Ahead of IMPACT Wrestling’s Hard To Kill pay-per-view on 8 January, airing live on FITE TV, Inside The Ropes’ Adam Morrison caught up with Rosemary, who’ll compete in the inaugural knockouts Ultimate X match at the event.
Rosemary discussed the details behind this match’s history and importance, wrestling with mental health, how crucial the late Daffney was to both Rosemary and numerous others, and the potential return of Taya Valkyrie to IMPACT Wrestling in the new year.
Hey, Rosemary, Adam here for Inside The Ropes today. How are you doing?
“I’m doing good, how are you today?”
I’m doing well, very pleased to have you on today. I’d like to ask first about Taya Valkyrie. Her prison sentence ended last month. She got let go, she got arrested for attempting to murder John E. Bravo. Maybe a year for trying to kill someone isn’t enough, but it is what it is.
“It’s the standard, is it not?” [laughs]
Maybe in America, I’m not too sure about over here [laughs]. But yeah, what would it mean for you if she came back to IMPACT, little tag team reunion, get her in Decay, why not?
“Well, we did hear a rumbling about her getting out of prison. We haven’t looked too far into it because we don’t know what her intentions are. If you keep in mind, that attempted murder that she got arrested for, that did foil an awful lot of our plans, and even she did it with good intentions, she still delayed our getting of the virginal blood of that stupid John E. Bravo.
So, really, if she comes back, she’s coming back and she’s gonna have to answer to us for ruining our plans, let alone this human, murder, all these laws, whatever. She has to answer to us now and if she wants to come back here, she’s going to realise we’ve been hashtagging #NoMoreHumans for a reason.”
Great stuff! Just moving on to a bit of a more sombre note; mental health, especially over the past year and a half, has been at the top of everyone’s minds because of everything that’s been happening, you know, IMPACT are part of this Tag Me In campaign. How important is this, to speak about mental health and be so open about it?
“Absolutely 100% important! There’s so many different ways that everyone reacts to different situations, no two humans are the same as we’ve noticed, just the same as us. We don’t react the same way. When we were injured in 2018, there was a long spell of depression that went through the head. It was nothing to do with physical recovery, but before our knee could recover and get healthy again, we had to address the sickness in here [points to her head] before we could address the physical. It is so much more difficult to recover from because there is no set guide, there is no set ABC, there’s no surgery for depression or anxiety or anything like that.
So, what the Tag Me In campaign is, is a collective of wrestlers and everyone coming together to recognise that mental health is so important and to reach out and to be able to talk because talking and getting all of these issues and all of these feelings… if they’re bottled up, it just becomes poison and sickness inside. That is what ends up costing us several people taking their own lives, or ending up in a situation where they are beyond help. We want to talk to you before it gets to that point.
The Tag Me In [campaign] has been reach out, talk to somebody. It’s all about just acknowledging that we’re all different. Everyone needs something different, different helps, perhaps more help in this situation in your life, or just because we’re struggling doesn’t mean we can’t help out someone else. Being able to talk to them can help each other as well. It’s all this system of being able to heal together and that you’re not alone. What it will tell you is that you are alone, and it’s lying.”
It’s a great campaign because it’s all of these people from different companies coming together for one reason, and it’s great to see. Obviously, a couple of months ago, we sadly lost Daffney. I always look at her as one of the pioneers of the [knockouts] division, back in 2009, the stuff she was doing with Taylor Wilde in Monster’s Ball was great. There’s a lot of similarities between yourself and Daffney, so how important has she been to your career?
“Daffney was a wonderful, close, beautiful friend, and a beautiful soul. To be able to pick her brain and to recognise different techniques that she put forward… without Daffney in TNA, there is no Rosemary in IMPACT Wrestling, to be perfectly flat out. Without Daffney and without Roxxi Laveaux, without characters that set the precadent and paved the way for dark characters to be accepted, for the Su Yungs and the Rosemarys and the Havoks of IMPACT Wrestling now, we had to have them before.
She was absolutely a game-changer and a pioneer, but she was also suffering. That comes from a time when people didn’t talk about things and it wasn’t as common, but we’re trying to break that stigma. Daffney’s suicide had to do with the final straw.
Coming out with the Tag Me In campaign, on top of that, Ashley Massarro and Hana Kimura and countless others that we’ve lost over the years. Enough is enough. Now is the time we talk about it and we help each other through this because, quite frankly, let’s not lose anymore.”
Just to move on to a bit of a happier note… Wrestle House 2. That was… that was something.
“It was something!” [laughs]
What was that process like? Because last time, you know, it was only a couple of segments a week, but this time it was a full episode of IMPACT.
“Yes, it was an episode, essentially a miniature movie, was it not?” [laughs]
It was great because you had guys like Chris Sabin mixing it up with Kaleb, and then you had Decay teaming with Sabin in this weird ten-person tag, it was strange.
“Strange?! It was a dream come true for us! Chris Sabin is one of the reasons we trained to go to TNA.”
His slow-motion walking was one of the best parts! Then it led to Johnny Swinger, John E. Bravo, and all that at the end, it was a rollercoaster, to be quite honest. So just how was that process? To film it all and make it different to the first Wrestle House.
“It definitely felt smoother. Watching the first Wrestle House and having to wait week for week for week for like a little segment, we felt like we wanted more from each segment. We wanted to know more, we knew there was more coming, we knew there was more excitement. When you’re in the mood to watch something a little bit more silly, then serious won’t quite cut it.
So even though a wrestling show perhaps is meant to be, as they say, a three-ring circus, to have something for everybody, it almost felt like this could be something so special because it did have wrestling involved in it as well, but it could have been its own thing.
So with Wrestle House 2 becoming the entire episode, that was really what it could have been all along, to be able to have this wonderful, perfect integration… it was essentially a comedy film that also had some action points as well, and some serious drama moments and a little bit more of manipulation of humans. [laughs] As we do best.”
So as I said, there was a lot of different characters, there was Chris Sabin, Kaleb, yourself, the rest of Decay, it was just great to see all these different personalities come together. It’s not often we get to see that.
“Yes! That was the wonderful thing about Wrestle House 1, that it gave so many people a voice who didn’t always necessarily have a voice on weekly television. Take Alisha Edwards, for example, look where she’s gone since Wrestle House 1, to Swinger’s Palace, to doing hardcore matches, to just really breaking out and showing everyone what she’s capable of. Did she get that without Wrestle House, without the fans learning who Alisha Edwards was? Possibly not, but she always deserved it and that was the platform she needed.”
IMPACT has such a diverse roster that it’s almost like the New Generation, going back to the early ’90s, you’ve got so much different characters and that’s what works. People aren’t just the same, they’re not doing flips and that’s their whole character, there’s more to it, so what’s it like working with such a motivated locker room, with all these different personalities, to create the IMPACT product we see today? Because it feels like everyone wants to have IMPACT at the top of the food chain, if you will.
“There’s always been this very strong, defiant feeling in the IMPACT locker room. You still get the stigma, you still get the LOLTNA, and the, “Oh, IMPACT Wrestling’s still alive?”. [mockingly laughs] You’re not clever, humans. Yes, we’re still alive, and we are still fighting, and we all still very much love being the little rapscallions that won’t die, the little island of misfit toys that isn’t going anywhere. We’re the little company that was supposed to be a sinking ship and has now lasted longer than WCW, for your information. [laughs]
So, yes! IMPACT Wrestling has always had this very strong mentality of, “Let’s go out and prove it to them”. They can talk all the s**t that they want, but they’re wrong, and we know that they’re wrong. We know that we’re a strong roster, and we know that we go out there and perform night in and night out. We are a very diverse roster of characters, as well as being talented in the ring as well. Honestly, for our money, nobody can match our roster.”
I’d agree, personality over wrestling any day I would say. That’s going to be out the window this Saturday, though. Throwback Throwdown. IPWF. The first one was a hoot, you had Johnny Swinger, Jazzy Fitbody, we’ve got Sex Ferguson this time, but what can we expect from Decay on Saturday?
“Well, okay… we’ll be straight with you, this is a weekend for “The Demon Assassin” to sit back and watch all the adventures that the little humans get into. We are taking a break this weekend, we’ve got Ultimate X coming up in January, we don’t need to be putting any more strain on our body. But IPWF is something that we very much enjoy, we usually have a very high comedy tolerance, and this is something that we want to sit back and enjoy and watch. The Jazzy Fitbodys of the world, the Rip Rayzers, the Bill Dings, all of these wonderful characters that show up on IPWF, this is a wonderful night to just sit back and relax and enjoy.”
You mentioned there, Ultimate X. First-ever knockouts Ultimate X match. IMPACT has always been very progressive with the knockouts division. When did you first hear about this and how excited were you?
“It’s been something. We saw somebody post about it recently, but this is something that we have been trying to plant the seeds for all the way back in 2017. We have had several knockouts over the years express interest in being in Ultimate X. 2017, who was there? It was us and Chelsea [Green] and Allie and Sienna and several other girls that would have possibly shown interest in this. So, in 2017, we were already planting the seeds in that, planting the seeds that the girls could do this, that the girls could try this.
The knockouts have had Monster’s Ball, the knockouts have had Full Metal Mayhem, the knockouts have had Six Sides of Steel, several different iconic TNA/IMPACT matches, but the Ultimate X… when people think of TNA, what they really pioneered, the Ultimate X is what a lot of people saw first and sold them on that.
So for there now to be a knockouts Ultimate X, this is massive because there’s not a lot left for firsts in professional wrestling, but this specifically, this particular match that we have wanted for almost our entire tenure here in IMPACT, and we get to be a part of it? Yes, absolutely we are going to put on a show at Hard To Kill, and prove that the knockouts deserve this match.
Thank you to Rosemary for taking the time to chat to us and thank you to IMPACT UK for facilitating the chat. IMPACT Wrestling Hard To Kill 2022, airing live on FITE TV, takes place on Saturday, 8 January at 8pm EST, which is 1am on Sunday, 9 January for UK viewers. Additionally, a Countdown to Hard To Kill special should begin around 7pm EST (midnight for those in the UK).