SoCal Val: 'Our women's division will set WOS Wrestling apart'; EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The first WOS Wrestling Women's Champion will be crowned today.
SoCal Val believesWOS Wrestlingis making a statement of intent with its women's division and by appointing her as a commentator.
The revamped World of Sport brand launched on ITV last weekend, ending a 30-year absence of British wrestling on mainstream television.
Today's episode will see the first WOS Wrestling Women's Champion crowned in a three-way match between Bea Priestley, Kay Lee Ray and Viper.
And the show is also changing perceptions of women in the sport by naming SoCal Val as part of its commentary trio, with Alex Shane and Stu Bennett.
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With over 15 years in the business, the star, from Southern California has worked for Ring of Honor, Shine and, most notably, TNA Wrestling from 2006 to 2013.
Now a UK resident, the 32-year-old believes British wrestling fans are some of the loudest in the world and is excited to be part of the new WOS Wrestling heritage.
Speaking exclusively to Mirror Sport's Morgan Richards, she discusses her unique career, studying World of Sport tapes and why the WOS women's division is one not to be missed.
WOS Wrestling trailer episode two
Well to start I just want to mention how excited I am to be a female commentator first and foremost. You know it's so rarely been done and never to this extent. I was really honoured to be a female on the show and an American on the show, so to join such a historic brand really meant a lot to me and now that I'm living in England, I've gotten to catch up with the older episodes of World of Sport so the nostalgia is there and I still appreciate that.
I think what to take home with this is that it's really like a modernised version of World of Sport, there's still a lot of nostalgia, but we have so many amazing, exciting wrestlers who are from all different aspects and walks of life. We've got your high flyers, we've got some comedic wrestlers, we've got a lot of very talented females on the roster as well, which is very important to me, so I think just the juxtaposition of all those characters coming to make one amazing show that the whole family can watch is really exciting. I can't wait for people to see it.
SoCal Val commentating on WOS Wrestling with Alex Shane
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I appreciate fans from anywhere in the world, but I must say the fans in Britain are so hungry for wrestling, I've been back and forth over here visiting for about seven or eight years and to see the progression of where wrestling was when I first started coming over to now, it's just astronomically different. I mean the fans have so many more varied wrestlers, female and male, to look up to now and it's such a booming time for the British wrestling scene and what WOS has done is that, we've gone and found the best of the best in all different genres of wrestling.
Again we've got the high flyers,you've got the more kind of old school grappling as well as the women's and the tag team division. We've sort of ticked all those boxes and found the best, brightest stars in the British wrestling scene right now. So the roster that we have, guys like Justin Sysum, Sha Samuels, Rampage and Grado, who's a big favourite of mine, we've got a very cool and collective mix and I think that we really did get the best that the scene has to offer.
It's hard to pick a favourite, because they really are so different. I do love Viper. I think Viper is one of the strongest females that we have in terms of athleticism, in terms of presence. She's just one of those really imposing characters, but holds herself with such grace as well. I love Kay Lee Ray, I think she's really, really talented - a great performer. I think she's someone little girls will really look up to. We've got Ayesha as well, who's a very imposing force too. I think it's a nice mix of girls, but the fact that we have such an emphasis on our women's division, I think is what's really going to set us apart. And again, not to bring it back to myself, but I love that they chose a female commentator. I think that just shows you where their heart is in terms of pushing the female aspect of the show as well.
New era begins as World Of Sport Wrestling returns to ITV after 30-year wait
Thank you for that. I think it really makes a difference too when you meet somebody who's trying to make a name for themselves in wrestling. It's kind of being a hustler and I use that word meaning it's somebody who's always going after the next job, it's somebody who's always being prepared, somebody who's done their homework. When I was first starting out, I did nothing but watch wrestling religiously and I went on eBay and ordered any tapes that I could that might help me in different aspects. I watched women like Francine, Sunny, Dawn Marie, all these women I looked up to and I found all of the characters that I loved and sort of twisted them into my own character. You can see shades of all these different women that I tried to emulate and you kinda have to make it your own. You want to have originality in the business and you want to have longevity in the business as well.
So I think another thing to tell someone who's coming up in wrestling is, don't pigeonhole yourself and just be a wrestler. You need to be good at talking, you need to be good at social media and being your own brand. This is something of an offshoot but, I look up to people like Oprah Winfrey, Tyra Banks and RuPaul even, that always emphasise being your own brand. Have that social media connection with your fans, engage with your fans. Be kind, that's another thing I know that sounds trivial but just being kind to people and always remaining professional. I think being kind, being your own brand and really doing your homework of those who came before you are all super important.
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You know honestly keep an eye on our social media accounts, we do have some incredible plans coming up, but you know everything is really going to be determined by the fans. We want to hear from them, we want their feedback. I'm really intrigued to see what they would want to see next. I had some tweets from people ordering merchandise before the show even aired. So that just shows you the excitement and the loyalty we already have with these fans going forward, which we can't even begin to tell you how grateful we are to have. The longer it progresses, I think it's going to become its own entity. Again, I'm just so grateful to these fans for being so excited about WOS.
World Of Sport Wrestling airs on ITV 1 today at 5pm.
WOS Wrestling Women's Championship
Credit: WOS Wrestling
WOS Wrestling commentator SoCal Val
Credit: IMPACT Wrestling
SoCal Val on IMPACT Wrestling
Credit: WOS Wrestling
WOS Wrestling commentator So Cal Val
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|Title Annotation:||Sport,Other Sports,Wrestling|
|Publication:||Daily Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Aug 4, 2018|
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