Franky Monet has revealed that she fought “really hard” to keep her old ‘Taya Valkyrie’ ring name upon signing with NXT.
Monet had performed under the ‘Taya Valkyrie’ name for almost a decade, before signing with WWE in February 2021.
The former IMPACT Knockouts Champion also starred for AAA and Lucha Underground before joining NXT. Following her signing in February, vignettes began appearing to hype the arrival of ‘Franky Monet’ at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver.
Appearing on the Wrestling Inc Daily with Nick Hausman, Monet addressed her name change. The NXT Superstar explained that while she fought to keep her old alias, it was also time for a change.
“I fought really hard for Taya, but sometimes, it’s time to evolve, and change and kind of make this new chapter in my career, and I feel like this was the time for it,” Monet admitted. “It was a little bit sad at first because I felt like she died, but she’s always a part of me. Franky is an evolution of Taya, definitely. Anybody who knows my career knows that this is just a natural transition into Franky Monet.
“The creative team allows us to come up with a bunch of names, and it’s kind of just going back and forth. It’s like naming a baby. You’re gonna be remembering and being associated with this name for the rest of your life, so it has to be something that you really, really like, and so we went back and forth with different names. ‘Franky’, I’ve always liked for a girl…”
Monet continued, revealing where the inspiration for the name came from. Citing her experiences as a child as a key influence.
“I just really, really liked the name. I remember hearing the name for the first time in a movie, Stigmata. That was the first time I ever heard a girl being called Franky, and I remember many many, many years ago when I heard it, I thought it was really really cute. And Monet actually comes from the French artist. My dad is from Switzerland, so when we would travel to Europe a lot as a kid, we would always go to the art exhibits all over Europe.
“And I just always remember the Monet paintings and Salvador Dali exhibits, and so I thought it was important to have something artistic as part of my name because I do feel I am an artist and what I do every week is art, and self expression, and sports entertainment and all these wonderful things. I felt that was just a nod to my life being brought up around the arts.”
The Franky Monet character is vastly different to that of her previous persona. Something Monet is keen to express, adding that she’s excited to evolve the character even further.
“She’s just so much more extra than Taya,” Monet said. “Now she has a Presley with her. Come on, it’s great. My dog gets to come to work with me every day, and he’s been doing an excellent job. He’s just the crowd favorite. To be fair, he’s probably stealing all the scenes from me. She’s just that much more intense and that much more crazy, and we haven’t even gotten to see any of that yet.
“I’m excited for this natural evolution into Franky Monet to evolve in front of all of you because you guys are experiencing it at the same time as I am, and I’m so happy that Triple H, and Shawn Michaels, and Road Dogg and the entire creative team have really been so open minded and accepting of my ideas, and really allowing me to be creative in expressing who I think Frankie is in my own way and being supportive.
“Sometimes, I come up with some really crazy stuff, but that’s part of it. I’m constantly taking notes, and watching movies and finding pop culture references. I’m constantly thinking. Franky is in my head 24 hours a day, and I am so happy that I have such a wonderful place like NXT to be growing in front of you all as fans and for myself.”
Franky Monet made her NXT television debut on the April 13th episode of the black and gold brand, before competing in the ring for the first time a couple of weeks later.
Following her debut, there was some unfavourable reaction online to star’s new ring name. Monet quickly fired back, saying that she loved the name, explaining that she’d chosen it.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.