Kellyanne’s introduction to pro wrestling came in the form of a videogame. The new Ring of Honor star remembered her brother popping in a WWF game in the Playstation and discovering Lita. The Australian then nine-year-old was hooked.
“It got to the point where I went down every day to the video store because we couldn’t afford cable. I would order all the videos, all the pay-per-views,” she recalled. “My first match I ever saw was Kane and X-Pac vs. the Acolytes.”
A mere four years later a teen Kellyanne told her mom she chose wrestling for a line of work. The single parent was supportive even from the start. The youngster knew what she wanted to do, but not how to get her foot in the door outside of traveling to the United States. That changed when Kellyanne saw a poster on a pole for PCW (Professional Championship Wrestling). Her mom took her to the advertised show, gaining further inspiration.
“I found out about the training, only I was too young. My mom lied for me and pretended I was 16 at the age of 13. I started training. There wasn’t really time I doubted it ever.When I turned 18, I decided to train with Lance Storm,” she said.”That was easily cemented for me I wanted to be a wrestler. This is how I wanted to make a living. Training with Lance completely opened my eyes to the art of wrestling. Before Lance, I wouldn’t say I understand what wrestling was psychology wise. The three months with Lance filled me up with confidence. He really took to me and a few others in that class as well. Out of all the trainers, he is the most special to me. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be as confident as I am in the ring.”
The proud performer is happy to see the scene grow in visibility, especially for women. This thanks to technology and accessibility, as well as the success of the likes of Rhea Ripley, Tenille Dashwood, the IIconics and Indi Hartwell.
“I think for a few years we weren’t on the radar at all. I think England overshined us in that regard. For me, Australia is such an untouched market. The amount of experience and talent in Australia is amazing. For me, my home company MCW (Melbourne City Wrestling), I believe they have the best production. They have run with Progress and done things and have gotten eyes on us,” she said.
“The only thing is being from Australia, for us to have any kind of exposure or make money we have to use our money to travel to Europe and America and everything. So it’s very hard to get eyes on you, especially if you’re not social media savvy. I believe Australia has some of the hardest workers and dedicated workers.”
At the top of the list for Kellyanne is Madison Eagles, who she believes is a pioneer in women’s wrestling.
“If it wasn’t for Madison Eagles, a lot of us wouldn’t have the opportunities we’ve had in Shimmer, Japan and what not. For me, I’ve always idolized Madison,” she said. “I was young compared to everyone, so it was always weird being one of these experienced wrestlers and trying to help out these other girls. But I’m all their age as well. So to see girls like Demi [Bennett] (Rhea Ripley), Indi Hartwell, who I had their first matches with. It makes me proud. Of course, there came a point I felt like when is my time coming. But I feel like everyone has their own path in wrestling. It’s up to you what you want to do with it. I’m really proud of the women. I really think we stuck it to the men in a sense.”
Over the years Kellyanne has continued to fine-tune her in-ring style. Tape is studied of strong technical marvels including Timothy Thatcher. The best advice she received was to wrestle like a man. That and learning if you love something so much, you become good at it. She is looking forward to making her mark once entering the Women of Honor. A chance on a bigger stage is something she has worked for so long.
“When I was 19, I did my first WWE tryout. All I knew at that time was WWE. All I wanted to be was WWE. I went to the tryout. It was one of the most disheartening experiences of my life. They already knew who they wanted to hire. We were just there,” Kellyanne said. “So, we were literally wasting our time. Then after that experience, I was extremely unmotivated with wrestling in general. It was very hard for me to come back from that.
“I started making a name for myself working for Shimmer, going to Europe, training and really enjoying wrestling for what it was and not concentrating on the end goal. I decided at the age of 19 that I didn’t care about WWE. I’m done. I don’t want to do it. I knew that all I wanted to do is be known for being good at wrestling.That’s what I care about. That’s what I love. To be honest, to see what WWE has become today. It’s not the wrestling I fell in love with and why I started wrestling. That was my brush with WWE. I had another small thing where they came down and watched us train. Canyon [Ceman] would fill me up with nice comments, but to no avail.”
She believes Ring of Honor came around at the perfect time, coming off a particularly hard year. Kellyanne was happy watching past opponents find so much success, but also wondered when it would be her turn.
“I felt like I was running along trying to keep up. I’m really bad at social media. I don’t like it. I hate it with a passion. If I wasn’t a wrestler, I wouldn’t have it,” she said. “I know if I did stuff others do I think I would be more well known, but I would be selling out. That [WWE] tryout was bad, but it was a learning experience.”
Ring of Honor, Sundays, 10/9c, Charge! ROH TV episodes are also available via HonorClub, FITE TV and in syndication on Sinclair networks (check local listings). Catch Kellyanne on Ring of Honor’s YouTube channel.
Kellyanne’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.