The following was sent to us:
AEW WRESTLING STAR, KIA STEVENS aka AWESOME KONG FEATURED ON WOMEN’S WRESTLING WEEKLY TALKS ABOUT THE HIT NETFLIX SERIES ‘GLOW’, AEW AND THE FUTURE OF WOMEN’S WRESTLING
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PRESS RELEASE- Los Angeles
Get it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Xlwx887_-ew or download the podcast version on iTunes:https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/womens-pro-wrestling-weekly/id1354335221?mt=2 with highlights below:
KIA STEVENS SHARES HER EXPERIENCE WITH AEW DOUBLE OR NOTHING
Only three people on the Earth knew that I was going to be there. We snuck me into the airport, we were seriously incognito with glasses… People at the check-in desk thought that I was acting ‘super’… We got in, we did the deal. I was nervous and I hadn’t put on the Kong gear in for eons…I hadn’t summoned her.. She’s a real person, Kong is real, hadn’t summoned her in a while. I was in the bathroom… it was a whole process.
KIA STEVENS SHARES HOW AEW HAPPENED FOR HER
My agent, Brian Wittenstein, who’s you know both in the hollywood world and in the wrestling world called and said you know they have this idea. And I’m like, well Yes! I happened to be in Chicago when they did All-In, which is a funny story in itself…. I didn’t know anything about it because I hadn’t been immersed in it, the wrestling world so I was doing StarrCast/Starrcade… and they said everyone is going to the show and I was thinking that it was just some random indie show…I get there and they are at the Sears Center and the production value is out of this world. I’m like, “Wait… I need to be a part of this next time, someone needs to ask me next time”…and they did, I’m glad they did, backstage the harmony is there, people are working, people are getting paid, people are getting medical… People are happy and people want to come in and work hard.
KIA STEVENS TALKS ABOUT TRAINING TO BRING AWESOME KONG BACK
I hyped up my cardio because I felt like I couldn’t go to anybody’s ring because they would figure it out, one person kind of figured it out, by me just asking questions, Why? What are you doing?… I prepared as best I could since it was secret.
AWESOME KONG TALKS ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE WITH GLOW AND THE MOTHER OF ALL MATCHES EPISODE
I almost didn’t read the script because the rumor had been going around that they were doing that the fourth episode was going to be a one-off episode, a special episode and that hardly any of us were going to be in it. And I just assumed, well if it’s not hardly any of us, this is going to like not be me for sure… So when I saw my name on there, Well I’ll take a peak cause I planned a whole trip…. I read it and “Oh, this is something I’m going to need to prepare for,” and every page got me excited and got me teary eyed and even just from the music they chose had me tearing up and misting up. And I was like, “Wow, right on right on for Tammé.”
KIA STEVENS SHARES HOW SHE STARTED AS A WRESTLER AND HER JOURNEY
When I first got into it, of course I had did this reality series called, Extreme Body Challenge, because I had went out for Tough Enough and JR told me that I was big that I would never make it in wrestling. So I decided to after this and lose a little bit of weight and get kind of fit, which I did…. To the point where my first wrestling name was Vixen… I was in my black cat suit. Every female wrestler has to go through her black cat-suit phase and I went through mine.
Then when two months later when they told me they were having a tryout at the Inoki Dojo and I went out for it and I seriously took my first bump eight weeks before that and I was nervous and I was so raw and new they wanted to mold me in the way they wanted me so they didn’t have to deconstruct anything. The only thing is they wanted me to be called “Kong”. I was like, “What, do you know what that means?”
I had to really like think on it and like weigh alot of stuff because all of the connotations to it. I thought, this is an opportunity I will take on this Kong name but I’m going to make it be a name of respect so that when people hear this name they either tremble in fear or they stand up straighter. And I’m going to have to be successful so that I can create other opportunities for other women like me and they won’t have to make this decision…I’m going to be Kong and make it as if I chose that name.. And take it from that mentality, if Josephine Baker can go out there and put up with what she had to put up with and Sammy Davis Jr. had to put up with, what they had to put up with, then I was going, it was my turn to clear the path for the next generation. That’s what I’m trying to do.
KIA STEVENS TALKS ABOUT HER PORTRAYAL OF “WELFARE QUEEN” ON GLOW AND WHAT IT MEANS
No, because the material is so great about taking on these issues. Because these are things that actually happened that, you know, my mom was an actress and the things she would have to play back in the day would break my heart sometimes even though we were so proud of her but it’s like do you know as an actor you either take on this role that is offered to you or starve and never fulfill your dream. And it’s like is someone going to pay you to not take that role, you know, and there’s, this unfair responsibility that is weighted on alot of people of color, you know, that ties into all that double consciousness, that is, that we struggle with…
KIA STEVENS SHARES WHAT FANS CAN EXPECT FROM SEASON 3 OF GLOW
There is some backstage realness going on that’s even extremely relevant to the wrestling world today and just what’s going on in America today, alot of issues, besides the obvious…there’s some tender moments…. There’s one episode where we are like, “This is a comedy, right?”
KIA STEVENS SHARES HOW SHE FEELS ABOUT BEING A PIONEER OF WOMEN’S WRESTLING
I feel like I’m a pioneer to certain generations that like got into wrestling at a point where I was starting off. There were many female pioneers before myself, you know, that have cleared the road for us. We are busy clearing that road… I do feel like I have done my part to keep it going.
KIA STEVENS SHARES WHAT COULD BE NEXT FOR HER WITH AEW
If I say it, it kind of spills the beans. I will tell you this, after AEW happened, I’m like, it might be possible to put together the greatest like female roster ever seen… I just want people to be happy, there are so many unhappy people and I know you can’t please everyone.
KIA STEVENS SHARES WHAT SHE WANTS TO DO FOR THE FUTURE OF WOMEN’S WRESTLING
I want to work with the girls of now. I want to pass on my knowledge and help make someone even more formidable than I was. And just someone who may have it easier, who can get through easier maybe than I did. And get all… just hit the stratosphere and just take the next step and to go a little further than I did. That would make me so happy and to help with that that would leave me extremely fulfilled.