Friday, August 19, 2011

Interview with BFF Tag Team of Evie and Megan-Kate

New Zealand Knockouts Evie and Megan-Kate get ready for PWWA and the International Wrestling Scene -- Look out World!
Evie and Megan-Kate = BFF

New Evie Interview 1/4/13:
Check it out!

David Falcon had a chance to interview, Megan-Kate and Evie, two of the hottest young wrestling stars in New Zealand.  When you think of the British Commonwealth, some spectacular young female wrestlers are emerging:  Nicole Matthews (Canada), Brittany Knight (U.K.), Jessie McKay (Australia), and though they still have to prove themselves in international competition, I believe we should be adding the names Evie (23) and Megan-Kate (?).  If you added Brittany Knight with these two, you would have a Commonwealth Triple Tails that would ignite the wrestling world.  These articulate, and deeply committed young ladies have big goals that include traveling to Japan and USA and sometime stepping into the SHIMMER ring.  Their enthusiasm for wrestling is contagious!  I know you will enjoy getting to know them.

Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/search.php?flt=1&q=stephanie+bell&s=220&type=users#!/pages/The-BFFs-Megan-Kate-Evie/134094296612108

Check out their home promotion: http://www.impactprowrestling.co.nz/

Check out Australia's PWWA:  http://www.pwaaustralia.com/2011/08/pwwa-2011/

DF:  How long have you known each other and where did you meet? Tell me the story of how each of you became interested in wrestling.


EVIE: I met Megan-Kate through wrestling, we didn't know of each other before hand. I had debuted a few months prior to when she started to train with IPW. It wasn't until we became a tag-team that we really started to form a close bond.
I became interested in wrestling by the fact that dramatic storytelling and athleticism could merge together in such a way. Watching those guys do their moves on WWF/WWE was exciting, and you'd get so caught up in the storylines too. It wasn't until I found out about the wrestling scene within New Zealand that I began to think of actually becoming a wrestler myself.

MEGAN-KATE:  We've known each other for four years, we met through wrestling and we quickly found out that our similarities go far beyond the ring. I personally have always had a fascination with professional wrestling, it started from a really young age. I would watch it when I was very young, and at that age, I was still play fighting with my older sister, my sister started complained that I was being 'too rough' for her and my parents banned me from watching wrestling! So I went a few years without it, then when I was in Invercargill (which is at the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand), I was staying with my other sister, and her boyfriend reintroduced me to it. I remember feeling that same fascination for it, and by the time I came back up to Auckland, I was addicted again.
BFF in tag team action







DF:  How long did you train prior to stepping into the ring for your first match? Who have been your primary trainers and mentors?


MEGAN-KATE:   It took me a while to debut, after 1 year I was going to the ring with my brother Davey Deluxeo, interfering and getting involved wherever and whenever I could, then a year later I had my first match. My primary trainers have been Alfred Valentine, Jon E King and of course Davey Deluxeo, but I have gotten so much help and so many little pointers in just the four years that I've been doing this from so many different people.

EVIE:  I started training May 2007, and debuted in December of that year (so about 6 months of training). My main trainers are Alfred Valentine, Jon E Kingi and Dave Deluxeo. These are the main three, and I credit each of them to being who I am today. What's great about these guys is their different styles of teaching and wrestling…they all hone in on something completely contrasting one another, and that's where you get the best of everything. At trainings, most of the IPW guys help each other out so in a way we all teach each other something new as well.



DF:   Have your families been supportive of your move to wrestling?

EVIE:  Most of my family was supportive, although my dad did take a bit of convincing! He was mainly worried about me getting injured, which is understandable. I stood my ground though, I had such a passion for wanting to start training. Eventually he came round, and had come to a few shows and been super, super supportive! I'm surprised at how much he gets into it, haha!

MEGAN-KATE:  My family has been supportive, aside from the banning at an early age! At first I think they were a little confused as to why I would want to invest all of my time into it, but as they saw how much I enjoyed it, their support started increasing. I think the turning point was when they saw me wrestle for the first time, I think they really began to see how much I love it.

Megan-Kate








DF:  What's the wrestling scene like in New Zealand? Is Impact Pro Wrestling (IPW) the only show in town? Do international wrestlers travel to NZ to wrestle for IPW?



MEGAN-KATE:   Impact Pro Wrestling is the only promotion in Auckland, but there are others as well, such as NZWPW and SCW in the South Island. We have had international wrestlers in the past, but it unfortunately isn't very common.

EVIE:  The scene in New Zealand is small, but strong. We have three main companies, one in Auckland (IPW) and two in Wellington (Kiwi Pro Wrestling and NZ Wide Pro Wrestling). Since we are so small, it is rare when international wrestlers stop through. We have had a few, mostly from Australia.
Evie


DF: As New Zealand wrestling gets bigger, could you see a regional feud developing with Australian wrestlers? Would that add fan to fan interest or not? Tell North American fans that may not be aware about the “friendly” rivalry between Australia and New Zealand.


EVIE:  A feud between us and the Aussie wrestlers would be awesome!! Australia and New Zealand have always been strong competitors against each other, whether it be in Sport (rugby) or even claiming ownership of a desert (Pavlova). It's a love-to-hate relationship, and even though some people do take things a bit far, it's all in good fun. Having more opportunities across the ditch would be a great experience, and wrestling new girls is always intense. Us kiwi girls hardly experience that, as the women's scene here is so small..

MEGAN-KATE:   I think a New Zealand versus Australia feud would be awesome, I think it's the type of feud that people from either side of 'the ditch' can relate to and really get behind. I definitely wouldn't rule it out in the future! The 'friendly rivalry' between us goes back years and years and years, it mostly stands in sports, such as our nation's sport: Rugby, an All Blacks versus Kangaroos rugby game is always guaranteed a competitive game and an entertaining watch, as well as netball, the Silver Ferns versus the Australians. Both Aussie and NZ are intensely competitive nations, neither of us back down too easy!!


DF:  Most of us are aware of your great rugby team, the All Blacks, and the intimidating “haka” that they perform for their opponents before a match. Have you been influenced at all by the Maori culture? Do the Maori appreciate pro wrestling?


MEGAN-KATE:   I think it's hard to go anywhere in New Zealand without being influenced by the Maori culture, especially growing up here. From a young age I was taught Te Reo Maori (the Maori language) at school as well as the history of Maori in New Zealand. For me, even though I am not from Maori heritage, I still take great pride in their culture. We have a lot of Maori and Pacific Island fans here, they love it just as much as I do, and after coming to one show, it's very rare that they don't come back!

EVIE:  New Zealand is a very multi-cultural country and yes Maori and Pacific Islanders in particular really love Professional Wrestling, mainly WWE. I haven't been influenced by the Maori Culture as I'm half Samoan, but we do have a couple of Maori or part Maori wrestlers. It's really up to them whether or not they chose to take that on board as a 'gimmick', such as painting on a moko (facial tattoo) or wearing a Piupiu to the ring (flax skirt). A couple of our IPW guys recently toured America and the likes of OVW, and they did the Haka you mentioned as part of their ring entrance (BEFORE the Uso's started doing it :P).











 

The All Blacks do the Haka


DF:  Since you work in a very small wrestling scene, you must become very familiar with your opponents, are there pros and cons to this? Brittany and JPE is one tag you have seen often.


EVIE:  Yes, we fight each other…a lot!! The women's scene here is very small. That being said, we do have a decent caliber of wrestling within the few females we do have active within the scene. We do learn our opponents very thoroughly because of it, but I'm sure we are all looking forward to the day when more girls want to start getting involved with wrestling here in NZ.

MEGAN-KATE:  Yeah, Britenay and JPE are our most common opponents, it's good because we get to know their move set and are constantly coming up with ways to reverse it and get out of it, however there is a flipside: they are able to do the same, it's all about staying ahead which is challenging but achievable! I would love more challenges in the form of more female wrestlers to meet in the ring, we really are pushing to create a viable women's division in New Zealand professional wrestling, but it's definitely taking its time!


DF:  What wrestlers do you admire most and why?

MEGAN-KATE:   I have always had great admiration for the technical style of wrestling, so my top favorites include "Mr. Perfect" Curt Henning, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Owen and Bret Hart. I just really enjoy watching and learning from them. I also respect and admire female wrestlers like the ones who paved the way like the Fabulous Moolah, and later Trish Stratus and Lita for what they did to really boost the women's division in WWE, even if there has been somewhat of a recession in that area. I also enjoy some of the wrestlers from more recent times, such as Beth Phoenix and Natalya Neidhart. In terms of independents, the two that I am most watching at the moment are Sara Del Ray and Madison Eagles, I love their 'no bullshit' approach to training, and I've always enjoyed watching the Japanese women go at it.

EVIE:  My main inspiration was The Rock. I know it's such a generic answer, but he was at his peak right when my brother and I started watching wrestling. I also thought The Rock and I had this weird cultural connection because we are both Samoan haha! He has this untouchable charisma about him. I'm not exactly the loudest person, so when he talks it gives me this rush of confidence, like "Yeah, I can talk like that!" He just 'gets' the fans and knew how to entertain them. My other inspiration is KENTA. He always goes full force in all his matches and has an awesome intensity about him. I found out about Japanese wrestling through watching Gaea Girls a few years ago, and I was totally captivated by what they did in terms of training, living and earning respect from their trainers. The way they work is mind blowing, I have so much respect for what they do.


Sara Del Rey

DF: What wrestlers have you been watching lately on YouTube or DVD?


EVIE:  No wrestler in particular…but definitely a lot of Japanese wrestling. Stardom, NJPW and NOAH to name a few. I'm really loving the hard-hitting style they bring, and love modifying certain moves they do to make it my own. Of course, I watch WWE and SHIMMER too, to stay up to date with what's happening.

MEGAN-KATE:   I've been watching a lot of Australian female wrestlers lately to prepare for my trip there in September, as well as a lot of SHIMMER and Japanese male and female wrestlers, and I will always be watching the guys on my top favorites list, there is one match that I can watch over and over and over again, and that's Eddie versus Dean in a 2 out of 3 falls match in ECW, that is one of the classics that I never get over learning from!


DF:  You have a great opportunity to wrestle in Australia at PWWA on September 3. We understand the SHIMMER title will be defended there for the first time outside of the USA. What are you most looking forward to with that trip? Do you know who you will be wrestling?

MEGAN-KATE:   My trip in Australia this September is just going to be a great learning curve for me, I'm planning to learn so much over there from the other girls, and I'm looking forward to meeting new fans as well! I know who my opponent is, but that's for me to know and you to find out later!

EVIE: At this stage, I have no idea who I'll be wrestling. I'm training hard regardless though!! I'm most looking forward to working with new girls, as I'm sure the other kiwi girls are too. It's a rarity when we step out of our comfort zone to face new opponents, but I'm willing to face the challenge head on!



DF:  As you know, the women’s wrestling scene in Japan may be the most well developed of any in the world. Do you have any desire to move to Japan to wrestle?


EVIE:  Not necessarily to move there, but I have dreamed of wrestling in Japan. Like I said, I'm very strongly Japanese style influenced, so going there and learning would be amazing.

MEGAN-KATE:   I would love to go to Japan at some point, whether that would be soon or maybe a few years down the track, who knows, but I think I could definitely benefit from getting my butt kicked by some of those girls!


DF:  What are your goals in wrestling as a tag team, but also as individuals? Who is your dream opponent as a tag team and as an individual?

MEGAN-KATE:   I think we would both love to travel, whether as a tag team or as singles, it's definitely a shared goal of ours, as well as championship gold, again whether as singles or as BFF. It is far too hard to narrow down my list of dream opponents to one person!! But the list of my favorite female wrestlers is a starting point. The list is forever increasing! It's safe to say that by this time next year, that list could have easily doubled in size!! Right now, I'd like to focus on Aussie, then move up though, I need to pay my dues first!


EVIE:  My main goal is more international exposure. There are the obvious big dreams every wrestler shares of one day being paid the big bucks to do what you love, but realistically I just want to wrestle. If that takes me to higher places, so be it. Right now traveling is at the top of my wrestling to-do list, mainly a America/Canada tour or Japan. There's KENTA, who I'd love to wrestle. That would probably never happen, so having him as a trainer would be amazing. As far as tag teams, The Rockers were awesome in their heyday...and I'm sure we could pull off a fun match! BFF vs. the Rockers..haha! Crazy.
Best Friends Forever (BFF)

DF:  Can your North American fans hope to see you in the USA, Canada, or Mexico someday soon? What are the top one or two promotions in North America that you would like to work for?


EVIE:  Most definitely! I would love to tour America..a North America trip is on the mind, for sure. Obviously, there's THE top promotions. Realistically at this stage, SHIMMER and ROH. SHIMMER would be amazing, and I'll do anything in my power to make it happen!

MEGAN-KATE:  Hell yeah! How soon I'm not sure, but definitely one day!! I would absolutely love that. I've always enjoyed independents like ROH and SHIMMER, but I would honestly be open to any opportunity I got.
Eagles Club in Berwyn, IL, home of SHIMMER
Photo by David Falcon





DF:  What has surprised you most – in a good or bad way – about the wrestling community of fellow wrestlers, trainers, promoters, and fans?


MEGAN-KATE:   It is a little cut throat, you have to realize that when your time is up in the wrestling world, someone will take your place, if you don't constantly improve and grow, someone will quickly kick you out of your place. But having said that, you can make some awesome lifelong friends in this business, you just have to know who to look out for! The fans are so supportive, they are truly awesome, I never thought they would have a real impact on me as a wrestler, but it's so hard for them not to.

EVIE:  The most surprising thing was how the fans can be. Whether online or at shows, they are super devoted to certain wrestlers and can be the best fans ever..or they can be pretty harsh! Dealing with that is just part of the job. Otherwise these guys and girls I wrestle alongside are some of the closest friends I could ever make, and that surprised me in itself.











DF:  Describe your finisher, the B.F.E. “Best Finisher Ever.” How do you like to soften opponents up for your finisher?


EVIE:  Megan and I have a series of tag team moves, otherwise she uses her technical ability and I throw in my hard-hitting style. So really, most grounds are covered! The B.F.E is basically a suspended neck breaker (Megan) and my splash off the top rope. It's pretty brutal!

MEGAN-KATE:   The BFE is a neck breaker/splash combo. I get the neck breaker and Evie gets the splash, it's an awesome move because it can be done on virtually anyone, and it's really tough, no one has kicked out of it yet! A lot of my move set focuses on the head, neck and upper back, so I use that to soften my opponents up into the BFE.


DF:  Where do Megan-Kate and Evie see themselves in five years? Look into your crystal ball for us!

MEGAN-KATE:   Still wrestling!!! Hopefully by 5 years, the New Zealand women's scene is thriving and I've held some gold around my waist on more than one occasion, of course I hope I would have improved tenfold by then, and through my experience, I have other female wrestlers coming up to me and asking me for advice, not so much of the other way round! I would love to say overseas, it's definitely a goal of mine, but we have to wait and see, I'll keep you posted on that one!

EVIE:  Hopefully still wrestling! Honestly I hate looking that far ahead, I'd much rather live each day as it comes. With wrestling, I'd like to think by then I'm more well known around the women's wrestling circles and even achieving my goal of wrestling with SHIMMER! And to have more depth in terms of different wrestling styles…I'd also love to have wrestled in the states or Japan by then!! And hopefully still teaming with Megan-Kate. We work great together! We also have great costume taste, but that aside there's a reason we are doing so well. We both take wrestling seriously, and it's a passion we both share. We don't want to be the generic female 'gimmick' within wrestling. In fact, the thought creeps us out. At trainings, we constantly push each other and bounce ideas of one another on how to better a certain move or to make a tag team move be more effective. I don't think I'd be where I am today without my partner, she's my rock!

Evie and Megan-Kate


One final word . . .

MEGAN-KATE:   To my fans, just a huge thank you, it's you guys that keep me training when I'm sore and I feel like I could give up and it's you guys that keep me going to the gym everyday to try and better myself in the ring, so thank you so so so much!!!



Thanks so much Evie and Megan-Kate for doing this interview.  You have bright and promising careers ahead of you and we in North America are eager to see you wrestling in our rings!  All the best!  Stay in touch!

Check out the BFF Promo Video


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