By: Nikki Van Blair
Diary of a Diva: Different Strokes
Hey beauties! It’s everyone’s favourite Queen Bee, Blonde Bombshell, and Real Housewife of Australian Professional Wrestling, Nikki Van Blair here! And I’m gracing you with yet another enthralling edition of Diary of a Diva.
Before I entered this crazy world of professional wrestling, my athletic background was predominantly in dance. Starting in contemporary and jazz and eventually moving into the more risque side of pole dancing and burlesque, each style of dance I encountered always had the same mantra: respect everyone’s journeys, because no one shares the same path.
Essentially, someone may have been a dancer their entire life, or someone may have picked up a pair of tap shoes last week and decided to give it a go, and both of these people deserve the same amount of respect and shouldn’t be treated any differently because of their varying journeys.
I think the same mantra definitely applies to wrestling.
I was the fairly typical story of someone who grew up watching wrestling and aspired to become a wrestler (Diva specifically) when they grew older. However, I have met some wonderful people throughout my career who only started watching wrestling three or four years ago, or who had never watched it and only attended a tryout to keep a friend company (love you Cherry!)
Of course, we should respect each other’s journeys into wrestling, but we should also respect everyone’s goals, aspirations, and inspirations.
Nowadays, I don’t shy away from the fact that my main interest in wrestling was the Divas. While my brothers would anxiously anticipate the main event stylings of The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, my glittery ass would jump out of the seat watching The Kat defending her Women’s Championship in a pool of chocolate pudding. I proudly admit this fact, both in person and all across my social medias. However, this wasn’t always the case.
I recall mentioning to a fellow trainee when I first began my journey in 2017 that my all-time favourite wrestler was Sable, and I distinctly remember his reaction. He snickered, and said “Is she even a wrestler?” Even prior to this, I experienced other fans questioning my love for wrestling because how could I be a wrestling fan if I didn’t appreciate “true” wrestling? These interactions made me hide my true inspiration, and I had even come up with a “socially acceptable” answer if someone asked me for my favourite match.
But really, at the end of the day, who cares what led someone to the dance? I don’t care if your favourite wrestler is The Undertaker, Tetsuya Naito, or Stacy Keibler. If you respect our craft and our business, train regularly to keep others safe, and you perform to the best of your ability to entertain the paying fans, then that’s all I care about.
Further to this, I acknowledge that everyone has different goals or purposes for becoming a wrestler. I know people whose sole goal is to get signed by WWE; I know people who do this for fitness; and I know people who do this as a hobby, and their goal in life is to further their regular 9-5 career.
Everyone’s journey is going to be different, regardless of if you have the same goal or destination in mind, and I think that wrestlers and wrestling fans alike need to be mindful of that little mantra that has followed me since my first ever chassé-dèveloppé-arabesque. Because as they say, different strokes for different folks.
And for the record, to me, true wrestling is watching two or more wrestlers tell a story with their match. See: Trish Stratus and Lita vs. Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler at Invasion.