Hello again wrestling fans and welcome back to another stupendous interview here on Kayfabe Kickout. For this interview I had the immense pleasure to speak with a legend in women's professional wrestling and former SHIMMER Champion; Sweet Saraya Knight.
Saraya is a seasoned veteran of the ring and has been destroying her opponents for over two decades. Her family are no strangers to professional wrestling, as her daughter Britani is currently part of the WWE NXT Roster (Paige), her husband is well known UK wrestler Ricky Knight, and as well her sons have entered the business of professional wrestling.
Saraya has an impressive list of championships in her resume, but no question the most impressive is the SHIMMER Championship, which she held for an impressive 383 days.
This year Saraya created Bellatrix Female Warriors, an all women's promotion that has an extremely impressive roster of some of the top female wrestlers from North America and Europe. In March, 2013 Saraya successfully defended the SHIMMER Championship for the very first time on British soil, when she defeated Destiny at Bellatrix 5, in a fantastic match of the year contender.
Saraya is known for her brutal style in the ring, and when her opponents step in the ring to lock with Sweet Saraya, they remember her for quite some time after, because the pain and brutality of her matches stay with them. I spoke with Saraya on her reign as SHIMMER Champion, the state of women's wrestling, her thoughts on The Dynamite Kid 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 Sweet Saraya Knight?
Saraya: I have a really busy work schedule atm, In July alone I am in UK, Canada, USA and Australia with more coming in thick and fast. I love traveling and I have managed most of the world. I also run Bellatrix female Wrestlers which takes up a lot of my time, I want to showcase the girls as I feel the UK and Europe don't really get enough exposure on the international circuit.
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?
Saraya: I think a change is as good as a rest :) The girls nowadays are all dominant in their field, I have been in the job now 23 years and I have seen it go from the old school style of large women dominating the scene to a more fresh approach of girls being more adaptable and knowing more about the job. Believe me there are many out there that are not worth the boots they are wearing. I think, to be honest, it has more to do with the promotion of female wrestling that has catapulted a more acceptable style in the field. Shimmer led the way, bringing in top talents from all over the world, helping the girls to get notoriety. I for one have seen a significant rise in female workers that excel in their work, they are on par with the men now, not there for T + A, given 5 minutes and told to wear string as outfits. There is also a wider scope of females to choose from that can actually work in the ring, confident and athletic, they dominate the scene, I remember years ago there was only a few girls about on the circuit and in the UK it was just me and Klondyke Kate, nowadays there is so much talent it is outstanding. The product is definitely in safe hands.
Richard: Can you tell us how you received your start in the world of professional wrestling?
Saraya: I was a cook at a holiday complex and met my now husband Ricky Knight who was wrestling as part of the Superfly's tag team, he and I fell in love and I wanted to be with him, the only way of doing that was to learn the job. :)
Richard: Your daughter Britani was called up with the WWE, can you share your thoughts on what was going through your mind when you found out she was going to work in the biggest professional wrestling company in the world?
Saraya: You can appreciate I really cannot comment on this other than saying I am extremely proud of my baby girl, and I know she will give it her all to succeed.
Richard: You held the SHIMMER Championship, with an impressive year reign of 383 days, in your opinion which do you think is the bigger accolade, number of championships or length or reigns?
Saraya: Being Shimmer Champion was, to me, a huge show of faith from Dave Prazak as well as One of the biggest belts I have ever held, It doesn't matter the length of time the belt is held, as I feel if its too long its gets predictable and boring, I was just very proud of the belt, I took it everywhere. At 41 years old I never thought it was possible to hold such a prestigious title. I have held numerous titles, so in answer to your question I would say it is all an accolade to be made a champion, for the promoter to feel your worthy of a title match should be a big deal in itself, the length and reign go hand in hand.
Richard: Do you think Women's Professional Wrestlers in North America can benefit to be schooled in the aspects of British Pro Wrestling?
Saraya: Wherever I go, I am asked to do seminars. I think its because Saraya is such an angry, explosive and real character. But I was trained by the best in the UK, in all aspects of the job, and even though I am predominantly tech submission, I am also an actress and I feel this part is lost in various parts of the world. People forget wrestling is as much entertainment as it is sport. So yes, I would love to spend some time teaching in North America, especially locker room etiquette and how to deliver yourself to the public.
Richard: A lot of wrestling fans have mixed opinions on pro wrestlers, both male and female who wrestle well past their forties, do you think older pro wrestlers still have something to offer in the ring?
Saraya: Definitely, I understand that I am in the twilight of my career, but whilst I can still rile the crowd and my entrance music is feared I will keep going. Age is just a number, anyone that knows me personally will vouch that I act about 12 years old lol. I also think that my age adds presence to my character as I have had 23 years to perfect her. Remember with age comes knowledge.
Richard: What female wrestler either past or present would you most love to work with in the ring?
Saraya: I created Saraya from Sherri, Luna and Elizabeth. All 3 women to me were dominant in the chosen field. I have worked Luna but my biggest dream was to wrestle Sherri, but that will never happen. I would have had a damn good scrap with her :)
Richard: When was the exact moment when you decided you wanted to be a professional wrestler?
Saraya: When I met my husband he was touring everywhere, I couldn't spend any time with him, so I decided to join him wrestling, and learn't the trade on the road.
Richard: In addition to your daughter, your sons are also involved in professional wrestling. Did you expect them to follow in your footsteps, or were you against it?
Saraya: I loved the fact that my family were on the road together, we spent so much time together we were also best friends, which is not usual with families. I would encourage my grand children if they showed an interest. It has done well for me and my kids, and I owe wrestling so much, its more than a way of life and I'm glad to be sharing it with my family.
Richard: Who was the number one women's pro wrestler who inspired you to get into the business, if you had one that is?
Saraya: I never had one, my husband was my inspiration, Jimmy Ocean, Johnny Saint etc. I found Sensational Sherri later on, thought she was amazing and was hooked :)
Richard: Which of any of the big three pro wrestling promotions would be your number one choice to work for, if given the opportunity; WWE, TNA, or ROH?
Saraya: Bloody hell lol, well 2 of them I would work for, ROH is more in my sights as I have been chatting with the right people and all looks promising, as for the other 2 I cannot comment, which sucks, but I have to be careful what I say :)
Richard: What are your thoughts on an individual who is from your home country of England, who is arguably the greatest technical wrestler in the past 30 years; the "Dynamite Kid" Tom Billington?
Saraya: He is an absolutely legend, I only know him through my husband who was great friends with him, Rick speaks really highly of him and always states he was an amazing talent. I have watched him, learn't from him and respect him. He has chiseled his way into the alumni of world wrestling. I wish he was treated better now, he is wheel chair bound because of what he gave to wrestling, and now no-one wants to know. It's a shame as I feel he has the legendary status, a term that is loosely used nowadays.
Richard: In your illustrious career you have held numerous titles, in your opinion which title are you the most proud of?
Saraya: The SHIMMER Championship I think, it was a huge shock and especially at my age :) I really loved being the Champion, and will chase the belt till I retire. I also did win the Austrian Ladies Title in the middle of a thunderstorm, outside in a ring with 2 ropes and a vinyl canvass, 7 months after returning from my knee injury. It was against Wesna, it meant the world to me as I thought the knee was career ending. But every title means something to me, I'm proud to represent any company as their Champion.
Fans can follow Saraya Knight on Twitter @SarayaKnight on her Official Facebook Page, and you can check out Bellatrix Female Warriors as Saraya takes on Carmel Jacobs at Bellatrix 6 on June 23rd on iPPV.
I want to personally thank Sweet Saraya Knight for talking the time to speak with me here on Kayfabe Kickout.
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