• Richard Boudreau, Pro Wrestling Slam! Lead Editor

Kayla Sparks Talks With Shining Wizards On AEW, Locker Room Etiquette & More...

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Recently, the Shining Wizards Wrestling Podcast spoke with Kayla Sparks. Here are some highlights:

On her new series Against the Ropes: It’s inspired by the story of how I got.. into wrestling when I was thirteen years old. It’s a story about coming of age and the struggles I went through coming out, which is also in there... my coming out story. It’s something I haven’t seen before on TV or movies, with the wrestling, and the high school drama, and all that stuff. It’s going to be a fun show and I can’t wait for it to come out."

Thunder Rosa’s influence and Grand Slam: "Thunder Rosa (and) her husband Brian called me, too. They both literally… I can’t thank them enough. I tell them all the time, "you guys are my guardian angels." They literally came and gave me such an opportunity when I wrestled at Mission Pro, which was huge for me, and they’re so great there. I love everyone there at Mission Pro Wrestling. AEW came along, that opportunity at Arthur Ashe, and they, having the biggest AEW show, ya know, Grand Slam Dynamite, and they’re going to have it at Arthur Ashe Stadium in front of 20,000 people. "Are you available that day?" I’m like, "heck yeah!" Let’s do it, right? Oh my gosh, I’m still pinching myself. This sh*t’s crazy. I can’t believe all this stuff happened this year. It’s a dream come true, ya know?"

On the difference between wrestling at thirteen years old and now: "When you’re a kid, a teenager, you’re still growing. You’re still trying to figure life out. So, I definitely see it through a new set of eyes now with wrestling. When you’re a kid, you take things personally, or you’re kind of naive to some things. Like, back then in the locker room, it was a different vibe and atmosphere back then. But now, I feel like it’s more supportive. The support system is great. The women in the locker rooms are very supportive of each other, which is great. In a good way, it’s because I’m a lot older now, it’s different now. I see it differently. I’m still very passionate and I love what I do. Now I see it in a better, more positive way."

On locker room etiquette/veteran status: "I knew it was going to be different because there’s a lot younger wrestlers in the locker rooms. For me, personally, I’m the same way I was when I was thirteen. I’m always respectful. You shake everyone’s hand and introduce yourself to everyone in the locker room. I’ve always had the same attitude with that. But with the veteran thing, I still don’t feel like a veteran, because I did take a break. When I was back in the World of Hurt (Wrestling) locker room - which was my home federation back when I was a teenager - when I was in that locker room, they all knew me from back then, so that was a different vibe. I kind of felt like the veteran there, because there are some new, up and coming people there, but (you) still see the same faces in the locker room, which is great. That was really amazing. I would say though when I’m at a different show like Beyond Wrestling, WWR, Mission Pro, or CCW, it’s a different, really good vibe. I feel like it’s all one big family so you’re always looking out for each other. I don’t have a chip on my shoulder or anything like that, like the (stereotypical) veteran, but If there’s advice or feedback, I like to give that. If I see someone going through something, or they need help with a match, I’m always there to lend an ear. That’s what’s different now, but it’s a good thing."

If the door is open for AEW: "I love it there. If any opportunity came up, I would definitely take on the opportunity. They’re really great there. The locker room atmosphere is just great. All the guys and the girls in the locker room are awesome, and there’s just so much talent. I really love that. They’re really doing something different with pro wrestling. They’re really bringing it back, and really listening to the fans, which is great. If the opportunity knocks, definitely."

For more with Kayla Sparks, visit www.shiningwizards.com and listen to Episode 565: Sparks Against the Ropes.


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