What a productive year it’s been in my little world!! I think I’ve done more traveling this year than I have in the past ten years! I am truly blessed to have had a ton of amazing opportunities in 2011. Here are some of the highlights from this year:
In January, I wrestled for a company called Lucha Las Vegas. It wasn’t the company I worked for that made this an outstanding moment in 2011, but it was the fact that I got to work against Allison Danger for the first time. I used to watch her at indy shows in New Jersey before I even started training. She was awesome, and I remember her and Alexis Laree (Mickey James) always standing out in those shows because they were real women workers, not just mouth-hugging eye candy. So to be able to work with someone with so much experience was a really positive and exciting moment in my career. I also cut an EPIC promo on that show. Google it.
Working for Adrenaline Unleashed is always a good time. I conquered Extreme Thing in March, where I defeated Blood Thirsty Vixen to win the Adrenaline Unleashed Women’s Championship belt, and then later on represented AU in the Half Pint brawlers tour at the Silverton in Las Vegas, to defend my title. Despite getting knocked out and having a chunk of hair ripped out of my head, I went on to retain the title. I’m still going strong holding on to the belt and hope to defend it against some worthy competitors in 2012.
In June I got to travel to Greecewith my two friends from Brooklyn, Bobby and Pasquali. This was my first non-wrestling related trip since I started ten years ago, but it’s not just a highlight of this year, it’s a trip I’ll never forget for as long as I live. So I had to mention it. Also, I have family from Greece, so I finally got to see what all of the hype is about. I’ve been to a lot of places, and this was definitely the most beautiful place I’ve seen yet, with the most gorgeous people!! We traveled to Athens, Mykonos and Santorini all in one week. Sleeping was not an option. Going on that trip made me realize how much more I wanted to travel.
August was another unbelievable month. I made my return to Lucha Vavoom! after a long hiatus, teaming up with “El Jimador” as “La Paloma.” We faced Lil’ Cholo and Lil’ Chola, and tore it up! It felt SO good to be back at the Mayan! People who know me well know that it’s my favorite company to work for, because there’s never a dull moment, and there are midgets running around the locker room.
Not only did I make my Vavoom comeback that month, I also got to travel to Lebanon, which is another place where my family is from. I got to see experience the cultures of my ancestors all in one year. I was hesitant to go at first, since I was already booked for another show. But the opportunity suddenly came around again, and I figured it was a sign! I needed to do it, and I’m really glad I did. I traveled with Gangrel and Kiara Dillon. We were the only three non-Lebanese workers on the card, besides another worker from Canada, Gama Singh, Jr. Kiara and I worked each other, and we also did a few mixed tags, where I got to team up with Gangrel. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see much of the country considering safety issues, but I met a lot of great people and have made some new life-long friends.
October was another crazy month, where I got to be a Voodoo Queen at Lucha Vavoom’s Halloween show. I must say, it was my first black-light match, and it was phenomenal. I teamed with Joey Kaos and Skebenga, and we faced the crazy chickens. Once again the crowd was HOT, and it was a great couple of nights.
Hector Robles created a documentary a few years ago called Luchadores: Fighting for a Dream. It featured Super Gabacho, Hardcore Kidd and I, and the struggles we go through to chase the dream of becoming a professional wrestler. It FINALLY debuted on the Documentary Channel. It seemed like it was from so long ago, and I feel like I’ve come so far in my journey since then, but it’s always nice to be able to Ti-Vo yourself.
Another one of my favorite trips I took was at the end of October. I did a tour in Mexico, where I traveled to Monterrey, San Pueblo and a few other cities. A few other workers on this tour were Cassandro, Chavo Guerrero, Carlito, Rikishi, and Colt Cabana. I really want to thank Cassandro for believing in me and putting me on this tour. It was such a great experience. I got to team up with Rosy Moreno, and we fought Goya Kong and Lluvia. Getting to wrestle CMLL girls was a great experience. And listening to the other workers talking about the business was an learning experience in itself. I feel like all the hard work I put in was finally paying off…
December was a little bit crazy, but the year ended nicely. I battled Thunderkitty for my Millenium Pro Wrestling Women’s belt, and wound up beating her ass. Of course she tried to cheat. I mean it’s the only way she can win. The ref wound up catching her psychotic shenanigans, and DQ’d her.
This past Sunday I wrapped up my year of wrestling at WPW in Costa Mesa. It’s always a pleasure working down there. I love the lucha libre atmosphere, and there’s always a great crowd. It was a four on four match-up, with a lot of new and old faces. Amazona was one of my opponents, a luchadora out of Tijuana that was trained by Rey Misterio, Sr. I love when the Mexican luchadoras look at me, a big white girl, and assume I can’t do lucha. I’m using it as my strategy—make them think I can’t, and then light them up in the ring! I also got to face Lil’ Cholo, who once again, had the pleasure of punching me in the face. In the long run, it didn’t matter, because my team came out victorious.
I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am for 2012. I’m back in to training and nutrition, and loving it! Mike Mondragon created this amazing site for me, and him and his people are working hard to really portray and define the real NY-KO.
I’m also excited to have picked up my training with Los Luchas and Ultimo Shamu. These are three of the most under-rated luchadors in the WORLD, and their support means everything to me. Also, training with coach Pat has helped me improve my boxing skills tremendously. Might there be a different fight for NY-KO in the next year?
Happy Holidays to everyone, and let’s move forward, to make 2012 the best year ever. Be safe, be happy and stay posi!!
Lucha Vavoom is by FAR my favorite company to work for, and I’ve worked for a lot of companies. I don’t know if it’s because there is a sense of girl power (since the promotion is run by two bad-ass chicks), the vibe of the Mayan (drunken hipster crowd), or simply because I get to work with my brothers (aka the Crazy Chickens, Nemesis, Ultimo Shamu, etc). Maybe it’s a combination of a lot of things, but it was yet another successful Halloween Vavoom production.
Vavoom is not a typical indy-wrestling show. I think Scorpio Sky put it best in his video blog whe he said “It’s like the World Series and the Superbowl all in one night.” Midgets, burlesque dancers, Lucha Libre and alcohol. What more can you really ask for?
I’ve been blessed to work for the company for the past 7 years, but sporadically. This show was definitely extra special. It was the featured match of the show, and it was really a great feeling that I was given this opportunity, me being the only legit female luchadora around in Southern California right now. I’ve been trained with Los Luchas, Ultimo Shamu, Shamu JR. and Misterioso in the past years, the Luchas being my number 1 lucha mentors. I kick ass when I go to Mexico. So yes, I consider myself a luchadora. Viva las gringas.
I was told I was going to work as a Voodoo queen in a black light match, with Kaos and Skebenga, vs. The Chickens. We get to put little chicken in a cauldron. Um…could it really get any freaking better than that? Yeah it could. I got to see what the dancers go through (and they go through a lot) because my Voodoo entourage and I were supposed to make it look like a dance number, which means I had to fake strip.
A panic set in, because clearly I can’t do what those girls do. But it’s Lucha Vavoom. The show is so ridiculously out there, that no one notices mess ups, and everybody always looks freakin’ amazing. Liz and Rita do a phenomenal job transforming every day people into characters, which makes the show so successful. So Rita turned me into a true performer, rather than just a luchadora that night.
All the build up it was finally the night of the first show…and it went by in a blur. It was crazy fun, although I wasn’t completely happy with the first night. Some things could have went better. Someone said out loud in the locker room, “Nikki is never happy unless she’s coming down on herself.” I just want to make it clear, that I’m always happy. I was happy just being there. I love performing, and I love wrestling. There are never sad times in the Lucha Vavoom locker room. Ever. But things can always be better. Yes, I’m hard on myself, but this was a big show and a big opportunity. I didn’t want to let my chickens down. There’s always room for improvement…and guess what? Thursday turned out perfect. Perfect, perfect, perfect.
So check out luchavavoom.com for more details on upcoming shows, they could be coming to a city near you! It’s something everyone needs to experience at least once in their lives.
Pics taken from LAWeekly.com
I’ve been meaning to write this for a few weeks now, but life got in the way. Oh guess what? I have some VERY strong opinions on the whole Diva vs. Wrestler controversy that was going on over this article taken from wwe.com: http://www.wwe.com/inside/beth-phoenix-natalya-save-divas-division
My late teens were the absolute best years to watch women workers on WWE. Just to name a few, Molly Holly, Jackie, Ivory, Jazz, Lita, Trish Stratus were beautiful women that knew how to work. They were the women that inspired me to move 2800 miles away from everything that I knew, and come to Los Angeles to train to become a WWE superstar (or at least that’s what I thought I wanted at the time).
Fast forward 7 years later. I just got done filming Wrestlicious with some of the best women workers on the independent wrestling scene. I decided to go visit a friend in Tampa who was working for FCW, the developmental territory for the WWE, or the place, where I thought I’d be one day. I got to meet and hear the stories behind a lot of the workers that were there, including the girls.
Unfortunately, back in the day, I didn’t get the memo. I wasn’t told when I first got into wrestling school, that what I really needed to do was quit training, find a job at hooters, and try to pose for their playboy issue. I also wasn’t told get into modeling, or go into acting, or beauty pageants, or some other type of sport or activity where I could get famous, and then get a “tryout” or “contract.” I was told that if I worked my ass off, I’d make it. So were the other guys. I remember going to training five times a week (twice on Saturday), but not so much to get signed right away, it was more because I LOVED WRESTLING.
I remember at one particular practice when I was about a year in to training, these two chicks were going over the Universal spot. They were there for about a week or two, and they both had fake boobs. I remember this because when they were being taught the tackle part, they didn’t want to make full contact, in fear of damaging their investments. When I asked my trainer why they kept going over the spot, and why everyone else had to leave the ring and wait until they got it right, he said they were getting a wwe tryout. I remember my trainer being pissed because he knew how hard I had worked and that I deserved it. But I obviously wasn’t what they were looking for. So I waited until they were finished, got back in the ring, and continued to get better.
So I continued on with my wrestling journey where I would drive 9 hours in a van full of dudes that smelled like something crawled in the their gear bags and died, and would wind up getting paid 20 bucks. I also would drive hours to get paid in tacos, and sometimes a diet coke if I was lucky. I remember driving to IZW which was located in Arizona, and driving back to Los Angeles the same day, just so I could train with Navajo Warrior and get in a lite show. I can go on and on of the sacrifices I made throughout the 9 years I’ve been wrestling, just to get that 8-10 minutes in the ring. Hey, Bella twins, have you ever change into your gear in a broom closet with cockroaches in the dark? How about peeing in a bucket because there was no bathroom? Yeah I didn’t think so. ANY INDY WORKER CAN WRITE A WAY BETTER BOOK THAN A DIVA.
Girls like Melina Perez, Serena Deeb, Beth Phoenix and Nattie Neidhart grew up in the indies. They’re beautiful girls that can wrestle circles around the other girls in the locker room.
I think that’s what some of the other girls/models/divas don’t understand. I completely respect the Kelly Kellys and the Eves out there, because they got their spot in one way or another and have KEPT it. They have proven that they are what the audience wants. But if you think you can go and say that you can out-wrestle an indy chick, just because you’re working for Vince, you need to shut the fuck up. There’s about 20 women independent pro-wrestlers right now I can name that have never “made-it” according to some people’s standards, but have “made-it,” because they’re amazing workers that have traveled the world and have done what they wanted to do with the business.
I don’t have to do this. I don’t have to wrestle. It’s not making me millions of dollars. I have a college degree, and a lot of ideas. I can go on to other things. But it’s in my blood, and it’s given me some of the most amazing experiences in my life. I will continue to love it, and may never leave it.
I’ll leave you with this thought:
The wrestling world needs to start giving indy chicks makeovers rather than trying to teach models how to work.
Growing up I was always involved in sports. There was no internet at the time, and you can only play Space Invaders on Atari for so long. There was a park right down my street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, so my brother, cousins and I would always be down there playing basketball, wiffle ball or football. My mom was my tee-ball coach, and I was always involved with some sort of team.
As geeky as I was, I could always turn to sports. Junior High were probably some of the worst years of my life. I went to a public school and was in the honors program, and band, so that automatically put a target on my forehead to be bullied. But as much as I was threatened, I always had a game or tournament coming up that weekend, so that would get through the week.
Maybe it was because I had great coaches when I was young that used positive reinforcement, but the best times in my life were going on softball tournaments, and being part of a team. I was definitely a loner growing up, and in some ways I still am. But no matter how bad things got, I could always be known as a state champion, or an All-City basketball player. I had talent. That talent gave me self-confidence, and that self assurance gave me the work ethic to not only be a solid athlete, but a good student as well. By my mom putting me on teams and getting me involved in sports, it got me a college scholarship and a college degree.
I accidently saw the show Toddlers and Tiaras one day, which my good friend Michelle pointed out to me. I always thought of beauty pageants as really superficial. They breed these beauty queens from when they’re little babies. The parents of these children (usually the moms) shove fake teeth in their mouths and put more make-up on them a drag-queen hooker. From what I’ve seen on the show, which of course probably isn’t the best source to judge beauty pageants, a lot of these parents are pushing their kids to do this. They give their kids “pageant crack” aka pixi sticks and coca cola to keep them awake and a lot of the times tell them how much they sucked. You can tell a number of the contestants wanted nothing to do with the pageant. The episode I watched had this young girl doing backflips in her living room, telling the camera she wanted to be in the Olympics for gymnastics. Her psychotic mother pulled her out of gymnastics because her muscles were developing and she wouldn’t look good in her pageant dresses. The young girl made it clear that she didn’t like pageants.but
On the flip side, a lot of these little kids love dressing up, putting on their dresses and performing. There were a few cases where the toddlers were actually excited about competing.
So back to my question. In the long run, which would build the stronger female? I don’t mean physically, obviously. Which female will more likely to be an independent, positive contribution to society? Which female will be more likely to get through school without giving into peer pressure? Which female would be more likely to say no to something she doesn’t want, or not be afraid to have her voice heard? Which girl is more likely to have an eating disorder, or serious self-esteem issues?
Wrestling is a lot like a beauty pageant. I know that women in the business (and men for that matter) can agree that we are all very self-conscious. But for a woman in most cases, the more beautiful and fit you are, the further you’ll go in the business. I mean, that’s a generalization. There’s a lot more to it. But bottom line, if you’re above-average looks-wise, you’re not going to make it very far in the business. It’s funny, because my first couple years of wrestling I’ve never been so insecure in my LIFE…
I’d like to hear some opinions on this matter. I have a lot of friends with daughters, and my niece, Keeley, is the most beautiful baby on the planet. Would you put your daughter in sports, or would you rather have your child compete in a beauty pageant? I’m curious lemme know yo…
This has been a very touchy subject from the beginning of my career. I’m sure I speak for the real women workers on this matter. The ones that are at training every week, even ten years into their career, the ones that watch wrestling to learn more about the craft, the ones that want veterans to critique their matches, the girls that want to get better every day. I’m speaking for the women who have passion and respect for the game, and know that it’s not just a hobby to dress up cute, get into the lockerroom and snag a boyfriend.
I’ve trained with a lot of different people, at a lot of different places. And every time I hear someone say “Oh there’s this new girl training…” I tell them to tell me about her in six months. Why do I have this attitude? Am I jealous? Um no. It’s from past experience:
I used to train with a girl named Ruby Red. She had a lot of potential as a luchadora. I took her under my wing, and got her on shows. I took her to Gil’s Garage, the underground, historic lucha libre school that was considered an honor to train there. I introduced her to Los Luchas and made her a part of my family. What ever happened to that Ruby Red? She started banging everybody in the locker rooms, started sleeping with an older man and got married and knocked up. Her “career” lasted thirty seconds. Should a girl that hasn’t been in the business for a minute, and is known to cause trouble and sleep around, be respected by the other workers at a promotion?
I worked with a girl at AWS one time. I forgot her name. I think she was training for about six weeks, but I DO remember she was dating Scott Lost at the time. Why do I remember that? Well. Let’s just say the girl was making some severely stupid mistakes in our match. I think I chopped her a few times. She was a really nice girl, but had no business being on a card. What happens next? Scott Lost, the guy she’s banging, storms in the women’s locker room and goes off on me, a 7-year veteran at the time. When I say go off, I mean screamed in my face, telling ME I should respect HIM for whatever reason. Asshole. Now IM not getting any respect in my own space, because his girlfriend decided she wants to go pro. *On a side note, thank you Jezebel Romo for being the only one who had any balls to stick up for me on that matter.
What about the girl that does train, and does try to further her career…but is dating one guy in the locker room, and decides to sleep with another guy in the same locker room, who happens to be married? Then goes and gets drunk and messes around with someone else? Then gets another guy to get pissed off at the guy she messed around with while she was drunk? Do I shake her hand, when a locker room is falling apart because of her promiscuity?
What about the girl that a worker ”hires” to take the focus off him because he doesn’t have the greatest skills? You know, that dumb bitch with the Snookie poof and hooker heels that makes you want to fist pump? The one that applies her make-up on with a spray can. Yeah, that girl. She doesn’t say hi to anyone, doesn’t know what respect means because she’s barely of age or never learned it. As for paying dues? The only dues she’s paid is putting her profile up on Model Mayhem or answering an ad on craigslist that said ”wrestler valet needed.”
That last one makes me feel bad for the managers and valets that actually know the business and respect it.
Let’s not forget the countless Ring rats and dirty skanks who find their way into the locker room. Let’s not leave those girls out.
My point is, the fact that any category you put a girl in, we all have vaginas (some more worn out than others). And I feel that the women workers sometimes get the shaft. We have to work extra hard to gain the respect of everyone, because the dirty bitches make us look bad in an instant.
Is there a solution to this problem? Probably not. But these are the reasons some women just don’t deserve respect in the locker room. Or in life for that matter.
I’d like to thank all the Allison Dangers, Sara Del Reys, and Daisy Hazes of the business for really showing that women can make an impact on this business in a positive light. Keep on keeping on.
And for all the potential women talent that believes they belong in this business: don’t shit where you eat.
Love and Light,
For those of you that know me, know I’ve been wrestling on the Pro-independent scene for almost 9 years. I’ve done a lot with my career, and I’ve been to many places, worked in many locker rooms and have met a number of people from all over with very different backgrounds. You see indy wrestlers that are dedicated, with hard bodies carrying their meals, you see the underweight pot-heads that are smoking out before the shows, you see the weekend warriors that chug beers after (and in some cases before) their matches, you see the dirty sluts that are sitting on the male wrestlers’ laps, and you see the dedicated women with self-respect going over their stuff. But I think people that have been in the business for a while would definitely agree that wrestlers share a common thread: we’re all messed up in the head one way or another.
The majority of wrestlers have daddy issues, were teased as kids, are slightly mentally retarded, etc. (present company INcluded). There’s some stupid reason we like to get into a square surrounded by ropes, and in some cases matresses surrounded by garden hose, and kill our bodies in front of sometimes 10 people, for no money. You just don’t many people in the outside world of wrestling that are capable of doing that to themselves.
I never got sick of wrestling. I wrestle ALL the time. But I did, however get sick of the wrestling world. I missed the competition. I missed the NYKO that competed for everything, all the way through college. I missed winning. I even missed losing…not because my opponent was banging the promoter, but because my opponent happened to fight the better fight.
So I started boxing. I’m training for my first fight, and have been training a while now. After participating in clinics and working with different trainers and different people, I realized a tremendous difference between both my worlds: the MEN.
I don’t mean to pick on the males, but I have yet to work with a significant number females (in boxing) to notice a difference. Let’s cut to the chase. The majority of male wrestlers (I’m covering my ass here, because I have a few amazing male-wrestler friends) are pigs, and they make shitty boyfriends. They’re self-absorbed, self-centered, uninteresting, superficial, muscle-headed idiots whose gear bags smell like woodchips and peanut butter, as Michelle Morgan would always say. I’ve dated a few, and every time I fall for a new one it’s like making the same mistake over and over. It’s a combination of always being around them and me having low standards. It’s hard to wrestle so much and not wind up dating a wrestler. A lot of them have no manners or etiquette. For example, it has been more than one time where I’ve walked into a locker room with no seats available, and not one testosterone-laden beast even offered me a seat. In any other work place, if someone decided to grab my ass, or my boobs, it’d be a law suit, and it’d be all over the papers. This happens all too often in a wrestling locker-room. If someone told me there was a class in their wrestling schools on how to sexually harass females, I wouldn’t be surprised.
And I won’t even get into the fact of how many broke and needy men I’ve met in the business. I’ve had guy friends tell me they’re with their girlfriend so they’d have a place to stay. Awesome. Way to be a real man.
I’ve trained with some great wrestlers. A lot of them were perverts. I can’t even remember how many times a Ballard has touched me inappropriately and has gotten whacked for it. It’s the nature of the business. Dirty girls give themselves to these dirty men, so they think they can act inappropriately to all women in the business. Thank you, dumb bitches who have paved the way for us.
As for boxing, I’ve trained with about 4 different people, all of them being male. I first started noticing a difference when the Russian, who trains me Monday nights, took the time out to run me to the ground. He had tons of opportunities to flirt, cop a feel, etc. He was SO into making sure my foot work and jab were ok that the workout was a hundred percent productive. He helped me put my gloves on, and he actually got up on the ring, and HELD THE ROPES OPEN for me!! With nobody watching!! It wasn’t part of a show or match! It’s the little things, guys. The little things.
Chad, the pro-boxer that came in to evaluate of few of the fighters, was also really into what he was teaching. He treated me like a fighter, not like a big-boobed woman with amazing legs. He told the class I had the best footwork. So obviously he was paying attention when we were sparring. And he called me an animal—for hanging with the guys, and not for any other reason. I took it as a compliment.
I can’t even go into how amazing coach Pat is. Just a genuinely good person all around. I’m not going to start because I’m already rambling, and I could go on for days.
So, my theory? Boxers have discipline. A lot of wrestlers don’t. It takes DISCIPLINE to wake up at 5:30 am, make your way to the track and train for two hours, only to go home and rest up to train for another hour and a half in the gym. You have to make weight, which means you can’t eat taco bell and have a beer five minutes before your fight. You respect your opponent, because he probably worked almost as hard as you did, and you don’t shit in his bag.
With discipline, etiquette and respect is learned. Guess what guys! You were supposed to pick up on this stuff as a kid. Grow up. Respect each other, especially the women who work hard (in the ring that is).
All in all, these are opinions based on MY experiences only. I can’t speak for anyone else. There are ok guys in wrestling, I just wouldn’t date any of them anymore. I’d rather date a guy with a smooshed nose that is attentive to me than a dude with a nice bod that checks himSELF out all the time.
Let’s see how much shit I get for this one…
Peace, love and free drinks,
New York Knockout Nikki :)