Hi everybody, my name is Jokey, (but I’m also known as Aivil in ICW). I come from Italy, but I’ve been living in Scotland for two years now.
How long have you been in the business and what made you want to become a professional wrestler?
I stepped into a wrestling ring in 2014 for the very first time. I’ve always been a great fan of this discipline, but never thought it would have turned into my second life. At that time, I didn’t know there where wrestling schools in my country. Then I met my boyfriend, who coincidentally was a wrestler. So, when he realised how much I loved this sport, he took me to his gym and introduced me to the Italian Championship Wrestling family. After that first training, I never stopped. I had my debut match in March 2015, against Queen Maya for the ICW [Italian Championship Wrestling] Female Championship. I left Italy in April 2016 and moved to Scotland to get more experience and pursue the dream of becoming a professional wrestler.
What would you consider the hardest part about being professional female athlete in a male dominated sport?
It’s never easy, as you always feel like you have to work harder than anyone else to prove you can do the same things men do, that you can be as strong as they are and as good and talented as everybody else. I think the most annoying thing is the psychological aspect of it, which means convincing the guys you train and work with they should treat you as their equal and not being constantly afraid of hurting you or being limited by you.
Also, competition is always high, as there are just a few spots for girls in wrestling shows, so you gotta stand out somehow and show why promoters should pick you instead of other great girls. Uniqueness and talent are two fundamental elements in this discipline. It is not just about how athletic and technically good you are, but also how entertaining and different you can be.
What are some of your career highlights and what companies do you work for?
Well, I definitely say my debut match in Insane Championship Wrestling in the main event of the night alongside other seven incredible athletes, which were Mikey Whiplash, Chris Renfrew, Viper, Stevie Boy, Kay Lee Ray, Jimmy Havoc and Kasey.
I could also mention all my 2017 debuts for different great companies such as Pro Wrestling EVE, Bellatrix Female Warriors and Fierce Females. I’m currently wrestling for GPWA, ICW (both the Scottish and the Italian one) and other promotions throughout the country.
If you can name 3 wrestlers who influence your style, who would they be?
As a kid, I’ve grown up watching the WWE superstars on TV. My favourite wrestlers were Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio and Paul London. No wonder I love high fly manoeuvres and I like to have fun with my opponents on the ring. What’s the point of doing something if it doesn’t make you smile?!
What’s it like having to come from Italy to work in the UK?
I consider myself a lucky person, because I had the honour of training with one of the best European technical wrestlers, Mr. Excellent, and his amazing sister, Queen Maya. When I moved here, everything I knew I knew it thanks to these two incredible athletes and friends. It hasn’t been easy, I admit it, but I came to a point in which I felt that I had to take this step. Going abroad, wrestling with and learning from different athletes and trainers were the road towards the realisation of my dream. I always thought that you must get out of your comfort zone if you want to improve and really fight for your life goals.
What’s the wrestling scene like over in Italy?
2017 has unveiled the presence of many young talents, a lot of them coming from my original school. I’m so proud of them. They’re the future. Our veterans are amazing athletes, they set up the bar for all of us and helped us growing up, pushing ourselves to the limits and teaching us how to go beyond them. Mr. Excellent, Doblone, Lupo, Alessandro Corleone and Charlie Kid just to name a few. They were the first going abroad and learning from the very best, so they have all been supportive of my decision and are proud of what I am achieving.
Who would you say is/are the next breakthrough female star(s) in Wrestling?
There are a lot of names of young female wrestlers that could be mentioned. Millie Mckenzie, Candyfloss and Chakara are definitely some of them.
Who are your favourite, and who would be your dream opponents, to face?
I always loved Kay Lee Ray. I’ve already had the chance of wrestling with her twice, but always in tag matches. So, I hope I’ll have the opportunity of facing her soon in a single match. I would also love to fight again with Nikki Cross. I had the very pleasure of sharing the ring with her in 2015 in Lisbon and she changed my life in just one night. She is a great person and a super talented athlete. It would be amazing to meet her one more time.
What do you think of the current state of women’s wrestling?
I think it’s a very positive moment for all of us. The wrestling scene today is vibrant and full of opportunities. You have to be able to capture the spotlight and prove you’re the one. Things are finally moving in a good direction and it’s our duty to understand how to conquer our spot.
How does it make you feel when people discriminate women’s wrestling and what should be done about it?
People will always be judging. Because of the way you look, because of your size, because of your attitude or just because they would love to be you. I think everybody has the right of having an opinion and criticisms can help you grow up and learn from your mistakes. But, when an opinion or a critique turns into a judgment then it has to be condemned. Instead of verbally reacting, I usually prefer to show everybody what I am capable of with my actions. Sometimes, indifference is the most powerful weapon in your hands. Discrimination can come from fear or ignorance. Why give it attention, why feeding it? Show the world they are wrong. Prove yourself you’re better than that.
Do you believe women can, let's say, one day main event a show like WWE's Wrestlemania?
I’m sure it will happen very soon. I’m 100% sure women can do exactly what men has done till today. Some of us have already made history. Impossible is nothing!
You are a member of the Legion faction in ICW (Scotland) and recently transitioned from Jokey to Aivil. Can you tell me, who is Aivil and how is she different from Jokey?
To be honest, it wasn’t a complete transition. Legion needed a strong and healthy body to let their twisted priestess come back from the Underworld. Aivil and Jokey are just two of the many personalities embodied by me. They co-exist and constantly give strength to each other. When Mikey Whiplash is around, Aivil is in control. She is a demon, an ancient Goddess of Death and Witchcraft. Sometimes, she allows the Broken Doll inside to be in charge and that’s when the party begins, ‘cause little J is a crazy head.
Why did you choose to be part of Legion or were you manipulated by Mikey Whiplash?
Life drove us to the same path. We understood we were more powerful together. Legion and I? We were just meant to be.
How would you describe Legion?
Legion is darkness and ancestral power. You can be the demon, without fearing judgment or denial. Legion is also a freaky family. It’s the silence before the storm and the storm itself.
Have you got any future dates/projects or anything else that you want to plug?
Yes! On the 10th of March, Jokey will be facing Sammi Jo at Respect Pro Wrestling and really hopes to teach her a lesson, ‘cause she’s been a very bad girl last time they met!
On the 11th of March, Aivil will be wrestling with the ICW Women’s Champion Viper in Potterrow, Edinburgh and she can’t wait for it!
One last question. What’s next for you? Where are you going / what are your plans?
You will be seeing more of Aivil in ICW for sure in the next few months. I’m also returning to Italy in April, for a big show with the Italian Championship Wrestling family. The name of Jokey and Aivil will spread everywhere this year, I promise you!
I have more plans mixing up in my mind right now, but I don’t want to anticipate anything. Keep an eye on my Facebook and Twitter pages to keep updated.
Are there any people or organisations you’d like to give a special thank you / shout out to?
I would like to thank my Italian teachers of course and all of the GPWA trainers for welcoming me here and teaching me everything I know. A massive thank you to Mark Dallas, Chris Renfrew and Scott Reid. For believing in me, for giving me the chance to work for ICW and being part of something great. Thank you to Mikey Whiplash for being an amazing tag partner and a good friend. I wouldn’t change Legion with nobody else.
And last but not least, thank you to my mad clown Paxxo and all of my lovely friends, who support me every day, always believed in me and love me even if I’m completely mad!
Thank you for this interview, it’s been a pleasure!
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