Source: DallasNews.com, thanks Jess
Cody Monk, of the Dallas News recently had a chance to catch up with WWF Diva, Lita.
Lita doesn't mind being eye candy. But as the WWF's most reluctant diva is quick to point out, she is a wrestler first and foremost.
The high-flying Lita (Amy Dumas) has deep wrestling roots that range from Mexico to United States independents to ECW. She is now the leader of a WWF women's division that's experiencing difficulties convincing fans that women can be more than just pretty faces who lead wrestlers to the ring. Recently, The Shakedown caught up with Lita to talk about ECW, her current role and recent women additions to the WWF:
Q: You're now in a program involving Matt and Jeff Hardy feuding with each other. How do you enjoy being in the "middle," so to speak?
A: I really like it. I love working with Matt and Jeff. I obviously have a good chemistry with them. They're my best friends, so it's not hard to tell a good story with them. We always have a lot of fun together and this is just another example of us having fun.
Q: In this angle, just like past angles, your physical involvement is a big part of the story. How do you think the transition is going of women being more than just pretty faces?
A: It's going to take time for all the women to make the transition. It's hard to change the fans' mentality instantly. That's going to take time. But it's taken time for a lot of the women as well.
Q: What's the hardest part, as a woman wrestler, of making the transition?
A: For me, there's not an adjustment. I've always been a wrestler. I may not have always been given the opportunity to wrestle in some companies, but I've always been a wrestler. Being in the ring is where I came from. Those are my roots. There's a transition for a lot of the women. But it's been a transition for me as well because I have to put on a good match with them. There is an adjustment period“ especially for the new people we picked up from WCW. There's always an adjustment coming in from another company, but there was especially an adjustment period for them because they had to adjust to having to actually work.
Q: Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson, the women signed from WCW, had never really been in the ring before coming to the WWF. How have they progressed?
A: I think it's been quite a shock for them. They're going through quite the learning process right now. I don't think they really wanted to work (in the ring). They may have thought it would be cool to work for a wrestling company, but probably didn't think they would have to get in the ring and do some of the things they are having to do. Wrestlers are a strange breed. You have to be a strange breed to want to get into a ring and get thrown around. I didn't expect them to come in and immediately keep up. It's going to be a little different for them for a while. But I do think we have a good group of girls right now. We want them to learn because it only helps us to have more people to work with. It gives us more possibilities. In the meantime, we try to just bring them along and not overwhelm them.
Q: Since you came from a different company (ECW) into the WWF, what kind of advice can you offer Keibler and Wilson? A: It was different for me at first as well. You have to get adjusted to the schedule here and how long the days are. It's a challenge. All I can tell them is that you have to be like I was in ECW. When I was working there, my time was "mouth shut and eyes wide open." I would get in the ring and do some of the things the guys would do. Some days I would be told to stop doing things and sometimes I was encouraged to keep doing things. But I always kept learning. I kept watching and I kept listening. That's the best advice I can give.
Q: There are a lot of ECW alumni now in the WWF. Do you ever talk about those days with guys like Tazz, The Dudleys, RVD and Paul Heyman?
A: It's really cool to see people adapt. I talk with Paul and RVD and all the old ECW guys. We all got along well. Paul didn't let me wrestle when I was in ECW, but I don't know if I was ready. We actually haven't talked about that, even though I'm working a lot now in the WWF. It's a different pace in the WWF. Our shows are different than ECW and the days are much, much different. But it is cool to see a lot of those people doing well and see how they've adapted.
Q: Before the Hardys split, you would always get a huge reaction from the crowd when you came out with them. Not long into their matches, the crowd would begin a "LITA" chant. Was that something you guys ever talked about or discussed?
A: I do notice that. I feed off that. I don't feel uncomfortable about getting the chants during their matches. I think that helps them and they are able to feed off it as well. Like I said, we all work so well together. No one says anything about it when we get backstage. We just tell each other, "Way to go" and move on. We've got such great chemistry together that the chants and the crowd reaction is just a part of it and something to feed off of.
-- She likes working with both, Matt and Jeff. Lita says that both are her best friends, meaning that it is not too hard to tell a good story with them.
-- Says that she thinks Torrie and Stacy Keibler are having a hard time right now, and that they are going through the learning process. Lita says that both did not expect to work in the ring. She also says that the other women in the WWF are trying hard to bring them along and not overwhelm them.
-- Lita says the best advise she can give women such as Torrie and Stacy is: Always keep learning, keep watching & keep listening.
-- She believes that there is an adjustment period – especially for the new people picked up from WCW. Goes on to say that there always is, but there was especially an adjustment period for Stacy and Torrie because they had to adjust to having to actually work.
-- Says she still speaks with former ECW guys like Tazz, The Dudleys, RVD and Paul Heyman.
-- Says that she feeds on positive fan reaction. Goes on to mention that superstars complement each other backstage about working good matches; the crowd reaction is all part of being a superstar.