Audio: Taya Valkyrie talks debuting in GFW, Lucha Underground, Johnny Impact, Rosemary-Sexy Star, more
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Taya Valkyrie Transcription
Ring Rust Radio: On the September 7th episode of Impact Wrestling, you made your GFW debut with a grand entrance and an attack on Rosemary. What ultimately went into your decision to sign with GFW and what was the signing process like?
Taya Valkyrie: I’m constantly trying to expand where I am wrestling and who I am wrestling and looking for the best female wrestlers everywhere, you know what I mean? Karen and Jeff had known me for about five years and they would come down to Mexico and work with AAA all the time. Karen and I would laugh about me coming to work with her and do her projects with her and stuff, but I just couldn’t. It was really an exciting thing to be asked to be a part of it. I am really happy and excited to see what happens. It’s a different opportunity, it’s a different demographic than the lucha libre crowd and I get to wrestle some girls that I’ve never worked with before. It’s a new challenge for me so I’m very excited.
Ring Rust Radio: You and Johnny have worked great together in Lucha Underground as part of Worldwide Underground, and now that you’re both in GFW there’s inevitably going to be questions about whether you’ll team up there as well. What’s your personal preference between either keeping that alliance alive in GFW or both of you just doing your own thing?
Taya Valkyrie: Throughout my entire career, I’ve always been part of factions. In Lucha Underground, I’m part of the Worldwide Underground. With this opportunity at GFW, I get to stand on my own. It’s exciting and it’s something I haven’t done before. You never know what the future will hold, and I’m so happy the way Johnny Impact is doing what he’s doing on his end in GFW. I’m excited to see and show that I can be on my own and hold my own by myself. So, it’s different and challenging. You never know what the future will hold as far as John and I working together or in a group, but for now I’m really excited for Taya Valkyrie and proving that I can do it about myself.
Ring Rust Radio: Your GFW debut featured an incredible entrance. What went into setting that up and what type of creative input or freedom do you currently have or think you’ll have moving forward at GFW?
Taya Valkyrie: Taya as a character I just find her to be another side of myself and it’s really cool to now have Taya Valkyrie in GFW be so different than Taya in Lucha Underground every week. I was the longest reigning Reina de Reinas champion and that’s where the Queen stuff comes from because Reina de Reinas means Queen of Queens. I’m of Norwegian background and the Taya Valkyrie you are seeing now is this dominant force, goddess, queen, bitch if you want put it any other words. This Taya is coming to dominate. Creatively, I always come with my own ideas and everyone is super open to my ideas and everything I have come up with so far so hopefully it keeps going that way.
Ring Rust Radio: You enter a GFW women’s division stacked with stars like Gail Kim, Rosemary, Sienna, Allie and more. Who are you most looking forward to squaring off against and what are your ultimate goals in GFW?
Taya Valkyrie: Obviously, my ultimate goal is to be the Knockouts champion, who doesn’t want that, you know what I mean? Right now, I’m just going to pick them off one by one and prove why I am there. I am going to prove my worth, demonstrate and show to everybody in the American public and the world stage which is the stage of GFW Impact, that I deserve to be there and why I am the longest reigning Queen of Queens champion. I am going to show them why I was given all these opportunities and show the knowledge that I’ve gained through the wrestling career that I’ve had.
Ring Rust Radio: There’s been so much buzz surrounding women’s wrestling in recent years, and one thing that really seems to be taking the wrestling world by storm currently is the Mae Young Classic. What are your impressions of the tournament if you’ve been following, and what kind of impact do you think it can have on women’s wrestling globally?
Taya Valkyrie: I was actually at the final last night here in Las Vegas. Anything that promotes women’s wrestling to me is a positive thing and I know so many girls and women that were in the tournament who are friends of mine. I follow their careers and for me I’m just so proud of being part of a movement that’s happening right now. I’m coming from a different side of it with the lucha libre world and stuff, but I’m just really excited to see what happens. Women, we main event now, we are not the arm candy. We are the ones breaking down barriers, breaking the rules, and I think the Mae Young Classic is just another part of that. I’m just happy that more eyeballs and people are seeing what women’s wrestling is and taking it seriously and not viewing it as a joke.
Ring Rust Radio: GFW, WWE and Lucha Underground are really leading the charge for women’s wrestling in the mainstream. What do you make of the way these companies promote their women wrestlers and what do you think yourself and the other women need to do to receive more main-event opportunities?
Taya Valkyrie: I just think we need to just keep doing what we’re doing and chipping away at it. I think we’re doing the right thing right now and we are proving it in the ring every single time. You’re seeing it at different indie shows and Lucha Underground and Impact and WWE. Given the opportunities that women have on these different rosters, we take it and we go with it. I just think we need to keep doing what we’re doing: working, training hard and making people that aren’t believers into believers. Slowly but surely we are proving it and that’s the most important thing to me.
Ring Rust Radio: One major topic of conversation in recent weeks has been the incident between Sexy Star and Rosemary. As a AAA veteran and someone who worked with both Sexy Star and Rosemary, what are your thoughts on the situation and how it was handled?
Taya Valkyrie: I don’t want to go too much into it because honestly, I don’t want to give more attention to something or someone that doesn’t need it. Rosemary is the nicest, most professional woman, and a fellow Canadian. Obviously, I had the privilege and continued privilege to work with her. I was so embarrassed and disappointed watching that match on a whole, not just the finish but the whole thing. I consider myself as an international woman and a face of what women’s wrestling is in AAA, and I just feel so embarrassed and I think basically that’s all I can say about it. It was so ridiculous to me, uncalled for and unprofessional. I was so disappointed and I continue to be disappointed by it. I just feel like it happened but it’ll never happen again. I hope to God it never happens again. I experienced similar situations in my five years being in AAA with different female wrestlers there in the Indies throughout Mexico because I am Canadian, I look different, it’s crazy to me, but it still exists. There are still people that are just out for themselves. It is what it is, but I’m so happy that Rosemary is doing better because I can’t wait to kick her ass.
Ring Rust Radio: There continues to be a lot of interest and support for Lucha Underground, especially with Ultima Lucha coming up soon, but I think there’s some concern from fans about whether a fourth season is going to happen. What would you like to see happen with Lucha Underground moving forward, and what’s your expectation with regard to whether there will be a fourth season?
Taya Valkyrie: Lucha Underground changed my life. As I mentioned in Jericho’s podcast, that is where I finally branched out to wrestling in the states, I met my fiancé there and it really changed my life. So, for me obviously I want to see a Season 4. We have so much fun when we are filming and the creative team, the entire roster we just create magic during those tapings. I just want to do it again, who doesn’t? So hopefully the fans keep watching it and supporting it and let’s hope to the Lucha Gods we get to do a Season 4. So far, we don’t really know what’s going on exactly but I’m really, really positive that with something as special as Lucha Underground we will be able to do it again. I am very confident, but I honestly don’t know. I still don’t know, but I just have faith. I always try to look at the shiny side of the whole situation and find something good in it. Yeah, we haven’t filmed in like 15 months or something, but I love creating that product. It’s so different from GFW and WWE. It something new and exciting and I get to be two characters. I am still under the name Taya obviously, but I truly believe that Lucha Underground and GFW are so different and I get to be a part of both. So, we will see what happens moving forward and hopefully Season 4 happens sooner rather than later.