ME: How long have you been wrestling?
K: I debuted in February 2007 but started training in the summer of 2006
ME: Who were your favorites growing up and why?
K: Hard question because I loved everyone, but I always loved watching the Ultimate Warrior for his intensity and the Rockers for their skills. I was a big fan also of Dean Malenko (because he just moved so fluidly) and his family and Road Warriors (who doesn't like tough guys with big spikes on their shoulder pads?), Powers of Pain, Demolition, Koko B Ware, One Man Gang, Tug Boat and all the other guys during that era.
ME: What made you decide to get in the business and how did your friends and family perceive it?
K: My brother and I used to sneak around and watch wrestling growing up. My parents never approved. My big brother grew out of it and I never did. My mom wanted me to be a doctor or lawyer which I had the grades and scholarships to do, but in my senior year at FAU, I met Marty Jannetty who introduced me to the Warlord, who took me to Jimmy Snuka. I then began my training with Jimmy and one of his instructors, Soul Man Alex G (who trained MVP and Conor O'Brian). It was when they said I was ready that I had my try-out with The Wild Samoan Training Center and Afa the Wild Samoan.
ME: Being introduced to the wrestling business your senior year of college must have been special to you personally, but what was the reaction from your friends and family, considering you had worked so hard in school?
K: My father was upset. His side of the family are all successful - doctors, meteorologists, architects, etc. My mom backed me up like she always did, but I could tell she didn't understand my motivation until much later. It was when my dad saw me wrestle for the first time at WXWs Elite 8 that he got it. He knew I was meant to be a wrestler.
ME: You were trained by one of the most famous families in wrestling, how did that put you ahead of a lot of other women in this business?
K: You can think of The Wild Samoan Training Center and the "Harvard" of pro-wrestling and Afa as the "godfather".
ME: Describe the feeling when you became WXW women's champion for the first time?
K: WXW is a company that Afa and his family built over the past 40 years. To know that he had enough respect for me to carry his belt and represent his family not only to the community, but also to the world is a feeling that is so over-whelming that its indescribable. All other titles seemed meaningless. It was also on that night Afa considered me to be a daughter. I was very emotional.
ME: For the first two episodes of Shine you were in the opening match, since that is a new promotion was there a lot of pressure to captivate the audience?
K: For Shine 1, I put a lot of pressure on myself. It was a brand new company of all of the top women in the world and I needed to stand out. Most of the fans didn't know me because I had been so exclusive to WXW for the past 3 years and the other girls were from Shimmer, WSU, ROH and other more dominate companies on the women's wrestling scene. All of that pressure on top of being first on the card was a little nerve racking. I don't believe I gave my best that day against Veda Scott. I came home and critiqued myself HARD.
When it came time for Shine 2, I took it as an opportunity to redeem myself. My match against Su Yung was much more competitive. I felt like I had improved and showed the fans a little more of what I was capable of (even though I lost again. booooo!). There will be more out of my bag of tricks on Shine 3.
ME: Being exclusive to WXW for three years, you explained you felt a lot of pressure, what was it about Shine that made you step into their ring, as opposed to a more established promotion?
K: I met Lexie Fyfe through Afa at my first Elite 8. She saw potential in me and brought me into her Slammin Ladies production where I've worked for a couple of years now. Her knowledge and expertise about women's wrestling is some of the best around, and I pride myself on being surrounded by great minds so I can get better, faster.
Last year, Lexi brought me to Chicago for a Shimmer match and broadened my thoughts on women's wrestling. I was amazed and humbled by the athletes from all over the world and their sheer passion for the business. So when she asked me to work for Shine and to have the opportunity to work with all these extremely talented women, it was a no brainier. The answer was most definitely, "Yes!"
ME: In your match against Su Yung, You ladies had a very interesting small package roll around, how difficult was that to pull off?
K: HA! That was definitely interesting. If the ring was just a little bit bigger, the pins would've gone on longer, but we ran into the ropes. Spacial awareness and equilibrium are affected in a BIG way.
ME: What can fans expect from Kimberly in the future?
K: They can expect me to be HARDER, FASTER, and STRONGER!
ME: Anything you would like to say to the fans?
K: My fans are my lifelines. I am so grateful for each and everyone of them and its because of them that I do this. I love wrestling. Everyone knows that. But having the ability to touch people's lives by doing something that I hold so dear to me makes my career more meaningful. That's why I am very active in the Usos Foundation (www.usosfoundation.org). It was an honor to be nominated as a board member. I want to give kids and young adults opportunities in this business I never had. I was able to make my own dream a reality, so as a thank you, I want to help others do it as well.
Follow Kimberly on twitter @KimberlyWXW
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