Shazza McKenzie, a few years ago a name unknown on the local scene. A young girl who has bled, sweat and worked her way through the Australian local scene, quietly conquering state to state. About two years ago, she exploded. With many of Australia’s females overseas living their dreams, Shazza was doing what she could to make those that she looked up to proud and gaining every piece of knowledge & experience that she could in their absence.
Shazza, who has been training with the AWF since 2007, has been wrestling since 2008. Soon after in 2009, Shazza leapt at the chance to train at PWA and alongside her idol, Madison Eagles & quickly becoming a main part of the PWWA roster. It’s here, that her passion lives and breathes and undeniably her driving force to accomplish the dreams and goals she has set for herself.
It’s no surprise that this year, when Shazza travelled to the United States to build on her knowledge and experience, she was quickly a wrestler in demand. Shazza made her debut for SHIMMER, joining an elite list of Aussie girls to have represented Australia and made fans proud.
Now Shazza is back home, preparing for her match at the PWWA Interim Title Tournament, this Saturday in Sydney, we have the opportunity to sit down and have a chat with her about her wrestling journey & today.
You have been wrestling since 2008 and began your wrestling journey at AWF in Sydney, why did you start there?
I started training with AWF in 2007, prior to actually beginning my training I used to attend my fair share of Aussie wrestling events. I’ve never told Madison this but eh… I used to pretty much STALK her. At shows, on the internet… everywhere. It’s true, I was the craziest of fans. ANYWAY! I researched all the different companies around at the time and the training facilities finally deciding on AWF due to their structured program. It was a 9 month course (12 months with a 3 month break over Christmas/New Year) and it had set guidelines of what you would learn, what was expected from you and a test to evaluate your level of skill at the end of each “term” before moving on to the next class. It just seemed to be the most organised of all that was available at the time and I was lucky to meet some of my best friends in life by choosing this school.
You began training & wrestling with PWA in 2009, and became a part of the PWWA roster, what was that like?
PWA was completely different to AWF as far as the way to look at the females on the roster. A lot more was expected from me than previously but I definitely think I was ready for the challenge. I always love being apart of companies that feel like a family, like we’re all in it for the one goal. Thats what it felt like every month doing the Masonic Centre shows back then. I think that making to the jump to PWA was the best decision I ever made wrestling wise because it’s opened up so many more doors and they’ve definitely pushed me to improve and never stop trying to get better.
You’ve truly travelled around Australia, showcasing your skills. Where do you call home?
Well I grew up in Sydney and that’s where I started my wrestling journey so it will always be home. Living the last 2 years of my life down in Melbourne has made it very special to me aswell. Being with MCW from day one and watching everyone grow and put in the hard work has been a thrilling experience. Those guys and girls work their butts off to make those shows the best they can I think they do a mighty fine job at it. PWA will always be my home in Sydney until they one day decide I’m too annoying and stupid to put up with they’re pretty much stuck with me! I’ve really met so many amazing people ALL around Australia and the world doing what I love. I can feel at home in nearly any state or city.
Tell us a bit about your adventures at MCW, you have been in some amazing matches with that promotion. Any particular favourites?
Every single match at MCW has been special to me. My 3 match series with Kellie Skater where we competed in what I believe is Australia’s first and ONLY Women’s Submission Match. Being the one to send Tenille Tayla off in her last Australia match before she goes to America and surely makes it huge in WWE. Getting to wrestle Madison Eagles, KC Cassidy and Harley Wonderland all along the way. Of course my recent rivalry with Eliza Sway has been loads of fun…well not fun but it’s been an interesting ride from her attacking me to stealing my gear and now I’ve finally shut her up pinning her at New Horizons 2012. Every time I’ve stepped in the ring for MCW has been special to me.
There are some incredible wrestlers in this country & you have faced them in the ring, who would be your favourite opponent?
GAH! Too many to name. I’d say my two favourite which will probably come as no surprise to anyone is Harley Wonderland and Jessie McKay.
What inspires or motivates you, what keeps your passion alive?
The fact that there’s always so much more to learn. Every day you learn something new in this business. Every time I watch wrestling I see something new and it’s just constantly evolving there’s no way not to be passionate about it!
What is your day to day training routine like?
Day to day training routine at the moment is gym somewhere between 4-6 times a week doing weights, cardio…lots of cardio *laughs* and lots of squats to somehow fix my ghetto booty *laughs*. I’m lucky now that I’ve moved back to Sydney to be able to train with PWA twice a week (when horrible weather and traffic permits it) and on top of that? I have a horrible diet.
Recently, you completed a tour of the USA in which you wrestled for Indygurlz and SHIMMER. Was wrestling for SHIMMER a long-time goal of yours & what was the experience like?
SHIMMER was definitely always a goal of mine. I don’t think I really spoke about it too much with anyone because it would’ve been weird considering my close friends were there but SHIMMER has been a goal for me since before I started. I used to watch it before I started training, I have quite a few old DVDs at home and I used to be obsessed with Lacey! So it was definitely the most overwhelming amazing experience to be able to work at SHIMMER myself.
In addition to wrestling for SHIMMER and Indygurlz, you had the opportunity to train at ROH and Chikara. What was that like?
Amazing. Just amazing. I was so scared going into it all. My first day of training I was pretty much in tears on the train because I was SO nervous that it was going to be so hard and I wouldn’t be able to hack it but once I got my mini meltdown out of the way I had a GREAT time training. I learnt SO SO much, just little things. I think now that I’m back in Australia, as time goes on people will see the improvements I’ve made. I’m also very lucky to have the amazing training at PWA Australia to make sure I continue to get better and continue to push myself.
You’ve wrestled around Australia, you’ve wrestled overseas, what’s next for you? What are you striving for?
To keep improving, to help Australian wrestling to keep growing and getting bigger and better. There’s so many amazing guys and girls in this country that need the world to see them. I think the introduction of iPPV’s is such a great idea for Australian wrestling to help a wider variety of audiences see the amazing talent we have down here. I definitely want to go back overseas. I met so many amazing people over in USA and especially Philadelphia. Everyone was just so eager to help in anyway they could and I miss all the friends I made like you wouldn’t imagine. Getting back to Philadelphia is something I definitely plan to do if not by the end of this year, next year sometime. There was just SO much wrestling to be immersed by that 6 weeks was nowhere near enough time. I’m also SO excited for women’s wrestling in Australia. Especially PWWA. Kellyanne English (Nikita Naridian) and KC Cassidy are heading to Lance Storm’s for further training and there’s lots of new girls coming through the ranks… Not to mention our NZ imports that are truly showstoppers. It’s just an exciting time to be female wrestler in Australia and I hope that there’s just lots more wrestling and good times ahead!!
Now that you are back home, you’ve been wrestling loads. You just settled your score with Eliza Sway at MCW and now you have an upcoming match with at the PWWA Women’s Title Tournament. How much does it mean to you, to represent PWWA with this title?
At the end of last year I sat down and I wrote down what I wanted to achieve this year, not necessarily just in wrestling but in life in general and well, there’s only one thing left on that list that I HAVEN’T done and we’re only 4 months in. Yes, you guessed it that last thing is to win the PWWA Championship. I think for females in Australia there is no more prestigious belt than the PWWA Championship. If you just look at its previously holders you can tell why. I’m SO excited to have an opportunity in this tournament to FINALLY get my hands on some gold. Make no mistake, I will stop at NOTHING to get that belt. I WILL represent PWWA by the time this tournament is over.
Anyone competing in the Tournament, we should watch out for?
I think the wild card in it all is definitely the New Zealand girls. They were both very impressive last year at the PWWA show but that was a long time ago and who knows what they’ve learnt and how they’ve improved. So Megan-Kate and Evie are definitely the ones I’ve got my eyes on. I’ll be watching they’re match closely to see who advances. With Jessie and Skater already through to the semi’s it’s going to be one hell of an interesting tournament!
Thanks heaps for catching up with us today, Shazza. Any last words?
I’m always horrible at these last words but just keep supporting women’s wrestling in Australia. We have some of the best girls in the entire world and websites like NHB are doing a great job showcasing them! Don’t forget to add me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @Shazza_McKenzie to keep up with all the latest happenings in the Shazzamataz Headquaters!
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