Women’s MMA & Pro-wrestling Part 4 – Future Queens of the Ring Weigh-in

posted by MarQFPR, a Women Talk Sports blogger
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 1:13am EDT

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WWE Diva Eve Torres & Jennifer Gray at Redline BJJ

Female Pro-wrestlers and Women’s MMA fighters have more in common than you expect besides gender. Both have a passion for their respective sports; the put their bodies to the limit and suffer through injuries; and all love the roar and energy of the crowd. 

In the next few weeks, we will talk with both sides about their chosen sport, and their opinion of athletes on the other of the fence.

Two up and coming pro-wrestlers are featured this week.


Kalia Stoll is an aspiring pro-wrestler out of Kentucky. She will be starting her training out of one of the best schools in the country, Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville, KY, this June. She is also a marketing associate for MMA Diehards news website.


How did you get involved in wrestling?

I was always around Pro Wrestling because one of my sisters had always watched it with my cousins. I never got fully evolved into it until I was about 11 or 12 years old. I was OBSESSED with it throughout middle and high school and I am still proudly a junkie today! Nothing brings me more passion!

I also have a love for amateur/collegiate wrestling. My dad wrestled in high school so he always told me stories of his days as a heavyweight. My high school never got a wrestling team until my junior year. Nobody believed me when I always said if the school ever developed a team, I'd try out.

The day the school announced the wrestling tryouts meeting I showed up...it was a room FULL of about 70 something boys, I was the only girl! We had to go through about a month of conditioning with army sergeants, everyday from 4-nearly 8pm & surprisingly, I made the cut! Since there wasn't a girls/boys team or other teams with girls, I had to wrestle guys. 

It took a long time to earn my parents' respect for wrestling, but after my first tournament and match, they were the biggest supporters of me. Every guy I had to wrestle was so respectful, and all the other teams couldn't have been more supportive and helpful. My own teammates especially.

Wrestling conditioning & practices were the hardest & most physically demanding activities I've ever had to endure and I couldn't have made it through most of those days without being pushed by them.

I am looking to start my official professional wrestling training this summer! It has been my dream since I was 11 or 12 years old and I am so stoked and excited to try it out!


Did you do any other sports as a teenager?

I wasn't as into sports as some of my other sisters were, but I did play some years of basketball, softball, & I did dance (tap/ballet) from the time I was 5 till about 13. I have also been horseback riding both for leisure & competitively since I was 5. 


Who influenced you in becoming a wrestler?

I was so in love with pro wrestling, I don't even fully remember what sparked my mind to say "I WANT to be a professional wrestler", but I remember watching one night during a women's match...my biggest idol, Trish Stratus, was wrestling. I had complete chills and thought "WOW! That has got to be the coolest job ever! I REALLY want to do this when I'm older!"

I remember my Aunt Shellie saying "Kaila, that looks like you out there! You could do that!" That was all she wrote & all it took from then on it was beaten into my head and heart that's what I wanted to do with my life. I can honestly say that she was the first person who influenced me on becoming a pro wrestler.


What is your opinion on MMA?

I LOVE MMA. The world's fastest growing sport, & truly the most respectful and most exciting.

I became a fan of MMA numerous years ago, I just remember seeing a clip of Vitor Belfort, started doing some research and INSTANTLY became an enthusiast. I am so happy to see the sport continue to grow and evolve. MMA has the MOST down to earth, respectful, genuine, and REAL athletes anyone could ever come across. Go to ONE major promoted MMA event (UFC, Strikeforce for example), I guarantee that you will meet at least two fighters. I have met more people within the MMA industry in the past couple of years than I have my entire 20 years of watching other sports.

The MMA world is a small one, and you truly become part of the family. Fans get treated so greatly, it's almost unbelievable. Always opportunities and contests for free tickets (heck there are even GIVEAWAYS), you always meet fighters and become friends with many, so many incredible traits and qualities to name. You just don't get that in any other sport.


Have you seen women compete in MMA?

I have! While I am a fan of women's MMA, like my amateur wrestling situation. Women's MMA is similar, there just isn't enough competition for bigger and more serious divisions. Hopefully that will change sometime in the future, but I don't see it right now. Still a big fan, most of the time the women's fights are the most exciting ones on the card!

Some of my favorite women MMA competitors are:

Cris Cyborg, who could and would easily beat any man.

Erin McDougall, who is the real-life WONDER WOMAN and I am honored to call her a friend. If the world was being taken over by zombies & I needed backup, she is the woman I'd call.

Also Zoila Frausto-Gurgel, Michelle Waterson, & Kyra Gracie as well, for BJJ!


Several pro wrestlers have been incorporating MMA moves in their training - do you see benefit in this?

I definitely see a benefit to this. MMA training is a fantastic workout, and works to improve your overall well-being. I think pro wrestlers are already incredible athletes, but by incorporating some Mixed Martial Arts, they are really adding a whole new level of athleticism to their skills. Some are starting to actually use some moves in live matches as well, I think it adds a new level of excitement, and really helps create more fans of MMA.


There seems to be a huge shift over the past two years from women becoming pro-wrestlers to MMA. Why do you think that is?

I actually don't see women specifically transferring from pro wrestling to MMA, but I certainly see men (Lesnar, Lashley, Batista). I think this is because pro wrestling is still the same, and has kind of died down. A lot of it is rated pg now, so it's not as entertaining as it used to be. I think a lot of it is because MMA has evolved and grown so quickly.

A lot of pro wrestling fans switched to being mainly MMA fans. It's something that a lot of people feel is "new" and exciting! Brings a new level of entertainment to the table.

I think also the fact that pro wrestling can be so rough and brutal on the human body. You can't wrestle like that forever, being on the road over 300 days a year isn't healthy. Many MMA fighters are well into their late 30's/early 40's, it proves anyone can do it! I think the pro wrestlers that are switching to MMA simply just want to start a new chapter in their book, just try something new that won't tear their bodies up! I fully support it, just as I support any MMA fighter switching to pro wrestling! I love and will always love both!


Brandy Way, wrestling as Brittany Force, is a four year veteran of the sport. She has taken the next step as a promoter, creating her new promotion NexGen Wrestling. She put on her first card in Hastings, PA a few weeks ago. Her next card is June 4.


How did you get involved in wrestling?

I have been watching wrestling since childhood, I got involved when I was asked to be manager and I knew that for my athletic side that just would not be enough. So I trained to wrestle while managing.


Did you do any sports as a teenager?

Yes, a lot in junior high. It was basketball and cheerleading in my early years. Once I got in high school it was volleyball, softball, and ice hockey. As an adult I continued hockey for a while and volleyball too. I also played pro womens football for a short while 2 years ago.


Who influenced you in becoming a wrestler?

Beth Phoenix mostly, and then Trish stratus.


What is your opinion on MMA?

I enjoy watching it. Frank Mir was always my favorite, but I do enjoy watching the sports in general. They very skilled athletes.


Have you seen women compete in MMA?

I have seen one womens match, not sure who the girls were. They were very tough, and if I was at full 100% physical capability, then I would have loved to at least train and try MMA.


Several pro wrestlers have been incorporating MMA moves in their training - do you see benefit in this?

Absolutely, MMA fighters have to be in peak physical condition and their cardio has got to be spot on. So I absolutely see why they do.


There seems to be a huge shift over the past two years from women becoming pro-wrestlers to MMA. Why do you think that is?

I think now a days more women enjoy being physical and whether in the octogon or the squared circle, we get the opportunity to showcase out athleticism


Any other thoughts?

My heart of course belongs to pro wrestling, but I do enjoy MMA and best of luck to all of you as well.


Next week we will have interviews with two of the most popular Women's MMA Fighters out there, Shayna Baszler and Kim Couture.

Check out the previous articles of the series -

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