Info courtesy of Official Women of Wrestling
Question: Your character has changed a great deal over the past year. You started as a fan, and now you are taking a more seductive role. Do you like where your character appears to be going?
Tori: Yeah, definitely. Next month will be my one-year anniversary here. I started out as a fan. Tori was not believing in herself very much. Her evolution of becoming a very strong female is a very exciting one. Itíll be a process and I look forward to the future and expressing myself with my body Ė definitely youíll see that in the upcoming shows.
Q: Concerning the body painting, is this something you are really into, or is it merely a part of the Tori character?
Tori: I started body painting when I came back from Japan. I had dislocated my shoulder, and I had surgery to put it back together. I didnít know if I would be going back to Japan or not. At the time, I was a big fan of the movie "Cabaret" starring Liza Minelli, and the format of old vaudeville. So I bought a bar and began to perform in front of big audiences and dinner shows. It was a lot like Las Vegas. It was during that time that I met up with Leroy Roper. He does a lot of my photography, and is a phenomenal body painter. I just think there are a lot of ways to go about arriving at sexuality. Sometimes showing it all in a very poignant, in-your-face manner is cool. However, in "Cabaret", itís cool because you donít get to see everything. When you donít get to see everything, you can take a room of 800 to 1,000 people and lead them up to the water, but then they get to take off in their own fantasies. For some people it wasnít so much that they get to see you naked, or the thought that you are naked underneath all the paint. For some people it was the process of getting painted. You could fulfill a lot of different fantasies. You could cater to a lot of different people. I love the artistry of it. And I love doing photography and print work. I think the expressiveness of it is wonderful. Iím glad I got to bring that to the World Wrestling Federation.
Q: What other promotions have you worked with other than the World Wrestling Federation?
Tori: I started wrestling in 1989. I worked in Portland for a while. After that, I went to the LPWA (Ladies Professional Wrestling Association). I was the champion over there. Then I went to Japan, and I worked for 2 companies over there, the JWP (Japan Women's Pro) and All Japan Women. Thatís where I stayed the longest.
Q: How do those other promotions, especially in Japan, compare with the World Wrestling Federation?
Tori: They are two entirely different worlds. Over there, the women are as equal as men. Here, you get into character and some promiscuous plays as far as T&A. Here, you get to have more of a character. Over there, itís just straight out fighting. Your fighting is your character. Over there, theyíll bring in shoot boxers and whatnot. They mix you up with all types of fighters. Basically, you learn how to fight and you grow up in front of their eyes. Itís strictly 100 percent business, thereís no entertainment. I would go off and do game shows and stuff like that, but the business was strictly 100 percent wrestling.
Q: What is the most exciting aspect of traveling with the World Wrestling Federation?
Tori: Iíve always liked a challenge. The backstage politics -- and I mean this in a good way -- the backstage politics is always a challenge. You know, the rustling around and trying to jockey your way into position to prove yourself and get TV time. Itís a challenge everyday. I guess some people could look at that as a negative thing. I look at it as a positive thing because it gives me something to wake up to everyday. Also, it makes you continue to go to the gym and hone yourself. I see it as a challenge. I look at the top superstars who are getting the TV time and use that as an inspiration. I look at everyday on the road as a way to better myself.
Q: Who do you look up to most in the business?
Tori: Of the female genre, I really look up to Chyna because of her ability to stand toe to toe with the best and not back down. She never cowers and she is a very strong figure. I appreciate that. She has done some beautiful work and I admire that very much. On the male side, I would have to say The Rock for his continual evolution. No matter how much you see him on television, he continues to keep you hanging on every word he says. I would also have to say Austin because he is an island in and of himself. For a man to go out there and do it on his own terms is very cool.
Q: Growing up, were there any particular wrestlers you looked up to?
Tori: I wasnít into wrestling growing up. In fact, I used to write my own notes to get out of gym class because I thought the idea of a ball or something hitting my arms would just snap them off. I avoided physical things like the plague, and I have no idea why. Then I wound up getting into bodybuilding and competing. In 1989, I won the heavyweight in nationals. Then somebody approached me about wrestling. It sort of just happened from there. But it was never anything I followed out of passion, it just kind of happened.
Q: What is your proudest moment in professional wrestling?
Tori: When I was in the LPWA, they put me in the forefront and I had no idea how to wrestle whatsoever. Then a gentleman by the name of Brad Rheins, who is an incredible trainer, helped me out. Heís trained guys like Wayne Bloom, Legion of Doom and Scott Norton. During the whole process with the LPWA, I literally did not know how to take a headlock, but they were giving me this "push" for the belt. Brad really helped me. The other people who helped along the way were Judy Martin and Lelani Kai. They were very helpful. They didnít show any jealousy or any resentment over some girl who couldnít even lace her boots going to the top. They helped out a great deal. Then, on the only Pay-Per-View they did, they gave me the belt. I was out there with Lady X. She really helped me through the match. I guess it was the combination of a lot of girlsí help that got me through. I really appreciated them more than anything in the world. It was a huge moment, but not because I won the belt but because there was a lot of help behind the scenes.
Q: Have you ever had any embarrassing moments?
Tori: Oh yeah. Every match with the LPWA, and the first couple of years in Japan were embarrassing. Iíve done things like hop over the ropes for a grand entrance but catch my feet and tumble into the ring. Itís embarrassing when youíre at the Budokan, a very respectable place to fight in Japan, and you fall into the ring. Things like that happened all the time.
Q: What do you make of the resurgence of womenís wrestling and do you think there is a future for it?
Tori: I think it will stick around, and if anyone can make it stick around, it would be the creative force behind Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation. The reason why I think it will stick around is because they know that it has to evolve, it canít be the womenís wrestling of 20 years ago, 10 years ago or even 5 years ago. I really believe that they will create the evolution of womenís wrestling.
Nobody knows for sure if the popularity women's wrestling is experiencing now will carry over into the future. However, with the combination of women like Tori and the creative prowess of the World Wrestling Federation, chances are this good thing will last for quite a while.