Friday, January 4, 2013

David Falcon Interviews Evie: 3 Months before her SHIMMER Debut

Original BFF Interview:

Evie and her Million Dollar Smile
Photos By: New photography
Auckland Sports Photography and David Dunn

Sixteen months ago (Aug. 19, 2011), I interviewed the young New Zealand tag-team of Megan-Kate and Evie who worked for Impact pro Wrestling (IPW) in Auckland and called themselves BFF (Best Friends Forever).  That interview, with responses from both members of BFF, became the second most popular post on Falcon's Joshi Blog with many thousands of hits.  Clearly these athletic, attractive wrestlers from New Zealand have captured the wrestling world's imagination.  I now have the privilege of interviewing Evie on the occasion of her announcement for SHIMMER Vol 53 in WrestleCom (Meadowlands, NJ) on April 6.  During those intervening months she has gained a ton of ring experience, wrestled in Australia, landed two championship belts (both of which she still holds), and has had a falling out with her BF Megan-Kate -- at least in the ring, they are clearly not "forever."  There is obviously much to catch up on with the charismatic Kiwi, so let's get started.

DF:  Let's start with the dissolution of BFF first.  For the fans that don't know the story, what happened to break up BFF and to bring animosity between you and Megan-Kate in of the wrestling ring? 
Evie:  It started during the tournament for the IPW Women's Championship, to determine the first ever title holder. Megan Kate's path through that tournament was, admittedly, rocky and controversial. We both tried numerous times to make things fair, like getting second chances with the Commissioner of the end, she attempted to do things her way. I knew something was up when she became a last minute inclusion into what was supposed to be a one on one final match between myself and Britenay. Even though I still managed to come away with that win, I could tell something was up with her. I felt like I couldn't even talk to her anymore, and that she wasn't herself. In my first title defense against Britenay, Megan was at ring side.. and after the match, she clocked me with a baseball bat. Then the leaked footage of her getting her slut on with the Commissioner was the icing on the cake. I guess she went full circle in a way, seeing as she started off in IPW as the locker room jail bait. I guess some people never change.
DF:  Talk about a powerful heel turn!  Megan-Kate shocked a lot of people with her bat-wielding ambush tactics and her brutality towards you.  What causes a person to snap like that?  Can you imagine yourself wanting to win so badly that you throw the rules out the window?
EVIE:  Personally, I haven't been in that situation before so who knows? But I strongly believe in letting your skills talk for themselves, rather than running your mouth or whatever to get your way. Breaking the rules, I can understand that point of desperation. But she was a traitor. We were a tag team in IPW for over two years. I helped her break into the wrestling side of things, and we both taught each other things along the way. She was my best friend and being a super loyal person, I could never imagine getting to that point. 
Evie with a brutal kick on Megan-Kate

DF:  Congratulations on your PWWA Interim Championship -- the big win over Jessie McKay!  The Aussies cannot be happy about an upstart Kiwi walking in and taking their belt.  Tell me about that match and what it felt like to win that belt against the talented and beloved Jessie McKay.

EVIE:  Thanks! It was such a surreal night, that final match of the tournament. Jessie is an amazing competitor, someone I had looked up to before our encounter. Honestly, It didn't really feel to me like the typical "Aussie vs Kiwi" match up. I feel like the PWA crowd had seen me grow and that I had won them over in a way, since my PWWA debut back in Sept 2011. I had a lot of support from the fans, so it was cool... It was a nice surprise, PWA is definitely my home away from home!
DF:  You're hardly known as a heel, so wrestling fans find it hard not to like you and they are drawn to your high energy work-rate.  How did the Australian crowd respond to you during that tournament?  How did they react when you raised the belt?
EVIE:  It was a very split crowd, which was surprising to me! I was so nervous before that match.. like ridiculously crazy nervous. It was so important to me to bring it on the night. I had good support during the match, and even more support online after it was announced internationally. I still get jittery talking about that night!
Evie free falling v Jessie McKay

DF:  Later in October you retained the PWWA title in a 30-minute time-limit draw v Kellie Skater.  You had had great matches against Kellie before.  What is it about Kellie Skater that brings out your best wrestling?
EVIE:  Skater is an amazing competitor. We definitely have some sort of crazy connection - we both bring out the best in each other, and end up performing to high standards. I couldn't put my finger on what it would be exactly, probably a mix of things. Whatever it is, the matches that we do are always intense and energetic. I could never get sick of wrestling Skater, as each time we face off it's ALWAYS a crazy new experience. You just never know what's going to happen!
Evie v Skater
Evie with the PWWA Belt

DF:  What an incredibly busy fall you have had defending two belts in two different countries.  What match most stands out in your mind and why?

EVIE:  An incredibly busy Spring where we are! Both of the matches were back to back, so I was on emotion overload. The IPW Women's Championship final match was intense. That match was a main event of the show, and we had a very big turnout for the event. The IPW crowd have seen us girls grow up and mature in the wrestling ring. The division started 5 years ago, so it was a very historic night. The feeling of finally winning the title was intense. It was very special to have those familiar faces in the crowd too, those that have been supporting you for so long. 
The PWWA interim title tournament was a different feeling to me. With other names in the tournament such as Skater and McKay, It was intimidating to be included in such a thing. Facing off against my then BFF Megan Kate also wasn't easy at the time. Making it to the finals was weird. I almost felt like I was in a dream during the whole match! Winning the interim title, the first emotion was shock... the belt is held in such high regard, so there is a lot of responsibility that comes with it. 
I can't pick one event over the other - in my mind, both are important for different reasons.  Both titles mean a lot to me, and I am privileged to hold them. 
Evie with the IPW belt

DF:  No fans of BFF one year ago could ever have predicted that their beloved tag heroes would be pitted in a hard-core Bat-on-a-Pole match in December of 2012.  But that's what happened.  What did you learn about yourself in that match?  Can you ever see yourself doing a TLC or other hardcore match?
EVIE:  I know, it was at the other end of the spectrum if you compare our relationship from a year ago to now. It was a very full on match. Megan had hit me with the bat twice in matches previously, so I had a lot of fuel for the fire to get my revenge. I had never experienced a hardcore match of any sort, and typically I wouldn't choose hardcore matches over your standard wrestling matches. I'm not opposed to hardcore matches, but my preference is more the wrestling side of the scale. In saying that, this match was needed. The previous months were so sketchy, with Megan always getting the upper hand with her weapon of choice and the rumors flying with her and the Commissioner. In this circumstance, there was no other match to provide somewhat of a conclusion to that.
Megan-Kate with a brutal kick on Evie in the Bat-on-a-Pole match

DF:  As you know, Dave Prazak announced your booking at SHIMMER 53 on a Ringbelles podcast about ten days ago.  What went through your mind when Dave asked you to SHIMMER?  How has life changed for you since the announcement?
EVIE:  Is it ok to say I still feel surreal about this whole thing?? I am finally getting the opportunity to wrestle in America, and with SHIMMER at that!! I'm crazy excited and super grateful for the opportunity. Receiving all the messages of support through twitter, Facebook and face to face with my friends and family has been amazing. I didn't really understand the level of support I had on the international scale of things, I have a better idea now! As long as they don't mistake me for an Aussie, haha! ;)

DF:  Only about seven women have been announced so far, what does it feel like to have your name listed along with Saraya Knight, Cheerleader Melissa, Kharma, Madison Eagles, Ayako Hamada, Athena, and Mia Yim?  Not bad company, eh?
EVIE:  Jeepers! That's pretty epic company if you ask me! It'll be crazy to be amongst these women, most of whom I've looked up to for a while now. Like I said, it's surreal. To be wrestling on a show with names like that, it's truly an honor!
DF:  Who are the top American, Canadian, and Japanese wrestlers that you would like to face in the ring -- because your styles are complimentary or just because they are wrestlers you've always wanted to challenge?
EVIE:  Can I just say any women wrestler ever?? I know it's near impossible, but I feel like I learn the most when wrestling new opponents... and I still want to learn so much! The SHIMMER locker room is overflowing with amazing talent, so any of those girls would be rad. Madison Eagles is number one at the moment, and with her being hungry for her title back it'll definitely be something of an epic fairy tale for me if I got to face her for the PWWA unification match.
Evie with a MMA kick v Jessie McKay

DF:  Do you have any plans to see WrestleMania since it's right next door?  Are you planning to network with any talent scouts for WWE?  Is working for WWE a future goals of yours?
EVIE:  Wrestlemania is on the bucket list, so why wouldn't I?! Definitely looking forward to that! As for the WWE, I'd love to at least get a trial and that way I'd have no regrets and give it a go, you know? It has always been a goal, as that's what obviously got me into wrestling in the first place. And getting to do something you absolutely love as a job?? Can't really argue with that! At this point however, I'm just really keen to focus on wrestling in promotions where women's wrestling is respected and where they put on amazing shows. SHIMMER has been the biggest goal in my mind to date, so the fact that I'm actually going to be a part of such a respected company is just mind boggling.

DF:  I certainly hope (and expect) that you will also be announced for SHIMMER Vol 54-56 in Berwyn, Illinois.  Are there other bookings that you have landed or are seeking in your travels to North America?  
EVIE:  None at this stage, but you guys will be the first to know of any that pop up :)

DF:  Tell us about some of the merchandise you plan to bring with you to North America.  Fans need to begin saving now so they can splurge on April 6! 

EVIE:  8 x 10s of course :) I'm trying to organize more things like t shirts, but I'm a bit new to this business! Maybe I should make some candy with my face printed on the front. Or temporary tattoos, now there's an idea!

DF:  Tell us about your training during the past year.  How often do you train, with whom, and what are the most important developments in your style or move set in recent months?
EVIE:  We train up to 3 times a week at our IPW gym here in Auckland. Otherwise, the guys generally go to the gym and do their routines. Within the last half of the year, I've been enjoying some awesome bootcamps, as well as regular boxing sessions for cardio. My diet has also changed slightly, I'm limiting my intake of processed foods and upping the protein and veggies I eat. I definitely feel like I have more energy while I wrestle, so that's a plus!

DF:  You seem healthy and on top of your game these days.  Have you had any nagging or serious injuries to contend with during the past six months?  
EVIE:  Nothing too serious, I did however have a lower back injury in the middle of the year. That injury is an old one, back from my Athletics days so it requires constant stretching and strengthening. I've been pretty lucky otherwise, just the usual bumps and bruises :)

DF:  I must say, you have some spectacular wrestling gear:  striking design and bold colors.  Who makes your gear?  What role does gear play in a wrestlers persona?
EVIE:  Thank you so much! I take a lot of pride in having good gear, as it adds professionalism to how you look in the ring. It also reflects the kind of person you are, hence why I stick to a lot of bright, bold and sparkly colours. I think that's my girly side in me too, reflected in my gear. I have a local tailor that I get to make my gear, and she's just awesome. I get my fabric from another lady, and I love going into her little shop. I do get carried away sometimes though, and I can never plan colours as I am the most indecisive person! I will no doubt try and get a couple more sets made before my trip over - just a good excuse as any, right?
Evie, far corner, sporting professional gear with florescent colors and hot designs
DF:   During our last interview I asked you to look forward five years and share what you hoped Evie would have done/be doing.  Here's your response:   "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."    You are obviously much more well known in wrestling circles.  Anyone who can catch Dave Prazak's eye from half a world away has already generated a significant "buzz" in the wrestling world.  By April you will have wrestled in SHIMMER and in the States.  What new goals will you set now?
EVIE:  I haven't really had a lot of time to think of anything else at this point...can you blame me? SHIMMER is such an awesome deal! Right now, I just want to focus on that and do my best. It is quite daunting to be going over and knowing some people have seen your work already, rather than coming in as a completely unfamiliar talent. I guess there are a lot of expectations, so I am working and training hard to bring my A-game, and hopefully not disappoint! 
DF:  You go on to say about your relationship with Megan-Kate:  "We don't want to be the generic female 'gimmick' within wrestling. In fact, the thought creeps us out. At training, 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!"  Obviously this is a close and positive relationship; but you are winning these belts and making this journey to SHIMMER without your BFF teammate.  How are you dealing with this career separation from Megan-Kate?
EVIE:  It was difficult at first, that was until she made it well clear she didn't care about me - just about herself. Yeah we used to be close, but knowing her true motives throws everything else out the window. I do get sad thinking about what happened and the path she chose, but dwelling on the past means living in the past. With or without her, it doesn't matter to me. I have so many things to look forward to this year, it's going to be amazing!
Evie, right, battles rival Megan-Kate

Poster for The Hobbit, by Peter Jackson (filmed in New Zealand)

DF:  Is New Zealand going as crazy about The Hobbit as the rest of the world is?  What do you love most about being Kiwi?  New Zealanders have tremendous national pride -- and rightly so -- over athletic achievement (in the Olympics, say), in rugby prowess, and in those fine Peter Jackson films about Middle Earth.  What makes your heart swell with pride when you think about your homeland?
EVIE:  You did NOT just mention The Hobbit. Ahhhh I love the whole franchise! I'm a Tolkien fangirl! The fact that Jackson has proudly displayed the films in our homeland makes it even more epic. Even just driving through the countryside this summer, you can get a real films for being in middle earth which I love! Along with that, the All Blacks are arguably a sports team that almost every kiwi supports. My Granddad was an All Black, so that pride is in the blood...and when we won the World Cup back in 2011, it was epic. The whole country partied and it was amazing! Along with these things, I think growing up in such a small country with a close community has made me the person I am today. Even though most people over look New Zealand, I can't imagine calling anywhere else home :) I also love our Summer Christmas and New Year holidays ... can't beat the beach and BBQ during the festive season!
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins on location in New Zealand
DF: What advice would you have for a young girl -- say age 16 -- who wants to join Team KICK?  She wants to begin training and wrestling professionally -- what would you tell her?
EVIE:  To hold on to that passion, and find your nearest (and legit) professional wrestling school! Do some research on the companies that are around your area, and contact them for more information. I would also say that being fit and active helps A LOT...I can't even emphasize how much it has helped me :)
DF:  Is there anything you would like to say to your fans in the States and around the world?
EVIE:  THANK YOU for supporting me :) I know I come from a relatively unknown place to majority of women wrestling fans, so having your encouragement means that much more to me. I can't wait to get over there and meet you guys, and to finally wrestle in the states!! #TEAMKICK 

Action from an Evie v Skater match often spills out of the ring

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