It was April 24 when Kellyanne thought she would realize a dream of wrestling in the famed ECW Arena as part of the Ring of Honor Quest for Gold tournament. Thanks to a global pandemic the 26-year-old's Women of Honor debut was put on hold for the foreseeable future.
"For me, when something good happens I know something bad will happen. It's just how it is with my life," she said from her home in Australia. "I was almost not surprised that I didn't get to go.I was obviously devastated because this was my chance to show the world what I could do. Thirteen years of training. I haven't been on the big stage of anything. This was it."
With ROH making the difficult decision to cease holding events and TV tapings, the company continued to create content. The newcomer was grateful for being able to still contribute in this way. It has been a creative outlet.
"This is my first break from wrestling. I've never had one. I've been pretty much working every weekend. This has really tested me. I think the opportunity Ring of Honor has given me to create my own content online has been probably the best thing ever because it has given me a chance to build myself up before my debut," Kellyanne said.
"The crowd can get to know me and see what I'm about. I'm enjoying it. I love poking fun. Us wrestlers take ourselves seriously sometimes. I understand at the moment social media is all we have, but a lot of wrestlers put everything out there. Everything of their true selves. When I got into wrestling, I loved the characters. I loved the mystery. I didn't know what Kane's real name was. When I found out it was Glenn Jacobs, I was upset. When I found out Christian and Edge weren't brothers in real life, that upset me. I want to keep that magic alive. That is what I want to do. If I can do that with Ring of Honor and make a name for myself doing that, I think it's the perfect opportunity. As much as it has been horrible to not be able to wrestle it has given me a completely different outlet for my character."
Kellyanne says where she lives in Australia is under a "Stage 4 lockdown." For her, that means being able to leave the house once per day for an hour and only five kilometers away. Though as a hardcore gamer, staying home is nothing out of the ordinary in many ways. Kellyanne has also been interacting with fans on social media and through ROH's recent "Ask Me Anything."
"As you can imagine with me being female that my inbox has a lot of strange requests," she said. " A few I can't say. The questions themselves. I haven't run into anything too strange. I'm hoping they start asking me questions that aren't wrestling related. I'd love that. I like to have fun with them. I don't like to answer them properly if you haven't noticed. No one actually knows me. That's what I love about it."
Coming off the news of Ring of Honor producing traditional programming again and putting new protocols in place, Kellyanne believes the company has handled the pandemic well. Her new place of work has remained connected with her.
"They are in constant contact. They are constantly giving us opportunities for content online. I know they are working out shows they can do over there. As for us being from another country, it's all up to the government. That's it. It all depends on our visas and everything," she said.
"I thought for a second, 'The virus is going to take us out. They aren't going to want to bother with me from Australia.' But they've really made me feel like a part of the team without meeting any of them. They've been fantastic. I know there are other companies that have completely not posted anything or want anything to do with it. I understand that because it's hard putting anything out, but I think they really have made the most of this opportunity. From what I understand, there is a lot more to come from it. They have been taking care of us, so I can't complain."
After ROH comes back to somewhat regular operation, the Women of Honor is no doubt in a rebuilding phase with a champion to be crowned. For Kellyanne, the roster has big shoes to fill looking at the past.
"When I first started, Sara Del Ray was my idol for a long time," she said. "I remember watching her and Kana (Asuka). I would say they grappled for the majority of the time. They were always in contact. That was the first time I saw a female really wrestle. If i can fill those footsteps and try to become something like her, that's my goal. Ring of Honor is the stage to do it."
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.