One half of the Knockouts Tag Team Champions, Tara, did an interview with the Miami Herald talking mainly about life before her career in wrestling.
Though Tara — real name Lisa Marie Varon — has been in the business for 12 years now, I don’t think I recall ever hearing too much about her life before WWE beyond the fact that Chyna recommended she join get into wrestling. A very interesting read on her back-story.
Lisa reveals that she got into wrestling fairly late in the game compared to most, at age 28/29. Her brothers were also amateur wrestlers. She recalls:
“I remember the coaches coming to our house and telling our parents how my brothers had to eat. This is going way back, years ago. My brothers graduated years ago; they’re in their 50s now.”
“They had to do enemas [to lose weight]. It was dangerous back then, but I think these days that’s unheard of to do that kind of stuff. It was insanity what my brothers had to put their bodies through — sleep without water, sleeping in plastic to lose water weight to make weight. Ow, it was awful.”
Speaking on being a medical student prior to getting into fitness competitions/modelling, she says:
“Loma Linda University prepped me to become a tissue tech. My first quarter at that private college I was working on human cadavers,” Tara said. “When I went to UCLA, a public school, I said, ‘When do I get to work with cadavers?’ They said, ‘That’s in med-school.’ What. I just gave up such a good education because I wasn’t making a lot of friends, and I was so worried about fitting in. What did I do?”
Tara became completely content working as a human tissue coordinator at the Inland Eye & Tissue Bank in Redlands, Calif.
“So I kind of did surgery and was kind of a physician,” Tara said. “I was really happy doing that because I wanted to get into medicine to help people. When I got to the Eye & Tissue Bank, I was helping people see, walk and helping with their arthritis.
Lisa also reveals that she met Torrie Wilson and Trish Stratus, two fellow former Divas, on the fitness modelling circuit. Fans will remember that her pre-WWE history with Trish was used in the Victoria/Trish storyline in 2002. She says:
“Torrie was in WCW, and she was trying to get me into that organization, but they were crumbling,” Tara recalled, “and then I met Chyna at a health club in California. She asked me if I was a pro wrestler, and I said, ‘No, but I think I could do that. A couple of my friends do it.’ She thought I had a good look for it.”
On getting her start in wrestling through WWE, Lisa adds:
“So I sent my stuff from fitness — a whole big VHS tape of me of what I’d done and 8x10s — and I heard back from WWF. It was right place, right time and a good look, but I had no history in wrestling, no training.”
That’s when the fun began.
“I asked them what do they see me doing; I’m a different type of Torrie Wilson,” Tara said. “They said, ‘We see you actually getting physical in the ring.’”
You can read the full piece here.