Over the past year-and-a-half, Sam Leterna has become one of the most notable names in wrestling broadcasting. Whether it be her work with Camp Leapfrog, hosting her own series of interviews on Wrestle Tea, or her countless hours of work as a commentator and backstage interviewer for IWTV, the former wrestler’s transition to behind the microphone has been seamless.
Whether it be her career inside or outside of the ring, Leterna has always been quick to credit her dedication to learning the history of wrestling as fundamental to her success. Given Calgary’s rich history in professional wrestling, I assumed that her moving here to train at the Storm Wrestling Academy wasn’t just an attempt to learn under the guidance of one of the world’s best trainers, but to expand her own historical knowledge of the business itself. I asked her about that as part of our upcoming interview on Love Wrestling.
“[In] any interview you’ve ever done, you’ve talked about how fundamental that’s not only been for you but should be for anybody trying to get into professional wrestling, right? I’d have to assume, but correct me if I’m wrong, that might be one of the biggest reasons you’d want to go and train with Lance Storm after you trained with Johnny Rodz, right?”
“Yeah, definitely,” Leterna agreed. “I think that the person you train with is very important, because especially now, there are good schools and bad schools with good coaches and bad coaches. Lance was one of the good ones, and I’m not even just saying good wrestling-wise and what he brings to training, he’s a good person.”
“To make that sacrifice, because it was a big sacrifice for me, I saved for four to six months about eight to ten thousand just to go to Canada for three months, so I could live the lifestyle of training and doing yoga every day and working out five days a week, and training five hours a day, five days a week with Lance and my peers, I think you have to invest in yourself, whether you’re a broadcaster, or someone looking to get into wrestling. Particularly with wrestlers, it’s pretty sink-or-swim. You should definitely do Lance’s virtual sessions! But yeah, just go with someone who fits who you are, and move if you have to, don’t be afraid to move I’d say, too.”
After sharing some memories of her time in the home of Stampede Wrestling, I asked Leterna about a story I’d heard relating to her last name.
“You also picked something else up in Calgary, but I’ll let you tell the story. What does the name Clara Mortensen mean to you?”
“Ah, okay, okay. You did your research!” Leterna laughed. “Okay. I had been in transition with a wrestling name at that time. Lance was kind of telling us about different reasons to pick different names from different perspectives, like a business perspective, what honors you and who you are, but also allows that to be marketed and I am Hispanic, so I wanted a name that kind of mimicked that.”
“I also had been reading – I forget exactly what it’s called, because I have a horrible memory, but it’s that book about the history of female wrestling with Sasha Banks and Natty on the cover, and Clara Mortensen came up. She called herself The Eternal One. I thought that was just so cool. The goal in that was to be “The Eternal One” Sam Leterna, a wrestler at that time. Now, it doesn’t really matter that much because as a broadcaster, we have our role, and I totally understand that, but the name has stuck and I love it. I think it gives me a little bit of sauce, a little bit of that Hispanic flair that I like to showcase when I can. So yeah, Sam L’eterna, or Leterna.”
Please credit Spencer Love/Love Wrestling with any of the above quotes