Welcome to the first edition of “Off The Record With” this weeks guest is Shimmer’s resident “Super Hardcore Animé” LuFisto. If you’d like to know more about LuFisto such as how her name came about or the usual background information, then check out LuFisto - The Career Retrospective.
Before I begin, I’d just like to say thank you for being kind enough to take some time out for your fans by answering some question. So let’s dive straight in.
You’ve won countless male titles throughout your career but do you find that there is still a glass ceiling in wrestling, especially the womens aspect?
At the beginning, it was very hard to prove my point and be taken seriously. However, I must say that I’ve been very lucky to find promoters who wanted to give me a chance at showing what I’m capable of doing against men or women. Yes, there is still a glass ceiling but it depends for who and where. Not doing something because the wrestler is female could be a loss for the fans and the promotion itself. Whatever works, whoever is over should be what matters when it comes to pushing workers and let them work, not gender.
How do you feel the women’s side of wrestling has evolved since when you first broke into wrestling? And is it for the better?
It is so much better. We have a lot more visibility and a lot of fans discovered that women can wrestle too thanx to some products like Shimmer. When I started, it was hard for a women to be taken seriously or t have a spot on a show as a wrestler. Today, almost on every show, you will see a women match.
What are your thoughts on both WWE and TNA’s women’s divisions?
The Knockouts have a lot of exposure and air time in TNA which is great. However, I believe that the top contenders are not the ones who should be on top. I know looks is important but talent and being unique is what built this division with people like Awesome Kong.
As for WWE, some girls are working very hard to get better like Maryse and Melina. However, ¾ of the roster shouldn’t be in a ring… To wrestle at least. And then you have those who have so much talent like Beth and Natalya… But who are used to make the bad wrestling divas look good or just as manager. There is a lot of good talent wasted there… But hey, Playboy looks sells merch so…
There has been a strong bunch of female talent coming out of Canada over the past year or so, who do you feel is a one to watch and why?
Definitely Cat Power. She is the total package. Talented, beautiful, committed to her work, charismatic, passionate and she has the size.
Back In January you said you’d love to have one match and only one in TNA. Who would you want to face from the current batch of Knockouts?
Very good question… I would either pick Alissa Flash or Awesome Kong because they can bring out the best of me… Tara to wrestle somebody with a lot of experience or Daffney just because I love the fact that she is gutsy!
You took time off back in ‘07 for almost 9 months because of a serious back injury, what influenced your decision to return?
My recovery in general. The fact that I was able to train again, lift heavy weights and move without any pain. I started to design a back corset that would protect my spine and when I found exactly what I was looking for, I knew I was ready.
Some fans look down on the death match wrestling style, what would you say to those who view it negatively and which style do you, yourself prefer?
There is a fine line between hardcore wrestling and garbage wrestling. When that line is crossed, I also hate what I see. I try to wrestle with weapons (not just hit my opponent on the head with something) but it’s not always easy. It depends on the promotion, the opponent and so on…
Personally, I did hardcore wrestling to try something different and push my limits. I also wanted to show the world that girls could do it too. I think I did it for a good reason and it was my choice but I can understand why somebody wouldn’t like that style. I prefer strong style hard hitting matches without weapons anyway.
Is there anyone who you haven’t had the chance to wrestle yet, that you would love to kick it in the ring with?
I think I could learn a lot from women like Jazz and Tara.
Who are your idols in the ring, past or present?
First, it was the Undertaker… Then, I got inspired by Bull Nakano, Luna Vachon, Owen Hart, Chris Benoit, Akira Hokuto and later, people like Kenta Kobashi and Tenryu.
Do you have any good road stories or ribs that you could share?
Many over 12 years of wrestling I guess… We locked a naked midget outside his hotel room… I slept in a tepee during a tour… So many airport stories where I ended up sleeping on the floor for a few days… My luggage being lost in Mexico… Ah, so many memories! LOL
Finally three words to describe each name below:
John Zandig – Passionate, never quits up on what he believes in and the man who made me who I am in the States.
Dave Prazak - Patient, the man who made the rebirth of female wrestling possible, the one who saw more then the hardcore chick in me.
Wesna Busic – Easy to work with, solid and committed
Jennifer Blake – Kind, supportive and hard worker
Mickie Knuckles – Sweet, tough and my bloody sister lost at birth (I miss her!)
Last but certainly not least; are there any last comments for the “LuFi-nation”?
Thanx for supporting me for so many years. Fans are the fuel that keeps me going strong and what gives me the will to give everything I got at every match despite the injuries. Please visit my website at www.lufisto.com or my MySpace for some news, merchandises and so much more!
[Disclaimer: This was posted a month or so ago on a different website and a big thank you to LuFisto]