They say behind every great man is a great woman.
And for Jay Lethal that has been Taeler Hendrix. The villainous red-head has been instrumental during the Ring of Honor world champion’s lengthy reign at the top.
“I think him and I are just top notch,” she said.
“We are representing the House of Truth worldwide. I think it’s a perfect pairing. There is a lot of communication and understanding that goes into that. He is a top notch talent. So for me to stand next to him, I have to be at that level if not better just to keep up. If I show an actual flaw, that’s a flaw on him as well. We have learned very well over the last year how to work together and to produce the best possible product. We could only do what we can do because we are unique.
“Ring of Honor has really gave us the creative freedom to show the evolution. You can kind of see us after every taping evolving a little bit more and more. It’s so subtle, but if you are really paying attention, it’s there I think it’s that subtlety that really exemplifies what makes us a very good team.”
Outside of her appearances with Lethal, Hendrix is part of a growing brand within Ring of Honor known as the Women of Honor. The performer is proud to be part of the progression the female talent has made.
“I feel I’m the most successful I’ve ever been and the most free I’ve ever been and the most inspired I’ve ever been,” she said.
“Ring of Honor has really taken a chance like girls like me, and girls like Kelly Klein, Mandy Leon and Veda Scott. They’ve really given us a platform that we can use to start our own revolution so to speak. Each of us have been with other companies and had other opportunities, but it has been Ring of Honor and the Women of Honor division that has really given us the chance to shine. That has been exciting because it’s given a bigger audience and chance for everyone to see my character.
“When I started wrestling I was ‘The One-Girl Revolution’ Taeler Hendrix at the end of 2006. So I don’t think people really know how long I’ve been around. I started off as this underdog, modern, pop culture, hippy chick. I was the girl who always smiled and worked through everything to stay tough and dare to be revolutionary. It was what I always believed in and brought it into the ring.”
Veteran Bob Evans stressed to the 27-year-old the importance of branding, which has taken to heart. Her social media presence is evident with Hendrix t-shirts available via Pro Wrestling Tees. She feels truly comfortable in her own skin and is happy where her character is going. Hendrix’s wrestling inspirations are pioneers like Penny Banner, Judy Grable and Fabulous Moolah. She also cites Victoria, Velvet McIntyre and Sensational Sherri. Beyond the ring another influence has been Hollywood icon Bette Davis and her impact on the film industry.
“Characters are rooted in wrestling and what inspired me to be a professional wrestler,” Hendrix said.
“I think of the women who paved the way for this to happen. I think they would be extremely proud of a lot of the women who are making those sacrifices and putting in the work to get wrestling where it is at today. I think they would be really proud of that, and it makes me extremely proud to know that I am a part of this Women of Honor.”
With the division gaining steam, is an official championship around the corner. For Hendrix, time will tell.
“I am not going to release any secrets,” she said.
“But I think now you have all the women fighting in these matches to get a spot on the Women of Honor roster and are looking for that belt. I think all the women officially on the roster are fighting in every match just to showcase the fact they deserve that belt and that they have carved it out and their name should be there. The overwhelming support that has been elevating this division has been insane. It is more than we could ever ask for. So I think there will be a title sooner rather than later, but you are going to have to wait and see.”
In the meantime, the female grapplers are continuing their grassroots effort. Hendrix says what separates the Women of Honor from others is that they are just starting out and have already done so much.
“This is what women like Maria Kanellis wanted. This is what Daizee Haze, Awesome Kong, Sara Del Rey and MsChif wanted, and we are finally getting this opportunity,” Hendrix said.
“We had to prove that this could work and it could be a big deal. We are not just good enough for Women of Honor, but we are good enough for Ring of Honor, too. Not just good, but we are great. Ring of Honor is synonymous for having the best wrestling on the planet so if they are going to have a women’s division, we need to be just as good, if not better.”
The driven competitor not only big goals in the wrestling business, but in other forms of entertainment as well. Fans and fellow wrestlers have supported Hendrix recent social media campaign to be on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” The massive comic-book enthusiast feels she would fit perfectly in the universe in a role like Medusa or Madame Hydra.
“If you have been watching my character over the last couple of years you would see I belong on that show,” Hendrix said.
“What a perfect crossover for a professional wrestler to actress. I am a stunt woman, I’m a spokeswoman, I’m an athlete, and I’m a wrestler for Ring of Honor and Women of Honor on television. The fan response has been amazing. More than I could have ever asked for. It’s helped me trend on social media. Hopefully, sometime soon you might see me on ABC.”
- Catch Ring of Honor on Comet TV Midnight ET on Wednesdays and weekly on Sinclair Broadcast Group affiliates. Fans can also watch the action unfold on ROHWrestling.com.
- Ring of Honor Death Before Dishonor XIV is live on pay-per-view from Las Vegas 9 p.m. ET Friday, Aug. 19.
- Listen live for Taeler Hendrix’s next “In the Indies” segment on “The Taz Show” via http://www1.play.it/the-taz-show/ the morning of Aug. 8.
- Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN.