Welcome back wrestling fans to another incredible interview here on Kayfabe Kickout. For this interview I had the tremendous pleasure to speak with a rising star in women's professional wrestling, and she has the gold to prove it; NWA Women's World Champion Kacee Carlisle.
Kacee started cutting her teeth in professional wrestling in 1998 as a manager, but the pressures of the world outside of pro wrestling had taken precedence she appeared sporadically until 2003, when she appeared for a HoPWF show in Hagerstown, MD. On July 30th, 2005 Kacee had taken the plunge and laced up a pair of wrestling boots for the first time, where she wrestled her first match against Krissy Vaine at a joint WXW/VCW show in Olney, VA.
Since then Kacee has traveled the land of the US, wrestling in 14 different states, and had held more championship than one can count.
On October 20th, 2012, Kacee reached her biggest accomplishment in terms of championships, as she won the prestigious NWA World Women's Championship earlier this year, a title that has been held by some of the greatest women's wrestlers of all time including; The Fabulous Moolah, Lelani Kai, Mildred Burke and others. Kacee is one of the world's top women's wrestlers, and Pro Wrestling Illustrated knows it, as she was ranked #46th overall in PWI's Top 50 Females In Pro Wrestling for 2011, and shot up to #40 in 2012.
I spoke with Kacee on various aspects of professional wrestling, including her thoughts on becoming the NWA Women's World Champion, which female pro wrestling legend she would have loved to step in the ring with, sex appeal in women's pro wrestling and so much more.
Richard: For wrestling fans who might not know what you are involved with in the world of professional wrestling, can you just give us an update on what's going on in the busy schedule of Kacee Carlisle?
Kacee: Well I'm currently the NWA World Women's Champion, and I'm in the process of confirming some title defenses over the course of the next several months. In addition to that, I also have bookings for other independent companies lined up, and I'm lucky enough to stay busy and be in the ring every week, so for that I'm thankful. Outside of the ring, I'm working on having new merchandise produced, so fans will soon be able to purchase t-shirts, DVDs, and other items in addition to the photos I already have for sale. I also make appearances on radio shows quite frequently, so I stay pretty busy.
Richard: When was the exact moment when you decided you wanted to be a professional wrestler?
Kacee: The very first day I ever laid eyes on it. That was back in January 1988. My sister was watching it one day and called me into the room to watch with her. I was hooked from the get-go. She ended up losing interest in wrestling a few weeks later, but obviously I never did. I knew I was going to be involved in professional wrestling. It just drew me in and had me completely mesmerized from the start. It became my obsession in life, and that hasn't really changed over the years. It was very much love at first sight.
Richard: What was going through your mind when you received the word that you were ranked #40 in Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top Female Wrestlers of 2012?
Kacee: I was humbled, honored and happy! I was included in the 2011 rankings as well, but at #46, so I was also pleased to see that I had climbed the rankings over the course of that year. There are so many ladies to choose from these days, so I feel anytime you are recognized in that fashion is a great compliment and something to be happy about.
Richard: Over the last 25 years or so Women's Professional Wrestling has changed dramatically in terms of how it's presented, in your opinion do you think it's better today, or has the change hurt the product overall?
Kacee: I think it's fluctuated over the years. There was a time when you really didn't hear much about women's wrestling and it truly was treated and viewed as the "special attraction" that it had long been considered in the early years of the business. There was the occasional women's match on a card, and a few all-female promotions as well, but overall there wasn't a large amount of focus or attention being given to the women. Then there were several years not too long ago when women's wrestling was presented in a fairly positive (or at least encouraging) light, and you were able to turn on your television set and see women in the ring who were good workers and able to have pretty solid matches on a regular basis. Unfortunately it seems as though the presentation of women's wrestling these days is beginning to slip back into putting in-ring ability on the back burner and focusing more on using women in gimmicky and non-wrestling capacities. I don't believe that's happening across the board and I don't think it happens everywhere. But there are definitely instances of it being true, which is frustrating and unfortunate.
Richard: In your opinion what do you think of promotions like the WWE and TNA making women's wrestling more sex appeal rather than actual pro wrestling?
Kacee: It is, again, frustrating and unfortunate. I can honestly understand the company's need and want to have sex appeal. There IS a place for it, but within reason. The problem is when the sex appeal trumps the wrestling ability of the women involved. There are so many women on the independent scene right now who are beautiful women, but are also well trained and solid wrestlers. Every bit of feedback and every opinion I hear from wrestling fans is that while it's nice to have beautiful women on TV, it's also great to have women who have the ability to get into the ring and work a match that is not only solid and entertaining, but just as good as what their male counterparts are producing as well. And that's very possible to achieve. It all boils down to larger thinking, and concentrating more on the fact that this is professional wrestling and not a beauty pageant. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but I'm hopeful that over time you will start to see focus and opportunities being given to women based on their in-ring and overall abilities as a worker and performer, rather than their clothing size, modeling abilities, etc.
Richard: Would you work for any of the big three pro wrestling promotions if given the opportunity; WWE, TNA, or ROH?
Kacee: I would. I believe in seizing as many opportunities as you can in life because you never know where it will lead, and you never know when or if it will be presented to you again. It could turn out to be something that, in the end, you are not happy with or is not what you wanted or expected it to be. However just like that old adage says, you never know unless you try. I would much rather take and capitalize on as many different opportunities as I possibly can than find myself having regrets and wondering "what if" years from now. For me personally, I grew up watching the WWE. When I decided all those years ago that wrestling is what I wanted to do in life, my eyes were filled with visions of being in that setting, on that scale and on that stage. I want to go as far in the wrestling business as I can and that includes working for as many companies as I can, including WWE and TNA.
Richard: Do you think female wrestlers as a whole in North America could learn more from Japanese female wrestlers in terms of wrestling style and ability?
Kacee: Of course! There is always something to learn. Always. The beautiful thing about knowledge is that there is no limit on how much you can learn and grow. I can't think of anything bad or negative that would come from wrestlers in North America being exposed to different styles, whether it's from Japan, Mexico, Europe or elsewhere. I believe the moment you put a cap on your learning, and you decide that you are content with what you know, you are putting the last nail in your own coffin. As fast and as much as wrestling changes and goes through phases, as many people as there are to wrestle and as many styles of wrestling as there are, there will forever be something you don't know. I'm a perfect example. Honestly I'm not all that familiar with Japanese wrestling. My only exposure to it when I was young was what I saw in PWI which was a little here and there. But I'm currently in the process of trying to educate myself about it, about the wrestlers in Japan, and study and learn from it as much as I can. Again--there is always something new to learn.
Richard: In October 2012 you became the new NWA Women's World Wrestling Champion, will that title win be the highlight of your career, or will you continue to strive toward bigger and better things in professional wrestling?
Kacee: Winning the NWA Women's World Title is currently the highlight of my career. For my name to be listed among the women who have held the title in the past is an extremely humbling experience, and one that does and forever will hold a special place in my heart, regardless of what else I may accomplish in my career. I feel very fortunate to have the accomplishments I do at this point in time. I'm always striving to better myself, and I'm always looking to grow, so who knows where my career path may lead and what future accomplishments may be waiting.
Richard: Who was the number one female pro wrestler that inspired you to get into the business? if you had one that is?
Kacee: I was inspired primarily by The Fabulous Moolah, Leilani Kai and Sherri Martel. Sherri and Leilani were both still active wrestlers when I began watching wrestling, so I was lucky to have two great women in front of me early on.
Richard: What female wrestler either past or present would you most love to work with in the ring?
Kacee: I would have loved the opportunity to work with Sherri Martel. I've been told over the years that I remind people of her in several ways, which is a huge compliment to me. I would have loved the chance to be in the ring with her, it would have been a thrill. Sadly, of course, it will never happen. I must say though that I'd also love the chance to be in the ring with Leilani as well. I think our styles are alike in ways, too. Of course the fact that both of these ladies were influences on me as a child makes both scenarios that much more special to me.
Fans can follow Kacee on Twitter @KaceeCarlisle, check out her Official Facebook Page, check out her matches on her Official YouTube Channel, and last but not least her Official Website
I want to personally thank Kacee Carlisle for taking the time to speak with me here on Kayfabe Kickout.
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