To help hype the match, Hogan spoke with WrestleZone to discuss her current run with Impact Wrestling, the rise of women’s wrestling, being a woman of color in wrestling and more. Highlights of the interview below.
On how she got her start in Impact Wrestling: I had been watching Impact a lot. I always wanted to be a Knockout. I thought they were so cool and so different. I was contacted in May of last year by Jeremy Borash. Borash said he wanted to send my stuff in but didn’t if I was going to be competing in the Mae Young Classic. I told him I had not been contacted by WWE. I was later contacted by Scott D’More who asked if I wanted to sign a contract. Borash said that he and Gail (Kim) saw me at Shine and that’s why he wanted to send my stuff in.
On her Impact debut match against then Knockouts Champion Laurel Van Ness: Going into it I was very nervous because I knew how big an opportunity it was. They were pretty much handing me the opportunity to show what I had. I was super nervous, and this was my first chance for people to see me live. I was pretty nervous, and it went pretty well. TV is always nerve-wracking. It’s totally different than just wrestling live. You have to make sure you work the TV cameras and the matches are shorter, so you have less time to squeeze everything in. After the match, I felt good about it. Chelsea (LVN) was great. I hope I get to work her again on the Indies. Of course, I felt I still had stuff to work on but I was just happy to be there. I am just one of those people who are just so happy to be here. I don’t care what I have to go through I am just happy to be here.
On the difference between how women were handled in wrestling in the past and now: I feel like back in the day women were just eye candy, obviously. They were just “show things”. They showed their bodies off and so forth. People didn’t take them seriously. It sucked for women who really wanted to be wrestlers. People like Gail, Victoria, Lita, and so forth. It must have been sad for them to have to work with people who didn’t know what they were doing. I feel like now there are so many women who are athletic and want to be wrestlers. I feel like for those who really want to wrestle we have finally been given the chance to prove that we aren’t just women’s wrestlers but just wrestlers. I feel like the women’s revolution that is happening in WWE was already happening in the Indies, way before it ever got televised. Putting it on TV made a bigger impact than it did on the Indies. Nobody really knows about the Indies, but it definitely has taken a good turn.
On her current feud with Tessa Blanchard: I actually don’t know what Tessa’s issue is with me. Tessa probably thinks that because I am the new girl and am just so excited to be here she can take advantage of me. Tessa doesn’t understand that this is what I have always wanted to do. There is nothing else in this world that I ever wanted besides being a wrestler. I am not going to let anyone or anything stand in my way. If Tessa gets in my way, I will have to handle her. Well, obviously Tessa has been trying to get the last word. She obviously doesn’t understand I am going to get the last word. That’s it. She isn’t going to continue to run me into the ground and be a bully. This Thursday we are going to handle this, and we are going to handle this in the ring. Hopefully, that will end it but if it doesn’t we can keep going. I have no problem with that.
On being a woman of color in wrestling: Um… I feel like wrestling is a male, white, dominated sport, but that is obvious in most parts of life, you know? But to be a black woman and professional wrestling I feel is 10 times harder than being a white woman in wrestling. I feel I have to work twice as hard to get noticed. With Shimmer, for instance, I was only one of two women of color on the roster poster. The other being Nichole Savoy. I didn’t even notice until my friends pointed it out. I will say that the last show I did there were five of us which was cool. We have to work 10 times harder. I feel there is a lot of us who are really good, but we have to put in the extra work to get noticed. Even then I feel we tend to not get as popular as our white counterparts.
What did you think of the interview? Have you been enjoying Kiera Hogan on Impact so far? What would you like to see her do next? Let us know in the comments below!