With a solid footing, Echelon plans on making
her name huge in the wrestling world. This all action wrestler from Charlotte, NC is certainly no holds barred. If you mess with her, you risk broken
bones, getting lifted over her head, stomped on and getting taken out by the fearsome "Fatal Error" Spear!. No two ways about it, Echelon has suffered
much for her love of wrestling and in the future she's going to make others suffer more! Currently storming the charts after just 4 months of making
her appearance on www.glorywrestling.com
. The members of www.sportznewz.com
has the pleasure
for you to get to know her in a exclusive interview.
When asked for some personel info on herself Echelon said "I'm a pretty quiet person, I really am. I spend my spare time cooking, reading, dabbling
in architecture, and watching lots & lots of wrestling tapes. I like to spend time with friends, but I'm not much of a partier. I'd much rather sit
around and talk, or play board games, that kind of stuff".
After much deliberation on what to ask Echelon the members of www.sportztawk.com
compiled their own questions.
How did you decide to get involved in wrestling? Was it something you've always wanted to do?
Yeah, it was always one of those dreams, like every kid has. I've been watching wrestling since I was young. The biggest difference is, during that
time, young girls wanted to be Miss Elizabeth. I wanted to be a Bushwhacker. I actually got started pretty late, in wrestling terms. I always viewed
it as just a dream, something I could never really accomplish. When I was 23, I was involved with the (now-defunct) Dudley Boyz official website.
Between the friends I made while working on the site and Bubba & Devon themselves, they encouraged me to give it a shot and see about getting trained.
I was living in Washington, DC at that point, and got talking to one of the schools there. I had a tryout and got accepted to train, and I haven't
looked back since!
A lot of people feel that wrestling is fake what is your opinion on this? Why would poeple call wrestling fake, when there are some serious
injuries taking place all the time?
None of us deny that the matches are pre-determined. That's common knowledge now. But I would not call it fake at all. Rings are made of plywood
laid over steel beams. We don't "fake" fall on that 10-20 times a match. The floor outside is real hardwood or concrete....we really fall on that.
The ring ropes are steel cable, the folding chairs are real....none of that is fake. The injuries aren't fake either. I've broken ribs, my left hand,
my collarbone, my nose three times, dislocated both shoulders, had 5 concussions, hyperextended both elbows, shattered two teeth, and am developing
arthritis in my neck & left hip, just to name a few. Something truly fake wouldn't result in a track list like that! I think the "fake" misnomer is
applied because people don't understand what goes on in the ring. They see someone take a bodyslam, for example, and get back up, and they assume it
doesn't hurt. It does hurt, believe me. Our training has "toughened up" our bodies to an extent, which allows us to take the punishment. Also, a
pro wrestler learns how to "ignore" the pain, to not let it affect you too much. I'll cover that more in the "training" question next.
Is the training intense? How hard do you have to train? Do you eat a special diet to stay in top shape?
There are two types of training to cover here: training to be a wrestler, and physical training.
Training to become a wrestler is the most
intense thing I've ever experienced in my life. I spent nine months learning how to wrestle before I ever appeared in front of a crowd. These nine
months were when most of my injuries happened. It's during this time that one not only learns how to execute moves, but also is severely tested in
their mental strength. If you can't swallow the pain, you will never become a wrestler; if you can't finish a match after dislocating something or
getting your brains scrambled, you won't go anywhere. It's a time of instruction, and also a time to discover who's got the ability to make it. Most
people who begin training never see their first match. A figure I've seen is that 1 person in 10 sucessfully completes training, and I believe that
to be accurate. I've seen a lot of hopefuls step in the ring that first time and never come back. On the flip side, I've seen some get the # knocked
out of them but they shake it off and keep on learning. The ones who don't come back....well, they don't come back. The ones who keep on going,
though...they're the ones who wind up getting to hit people like me with chairs.
Now, physical training is of the utmost importance. You've got
to be in excellent cardiovascular shape, because a simple 10-minute match will find you running, jumping, lifting and throwing constantly. Strength
training (aka weightlifting) is also important, because you're generally throwing around 200+ lb people in the ring. I'm in the gym 3 times a week on
top of any wrestling I do, and when it's warm out I sometimes throw in an extra day or two in the pool. Some spend more time, some less, but 99.9% of
'em do some sort of strength/cardio training on a regular basis.
Nutrition is dependant on the individual. I watch what I eat to a degree, but I'm not obsessive about it. I like me some cake and ice cream and
stuff, don't get me wrong, and I'll never turn down a good burger, but I do keep fried food and McDonald's to a minimum. I eat a LOT of grilled/baked
chicken and a lot of pasta & rice. I've actually gotten pretty good at creating recipes that taste ridiculously sinful but are actually quite low-fat
and high-protein. I've got an okay metabolism, so I can get away with more junk food than some people, but as a general health rule I treat junk food
as a special treat.
What was it like when you had your first match? was you nervous?
I was scared to death!!!
I was up nearly the entire night before, and could barely think straight up until I stepped through the curtain. Once I was out in front of the
crowd, it was like an odd calm came over me. I won my first match, went backstage, and then cried because I was so glad it was over. Five minutes
later I wanted to go back out and do it all again.
How long have you been wrestling for, do you still enjoy it?
I started training in Feb '01, and had my first match in 11/01. There's nothing more in this world I'd rather be doing.
Do you like to work from the ground or air? What is your finishing move? Do you prefer to work singles or tag-team?
I'm strictly ground-based. I have one move even remotely aerial – a sunset flip/powerbomb from the 2nd turnbuckle which I turn in to a Boston Crab.
I call it the "Frog in a Blender." Other than that, my feet stay on terra firma, thankyouverymuch! My finishing move is a Gore-type spear called the
Fatal Error. I love working singles, but have enjoyed the tag matches I've been in. I guess I just prefer to do all the ass-kicking on my own.
Are you currently involved in any feuds? If so, whom with & how did it start.?
I've got this crazy hate-thing going on with Tha Sycho Supastar right now. Our paths didn't really cross too much in the past, but he seemed to take
some offense to me for some reason. He's insane, so no one really knows what the problem was. Regardless, he broke out the Kendo stick and knocked
me out with it, so that's reason enough for me to take notice. He's the MWF's first Triple-Crown winner (Heavyweight, North American & Tag Titles),
so he's no walk in the park. I may have a strength advantage, but he's not afraid to cheat nor is he afraid to beat me senseless with the Kendo
Who are your favorite wrestlers?
Rhyno, Ric Flair, the Dudley Boyz, Victoria, Chris Benoit, Jushin Liger, Harley Race, the Bushwhackers, Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, Sasuke, Hyabusa,
Bull Nakato, Samoa Joe, Jay Briscoe, CM Punk.....ah, I could go on for hours!!!
If you could wrestle anyone from the WWE, who would it be & why?
Rhyno. I think he's one of the most under-rated wrestlers in the WWE today, and our wrestling styles are a bit similar. He's big and mean and tough
as all hell and I love his finisher so much that I do my own version of it.
Who are some of the people who have been an influence on you, your decision to become a pro wrestler, and your wrestling style?
Kind of a broad question, and one that would take forever to answer, I think.
I've had a lot of influence.... everyone from fans to legends. I've had friends who supported & encouraged me from the beginning (my friend and
former webmaster Patrick being one of the loudest!), I've tried to learn from watching people like Race and Flair and Steamboat, and my early
encouragement from Bubba & Devon kept me going through the toughest times during my training. My wrestling style comes from a bunch of people, from
Rhyno to Nakato to Tajiri to Foley. You know, I even take influence from the people who said I'd never make it in this business. From that early
discouragement, I get my current determination and my desire to buck the stereotype of women in wrestling.
What is your favorite thing about being a pro wrestler? What is your least favorite thing?
The fans are my favorite thing. This wouldn't mean crap to me if it weren't for the fans, especially the kids. My least favorite thing would be the
constant pain. I never really stop hurting; getting out of bed is hard more often than not, and I'm usually walking with a slight limp due to
lingering injuries to my right leg.
What has been your most memorable moment in the business thus far?
Every moment is memorable in some way. I think the ones that are most
My Tag Team Title match with Brandon Powers against Chris Williams & Justin Sayne.
My North American Title matches
What do you think of the current state of independent wrestling, women's wrestling in particular?
I think now is a great time to be an independent
wrestler. There are more feds than ever, and most everyone has a chance to make a name for themselves. With the WWE being the only option on
cable/network TV right now and their higher ticket prices, many fans are turning to local shows to get their wrestling fix. That's good for the fans
and good for the wrestlers.Women's wrestling is still going through a change. Women like Molly Holly, Victoria, Jazz, et al are showing the general
wrestling fanbase that not all women get into this business to be T&A and fans are responding to that. I'll be honest, though, it's tough. It's hard
to be in a place where you're sometimes not treated with respect. I'm extremely lucky working with the MWF, because they treat me 100% like a
wrestler and give me every opportunity out there. There are exceptions to the rule. I've gotten some very questionable offers with other companies
who want me to do what amounts to softcore porn. I've gotten offers to do bra & panties matches. That kind of thing isn't the reason I'm in this
As a female, do you feel you are ever treated differently (good or bad) by the promoters or other wrestlers?
I've actually had nothing but good experiences with other wrestlers ... many of them are extremely hesitant to hit me at first, but after wrestling
with me they treat me like they'd treat any wrestler. The promoters can be a different story. I've had a couple bad run-ins with disingenuous bookers
but fortunately that's extremely rare. The norm is with companies like the MWF and WCEW; they're professional and don't view me as anything but a
wrestler. Even if there were things they were hesitant about at first (streetfights, chairshots, things like that), they gave me the chance to fight
how I want to fight and have been nothing but supportive.
What about how it effected your personal life, how many times a week do you have to wrestle? Have you suffered any serious injuries? How have you
How it's affected my personal life .... being a wrestler makes it REALLY
hard to get a date!
The number of times I wrestle really depends on when shows are running. Sometimes I have off weeks where I can rest & heal up, sometimes I get more
offers than there are days in the week to take them. Injuries ... I touched on that towards the beginning of the interview, but to re-iterate: I've
broken ribs, my left hand, my collarbone, my nose three times, dislocated both shoulders, had 5 concussions, hyperextended both elbows, shattered two
teeth, and am developing arthritis in my neck & left hip, just to name a few. I view the shoulders as my most serious because they still affect me.
Most everything else healed up fine, fortunately. The shoulders required some rehab, and I'm still working on getting my strength back. Rest,
stretching, and weightlifting with gradually increasing weight has taken care of most of the problems, but I still have to be careful not to put too
much strain on them.
Is this you full time Job?
Yep, right now it is. I have the luxury to do this full time, but I do plan on getting a day job in the coming months just to make life a little
Finally how do you see yourself in the future as a wrestler?
I've enjoyed watching NWA-TNA grow from being an indy fed to serious competition for the WWE. In the future, I'd like to see the MWF accomplish the
same thing. Everyone in the locker room has a true passion for the business and for the fed itself, and I'm proud to be a part of it. In my ideal
world, I want to continue being a part of it as we grow in numbers and popularity.
We all wish Echelon good luck in her career and to keep on hitting the guy's hard!
Here's where you can find Echelon on the web:
Current Residence: Charlotte, NC
Years Pro: Two (debut 11/01)
Trained By: Wes Capps at Larry Sharpe's Monster Factory - Washington, DC
Finisher: Fatal Error Spear
Signature Moves: Frog in a Blender (2nd rope Sunset Flip into Boston Crab), Smurftoss (Fallaway Samoan Drop), DDT
I was born in Cleveland, OH and moved to the Nation's Capital in 1998. While in DC, I pursued a longtime but little-known dream - to be a
professional wrestler. Every kid has a dream; some want to be a rockstar, or in the NFL, or an astronaut. Well, when I was young, I wanted to be like
I chose Larry Sharpe's Monster Factory because that was the only school I found to be straightforward. The only thing they promised me was that I'd
get hurt, and that they'd try to make a wrestler out of me. After nine months, broken bones, and a couple concussions, I wrestled my first match in
Charlotte with the Millennium Wrestling Federation. I'm still wrestling with them today. In January 2002, I moved to Charlotte to further pursue this
passion that had taken over my life.
The MWF not only helped me improve my in-ring skills 200%, they also taught me how to work in the "old" style - NWA emphasized over WWE. After growing
up watching WWE, training in a more Japanese style, and now working in a predominately old-school Southern style, I've managed to learn how to wear
several hats in the ring depending on the situation. Oh yeah...I wrestle the guys. When I'm not in the ring, you can probably find me in the gym,
reading, watching wrestling tapes, or out & about with my friends.
[Edited on 2/5/04 by TRD]