Long before becoming one of the most well-decorated wrestlers in the world, Taya Valkyrie was a trainee at the Storm Wrestling Academy in Calgary, Alberta. Not only did La Wera Loca kickstart her career in the province, but as part of her training, appeared on the World of Hurt TV series hosted by both Lance Storm and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
Valkyrie recently joined me to discuss her experience breaking into the business in Alberta, wrestling for the PWA, and her feelings on World of Hurt.
Her memories of working in Alberta
Spencer Love: “We were talking before this, you were genuinely on the first-ever professional wrestling show that I ever went to. (It was) just such a highlight for me (and) something that obviously has been a huge impact on my life, but obviously, you’re the guest! I want to pick your brain: What was your experience like when you were working here in Alberta?”
Taya Valkyrie: “I mean, it’s so crazy to think back on it, (because) it feels like a million lifetimes ago, just because so many things have happened and changed. I’ve just grown up so much over the last almost 10 years in this business. Oh my god, almost ten years! I mean, back then I was just like a wide-eyed, you know, excited, new wrestler. (I was) so green! So green. I mean, I watch some of those old matches. I’m like, ‘Oh my god, what is happening?’ But, I mean, everyone starts somewhere, and Alberta as a whole, I mean I went to the (University of Calgary) when I first graduated high school. I’m born and raised in Victoria, BC, so I spent a lot of time in Calgary and in Edmonton, Alberta as a whole. It’s always – I always think about Alberta with a smile on my face, and it definitely was where Taya Valkyrie was born basically. So, it’s a good feeling to think about. I’m excited to get back there at some point when things kind of start calming down.”
World of Hurt
SL: “One other part I did want to touch on as far as Alberta goes, because going through and doing my research there’s always some stuff that I find that I hadn’t found out before, take me through your experience with World of Hurt?”
TV: “Oh my gosh, you’re really going for it! I was on – for people that don’t know, World of Hurt (was on) for two seasons. When I first did World of Hurt, I think it worked kind of like a, I mean, a wrestling school scenario, quote-unquote ‘reality show,’ and season one was taught by Lance Storm, my actual wrestling coach, and then Season Two was actually with Rowdy Roddy Piper. Season One, I literally had been wrestling probably for about three months when I was on that show. My first-ever match as a professional wrestler was for TV, aka World of Hurt. When everybody looks at that stuff, you’ll be like, ‘holy crap, that was Taya’s first match,’ and I remember we had to do to on that first day and I was petrified, and I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ like, I’ve been a performer and an athlete my whole life, so I’m very much a perfectionist. And I just was – I mean, I had confidence, but I mean, obviously, I was worried that I was not that good at the time.”
SL: “Not quite where you are now.”
TV: “Now, looking back I’m just like, ‘wow, yeah, that was not good,’ but, I mean, it was a huge part of like, how I started, and I love it! And, like, Lance was such a huge part of like my entire career, obviously, having been my first coach and that’s where I met a lot of people that are still, you know, in my life when it comes to professional wrestling and PWA was where I started in Calgary and Edmonton. So, World of Hurt was a lot of fun.”
TV: “The second season, when we did it was Rowdy Roddy Piper, was incredible and crazy and fun as well, and I learned so much from him and getting to have learned from him. I feel like I always say that that month when we were shooting that, he really helped connect me to my character for promos and things like that. I would say that’s probably the most important thing I took away from getting to work with him for a month straight. So, yeah, it was just – it makes me laugh to think about the whole situation. I think it was on like, some channel called the Cave Network or something. I don’t even know if that’s a thing! Like, I don’t even, is that still a thing?”
SL: “I couldn’t even find it on YouTube. It’s on some weird, like, Vista or something like that.”
TV: “Yeah, I think there’s some weird clips on YouTube of it, but it’s quite – if you are a Taya Valkyrie fan, you should watch it just to have a good laugh.”
SL: “Well, for what it’s worth, you weren’t the one that I think a lot of people were laughing at more, but we’ll let people tune in to the show to find out more on that end!”
TV: “YEAH! Okay, I know who you’re talking about!”
Please credit Spencer Love/Love Wrestling with any transcriptions used.