Since beginning her pro wrestling career, Taya Valkyrie has taken the road less traveled.
After the Impact Wrestling and Lucha Underground star graduated from the Lance Storm Training Academy, it didn’t take long for the Canadian to get on the WWE radar.
And just when she was packing up all her belongings, the newcomer found the developmental deal fizzled out. The setback motivated Valkyrie to work that much harder. The 34-year-old traveled to Mexico where it was trial by fire, immersing herself in the lucha libre culture. The blond beauty stood out and success followed as she earned the respect of peers and fans alike. The AAA connection with Lucha Underground brought her to the United States and further worldwide exposure. Now Valkyrie is a part of not only the popular El Rey Network series, but Impact Wrestling as well.
“I’m blessed,” she said
“Right now, the wrestling business has changed so much, especially even in the last three years, to be able to do what I’m doing right now. To have Johnny Mundo, Johnny Impact do what he’s doing right now. To have what Brian Cage is doing right now. To have this freedom to be creative and work for both companies and have fun doing this amazing job we have, which is creating art and entertaining everyone is awesome.
“2018 has already been very interesting and will continue to be. 2017 had its ups and downs for me obviously, but this year is going to be crazy. I’m getting married. There are all sorts of fun stuff going on. As far as wrestling is concerned, it’s going to be insane.
“I’m excited for you guys to see how much I’ve changed over the last two years, especially Lucha Underground fans because a lot of stuff we filmed for season three was filmed almost two years ago. So, my wrestling is not the same to what it was two years ago. I’m not even the same person I was two years ago. I feel like as a wrestler we evolve and change with the wrestle and the way we move, we get better. I train every week, several times a week. I have a ring at my house. I’m always trying to evolve my moves and work on different ideas. I feel like people who only watch that product is going to think, ‘Who is this?’ because it’s going to be a totally different Taya that you will see. But it’s going to be awesome.”
Valkyrie is just getting started on Impact Wrestling during a new era for the company and the knockout’s division as a whole. After having to miss the last set of tapings in 2017, the driven performer was hungry to return to the promotion.
“I’m excited to get started again,” she said.
“This women’s roster is full of amazing characters and talent and artists and talented women that it’s really motivating to me and inspiring. I get different ideas for my character and moves and things like that. It’s really nice to be here even with all the changes that have been going on, I feel like it’s quite the family dynamic here at Impact. I feel like everyone is supporting each other, and we’re getting through this. Everything is going to be just fine.
“…There is so much being said about the women’s revolution. From WWE to what we do on Impact and Lucha Underground, everything is just so different. I think we just have to keep pumping out really great matches and show the world women are just as talented as the men, if not more. That we can draw. That people are interested in our storylines. That we can talk on camera. That we have something to say. And we can prove it all in that ring. I think that we have the capacity to do that here at Impact. With the women that we have here, I know we are going to rattle some cages and make some noise and really get people talking about what the knockout’s division can bring to the table.”
She feels empowered by her Impact persona. Even though the name is the same on Lucha, she strives to keep each character unique to that brand. It was important for her to differentiate two within their respective environments.
“I look at it the same way as a DC universe and Marvel universe,” Valkyrie said.
“There is the Impact universe and Lucha Underground universe. From the way I carry myself to my moves to my finisher to my entrance. I’m not associated with a group here. I’m on my own for the first time. Taya here is a killer here. She is a bad ass. She takes nothing and knows she is the best. I feel like Taya on Lucha Underground is a different type of heel where Taya from Impact doesn’t run from a fight. She will stare it in the face and rip the person’s head off.
“Taya from Lucha Underground would hide from a fight and hide behind Johnny Mundo. Push him into the fire. Then collect the prize afterward. She is more of a cheater and conniver. It’s a completely different dynamic. Its super fun to be able to have these two completely characters. A lot of people say when Lucha starts back, will I bring Taya Valkyrie to Lucha. I don’t think so because I like having these two different people I get to play. The scenarios are very different. The Impact Zone is different than The Temple on Lucha. The style is different.
“Every now and then it slips on Impact, and I’ll speak a little Spanish here. I can’t help that because it’s part of my nature growing up really in the lucha libre community as a big part of my career. I do really believe though they are two completely different characters. If they both faced each other in the ring, I don’t know what would happen. That would definitely be some type of fantasy match scenario, but it would be crazy.”
The cherry on top for Valkyrie is being employed to the same companies as soon-to-be husband Johnny Mundo, Impact. This gives them the opportunity be together more than most couples.
“Wedding planning is the hardest thing,” she said.
“It’s way harder than a street fight in Tijuana. It’s hard, but it’s coming along really well. John has already said in another interview, but we are getting married June 1. I’m excited to bring together everything. I’ve been fortunate to have traveled and lived all around the world. So, I’m happy to bring all the parts of my life together that day. It’s going to be fun.”
Given they already share residence in California, Valkyrie doesn’t expect married life to change their dynamic much.
“I’ll still be the one to make the coffee in the morning,” she said.
“He’ll still be the one who sleeps in. It will be the same. We’re just really happy right now and trying to enjoy the moment while we are super busy with our dog. And hoping to do real adult, real life things in between all this crazy wrestling life stuff.”
And speaking about the wrestling stuff, Valkyrie has picked up where she left off last year in a feud with Rosemary. The unique adversary opens the door to a wealth of creative possibilities.
“When we first met in August, I felt like I already knew her because we all knew the same people,” Valkyrie said.
“It’s crazy how social media makes you feel like you know someone. It’s like, ‘I saw that picture of your dog.’ We just talk to each other like we’ve known each other forever. She is a Canadian like me, so that’s cool. I was excited to work with someone who does take their character so seriously because I feel like the essence of lucha libre is very character based with the costumes and this sort of secrecy that goes along with the characters and sense of mysticism. I feel like that is what she has. For me to bring my cool lucha libre, hybrid style with her and what she is doing, it was a golden opportunity. All we can do is try to make some magic for everybody, and I think we are doing it.”
Professionally, Valkyrie has her eyes set on championship gold in Impact and Lucha Underground. Despite making a name for herself within the industry, she believes she is just getting started and is willing to continue to do whatever it takes to claw her way to the top.
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