Firstly, Thank you for the chance to give this interview. I really appreciate the opportunity given to me by yourself and your whole team.
My Name is Skye Smitson I also wrestle under the name Ms Smitson, I'm 26 years old, Born and raised in London, England. I am 5ft 5inches. I have been training since 2012 at the age of 21, I started training in Portsmouth in February 2012 with Varsity Pro Wrestling. I had my first match 6 months into my training at a local trainees show VPW helped run and have been actively taking bookings since 2014. Despite some time out due to a few injuries sustained (namely a broken nose [3times]), I've worked for numerous companies over the years to name a few, VPW (Varsity Pro Wrestling), 4FW (4 Front Wrestling - as Ms Smitson), UPW (Ultimate Pro Wrestling) and All-star wrestling. At present I have not won any championships, however, if I have my way that will change very soon.
What is your day to day routine and does it affect any other parts of your life with family/friends?
My day to day routine is pretty general, Wake up at 6am for food prep for the day, shower then off to work from 9am until 6pm, then once I finish work I travel back home to my gym. I get there about 7pm, I do an hour cardio and thirty minutes of weights and core exercises, usually leaving the gym at 9pm, (shower and change after). I workout five times a week. After one of those five times a week I will go to the Tanning Salon up the road to keep my tan up. I don't often experience a clash with my life with my friends and family, sometimes I have to rearrange meeting family or friends due to shows, but my family are very supportive of my dreams and are happy to rearrange occasions to fit my wrestling.
You are from London if I am correct, - have you ever wrestled outside the UK? If not, where would you like to go?
Correct I am from London, born and raised. I have not wrestled outside of the UK at present. There are so many places I would love to wrestle, the man country for me would be America, but second would definitely be Japan. I think both countries have a different approach to wrestling, and I think it would be massively educating to go to both countries to experience their way of wrestling. I think it would also add further to my passion for wrestling.
Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?
I have many influences for wrestling, I think my biggest personal influence would have to be Family, I had a very interesting childhood and my family are the key to me being where I am today, not many families would encourage you to follow a dream as interesting and (some would say) crazy as becoming a professional Wrestler. They have all been a major part of me believing in myself, and pushing on even when I didn't think I could.
Wrestling wise my biggest inspiration is The Fabulous Moolah, there are many reasons why but the main reason is she was trail blazer long before any other woman in the industry was, she was like no other woman at the time or like any that has come along since. Having read her book, I admire her more, knowing what she experienced and how much she gave to other women who tried to get into wrestling. Not only was she a true legend but in my opinion she was the best female wrestler of all time, I say it because she set a bar so high that for years nobody matched it and in my opinion hasn't matched it yet. To hold a title back in her era was a feat in itself but to hold it for 28 years is just something that still blows my mind. Although Moolah is probably my biggest inspiration, I also have to mention Klondyke Kate, as a professional wrestler who grew up in England I grew up watching "World of Sport [World of Sport was and is a pro wrestling show based in the UK and was/is seen on TV] and one of the very first females I saw wrestle was Klondyke Kate, something about her presence and how she destroyed the other woman caught my imagination and I personally think set the tone for who I wanted to be in the ring. And having meet her personally it has only added to her being an inspiration to me, she is always welcoming and very supportive in giving any advice she can, therefore, she is still a massive inspiration to me to this day.
When wrestling for a show that will air or is being recorded, do you feel like there is more pressure placed on you? Or do you blank out the cameras and focus on your art?
Usually I try not to think too much about the cameras, nine times out of ten there will be a photographer of some sort at a show, or indeed someone with camera, so in the respect you have to always be ready to be photographed so you learn to ignore them. But with shows that are recorded for online episodes or for DVD's it can be a little harder to ignore them, so most times I keep my focus on my opponent, so as to not injure them or forget something through distraction. Saying that most camera people I have worked with you very rarely notice unless they get in your face for a shot, at times like this you learn to look right past the camera at a person in the crowd. I don't usually feel more pressure knowing I'll be filmed, the pressure comes more from performing in front of hundreds of people, and making sure everything is in point from your make-up to your tan to your outfit.
There are many different styles of wrestling. Which category do you believe your style fits into? And who had the biggest influence into it?
I would personally say that I am more of a brawler and a powerhouse wrestler. I don't bother too much with technical wrestling, not because I can't do but mainly because I like to get in people's faces, punch them, kick them or just throw them about. I love hitting so much that my favourite phrase is "#Fist2Face". I believe this comes from growing up watching Fabulous Moolah and Klondyke Kate, both were very rough and dominate with their opponents, they would beat them by any means necessary, along with throwing them around and rag dolling them around. That is where I think my style comes from.
A common question asked in interviews is who is your dream opponent. I am very interested in who you in particular would like to face. Who is one well known opponent that you would wish to face from any generation?
My dream opponent would be either Fabulous Moolah or Melina. Fabulous Moolah for the obvious reason of her being a massive inspiration to me and in my career itself. The reason I say Melina as well, is because there was a time when women's wrestling wasn't about the wrestling and I became very bored with watching the women go out there and NOT wrestle, until one day I came across Melina on [WWE] Raw (in 2007) and for some reason be it the entrance or the way she held herself, I was hooked and blown away by the talent she had, her presence and the fact that she could actually wrestle, not to insult the other woman at the time but for me Melina was the best at the time (tied with Victoria). So in many senses she gave me back my passion for wrestling or mainly women's wrestling. So for those reasons I have to include Melina and to make my Dream Match - Me and Klondyke Kate vs Melina and Moolah.
In your opinion, how important are managers and referees in professional wrestling? Back in the day we witnessed countless greats but nowadays the art of management and respected referees unfortunately seem to have almost vanished.
I think they are both massively important, I've never had a manager but from my point of view, a manager is there to play a role to help reel the crowd into the story even more to make them hate or love the wrestler even more than they do. Referees are I think even more important than the managers, I say this because when your in the ring getting punched and kicked and thrown around, taking bumps from the top rope to the floor, you need to have complete confidence in the referee. If something was to happen and one of the wrestlers were to get injured the referee will be the turning point in knowing what to do, whether to stop the match or not, they can often be the difference between you getting back in the ring or not. Over time I think people have forgotten the importance of a referee, as a wrestler I know that isn't the case, they are there to make sure that nobody attacks the wrestler but also to make sure that neither wrestler is injured during a match and that is something in itself that shouldn't ever be forgotten.
Is there anyone you have faced that we may know, such as a mainstream name? And how was that for you?
I haven't faced any mainstream names. The biggest name I have face is Shanna (Portugal's Perfect Athlete), that for me was a big game changer, wrestling someone who was so much more experienced than me was a massive eye opener and also a massive privilege, she was more than helpful with advice and telling me small things that I could do. As well as telling me how good she thought I was (Including a Facebook shout-out), things like that have personally made wrestling her my favourite match of my career, she was so good I cant even express my thanks to her for her support and advice.
Who would you like to face off against or what promotion would you love to wrestle in?
There are so many promotions I would love to wrestle for obviously WWE, but other than them I would personally say Stardom Wrestling and ROH (Ring of Honor), mainly because they both a women's division that is different to the British division in numerous ways, and I'd love the bridge the gap and wrestle in two countries I've always wanted to.
Opponent wise I'd love to wrestle Shanna again, just because I've learnt a lot since I wrestled her and would love to see if that changed the dynamic of our matches. If I could wrestle her on a Stardom show then that would be a bonus.
Lastly, I'd like to ask you some questions personal to yourself, being a woman in a male dominating sport.
A lot of people think women should just be a valet or a manager - stand in the corner and look the part - and not be a wrestler. How does this make you feel and what should be done about it?
I think no matter how much people wanna preach that there isn't a difference there is a massive difference and still a massive issue. Numerous women in the industry are undervalued and underpaid, even though the women's revolution has changed things slightly, there are still numerous promoters that book on looks alone, which as much as we can say it's wrong. I can understand where they are coming from, every show needs some eye candy for the men. I think its a rubbish way to look at things especially when there are women who look good and can also out wrestle most men, but wont be given a shot because they don't fit the idea or image in the promoters mind. As much as I wanna say it will disappear I don't think it will. I personally try not to think too much about it as I would like to believe that I wouldn't be put on a show because I didn't fit what they wanted not because I wasn't 'pretty' enough for them. I spend most of my time trying to improve myself and work being the best wrestler I can be. As I think the only way to get rid of that attitude is to go out there and prove those promoters and haters to be completely wrong.
Women's wrestling used to be seen as the "piss or drink break" in pro wrestling, and in recent years many women have come forward and changed that, how does that make you feel, knowing you're part of the next step for female athletes?
I think the main thing it makes me feel is proud, pride that women are finally pushing back and proving that women can do anything men can do and perhaps do it better. I think its empowering to women wrestlers including myself to know that there is a massive hope for female athletes to become as successful as they wish to be. I think its especially good for young women starting their training now, knowing that if they put in the hard work and effort then they will see the rewards in due time.
Finally as a female athlete, do you believe women can let's say one day main event a show like WWE's Wrestlemania?
I'd like to believe they would, but knowing the product and watching it, I don't think WWE would ever risk it. I think that more than likely they could end up being the match before the MAIN event, but I don't ever see WWE trusting a women's match to be the last match of the card for Wrestlemania. As much as that sucks, WWE is a worldwide brand and no matter they put on the best card to attract as many people as they need and sometimes women's matches can be a massive risk and at times a massive let down, both risks I don't think WWE could ever risk taking. I remain hopeful but from a personal stand point I don't think it will happen. Not because the women aren't good enough but because the risk for WWE is too big.
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