At June 18th’s FCW show in San Diego I had a chance to talk with Laura James after her match with Holidead. In this interview we talked about how she got into wrestling, Lucha Underground, her goals, the proposal, our mutual love for Joey Ryan, and more.
Steve: First off thank you for agreeing to the interview.
Laura James: You’re very welcome.
Steve: Let’s start with the basics, now you are from England?
Laura James: I am.
Steve: When did you first come to the United States?
Laura James: Six years ago.
Steve: Did you watch a lot of wrestling growing up in England?
Laura James: No. Actually in England when I was younger WWE was on a cable network called Sky and no one really had it. I didn’t get it till I was like 13. Wrestling was not part of my childhood at all so my parents think it was odd that I got into it.
Steve: How did you get into it?
Laura James: I was actually doing body building and I had just done my first competition and I hated it. It was like the worst thing I’ve ever done. I wanted to something that was still athletic but more fun. Something showy. I obviously didn’t watch wrestling when I was young but I started watching it a little bit and I don’t know what clicked in my head but I thought “I could do this.”
Steve: So it was the athletic aspect of it that brought you to it? I’ve noticed, for an example when we first started the website there was like three women wrestlers in SoCal and there’s a lot and even WWE has seen a total transformation where they are actually wrestling versus what they used to do.
Laura James: Yeah.
Steve: So I’ve wondered what was the reason that that all these women started getting into wrestling?
Laura James: I guess for me it really was just wanting to do something that was athletic. I never played team sports or anything. It’s fun and athletic but you can also be whoever you want. You can create a whole new person. It’s not really like any other sport, it’s completely different.
Steve: And where did you train?
Laura James: I trained under Gangrel up in Los Angeles.
Steve: At Knokx Pro?
Laura James: Yeah.
Steve: Did you train with Holidead who was your opponent tonight?
Laura James: I did train with her.
Steve: How was training there? To me Knokx Pro is kind of a mysterious place where the wrestlers there only work for them and they don’t use a lot of outsiders.
Laura James: I only stayed there for like a year and a half, two years because of that because I wanted to get out and work other places. After I left I kind of told Holidead “what are you doing, come out and work.” I think that’s how you grow as a wrestler just by working with different people. It’s a good place to get training but I think once you are done with training you need to leave because you need to experience different people and different styles. The same can be said for anywhere.
Steve: Where was the first place you worked outside of Knokx Pro?
Laura James: AWS.
Steve: Was it a regular show or was it one of the women’s tournaments?
Laura James: I think the first one I did may have been one of the women’s tournaments.
Steve: How did you get hooked up with AWS? Did Bart [Kapitzke] (AWS promoter) see you previously at a Knokx Pro show?
Laura James: I don’t know how Bart knew about me. I had been there one time with Joey [Ryan] just hanging out, but I don’t know if he had seen me wrestle. It was awesome that he gave me that opportunity. As soon as I had that one match, it was way easier to get more matches.
Steve: So obviously you knew Joey before this point?
Laura James: Yeah. I’d been wrestling for a couple years before I met Joey. I met him through Chris Hero actually.
Steve: I don’t want to talk too much about Joey.
Laura James: [Laughs] Fuck that guy.
Steve: [Laughs] I love Joey, but there’s a lot of interviews with him out there if people want to know about him. There are some old SCU interviews too, but maybe they should be avoided at this point.
Laura James: [Laughs]
Steve: I know that you just got to do a tour with Puscifer.
Laura James: Yeah, that was all over the U.S. I’ve wrestled in so many states now. Canada too. I haven’t wrestled outside of North America though, I still want to go to Japan.
Steve: Is that one of your goals? Japan?
Laura James: Hopefully soon.
Steve: What other goals do you have in wrestling besides Japan? Would you like to see yourself in WWE someday?
Laura James: Who knows. I mean I feel like Lucha Underground right now is the place to be. It’s very up and coming and I wouldn’t have to move to Florida and that’s always nice [Laughs].
Steve: Have you had any contact with Lucha Underground or any tryout with them?
Laura James: I did one that didn’t go so great. I wrestled someone that wasn’t particularly…
Steve: Was it an actual dark match or one of their tryouts?
Laura James: Because obviously they are a real TV show they have people come in a test the lights kind of, you just have to be a body there, and then after you do that they give you matches.
Steve: Now I have to ask even though I said I didn’t want to talk too much about Joey, the proposal at the last FCW show you were on.
Laura James: Yeah.
Steve: I know he said that you guys kind of knew that he was going to propose at some point, but did that completely take you by surprise when he asked you during the match?
Laura James: It did. I didn’t really think he was going to do it here or then. Obviously we had talked about it and I knew it was going to happen at some point. In the match he was supposed to hit me with a weapon. I turned around and he had the microphone in his hand and I was like “Oh my god what and idiot, he’s lost the weapon” and I thought he was going to hit me with the microphone [Laughs].
Laura James: Then he got down on one knee and I was like “very sneaky.”
Steve: I know on our site someone said “Joey is probably just doing this for a viral video and he probably already proposed to her at Disneyland or something.”
Laura James: [Laughs] I’m surprised he didn’t propose at Disneyland though. He needed to surprise me, and that was really the only way I can think of that he would have surprised me. I was thinking because I was supposed to wrestle [Lucha] VaVoom on the Valentines show that he would do something there but then I got booked to go on the Puscifer tour. I completely didn’t think he was going to do it here.
Steve: How do you like wrestling for Lucha VaVoom? I know when I used to be able to go to their shows regularly they were my favorite shows to go to.
Laura James: Oh my god, if you speak to any of the wrestlers that do it they will all say that it is their favorite show to do. You can do as many crazy moves as you want or you can do no moves and just be a total gimmick, which worked out good for me and Joey [Laughs]. They’re a lot of fun, and it’s a different crowd that are, well a) drunk and b) impressed with everything.
Steve: When I was doing a little research before the interview, my research consisted of looking at your Twitter timeline. I saw a lot of political stuff and a lot of anti-Donald Trump stuff. Normally I wouldn’t bring this up in the interview, but I have to ask if Donald Trump wins are you taking one of our national treasures in Joey Ryan out of the country?
Laura James: I’m going to take Joey and I’m moving back to England. [Laughs] You know I wish I wasn’t so political, but I read the news everyday and I shouldn’t because everytime I read it I’m like what the hell is going on. There’s just such a lack of common sense with some people. I think if people actually took the time to look into things then things might be different. Some people are ignorant by choice I think.
Steve: Before we stop, is there anything you want to plug?
Laura James: You can go to ProWrestlingTees and buy one of my shirts. I am going to be at BTW soon wrestling RAZE, which will be a lot of fun, then I’m back down here at FCW wrestling Joey again with Doug [Douglas James] and Heather [Monroe] so that’s going to be a lot of fun too.
Steve: Do you think Doug is going to propose in that match or maybe Joey has some other surprise?
Laura James: [Laughs] I don’t know. I’m pretty sure Joey has spots planned for the wedding. I think he may try to sell it on iPPV.
Steve: [Laughs] That would be funny.
Laura James: Yeah, he’s a ridiculous human being.
Steve: Well, thank you again for your time, I know you have a long drive.
Laura James: Thank you for the opportunity.
She will be appearing on July 22nd and July 23rd’s FCW shows in Imperial Beach and will be appearing soon at Northern California’s Big Time Wrestling.