Hi I am Shauna Shay, a female wrestler from Leicester, England. Often referred to as “The Leicester Fox” or “The Mistress of Fitness”
How long have you been in the business and what made you want to become a professional wrestler?
I started wrestling five years ago, (January 12th 2013 to be exact), I always loved wrestling as a child and I think it was No Mercy 2004 that really got me hooked. To be honest I never saw myself wrestling as I am quite a wimp, sadly within my first year of wrestling this was tested as I chipped a piece of bone off my knee, it took me around two years to fully recover, but thankfully I’m okay now and looking to make a name for myself.
What would you consider the hardest part about being professional female athlete in a male dominated sport?
I think the main issue I find is that there aren’t always enough spaces for women on a normal card, you probably only have one or two matches that have women in them and so you must make yourself stand out more. I feel like some people even to this day feel like the women are not as good as the men… but I like to prove those individuals wrong.
What are some of your career highlights and what companies do you currently wrestle in?
A company quite close to my heart is Elevation; it is run in the Leicestershire area and is the training academy of Joseph Conners. I’ve been at the academy for my entire wrestling life and the wrestlers from that academy are some of the most respectful and talented young wrestlers you will ever meet (if I do say so myself).
December 2017 I was part of a Women’s Gauntlet to crown the first ever Elevation Women’s Champion, a match which I would be successful in. It truly was an honour.
2017 was really the first year I started to branch out I managed to debut for several companies including Pro Wrestling Subjective, Wulfrun Pro Wrestling, House of Pain Wrestling (Where I am also a proud trainee). I also got to debut at FCW in Dudley in the first ever Women’s main event, which again felt like a real achievement, I hope to carry this on so watch this space.
If you can name 3 wrestlers who influence your style, who would they be?
I’ve always been a huge fan of Eddie Guerrero, I loved his storytelling and charisma, he was the reason I fell in love with wrestling. As a kid I hated Kurt Angle, I suppose that was a good thing, but now I understand wrestling I really enjoy looking back through his matches, the guy is an absolute genius. Randy Orton as well should be the person to complete the list, adaptable to any situation he is thrown in, one of the best move sets and his strikes are brilliant. He’s become much like Kurt Angle in the way he can bring the very best out of an opponent and you can always expect a great match.
Who would you put on the Mount Rushmore of WOMEN’S Wrestling?
Natalya, Stephanie McMahon, Beth Phoenix and Jazz. All extremely strong women with a unique style.
Who would you say is/are the next breakthrough female star(s) in Wrestling?
It’s a difficult one to answer, because in doing so it could be interpreted as considering myself in a position to speculate on “the next generation”, I consider myself as one of that next generation.
Who was your favourite female wrestler when you were younger? / Who did you look up to the most?
To be honest I did not really watch women’s wrestling and be inspired by it until I first started watching Natalya and Beth Phoenix. I’d watch wrestling and even when I was little, I wouldn’t like some of the costumes, gimmick matches or positions the women were placed in, and I definitely could not see myself in those positions. I think it is a lot better now; there are a lot of different styles and more attention to the athleticism of the women.
Who are your favourite, and who would be your dream opponents, to face?
When I started wrestling I was fortunate enough to be on the shows alongside the likes of Viper/Piper Niven, Kay Lee Ray, Nikki Cross, The Owens Sisters, to name a few. Although I was grateful for those opportunities, I have to say I’m not happy with the way I was performing back then and I’d love a second chance to correct the silly mistakes I made so soon in my career. Viper and Kay Lee are women I definitely want a chance to face from that list.
In terms of the bigger picture, Charlotte and Natalya I think I could learn so much from, if the opportunity arose.
What do you think of the current state of women’s wrestling?
I think women’s wrestling is in a really good place right now, it’s getting more and more exposure and it’s all positive things, as I said before it tends to be more about talent than looks. There has been a rise in Women’s only shows and WWE are helping a lot by allowing their women to perform as superstars in matches that we didn’t think we would ever see.
How does it make you feel when people discriminate women’s wrestling and what should be done about it?
I haven’t encountered much discrimination personally, maybe I’m lucky that way, but people certainly seem less discriminatory to women in wrestling (and sport in general) these days, and that’s a change for the better. I am sure it still happens as it would with any industry. In those instances all that can be done is to prove them wrong.
Do you believe women can, let's say, one day main event a show like WWE's Wrestlemania?
At the time I initially wrote my answers, I was going to say something like “someday” or straight up “no” – not because I didn’t think it possible, it was more my own pessimism because I felt like there would need to be a massive paradigm shift for that to happen. Then I put the laptop down and watched WWE’s Royal Rumble event [Sunday 28th January 2018]. So my answer now is yes.
What championships do you currently hold / what championships have you won or are about to challenge for?
I won my first championship back in December for Elevation, I am due to challenge for the Tidal Tag Team Championships with Ruby Radley on February 4th which I am really looking forward to. I also have my eyes on becoming the first Wulfrun Pro Wrestling Women’s Champion and I believe I am due to challenge for the FCW championship as well.
Have you got any future dates/projects or anything else that you want to plug?
I’ve recently been announced for Tidal Wrestling which I am really looking forward to, I’ve wanted to work with Ruby Radley for a while as well. I also get to defend my title on February 16th for Elevation against Georgy Archer, she is one of my closest friends so that’s a match I am really excited for.
One last question. What’s next for you? Where are you going / what are your plans?
I want to get as far as possible in this industry, I was quite fortunate to work for quite a fair few companies last year, and I am looking to expand on that this year. I want to be a regular face on the UK scene and start to expand my wrestling elsewhere.
Are there any people or organisations you’d like to give a special thank you / shout out to?
I’ve spoken about the company a lot, but Elevation to me is more than that, it’s become a little family, the head trainer Joseph Conners has helped me out a lot the past few years, but there is a whole team that work so hard to get shows going. Tyler Owens and Johnny Alpha have managed to not only acquire a venue for our shows, but have built a wrestling ring from scratch, and personally it is one of my favourite rings to work in.
Other shout outs can go to Stixx and the House of Pain school, I only started training with them last year supplementary to my work at Elevation but I was welcomed into the group with open arms.
You can find Shauna on the following Social networks: