to be a professional wrestler, but I’ve always been involved in sports throughout my life. I’ve always had that athletic feel in me. Sports have always been with me throughout highschool and it was at that point I became a big wrestling fan.
You have been in the wrestling business for some time now. Who inspired you to wrestle?
Well, it wasn’t until I seen Lita in the ring that I really decided I wanted to get into professional wrestling. After seeing Lita on TV a lot I was instantly hooked. I would be watching just this awesome girl do some really wild stuff. She was just the total package, I just seen this totally cool girl and I wanted to be like that.
What interests do you have outside the ring?
I play video games, go shopping and hiking a lot back home. I just love to do a lot of outside activities like camping, fishing and generally just relaxing. When you are on the road so much it’s all work, work, work and no play so I love to make the most of my free time.
With a limited schedule how do you make time for a personal life?
Really home is my vacation. I get the chance to do everything I don’t get to do when I am on the road like catch up on all my shows I’ve recorded and find out what my friends are up to. Lately I’ve been catching up on the X-Factor, I love that show. I am must admit I am a huge fan of Simon Cowell. I am just totally hooked on it, I never miss it. Sometimes I am lucky to be home two or three days a week, so when I do have free time I really try and take advantage of it.
What do you look for in a man?
The first thing I look for is a sense of humour. I am one of the biggest goofs you’ll ever meet, I love to laugh. That is probably the number one thing to me. You need to be able to laugh at yourself. Some culinary skills would be a good thing as well. I am all the time cooking this and cooking that. The fastest way to my heart is through my stomach. I am quite an adventurous person, I like to keep active and do a lot of outdoor activities. So my ideal guy has to be able to keep up with me.
You were part of the tag-team 'The Beautiful People' with Angelina Love, Madison Rayne and then later Lacey Von Erich. Although you are now all established singles competitors, will we see a reunion?
You can never say never in wrestling, hint hint TNA creative. Don’t get me wrong I am enjoying my run just now as a singles competitor. When we were a group that was one of the best times I’ve had. Angelina and I, and she’ll agree, we've just had this amazing chemistry, especially when we were doing promos and talking.
I feel like we were made for that role and Madison Rayne was a great fit to the group when she joined. You know it’s a lot harder for female acts to make an impact in the wrestling world. At the time of the Beautiful People we were confident it would work, but surprised to the extent of its success where we really connected with the fans. You couldn’t have just thrown any two people together to create the Beautiful People. A special bond and on-screen chemistry made it work and so successful.
How do you feel about the direction of women's wrestling in TNA?
In my opinion I honestly think that despite the lingerie matches and bikini car washes we have the strongest group of women in the wrestling industry today. Every one of us have come from a wrestling background and spent a lot of years on the indy circuit where we worked for little money, and sometimes none at all. For me back then it sucked not to get paid, but it was more important to get my name out there in a positive way and working on the right shows to get recognised.
The pay didn’t matter to me, it mattered to work as much as possible and the six years of hard work paid off when I signed with TNA. I’ll never forget where I came from because the indy circuit is where I learned my trade. All the dues I and all the other Knockouts paid has made us that much stronger because we struggled so long trying to make it and now we have. The Knockouts is by far the best women’s division in the industry today. The internet has changed the wrestling industry considerably.
How big a part does social media now play in the wrestling industry?
Aside from the positives from the likes of Twitter and Facebook, the internet in general has had quite a negative effect on the business. Some people report false information on professional wrestling and those in the industry, just so they can have a story. It was reported that the onscreen persona of Karen Jarrett and her negative dialogue of me was what TNA officials thought of me. That is complete and utter bullsh**t! It is just false. This is just a small example of how the internet can have a negative effect on wrestling and affect my character.
I laugh at it more than anything. It’s just frustrating because I have worked so hard to try and keep a good name for myself in this business. Don’t get me wrong as I said the likes of Twitter and Facebook have also had a positive effect because it has helped tremendously with fan interaction. Before social networking fans could only interact with us through autograph signings and events like that. But now with a click of a button fans can get in touch with us and that’s a great thing for us too.
Last year was monumental as you won your first 'Knockouts' title. What does 2012 hold for Velvet Sky?
It was special to win my very first Knockouts championship. Now for me my goal will be to recapture the title. But hopefully this time I will have a longer title reign and 2012 will be my year.
Get tickets for the Impact Wrestling TNA UK tour from Ticketmaster.
For more wrestling news and interviews follow @ThomasAlx