By Maurice Kneisel.
Davina Rose just finished her second series of SHIMMER tapings, but already receives her fair share of support from the fans at the Eagles Club in Berwyn. During our interview, the young wrestler from Newark, California talks about role models like Trish Stratus or Lita, the influence mentor Serena Deeb had on her career, and shares her opinion on WWE’s Divas Division.
Davina Rose: I got into wrestling like everyone else, my Dad and brother were watching it one day when I saw The Macho Man and fell in love with it. But it wasn’t until the “Attitude Era” with women wrestlers like Ivory, Molly Holly, Lita, Trish Stratus, etc that I knew I wanted to do this one day. All four of them are a big part of me falling in love with this sport. As I started training in 2008, I really started to find more women wrestling other than what was on TV and admired women like Sara Del Rey, Daizee Haze and of course, Serena Deeb.
Kneisel: What does Davina Rose’s daily life outside the wrestling ring look like?
Rose: My daily life is like many people my age. Working full time at a job I’ve been at since I was 18, going to school (still undecided in what I want out of it), wrestling training twice a week and being with friends and family. I really enjoy the time I get to spend with all of them no matter what we’re doing. Whether it’s playing a game of kick ball or sitting at home watching TV all day.
Kneisel: With your growing popularity, how much time do you still get to spend with your home promotion Big Time Wrestling?
Rose: I’m with Big Time Wrestling every week because I train with them every Wednesday and Thursday night, we’re there with Jason Styles as our head trainer. I love it there and couldn’t imagine how my career would be had I not been with them. Actually, I missed the last show that was on March 16 because I was in Chicago for SHIMMER. That was the first show I’ve ever missed since I started going to their shows when I was 12 yrs old, so it was definitely weird being away from home and not being in the locker room with my BTW family. But, I knew that SHIMMER was where I needed to be and all the guys and my promoter were very supportive of my decision.
Kneisel: For those not so familiar with the Californian wrestling scene, please give us a little introduction. What makes it stand out in your opinion?
Rose: As far as wrestling in California I believe the main attention is on the SoCal area. There are way more promotions out there than in Northern California, where I live. I believe there are only two other promotions that run quite often here other than BTW. In SoCal there are promotions like NWA Hollywood and PWG, which are very well known.
Kneisel: Your SHIMMER colleague Christina von Eerie’s from North California, as well. Did she give you some advice before your SHIMMER debut?
Rose: I actually didn’t have a chance to talk with Christina before going to SHIMMER. We had wrestled a few times around when I first started out wrestling and we got along very well, so I knew she’d be a helping hand if I needed anything.
Kneisel: What’s your opinion on the way the “major” promotions portray women wrestling? Do you think it might keep women who are actually interested in wrestling from getting into the business?
Rose: I’m not happy with how they are treating the “Divas” right now at all. It’s sad to see that it’s come to this because there are plenty of women there that deserve time in the ring and can entertain the fans. I can’t speak for anyone else but honestly, it has made me have a change of heart about if I would ever want to be a part of that. I am personally more interested in the Knockout division.
Kneisel: While most young wrestlers debut in SPARKLE, you started right on the SHIMMER main roster. That must have felt great, right?
Rose: Yes, it was an honor just to be in the locker room with that roster. And to be on the main show meant the world to me. I am very thankful that the company had faith in me and gave me such an amazing opportunity.
Kneisel: Despite being relatively new to the business, you already faced off against the likes of Awesome Kong, Sara Del Rey and Allison Danger, to name a few. How much did those matches do for your skills and career?
Rose: I learn something from every woman I’m in the ring with and every match, but being in the ring with names like Kong, Del Rey and Danger was something that not many women wrestlers get the opportunity to do. I learned so much from them and how we can show the fans a real WRESTLING match. Since being at SHIMMER the past two times facing off against Mercedes Martinez, The Canadian Ninjas, Kellie Skater and Saraya Knight, I can honestly say those were some of my best and favorite matches that I can’t get anywhere else but SHIMMER. I also had the opportunity to wrestle against two Joshi girls from Japan for my first time, Ray and Leon on Volume 46. That match was by far my favorite match of my career in so many different ways. Being in the ring with two well known women from Japan, not to mention I was teaming with Mia Yim, which was awesome as well, who have a complete different style from myself and what I’m used to was a great learning experience for me. I think we put on a solid match and the fans enjoyed it. I have so much respect for them as athletes and performers in the ring, I feel that match was a big milestone for me. It’s tough to explain the feeling.
Kneisel: Were you surprised by that warm welcome you received before your first SHIMMER match?
Rose: Yeah, I did not expect to get the reaction I did or for people to even care who I was. The SHIMMER fans are very respectful to all the women and I appreciated them having my back even as a newcomer. And the locker room are just the same, very professional and all around good people.
Kneisel: Your debut was against one of the true SHIMMER legends, Mercedes Martinez. What was that like? And how bad do those chops hurt?
Rose: When I found out I was going up against Mercedes, I felt intimidated – who wouldn’t?? – and excited at the same time. When I first met Serena I asked her who was her favorite person to be in the ring with and she said Mercedes. So, having my debut match against her was a big deal to me. Those chops were as hurtful as they sounded, she’s a beast! She only chopped me twice I believe and it left hand prints for the next four days.
Kneisel: Speaking of SHIMMER legends: Serena Deeb is considered to be your mentor. How did you get to know her and what did she teach you?
Rose: I first met Serena in October of 2010 when my promoter, Kirk White of BTW, booked her as my tag partner for our anniversary show. Serena is the sweetest person you’ll ever meet, and everyone who’s met her knows that. It doesn’t matter if she’s known you for years or meeting you for the first time, she’s just naturally nice no matter what. We talked a lot the day of the show and the next day when we took her to a signing and got along very well. Since then she has always been the one I go to for any wrestling advice I need. She’s so helpful in anything I ask and so willing to help me in my career. Serena Deeb helped me get to SHIMMER, and I owe everything and anything that comes out of it to her. I’ve already met some of my favorite people, had some of my favorite matches, and got to travel further than I’ve ever gone before because of SHIMMER and because of Serena. She doesn’t take all the credit for it when I thank her but I am truly lucky to have a mentor like her.
Kneisel: You get compared to Serena a lot. Do you see many parallels regarding your personalities and wrestling styles?
Rose: I don’t know how many people would compare our personalities, she’s a lot sweeter than I am (laughs), but I believe we have the same mindset and respect for pro wrestling and that it shows in the ring. Our styles and the way we move in the ring are pretty similar but when people tell me I remind them of a young Serena, it is a very humbling thing to hear. I can only hope to be half as good as she is.
Kneisel: You immediately got involved in a big storyline, watching Serena’s back against the Canadian Ninjas. Pretty perfect start, wasn’t it?
Rose: I couldn’t think of a better way to start at SHIMMER. I had a chance to get my hands on the Ninjas at the last tapings on Volume 47 without Serena there. Although her video before the show and her shout out to kick ass was encouraging, I still came up short. Damn ninjas.
Kneisel: Despite just having worked your second round of tapings, do you already feel like an inherent part of the roster?
Rose: I feel that because of the start I had there with Serena having my back that some of her fans and maybe even some of her peers take a second look at me that I may have not gotten had she not shown her belief in me. I made the most of the opportunity I was handed and with my second set of tapings done I can only hope that I can remain a part of that roster in the future.
Kneisel: The SHIMMER roster is quite an international group. Does it help you grow as a wrestler? Do you intend on wrestling in Japan or Australia one day, for example?
Rose: Like I said earlier, I learned so much in one match wrestling Ray and Leon. And also having the chance to wrestle Kellie Skater from Australian and the Ninjas from…..Canada, I learned things from those matches that I would only have the opportunity to do so in SHIMMER. So, yes, the diverse locker room is a big part of what makes SHIMMER so awesome. I would love to travel more to learn different styles and train in both Japan and/or Australia but I’ve had my eye set on Canada for a while now and it looks like I will be getting that chance very soon.
Rose: Thank you so much for the interview! Follow me on Twitter @itsDavinaRose and if any of you in the NorCal area are interested in training or just want to check out a show, please feel free to message me or contact www.btwrestling.com
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