IMPACT Wrestling is coming off of the return of Knockouts Knockdown and with that, a strong empowerment continues to grow in women’s wrestling. Prior to Knockouts Knockdown, NWA’s EmPowerrr took place which was also received in a fantastic light. Both shows showcased both well-known names along with lesser-known names that had a chance to shine.
Christy Hemme was last week’s guest on GAW TV. In this episode, Hemme spoke about the Tag Me In United campaign. An initiative to unite and break the stigma and normalize a conversation in regards to mental health. The video for this campaign aired during Knockouts Knockdown.
Prior to the discussion of the campaign, Hemme spoke about being involved in the production of Knockouts Knockdown. She was involved backstage and the voice of the Knockouts division during her time with the company. This time around she was joyful about the progress that was made when women had a huge voice in the creation of this pay-per-view event.
“Bar none my favorite moment of the entire day was when the girls were all sitting in a circle, it was – Mickie, me, Gail, Madison, Veda, we were all in a circle making decisions about the show” says Hemme. And I was like, when does this happen? When do you see a bunch of girls making important decisions about talking points? I just had to energetically step back and go, ‘this is progress.’ This is major progress. There’s so many elements of emotion that got us to that show. With Daffney and with everything else, but when you get down to it, it’s women coming together, women doing something together – that was always the goal. So to see that kind of progress I energetically stepped back, so emotional.”
After Mickie James discusses how she felt to be involved in Knockouts Knockdown after coming off of EmPowerrr, she commented on Hemme’s previous role as the backstage voice of the Knockouts. Hemme followed up to explain how much this time it was different.
“It was so different back then, and here’s why. I had to wait to the very end to say anything, not because they were telling me to wait to the end, but my mind and my heart were progressive at that time. They weren’t ready for me to step in and say what I was thinking. I don’t think it would have turned out well. It was a little bit ahead of its time. I knew that my place was to wait until the end to say it, but I still was junior, junior. I did my very best, I fought for the girls to no end, but I did not want to win all the battles I wanted to win.”
Hemme then went on to emotionally talk about the Tag Me In United initiative. To summarize she says we as humans need to start talking about mental health. She discusses how taking care of the people first will then help the business.
“Daffney and I weren’t close, but I knew her back then. We have been in and shared a locker room for a long time and this one hit me extra hard because it has been one thing after another. With her, something about it really reminded me of my mom. I lost my mom to her mental health when I was 21. And so it was heavy, because I just thought, gosh, we gotta start talking about this stuff.
With everybody talking, every time, everybody is like ‘what can we do, what can we do.’ It’s not a wrestling thing, it’s a world thing, it’s a people thing. This is our mental health and everybody is up against it and it is harder to talk about in wrestling because if you are labeled an issue, ‘you got this, or you got that’ you don’t continue your job. So it’s harder for athletes or entertainment people to talk about it because you want to keep going and you’re in a high-risk job where you should just power through.
It became really apparent that it’s just normalizing this conversation. Getting people to be okay to having it. And the more we are okay of having it we strip the stigma off of mental health. It can be, ‘okay now, I can support you.’ And if something is going on can we get these businesses to care about their people, and support their people. Because the people are number one. Your crew, your talent, your executives, the fans, everyone – your humans are number one. So I do think that should be above the business, I think you care for your people and the business will follow.”
Lisa Marie Varon follows up with, “And not looking at it as a weakness or a crutch, because we are all human. And I always tell the fans we always make mistakes. We are not perfect. Just because we have this job we have to be on our P’s and Q’s moreso but we go through the same thing everybody else does. People need to know that you’re not alone. Everybody goes through mental distress.
In regards to the entertainment business as a whole, Mickie James added to the conversation, “We were taught in a very have tough skin, and don’t sell, and suck it up and let them see you sell. The other side of it is we have spent our whole entire careers on seeking the approval of other people and other things…[after discussing on how COVID has affected mental health]…You think back to Daffney [with Shannon] with Ashley, with Chyna, for the women of the industry now I think it has affected us hard. And I know it’s not just the women alone it is the men as well, I just think it’s because we have to be tough all the time. But at the end of the day, we are still just humans and we are not tough all the time.
For all things Tag Me In United you can find more information below:
Website: Tag Me In United
Diva Dirt will be having an interview coming on the Tag Me In United, so keep an eye out and join in the conversation. Let’s normalize talking about mental health.