Taya Valkyrie became the longest-reigning IMPACT Knockouts Champion last year. Before her time with IMPACT she made it big on the Mexican independent scene doing work with Lucha Libre AAA and Lucha Underground. But what happened at the start of her career in the wrestling industry and how did she get started?
Valkyrie opened up to Chris Van Vliet about her start 10-years ago and her tryout with WWE.
“There were other people that were there; Celeste Bonin [Kaitlyn] was actually at my same tryout and we were very similar,” Valkyrie said. “At that point, we were both fitness girls. She was American, and I’m Canadian. I’m just a little bit taller than her. Sometimes people like something that’s really right away, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes it takes a long time to figure it out, but she got signed that time, and then everything’s kind of happened since then.”
She continues to say that although she didn’t make it in WWE, it didn’t deter her from continuing her dream.
“It pushed me to find my way to Lucha Underground. It pushed me to be on Impact, where I am now. I think that it’s corny and stupid because I hate when people say this, but everything happens for a reason. But I truly believe in the universe creating and being the driving force of your own destiny, and liking something so much like wrestling, I didn’t see failure as an option. Even if my journey to where I am now has been different or delayed – not stereotypical – I’ve taken the road less traveled to get to this point.”
Valkyrie’s training is attributed to Lance Storm at his Storm Wrestling Academy, but who pushed her to become a wrestler in the first place? She attributes gratitude to the late Shad Gaspard. Gaspard tragically passed away in May of this year.
“I’d met Shad Gaspard three weeks before The Nationals… WWE was in town. And I was bartending at this bar, and I was dressed as a female John Cena. They were in the bar and I was just serving them drinks and stuff, and he’s like, ‘You should be a wrestler.’ And I was like, ‘I’m trying to be a wrestler, and I don’t know how to be a wrestler!’ So he actually put WWE in contact with me the first time. If it wasn’t for that, then I don’t think that a lot of things would have happened the way that they did.”
Valkyrie is currently aligned with Rosemary in a tag team and the both are currently in a “Who shot John E. Bravo?” storyline. With the Knockouts Tag Team Titles returning in January, this team will be one to look out for.
Credit for interview: Chris Van Vliet
Credit for transcription: Wrestling Inc.