After Rise 8 – Outback, Rice and Beans sat down for long awaited interview with Kris Wolf.
This interview was 7 months in the making and originally scheduled for December’s Rise/AWS weekend, but due to Kris’ popularity (and tight schedule), we weren’t able to make that happen.
But through persistence and patience (along with Joshua Shibata, if you ask him) this interview finally happened.
Kris was gracious enough to give us 10 minutes of her time to reflect on the past 7 months, including her journey FROM Stardom, taking over the globe, and how 2019 is shaping up for her.
Gregg: Took us 7 months to get here, but it’s kinda cool because when you left here in December, no one really knew….
Kris: What was gonna happen?
Gregg: What was gonna happen! And so that was crazy to watch. Back then, we wanted to interview Stardom wrestler, Kris Wolf, but you’ve since then just became internationally-traveled Kris Wolf.
Kris: That’s me!
Gregg: What’s that been like?
Kris: It’s been a trip. You know? It’s been a lot of fun, I get to meet a lot of new people, I get to try different styles, do different things. There’s a lot more freedom because I’m by myself and on my own. There’s also a lot more anxiety because I’M BY MYSELF AND ON MY OWN. Everything is unfamiliar and I find myself trying to re-adjust myself to the western world. That’s still very different.
Julio: You’ve been immersed in that culture for so long.
Kris: Yeah, yeah. So I mean, interactions with people… I’m getting more calm, more chill. But like, for a while, I mean even now, after matches, I’m cool. But I’m riddled with anxiety. Every day!
Gregg: How hard was it? Especially going from taking on the Stardom roster, which is the same 7-8 girls, and going to England and facing off with them and traveling all over.
Kris: It’s so different. I don’t even know where to begin. Not only are the crowds different, I think that’s one of the biggest things that’s different. The noise. The chants. People can say whatever they want. I, too, can do whatever I want. I mean, I started taking more liberties…
Gregg: You were doing that already!
Kris: That’s true. But I just took it over here.
(Kris gets her massage stick stuck in her hair.)
Kris: Every person that I’ve faced off with is different. I don’t know what their movesets are or how long they’ve been wrestling. The way that I do in Stardom. So I have to learn how to adjust, how to read them, and adapt. And that’s so fun! It’s like a lot of people are, “You must want to go back to Stardom…” and it’s true I do miss it and I do miss some people and stuff. But I feel like I get to really grow here. There’s so much more things for me to try and do. So I’m really appreciative of this time.
Gregg: Forecasting the future, would you go back to Stardom?
Kris: I mean, probably for a short tour thing, but nothing long-term I think. I think I would like to re-join the western world.
Julio: It’s time for the wolf to take over!
Kris: Yeah! I mean, I always in general, I do feel like an outsider, right? Within Stardom I did, as a foreigner. As an older girl. Even then, too, I wasn’t cutesy or super tough. Even in America, I do feel a little more at ease. I don’t feel as much of an outsider. And that’s a really nice feeling.
Julio: Even now, you’re being internationally known as a wrestler. But outside of wrestling, in media, you’ve been known internationally already because of the interviews that you’ve been doing recently. BBC, all these different newspapers that you’ve got interviewed with around the world.
Gregg: The Asian Boss video…
Kris: Oh yeah! You saw that?!
Julio: What’s that been like? That aspect of interest that people have taken in you because you’re this American who started doing this out there.
Kris: It’s nice. I get to look back on it. So any time I do these interviews, which is fairly often in comparison to some people. I get to reflect on WHAT THE FUCK I’M DOING WITH MY LIFE. Often, I go up and down really easily. I think that attributes to my energy that I have in the ring because I need to let it out. Because there’s so much anxiety all the time! But it’s good to look back and be appreciative and I think that’s one of the things that sometimes people forget to do. They only see the hardship or obstacle and they don’t remember, “Oh wait, I got past this kinda shit before, I can do it again.” So I appreciate it.
Gregg: So taking a step back to that. I’ve recently I got WAY behind in Stardom, so I’ve caught up on the last 8 months.
Kris: Oh ok. You’re ahead of me. Since I’ve left I haven’t…
Gregg: So that’s been a bit of a blur. Do you wish you could have had the last match in Stardom like everybody else with the whole Korakuen, picking your opponents, and taking on the entire roster? Or are you fine with the way it worked out.
Kris: I mean, I’m very much a person who is “It is where it lies” so I wouldn’t change anything. I think it would have been nice to have Hiromi’s last match with her because we were in the same training year. Hiromi and Momo will always have a special place in my heart. Since Hiromi was also a little bit older, we were able to relate a lot. We often had existential crises. We started late and we found our stride at some point. I still feel like I’m learning a lot.
Gregg: Now we’re here. AWS. You’re the AWS women’s champion. Do you plan on sticking around in SoCal for the foreseeable future?
Julio: Pressure, pressure, pressure…
Kris: I can tell you that until the end of August, I’ll be in America. Then after that, I’m going to WXW in Germany. So I’ll be bouncing between there and the UK. I’m starting to fill out my 2019, so I’m not sure. Some of those are going to being Europe because they’re the ones that contacted me first. Basically, this year is mildly mapped out because I’m trying to crowd control this life. Instead of letting it just happen.
Gregg: So more EVE shows?
Kris: Maybe? Oh, I do have to qualify for the She-1.
Gregg: Speaking of which, in that ladder match, was it Kasey Owens? That took that nasty ass…?
Kris: Leah Owens.
Gregg: Leah! Was she alright?
Kris: No, she fucked up her knee. I think it was the ACL actually. It was pretty bad. She’s taking it easy right now. She and her sister went to RCW in Spain, but she was only able to assist, not really participate. Just take it easy. Which I think is something most wrestlers don’t know how to do. It’s hard, too, you make commitments to go to these shows and you get injured and it’s like…
Julio: Most people already don’t know or don’t do a good enough job taking care of themselves. I imagine a wrestler feels that they have to keep pushing on and on and on to fill their commitments. You brought up Spain, what was that like? Your trip there?
Kris: It was a lot of fun. It was my first intergender match, too. It was against Mauro Chaves. This vegan guy who pulls kale out of his butt. It was pretty awful. But I won! And I made him eat kale…
Julio: Out of his butt? Like the kale he pulls out of his butt, put into his mouth.
Kris: He’s not that flexible, but yeah… I’ll see that video!
Gregg: When Stardom came around to the USA the first time around, Kairi was kinda saying how you were surprised that so many knew who you were and were so receptive to everything that you guys were doing. Do you still encounter that now? Feel that now? Especially as you travel across the world?
Kris: Yeah kinda. I think I’m like everyone else where you are doing the thing that you want to do. You’re doing your job. And the fact that I’m lucky enough get acknowledged from it or appreciation… that’s unique. And it really does take something. I’m really surprised. I’ve been getting more Filipino fans, as well…
Julio: Balut Club!
(Shotzi Blackheart saunters up)
Shotzi: What’re you guys talking about?
Julio: Just hanging out talking with Kris.
Shotzi: Kris eat my banana!
(Kris eats Shotzi’s banana.)
Julio: She devoured that banana, she really did. Post-match banana.
Shotzi: Filipinos like bananas.
Julio: But that’s gotta be part of one of the reasons you’ve been feeling at home now in America, right? You’ve got a lot of people you can identify with? In more ways than one.
Kris: That’s what I was thinking. When I was in Japan, the reason why I started was because I saw girls who were similar in my stature, my size. I could relate and I could see myself doing that. So when these Filipino kids or little kids, or even these 30 year old people, are like, “I wanna train in wrestling!” Fucking do it! Whatever it is, I like being able to help people believe that they can do whatever it is that they want. I think that’s something that I feel really special about. Tingles!
Julio: You’re an inspirational figure to a lot of people. I think your honesty in interviews like this. How you’re so open with your personality. With your experience and what you’re feeling. I think that probably has a lot to do with how passionate the fans are when they come to watch you wrestle.
Kris: I was thinking one of the reasons people can relate is because I have this desperate feeling for trying to find meaning in my life. ‘Cuz we’re ALL GONNA DIE!!!
Julio: Spoiler Alert!
Kris: AHHHH!! Maybe they FEEL it.
Gregg: Do you have any goals or anything you want to do…
Gregg: Besides not die?
Julio: What about goals in SoCal? Anyone you want to face?
Kris: Everyone? It hasn’t really changed much. I still want to learn. I think that’s my thing. I feel like, I started in Stardom and seeing all those girls… they’re amazing. I still don’t feel like I could reach Mayu, Io, or Kairi level. Or Natsuki Taiyo. But I still feel like I want to try…sooooo fuck it.
Gregg: You’ve already traveled more countries than they have at this point.
Kris: YEAH! POINTS!!!
Gregg: Well thank you Kris. Pleasure to finally do this interview!