Since TNA Impact Wrestling started its run on Pop TV, the direction of the program and the promotion has been very character-driven.
And when you look at the roster, the Decay is one true success stories of this new era. Veteran Abyss and Crazzy Steve found new life, ironic given the name of the group. But the important piece of the puzzle for “The Death Dealers” has been Rosemary.
The Canadian honed her skills over the last eight years on the independent scene before opportunity came knocking.
“I had a lot of experience,” Rosemary said.
“Getting signed with TNA was the next step and something I never expected to happen, but it was really a wonderful surprise and something I saw as a new challenge for my wrestling career. I’ve taken it and ran with it.”
Rosemary persona was a natural transition for the 32-year-old considering she has been playing a dark character as Courtney Rush. Crazzy Steve was someone she knew throughout her career and suggested her name when the initial concept for Decay was formulated. Rosemary describes herself as a character in complete control over herself and her surroundings. The alpha personality knows how to manipulate anyone who comes in contact with her. Rosemary says this is different from Rush, who is a bit more frenzied, maniacally and less in control over herself.
Before pursuing pro wrestling, Rosemary studied film and theater in university and did a few independent films. The first was “Monster Brawl,” which she describes as a wrestling slash Mortal Kombat tournament for horror monsters.
“In that movie was the first time I did something similar to a misfit,” Rosemary explained.
“Then coming into this character after I started doing the character of Courtney, where she is more along the lines of a demonic possession. I called back things I did in that film for that character. Rosemary is more of a schizophrenic psychopath.”
On the surface, with the makeup, red and black color scheme and violently playful nature, many likened her to Harley Quinn. However, Rosemary finds Joker’s right-hand lady too submissive. She draws from other inspirations.
“You have Freddy Krueger, who is so flippant and sarcastic about death and torture. His verbiage is amazing in all his movies. Bellatrix Lestrange of ‘Harry Potter’ has all these mannerisms. Then you have the childlike blood lust that I drew from Claudia in ‘Interview with the Vampire.’”
Rosemary enjoys the collaborative effort in working closely with the writers and creative. She came into the role already knowing it would be a darker character. However, the unique figure got to delve a little deeper in developing signature body language and speech patterns, a certain tone of voice. The time and effort she has put into Rosemary has paid off.
“It’s mind-boggling,” she said.
“Thinking about everything we’ve done so far just in TNA, the impact we’ve made on television and with the fans and the response we’ve gotten. The effect of the group, I look back and think, ‘this is still year one. We still have five months left in the year to cause chaos. What are we going to get into if this is just year one of the group? I think we are just going to tear the place apart.’”
Rosemary isn’t the only new TNA Knockout that has joined the roster this year. Among them is Allie, known outside of Impact Wrestling as Cherry Bomb, is a longtime rival. A bond formed between them, built on mutual respect.
“We’ve beaten the crap out of each other,” Rosemary said.
“It’s awesome to have someone on the same path as me. We really have grown up and bring out the best out of each other when we are in the ring together. We know we don’t have to hold back. We can go out there and beat the crap out of each other and know there is nothing we have to worry about because we know each other so well. It was with her that I started doing the demonic character in Smash Wrestling in Canada.
“It was her who instigated it after feuding with her for six years on the independent scene, she finally took things to another level by having me held down to cut my hair off, humiliated me in front of the crowd. That is what pushed Courtney Rush over the edge. She couldn’t take her bullying anymore and all the mental abuse. An example is she got me fired from a promotion before and things like that. I just couldn’t take it anymore, which is where the origins of the character and the start of my turn to the dark side began.”
Since their debuts, they have been in separate storylines. However, Rosemary isn’t ruling out taking the feud to TNA television.
“That would be amazing,” she said.
“The response we actually got doing it on the independent level. The response we have gotten and just bringing that to Smash. Then with both of us signed has brought more eyes to Smash. It gets them interested in seeing our work outside of TNA. It would be amazing to bring what we have done in Smash to another level and have it on national television. I have no doubt in my mind we will blow it out of the water.”
Rosemary’s work within TNA has largely been outside the ring. She is currently involved in an onscreen, for lack of a better word, romance with Bram.
“The way I approach anything is look over to what is to be done and whatever is being taped. I think how I would approach this and the thought process behind it,” Rosemary said.
“I think how I can make this thing creepy. It’s not weird. I get along well with Bram, who is easy to work with. That is important for something that can be intimate and somewhat exposing. We are both actors and acted in movies before. It’s not like they are bringing in people who have never done any theater or sort of acting work before. So it has been good.”
Rosemary feels a reason the persona has resonated with audiences is the fact she has gone all-in with it. She cites Matt Hardy as an example of someone else who isn’t afraid to swim in the deep end.
“He is on fire. He is my favorite thing on television right now. I find inspiration from him. I loved the ‘Final Deletion.’ What is so great about that whole thing and any over-the-top character is to make it work, you have to stay at it. You have to train the audience to show that this is the character. They aren’t going to get it right away. So the only way to make something like that work is to go balls out.
“You can’t hold yourself back. If you hold yourself back, it doesn’t come across well. You literally have to throw everything out there. If you don’t believe it, they won’t believe it. For me personally, I go out there and as soon as I go out on that stage, I fully believe I hear voices in my head. I’m a schizophrenic sociopath who does not care about people’s life or death, right or wrong. I want to hurt people. I believe that, and I think everyone else believes that too. If there is any self-doubt, it’s so visual on television.”
Rosemary is excited at the landscape of women’s wrestling today and what TNA is doing to feature the Knockouts in prominent positions.
“TNA is really getting back to focusing on the knockouts, when they had the most diverse women’s division,” she said.
“You had ODB, the original Beautiful People, Gail Kim, Hamada and Daffney. Speaking of Daffney, you people out there, don’t call me a Daffney rip-off. She happens to be a very good friend of mine and loves the work I’m doing. Ask her yourself. But the division was so diverse. Now they are really getting back to it and encouraging a lot of people to let their inner-character come out.
“You are seeing it now with Marti, who is getting this fiery, New York Dominican out. Jade is bringing out this gangster side to her. I am obviously ridiculous in my own right. Maria is this delusional character in her own head. Allie is the lapdog who follows the big bulldog. You have Sienna, who is now the bruiser bodyguard. I love it because you have these characters now, and TNA is really encouraging that. We are getting back to it all, when the knockouts were at their peak.”
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Photos Courtesy: TNA Entertainment