I had a chance to sit down and talk with Buggy Nova after AWS’ Women’s Tournament #5. In this interview we discuss how she got into wrestling, signing with WWE, being released after going into rehab, a challenge to Joey Ryan, and more. Click to read the interview.
Steve: All right. I’m here with Buggy Nova after the AWS Women’s Tournament #5.
Buggy Nova: Hey, hey.
Steve: First, thank you for taking the time to do an interview with is.
Buggy Nova: Oh, sure.
Steve: Let’s start at the beginning. What got you into wrestling?
Buggy Nova: I was sucked into this crazy world of wrestling. I knew someone that was into it and through mutual friends, Diablo Joe, who was a regular AWS back in the day. He asked me to be a part of his faction.
Steve: Glenn “Diablo” McNeil?
Buggy Nova: Yeah that’s him.
Buggy Nova: So Diablo Joe invited me to join his faction and from there I was a manager for about a year. Bart Kapitzke here, was like “you need to start training, just in case you get hurt. We want you to get more involved and stuff.” And he hooked me up with a good trainer and I haven’t stopped ever since then.
Steve: Did you watch wrestling before?
Buggy Nova: I did when I was a kid. Me and my brother would watch wrestling and we would, you know, do moves on each other. My favorites were like Lita, the Hardy Boys, you know that era. I loved it. I grew up on it.
Steve: And you trained with the Ballard Brothers?
Buggy Nova: Yeah, the Ballard Brothers.
Steve: Was your first match in AWS or…?
Buggy Nova: Yeah, AWS was my first match. I believe it was 2009. I think. It was just so long ago. But yeah AWS is like my home. I consider everyone here a family, and we’ve known each other for so long. It’s really great to see familiar faces, even, you know, wrestlers and fans. This will always be my home.
Steve: And how soon did you start wrestling for other promotions?
Buggy Nova: Well my trainers introduced me to other companies around here. Bart also introduced me to people. They really helped get me out there. And get me to know who everybody is.
Steve: And then you signed with WWE.
Buggy Nova: Yeah that was 2012.
Steve: How did that come about?
Buggy Nova: Well it started off with a tryout. I had a tryout. Oh no, I’m sorry. I did a commercial for them, with Sheamus. From there I just got a random phone call asking me if I wanted to tryout at Raw that following Monday. And I was like, “Heck yes, yes I do.” So I showed up there and then I showed up to the one in Vegas. I think on … for Smackdown. They got to see me twice and it got them to notice me that way.
Steve: Did you get you a match, or was it just a…?
Buggy Nova:It was a match. I had a tryout match with AJ Lee, and she’s so nice. It was so sweet of her to do a match… She didn’t have to. Usually, like, the girls who just like wrestle with a guy, like a smaller guy, just for the tryout. I was the only girl at the tryout, so she’s was really nice enough to have a little five minute match with me.
Steve: That’s pretty cool.
Buggy Nova: Yeah it was.
Steve: After that they signed you right away?
Buggy Nova: I think I was talking to some people who were in WWE at the time, and they were like, “Well I can’t say anything, but it’s looking good. They’re talking about you, and they like you.” And they weren’t really able to tell me. I think it had been a month or so before I really knew that my contract was coming. Like any second, you know, I would have my phone on blast that whole month. So it took a couple months after that.
Steve: After signing you went straight to FCW [Florida Championship Wrestling]?
Buggy Nova: Yeah, yeah.
Steve: How long were you there for?
Buggy Nova: I was there for less than a year before I went to the rehab center, the treatment center, which they paid for. They totally took care of me. But all of that was like less than a year, and then I got my contract terminated.
Steve: Do you mind saying what you were in the rehab center for?
Buggy Nova: Oh yeah, sure. It was for an eating disorder, that I had relapsed from. I was diagnosed with it when I was 18. And then with all the stress, and being out there by myself, I didn’t really know anybody, and it was just a lot for me to handle at the time. I was 22, and I just wasn’t ready. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. So it was a lot of stress, and it really sent my eating disorder into hyper drive, and I just like, crashed. I knew I had to get help, like immediately. And luckily there was people knowledgeable, like, “if you need help, there’s a place for you to go.” And they paid for it, they took care of it. I knew that as soon as I committed to that, I knew I was done. I knew if I did this thing at the treatment center, they’re gonna let me go. But I needed it, you know, my life was on the line. I couldn’t function anymore after that.
Buggy Nova: So I think, you know, in the long run, it really changed my life for the better. I’m really glad I did it. Unfortunately I lost my contract, but never say never. You never know. It might come around again.
Steve: Is that a goal? To go back to WWE?
Buggy Nova: I think it would be kinda icing on the cake right now. I’m in school to become a nutritionist myself, and work in an eating disorder facility, just like the nutritionists that helped me. My eye’s on the prize, to do that for others.
Steve: Now I know that after you left WWE, you kinda had a little break. Was it just school related or were you just burnt out on wrestling?
Buggy Nova: I needed a mental break. I took three years off, and really questioned why I was wrestling, and if it was hurting me, if it was conducive for my recovery. I had a couple matches during that three year break. And I was like, “Hey, you know, this is cool, but I really want to pick up something else, I want to like take a different path.” I didn’t want to force it if it wasn’t meant to be. And three years later Billy Blade talked me into coming back for MidgetMania and he’s like, “It’s really fun, it’s gonna be easy, and the crowds are great.” And I’m like, “I don’t know.” I was really hesitant. He’s so fun, he really got me back into… He sucked me back in. So that’s great.
Steve: Was that just last year?
Buggy Nova: I believe it was 2015. It was either 2015 or 2016, I don’t remember.
Steve: So I saw you at PWG last week…
Buggy Nova: Oh yeah that was so fun.
Steve: Yeah, I was sitting on the opposite side from you and just your expressions and reactions during the show I was like, “Wow she must really love wrestling.”
Buggy Nova: Thank you.
Steve: You had like a huge smile on your face the entire…
Buggy Nova: It was so much fun. I used to go to PWG all the time, because I would know all the people there. And I, you know, lost touch and there’s a whole new group of guys there. Luckily my friend had an extra ticket, Alan from Quintessential Pro. He invited me and I said, “Yeah definitely, it’s been so long.” And I mean those shows are amazing. Everybody I talk to… If you don’t like wrestling, I tell them, “You have to go try this show out.” AWS and PWG.
Buggy Nova: You’ll love it, it’s a great show, no matter what.
Steve: Now I know we just talked about WWE. Do you have any goals to go to places like Japan or Mexico?
Buggy Nova: If it happens, you know, school is really my priority and I’ve got a couple more years until I finish. And maybe after that I could plan on traveling more. And doing more fun stuff like that. But really my goal is to get my Bachelor’s and work at a facility, to work at an eating disorder facility. And to help other people. If the Japan thing comes up in a couple years, I mean, yeah, for sure.
Steve: Now do you still keep in touch with any of the people that you were with at WWE. I know you were in a tag team with Paige.
Buggy Nova: Yeah, I talk to a couple people. I mean they’re really busy and I feel like I don’t want to bother them. Charlotte is such a sweet heart. She’s the one that really like … she’ll make an effort to reach out to me and see how I’m doing. She’ll like my Instagram stuff and then like I’ll have fans who like, “What?” And then they like her comment on my thing. It’s just so funny to watch, she’s just the sweetest girl ever. She deserves everything, you know.
Steve: Is there anyone that you haven’t wrestled yet that you want to wrestle or? Do you have any dream matches?
Buggy Nova: You know what? Me and Joey Ryan have talked about having a match. And I think it would be so fun to have a Joey vs. Chucky thing. Like dong style. I think Chucky’s dong might be stronger than Joey’s. So I taunt him, and I tease him, and he said, “Bring it on.” So I was like, “Okay, we’re gonna find a place for this to happen and it’s gonna happen.”
Steve: Didn’t you win the DDT Ironman title?
Buggy Nova: I did for like 15 minutes.
Steve: Did you win it from Joey?
Buggy Nova: I won it from Laura [James]. Laura had it.
Buggy Nova: Laura had the DDT championship and then I beat her for it. Joey makes a run in and schoolboys me and then boom, boom, boom, and now he’s the winner. So I had it. I touched it. It was in my hands.
Steve: Have you ever looked at the title history for that thing?
Buggy Nova: I looked it up. [Laughs]
Steve: There’s thousands of title changes.
Buggy Nova: It’s insane, yeah, plus other changes that cannot be reported.
Steve: Yeah I wonder who takes the time to keep track of it.
Buggy Nova: I know, it’s insane.
Steve: Aside from Joey Ryan is there anyone else? I’ll make sure he’s aware of this an checks it out.
Buggy Nova: He better. I’m gonna tell him like, “I’m talking shit Joey.” It would be great, who have I not wrestled? You know I haven’t wrestled Hudson Envy, that’d be great . Nicole Savoy. Who else? They’re my top two right now.
Steve: Is there anything that you want to say, before I let you go? I don’t want to keep you too long.
Buggy Nova: Yeah, no, it’s all good. I appreciate… I love talking about my time in the rehab center and want to bring more awareness to that. I also have an eating disorder awareness page on Facebook, that I invite others to share their stories and experience, and really trying to grow that and just have it be less of a taboo subject, because so many people suffer from it. Not just women, but it men too. So I think that’s really important to me. I’m so glad you brought it up because it’s a subject that people don’t want to talk about. So I encourage people to check that out if they’re struggling. If they know someone that’s struggling, it’s always beneficial to just be aware. You never know what someone’s going through.
Steve: It’s great that you are so open about it and wanting to help others.
Buggy Nova: Thank you.
Steve: Where can people follow you on social media?
Steve: One A?
Buggy Nova: Yeah, I had to do the three A’s on Twitter because somebody stole my…
Steve: Somebody stole it.
Buggy Nova: I couldn’t message them to get it back, because it had been abandoned.
Steve: You could probably complain to Twitter or something like that.
Buggy Nova: Maybe Sue them? [Laughs]
Steve: [Laughs] I’m not sure about that. All right, thank you very much for the time.
Buggy Nova: Thank you so much.