SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The following interview highlights with Impact Wreslting’s Taya Valkyrie were provided to PWTorch.com by the host of Interactive Wrestling Radio…
Show: Interactive Wrestling Radio
Guest: Taya Valkyrie
Your Host: James Walsh
Current reigning and defending Impact Wrestling Knockouts Champion Taya Valkyrie joins the Wrestling Epicenter live from South Philadelphia, Pa. at the 230 Arena (formerly the ECW Arena) for a brand new interview. “Wera Loca” discusses the state of women’s wrestling in Impact Wrestling and beyond as well as talks about the ways that the ECW Arena reminds her of Lucha Underground’s original Temple, her match with Jordynne Grace at Rebellion, her fantastic street fight with Tessa Blanchard from Mexico on Impact a few months back, and more.
To listen to this episode in MP3 format or stream it off YouTube, visit Wrestling Epicenter. Check out the whole catalog of interviews while you are at it!
•Taya Valkyrie on handing Jordynne Grace her first loss in Impact at Rebellion: “I’m just proud of my performance. I mean, I’m proud of the whole show start to finish. But, I felt that I really tried to bring different aspects of my wrestling game. (laughs) I’m sure Jordynne was studying me so I really wanted to surprise her with some different things and really bring something special. I feel like we did that.”
•On wrestling in front of her home country’s fans in Canada again: “It’s been very interesting. (laughs) I really wish we would wrestle on the West Coast because it was my first time in Toronto since I was a child on a chior trip. People don’t realize how large Canada is. It is very expensive to travel from the west to the east. It was my first time in Toronto since I was literally 11. It was cool to get back there and really get a feel for the city which I had never really done before. It was cool!”
•On her critically acclaimed Street Fight with Tessa Blanchard on Impact in February: “I think we really pushed each other. I’ve had experience in street fights and things like that before in AAA. I was very prepared and I think I really pushed her to her limits. She did as well. I do think that was one of my best matches of the year so far. I hope everyone takes a look at it. I feel that every time I’m in the ring taping Impact or at any indy show, I’m always pushing myself to be better. I don’t want to say it is a Match of the Year (candidate) because it is only May. There is so much left to do! But, I definitely recommend people check it out. The Lucha Libre fans are hard to impress and I feel like we left them extremely impressed! (laughs) It was a great time for me. I’m looking forward to seeing what else we can do this year.”
•On enjoying being a heel: “Most of my career, I’ve been a heel. The Taya you are seeing now is just a developped version of my years in AAA and Lucha Underground. She’s just a version of that. Being a baby face was fun because it challenged me to do things that I really hadn’t done in years or wrestle in a certain way. But, it has been very fun revisiting this version of Taya and trying to push the envelope and show how awful I can truly be. (laughs) Come on! Who doesn’t love a good villain? Expect more awfulness coming your way!”
•On recently suffering head trauma when a moonsault went wrong: “I’m fine. I went to the hospital just because of pressure on the eye itself. I was worried that I could have fractured my orbital bone. I didn’t know what it could have been. I had an MRI and everything is fine. I just had severe swelling for like 5 days. By the time I got to WrestleCon (United We Stand), the swelling had gone down. Obviously, you can cover bruising with make-up! The glorious part of being a woman is you can put make-up on and you can hide everything! Obviously, everything is fine now. I’m in the ring every day. But, I haven’t moonsaulted yet. (laughs) Everyone has accidents. Everyone has things go wrong. I’ve moonsaulted like 7 zillion times. That is the most frustrating thing about it – Sometimes you just don’t even know why. But, with that said, I’m going to be hitting the gymnastics center when we’re back from this loop and doing stuff in the ring to try and get this (the moonsault) dialed in. I’m sure it was just a fluke accident. I still don’t know what it was. But, I’ll get back on the horse. My husband keeps asking me, “So, when are we going to go and backflip into the foam pit?” (laughs) I’m like, “All right, lets go!” It will happen, no worries!”
•On the state of the women’s wrestling revolution in 2019: “I’m very proud of how far we’ve come. I’ve been wrestling for like 8 years. When I think back to 4 years ago, it is completely different. It has been an incredible thing to live and see first hand how things have changed. I still think we have a LONG way to go, like, a very long way to go. But, everything in its time. I’m really proud to be a part of a company like Impact Wrestling which allows every woman on its roster to have a storyline, to have something going on, to be important, to be featured. For example, Rebellion had 3 different opportunities for women to be featured in matches. That is a really cool thing. I feel like if we keep moving in this directon, we really will feel equal. I think there are still things that need to change especially on the indies. I feel like the (big) companies are giving us.. Like, if you look at AEW, if you look at Impact Wrestling, if you look at WWE…. If you look at the major companies, women are given the opportunity to be featured but on the indies, I feel women are not given that opportunity. There is companies like RISE and SHIMMER which have done an amazing job. There’s Lucha Libre which always have multiple women’s matches. But then, you have some companies that don’t have more than 1 women’s match if that because they don’t think women’s wrestling is… interesting? I don’t even know. (laughs) It is like, come on guys! We’re proving we can wrestle just as well as the men can. We’re doing all types of street fights and tables matches. We’re giving 15, 20, 30 minute matches. I don’t know why some people still have such a closed minded opinion about it. Give these women a chance! We still have so many girls in the indy’s that have yet to be discovered and it is in the indy’s that they will be discovered. Give these ladies a chance!”
•On working in the legendary ECW Arena AKA 2300 Arena: ”I’m pretty excited because the last time I wrestled here would have been just after I moved to the (United) States working for House of Hardcore for Mr. Tommy Dreamer against Jessika Havok. That was like 2 years ago. I just thought the crowd was crazy, the place was electric, it is fun! The best comparison to that would be the Temple of Lucha Underground. I’m very excited to be back to bring heel Taya in all her mysery and disdain to the people of Philadelphia. (laughs) I’m excited for the next few days!”
•On the positive culture change of Impact Wrestling: “I really hope so. I really don’t understand why people, all of a sudden, decided they weren’t going to take it seriously. Negativity and gossip… THey did this, she did that. I don’t even know! If you like what you’re seeing, if you like the wrestlers that we have on the show – Guess what? We have some of the most amazing and talented wrestlers on our show from top to bottom, from the first match to the last one. What’s the problem? I just want people to open their hearts and their eyes and realize the negativity isn’t doing anything but hurting the business. If you love wrestling, why would you want to do that? If you’re a real fan, why would you want to talk bad about a place that really has been pushing the limits of professional wrestling, it has given people jobs, and it has been making people happy? Our pay per views are different than every other pay per view you will ever see… Our TV show is as well. Support us! Support what Impact Wrestling is doing for this industry! Lets continue to grow!”