This is an interview conducted by Louis Velazquez with Beth Phoenix in 2004
Real Name: Beth Phoenix
Ring Name: The Fabulous Firebird Phoenix
Home: Buffalo, NY
Years in Wrestling: 3
Current Affiliations: NeoSpirit Pro (Canada) World Xtreme Wrestling (PA) Far
North Wrestling (PA)
Past Affiliates: Apocalypse Wrestling Federation (Canada) New England
Championship Wrestling (Mass)
Ultimate Goals: I hope to make it to WWE as well as become one of the best
female wrestlers around.
Favorite Color: blue
Favorite music group: Metallica or Limp Bizkit
Favorite Movie: X Men and X Men II
Louis Velazquez: We are here today with one the bright and rising stars on the Indy scene, she went from Amateur to Pro, she hails from Buffalo, NY, she is the “Fabulous Firebird Phoenix” , Phoenix thank you for taking time out for us this month.
Beth Phoenix: You are more than welcome, it’s my pleasure
Louis Velazquez: Well we are glad to have you here, now Phoenix what got you interested in Pro Wrestling?
Beth Phoenix: As the old story goes, I grew up watching wrestling with my grandma. I just got infatuated with it. It influenced my life a lot growing up and a lot of the decisions I made as a young adult. It’s been a very positive influence
in my life and I’ve always felt a calling that I was meant to do this. I didn’t choose wrestling, wrestling chose me.
Louis Velazquez: Thats profound, I know that you were an amateur grappler early on, but stepping in between the ropes is a different feeling in itself, how did it feel for you?
Beth Phoenix: The first time I “stepped into the ring” as a trainee was a lot different from the mats I was used to as an amateur wrestler in high school and with USA Wrestling. I learned respect for the damage that you can do to yourself
in pro wrestling right away. It was a humbling and empowering experience that I still feel every time I go out there.
Louis Velazquez: I’m glad that you said that because most people think that just anyone can step into the ring, its not that easy, Phoenix who came up with your gimmick?
Beth Phoenix: I came up with my own name. It wasn’t so much an influence of Marvel’s popular comic character from the X-Men as it was the symbolism of me leaving my “normal” life behind to start my own journey towards my dreams. The
moniker, Fabulous Firebird is a tribute to my affinity for the world’s most affordable muscle car, the Pontiac Firebird. I don’t like to use the word “gimmick” to describe who I am in the ring because “gimmick” limits you to a one dimensional character. I feel that my character is uniquely versatile and allows me to be more than just an angry female…it allows me to fit and adapt to each situation, each match in a way that you might not expect.
Louis Velazquez: Was that the first Moniker that you used or were there others?
Beth Phoenix: I’ve been Phoenix since the beginning.
Louis Velazquez: Consistency, that’s the only thing that allows you to gain a following. What promotions did you work for and who are you affiliated with currently?
Beth Phoenix: I’m affiliated with many promotions, however, I have put a focus lately on WXW, run by Afa the Wild Samoan because I believe that they put out a great product. In addition, they have a tremendous ladies roster. I haven’t found another promotion yet with that many solid lady wrestlers.
Louis Velazquez: Well Afa has been around for a long time so if anyone knows this business it’s him, so what else do you do beyond wrestling?, what are your hobbies?
Beth Phoenix: I have to spend a lot of time in the gym not only for the physical benefits but for my mental health as well. Nothing can relieve stress better than lifting weights. My other hobbies include piano and painting. I grew up a very bored little kid and as a result spent a lot of time practicing piano and painting portraits.
Louis Velazquez: I agree, hitting the weights and cardio is the best stress relief. Do you see yourself eventually making it to the corporate structure of the wrestling world, namely the WWE? Or are you content where you are now?
Beth Phoenix: I don’t know many Indy wrestlers that would put their bodies through such incredible abuse without a hope of someday making a living out of it. I love wrestling at every level and I think that indy wrestling has a lot to
offer in the form of a different product than WWE. However, my goals are straight forward. I started wrestling to reach my goal of earning a job with WWE. I won’t be satisfied until I achieve that goal for myself.
Louis Velazquez: I don’t doubt you and I’m sure that you will reach your goals, you have too much drive not to. Most people that get involved with wrestling have other aspirations, do you see yourself going into acting in the future?
Beth Phoenix: I think that wrestling incorporates acting into its product quite a bit now. In order to succeed in modern wrestling, you have to be able to act. Acting away from wrestling? I wouldn’t pursue it, but if I was offered something, I would certainly try it. In wrestling the more mainstream notoriety you gain, the better for your wrestling career. If it would help me get farther in wrestling, I’d definitely do it.
Louis Velazquez: Well it definitely wouldn’t hurt, its good that you are keeping your doors open just in case. Let me ask your opinion on this topic, over the last decade pro wrestling has changed, the envelope is constantly being pushed which is forcing today’s workers to perform more extreme moves, what are your feelings on this?
Beth Phoenix: I don’t think today’s workers are being “forced” to do anything. I think that more cruiserweights are in wrestling now and a “cruiserweight style” has definitely saturated the wrestling world. Smaller guys feel the pressure to do these moves because they can’t always make themselves seen (make a name for themselves) by their builds. They have to do something to attract attention to themselves, and high-risk definitely does that. There is a great audience for this new style of wrestling which has a tremendous Mexican and Japanese influence. I think that it’s wonderful because it’s
opened up the doors for smaller guys to become as successful as the dinosaur-sized wrestlers that once dominated the wrestling market.
Louis Velazquez: You hit it on the head, and you know something, that’s exactly what it is. Do you feel that the Indy scene is starting to develop more of a following nowadays, especially with only one major promotion in Wrestling?
Beth Phoenix:Absolutely. The Indy scene is becoming more popular because, simply, it provides an alternative to WWE which has a monopoly on wrestling. I don’t think that Indy wrestling will ever draw fans AWAY from WWE, but I think it
supplements WWE. The Indys get fans to see the rising stars of tomorrow for a more modest price. In addition, their local Indy may run once or even more a month while WWE comes to town once or twice a year.
Louis Velazquez: That is very true, If you can change anything about wrestling what would it be?
Beth Phoenix: I would like to see wrestlers, at least on the Indy level, treated better by some promoters. I had a bad experience with a promotion where I ended up being hurt badly after a hardcore match. I needed to go to the emergency room badly and this nameless promoter did not offer to even show me where the hospital was. To make a long story short, I’m lucky that I had a couple of friends to help me get fixed up otherwise I would’ve been bleeding my way all around town looking for a hospital. Stuff like that shouldn’t go on. We’re all in this together. But…for every bad egg promoter, there are many professional, caring guys running wrestling shows out there. It would be nice for others to not have to go through bad experiences like that.
Louis Velazquez: Phoenix, yes there are a lot of promoters that can care less about the workers, I agree with you but I know this that there are promoters out there that used to care and because there are Indy workers and “Names” that take advantage they have to put their guard up, so on that note, it’s all about Causality, every action has a reaction and every cause has an effect. Should it be that way, no it shouldn’t, I am not defending those shameless promoters out there that suck the blood out of their workers and leave them out to dry, don’t get me wrong, I am just saying that even the good promoters can get pushed to the point when dealing with 20 or 30 different personalities at one time.
Phoenix, we are going to change the tempo a tad bit and stray off the Pro Wrestling path, tell us more about the real you, your likes, dislikes, your ultimate goals in life both business and personal.
Beth Phoenix: My ultimate goal in life, which really hasn’t changed much at all, is to never have any “What If’s” in my life. I want to taste everything, try different things, see different places and never wonder why I didn’t just give something a try. I don’t rate my success in life on a money scale. I rate my success on the wealth that I’ve acquired by keeping an open mind.
Louis Velazquez: Great way to live, no regrets, good for you. Tell us about your training routine, how often do you lift weights? How often do you get ring time?
Beth Phoenix:I train 5 days a week on a 4 day split. I’ve always been a fan of lifting weights. It’s helped me keep a lot of weight on my upper body to give me a strength edge over most other girls. My split goes: Day 1: Chest & Triceps, Day 2: Back & Biceps, Day 3: Legs Day 4: Shoulders with 40 minutes of cardio and abs on each day. Day 5 is usually a cardio session in the ring or running. I get in the ring at least twice a week for some mat wrestling and learning. Luckily I live near my trainers, the All Knighters so I really got my money’s worth with their training. They’ve been working
with me for over 3 years in addition to my work with Squared Circle Training in Toronto. I learn something new every time I get in that ring.
Louis Velazquez: Intense, but that is what makes you who you are. If you had to pick one person, who would you say that you pattern yourself after?
Beth Phoenix: I’ve probably patterned myself after Owen Hart to start with because he was the guy I watched intently growing up. However, I’ve tried very hard to develop a style all my own. I liked Owen’s style and grace. He was really a natural and I work very hard to achieve that “look of effortlessness”.
Louis Velazquez: Owen was a great wrestler and person, Its good to hear that. Phoenix now we are at the end of the road, and I have to thank you for this insightful and well done Q&A session, you are an intelligent and lovely woman and I know that with your drive and outlook on life there is no way that you can fail, now do you have any inspirational words or stories to share with your devoted fans?
Beth Phoenix: Someone once said something to me that I carry around everywhere I go, and I’d love to pass this along to others…
“Do today what most men won’t so tomorrow you can do, what most men can’t.”
Louis Velazquez: So true, good guide to live by, Phoenix, that you again, this has been a great interview and we will follow up with you in the coming months and recap on your bright future in wrestling.
Little did I know at the time that Phoenix would become a big name in the WWE and ultimately become a member of the WWE Hall of Fame but I had a good feeling it would be big, this is why I enjoy spotlighting those talents that no one is paying attention to yet but they have that special something just like Phoenix did.
— Beth Copeland (@TheBethPhoenix) October 20, 2017