For the past three months, Kaci Lennox has been training at the D-Von Dudley Academy in Winter Park, Florida as she prepares for both her currently-scheduled bookings as well as (hopefully!) another future appearance on AEW Dark.
Of course, many professional wrestlers of varying levels of skill have attempted to train before, and even less have done so successfully. Everyone is well-versed in Dudley’s accomplishments inside of the squared circle, but what differentiates him as a trainer?
It was something that Lennox was eager to talk about during our recent chat.
“Training with D-Von is incredible,” began the Baltimore native. “And this is – there’s no like, harsh stuff towards anybody else that I trained with. D-Von just – he drills it into your head. He doesn’t just give out a move or a spot to do and then have you do it. And then, if you – I mean, if you do it, great. If you don’t do it, like, he’s not like that. He literally has you do the spot over and over and over again until it’s crisp and clean and, you know, it’s what it’s supposed to be. He’s like that because he doesn’t want us to go up to WWE or AEW or IMPACT or whatever and have a crappy match.
“His name is like – his name is on us. So that’s why he does it, and honestly, I completely respect it. You wouldn’t want somebody using your name and then being a crappy person. I completely understand it, but I definitely love it.”
“It’s really good to learn from D-Von.”
Though he’s certainly one of the leaders of the academy, Dudley is far from the only individual responsible for the school’s success. As with any training facility, there are a number of people involved that Lennox is quick to credit.
“And then we have Dan Carr, who is the muscular endurance trainer, so he blows us up. But, you know, we need that because sometimes we have to go on and do 20, 30, 40, 60-minute matches, so we need that endurance. I love training with D-Von, and everybody’s so supportive. It’s a really big school, it’s continuing to grow. I believe we have – we have over 20 students right now, like 20 new students. So yeah, I’m excited. I should’ve been there a long time ago!”
While her current training may be going swimmingly, those who have listened to some of Lennox’s earlier interviews may recall that her first attempts to step inside the ring were markedly different. However, while she’s quick to agree that her earlier training was perhaps not well-suited for what she needed out of it, she also points out that’s not necessarily anyone’s fault.
“It sounds like it’s very, very – it’s very different than your first experience training when you were 18 with Gillberg’s Academy, hey?” I asked.
“It is,” she responded emphatically. “I’m also gonna preface this with saying that I’m also a different person. At 18 years old training at Gillbergs, I was just so excited to get the ring and get to training. You know, that was my first actual experience with wrestling. Now, fast-forward 10 years, and it’s like, I know a lot more about the inside of wrestling than I did when I was 18. So comparing those two things, it’s kind of hard sometimes, but we definitely did not do half of the stuff that we do at D-Von’s right now. So yeah, I should have definitely came here a long time ago!”
Please credit Spencer Love/Love Wrestling with any of the above quotes used.