There's a new kind of Irish trouble today... at least in pro wrestling, where Dubliner Rebecca Knox has been making trouble for opponents on both sides of the Atlantic! The Irishwoman was kind enough to sit down for an exclusive interview with LadySports Online. And look for the PGWA to be working with Rebecca in 2006!
Q: Hello, Rebecca. To start, how about giving the fans your statistics.
A: I was born on January the 30th of 1987, I have brown eyes and blond hair, and by American measures I stand 5'6” and weigh 140 pounds.
Q: When did you begin wrestling?
A: I started training in June of 2002, and had my first match five months later.
Q: What influenced your decision to become a wrestler?
A: I wanted to get into good shape, and was going to start kickboxing. But then I found out that there was a wrestling school opening up in Ireland, and thought I'd go along and check it out, not thinking it would lead anywhere. I had watched wrestling with my brother for a few years and liked it, but mostly for the storylines. Then I started and I just got hooked and gave it all I had! I began with my brother... he goes by the name Gonzo De Mondo... who is incredibly talented. He has helped me so much! I train my ass off when it comes to wrestling, and he helps me drill moves, which is awesome.
Q: What is so special about this sport to you?
A: Wrestling didn't change my life... it SAVED my life! I'm telling you, I started really young, but I was going down a bad path before I started. I was drinking twice, sometimes three times a week, and doing things I really shouldn't have. There was a copious amount of marijuana involved. But then I started wrestling, and I gave up everything. I started working out, eating a good diet, and just did everything I could that I thought would benefit me. I also started studying a lot harder in school. It matured me a remarkable amount and made me completely focused. Lord, I don't know where I'd be now if I didn't start wrestling, and to tell you the truth, I wouldn't want to know. I love everything about wrestling... except the minor politics.
Q: What other sports or hobbies do you have an interest in?
A: I'm in the gym seven days a week. I love working out. I also have a brown belt in submission style wrestling. I'm a big fan of shootfighting and grappling. That's really it at the moment. I used to be big into horse riding, swimming and basketball as a kid, but I'm just all about the wrestling now.
Q: If you could do something to improve the sport, what would it be?
A: Well, there's a lot of politics involved, a lot of competition and jealousy that goes around with people sometimes being very two-faced. I reckon, though, if you're confident enough in your look, charisma, and most importantly your ability, then really you don't have to worry about competition. So if I had a magic wand, I'd try to do something about that. But also, everything is too exposed on the Internet and the likes, and there are far too many people who are going to criticize any slip-up, but that's just the way it goes, I guess. All I can do to make the sport better is make myself better, just keep training hard and entertaining people.
Q: What are some of your favorite everyday things outside of wrestling?
A: My favorite food is chicken. Oh, and ice cream and chocolate when it comes to cheat food. Musically, I'm on a big Elliot Smith buzz at the moment... he's awesome, I love his music. I'm big into mellow music. Clothes and me are just ridiculous. I'm totally poor, but I can't seem to stop shopping! I'm mad into runners, I have such a collection. Not too big into shoes, though. It's all about the runners for me... or maybe you call them sneakers over here? My favorite video game is ‘Street Fighter'... I love it, that game rocks! But it's hardly in any arcades any more. I swear, I've been all over Ireland, and it's not anywhere.
Q: What would make you most happy in life right now?
A: If I could make a decent living out of wrestling, I would be the happiest girl in the world.
Q: What are your fans like?
A: My fans are cool and really supportive. I think my biggest fan is my brother. He has been so wonderful when it comes to encouraging me. Also, my cousin Kevin and his wife Loretta are so supportive. They have allowed me to live with them here in Canada so I can pursue this wrestling thing the best I can out here in North America. I can't say quite enough how grateful I am to them.
Q: Describe a typical day of training for you. What do you focus on the most?
A: Well, that depends on where I'm training firstly. I have trained in the UK, and that would be a different story to training in Ireland or in Canada. Training in England would be a full day, just wrestling, drilling, and mixing it up with some shootfighting. We'd train all day constantly for a week at a time and sleep on the gym mats or in the ring where you've spent the day sweating and bleeding. You would be lucky to get four hours of sleep a night, then you would get up and train about nine hours. I wouldn't want it any other way, though. I loved those camps, and you would learn so much!
In Ireland I would train usually for six hours a day. I would usually grab a person and just chain for as long as possible, making up moves as I go along, and coming up with new reversals to moves. That's the best way to learn, I think. An hour of training would be spent on really intense fitness. I like to drill moves a lot, so whenever I can I drill duplexes, and even wristlocks and anything at all, really. I would usually find a way to throw weight into the day as well, if it's possible. I'm always shattered after a day's training. We would take so many bumps on rock-hard mats!
It's pretty intense training over there, and a lot of people can't hack it. I was the only girl to ever stick with it, so I always wrestled the boys, which I think has been key in my improvement as a wrestler. I think if there's a training school and there's two girls, then they are usually paired together, so then they are only getting to see what one style is like to work with.
Q: What holds and moves are you best known for?
A: I do a lot of armlocks and leglocks, and a lot of suplexes. But I'm best known for my chain wrestling... I think. I'm pretty technical when it comes down to it, but I do a bit of everything. It depends on who I'm wrestling.
Q: What's the worst you've been hurt in the ring?
A: Hmmm... I'm not sure. I broke both my ankles and I had two stingers in my neck, as well as other stuff, but those are the only things that have kept me out of wrestling and training for more than a week. I have been pretty blessed.
Q: Where have you wrestled so far?
A: I have wrestled in Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, France, Canada, the States, and Japan. Hopefully I will get to wrestle in Mexico next year. As for titles I've held, I'm currently the NWA/ECCW Women's Champion.
Q: What sort of reaction do you get from people when they learn you are a wrestler?
A: “What... YOU'RE a wrestler?!? You don't look like a wrestler!” is first. Then comes “So, is it fake?” followed by a wink and, “Better not mess with you then!”
Q: In your opinion, what are your thoughts on women participating in the sport?
A: What's the difference between women wrestling and guys wrestling? As long as both are working hard, entertaining the fans, and putting together a solid match, then that question about women participating in wrestling shouldn't be asked. Some people say women don't have a place in wrestling, but that's just close mindedness. Women who don't train and go out and try to pass themselves off as wrestlers don't have a place in the sport, but neither do blokes that do that.
Q: What is your greatest regret?
A: I don't think I have any regrets, certainly not wrestling-wise. I worked as hard as I could in training and I have taken advantage of every opportunity that I could. There might have been things that I'm not proud of, but I'm not sure that I would regret anything. Life's too short to spend time regretting.
Q: What is your most marked characteristic?
A: Probably... and I'm not sure if this will sound cocky... my charisma. I think I'm extremely comfortable in the ring, and my animated self comes to life when I get in front of a crowd.
Q: What is your personal motto?
A: Everything happens for a reason.
Q: What is your most memorable professional moment?
A: The moment I realized that wrestling is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was sitting back after a match... at this stage I had been wrestling for two years and had just graduated high school and was going to be starting university in September... I was probably going to end up as a lawyer. Prior to this I was convinced wrestling was just going to be a hobby, and I would never really push too hard with it. But I had just had a match, and I played the heel for the first time in my career, and I had such a fun match, tagging with my brother in a mixed bout, and the crowd was really into it! I was totally comfortable out there and really enjoyed myself. I know it sounds weird, because I was getting beat up and beating someone else up, and I was enjoying myself! Wrestlers are a strange breed, eh? Anyway, I just remember turning to my brother and saying, “This is it, this is what I want to do with the rest of my life.” So hopefully this is why I've taken the chance in coming out here, so that I can make something of wrestling.
Q: And what would you be doing if you couldn't wrestle?
A: I would be doing a degree right now in Health & Exercise studies. I was in university studying philosophy, history and politics, but I really hated it. When I went to college it was only to go to work out in the gym! But I still have a ten year plan to own my first gym, then I'll own a chain of gyms! Hey, you might as well dream big!
Q: How would you describe yourself?
A: I'm a determined young lass. I'll push hard to get what I want or to get to where I want to go. I'm pretty spontaneous, too, and just go with the flow of a lot of things. My dislikes would include describing myself! I'm always worried I'll come across as big-headed if I tell you the things I think are all right about me. But then again, I don't want to put myself down either and tell you all the negative things!
Q: Any last comments you'd like to make?
A: Just thanks for taking the time to speak with me, and a big thanks to all of the people who have trained me, helped me, and supported me over the years. Much appreciation to you all!
Visit Rebecca at her official website RebeccaKnox.com