Franky Monet has revealed it was catching the attention of Shad Gaspard in a bar that set her on the path to becoming a wrestler and eventually joining NXT.
Prior to entering the wrestling business Monet [formerly known as Taya Valkyrie] was a regular on the fitness circuit. Monet would take part in body-building competitions and model for fitness magazines. It was a chance encounter however at a bar Monet worked at that changed her life forever.
Speaking on the Mint Condition Muscle podcast, Monet explained:
“Right before the CBBF Nationals, which I won, I was bartending and Shad Gaspard and others were in town for Raw. They came into the bar and I was serving them all night. We had wrestling theme night and I was dressed as a female John Cena. Shad was like, ‘You look like you could be a wrestler.’ ‘Oh my god, I totally want to be a wrestler.’ I was jacked. He wanted my information to pass it on.”
“The next day, I told him I worked at a gym. [Shad], JTG, and some guys came to the gym to work out. I gave him an envelope with bad-quality 8×10 fitness photos. A few weeks later, WWE called me. There was contact and Shad was the one who did it. After the Arnold, which was six months later, they contacted me again.”
“My first tryout with WWE was right after I competed in the Arnold Amateur. I had no real wrestling background, but they contacted me and invited me to a tryout. After the tryout, I found Lance [Storm].”
Monet went on to train with Storm at his Storm Wrestling Academy in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Fellow wrestling stars such as Rachael Ellering, Chelsea Green, and Dominik Mysterio are all graduates of the SWA.
Monet competed for AAA in Mexico, Lucha Underground, and IMPACT Wrestling before signing with NXT. The longest reigning Knockouts Champion in history made her debut as Franky Monet on the 13th of April edition of NXT.