Last month, I got a chance to chat with IMPACT and indie wrestling star, Jordynne Grace. We talk everything from All In to DM’s to what she keeps in her fanny pack.
Let’s start with a major moment from last year for you – you were a part of All In. You were already well-known, but it feels like just that one appearance took everything to another level. How have things changed since you were first announced?
My life changed after All In. I was getting booked a lot more, I was contacted by IMPACT. Things just really picked up for me when I was announced, especially after I was on the show.
2018 has come to a close, so what do you think was your best match of the year, and what was your favourite match of the year that you weren’t a part of?
Jon (Jonathan Gresham) had this amazing match against Pete Dunne and Trent Seven teaming with Chris Brookes for Beyond Wrestling. It was the match with them all kissing which you might of seen. That was so entertaining, and they actually said I could have been a part of it, they said I should have come out and been like, “What the hell?!” when I saw them all kissing.
My favourite matches of the year: I wrestled Viper in February, loved that match. I wrestled Tessa for Warrior Wrestling a few months ago, loved that match. The All In Battle Royal obviously, the best battle royal I’ve ever been in. That was just so well booked, Battle Royals are usually clusterfucks, but that match everyone was just on it, probably because it was All In.
I’m not the only one who’s said this, but it’s probably the best battle royal of the last ten years.
Yeah, right?! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who thinks that! Because I was in it I’m bias, but I just thought it was so good.
For me, I think the best thing about All In was the impact it had on people’s careers, like you, Marko Stunt, Penelope Ford, and others.
Yeah, I think All In is the show that made me fall in love with wrestling again.
Recently you signed with IMPACT Wrestling. How did that come about and how has the experience been so far?
I don’t really know how it came about. I don’t know who in the office liked my work, but I got contacted on Twitter actually, which is another reason I like to keep my DM’s open, and that’s where I was offered a contract, through a Twitter DM.
It’s been really fun so far, I like the locker room there, a lot of the people I already know so it’s really nice.
You’ve wrestled Toni Storm twice this weekend, yesterday for the fantastic ProWrestlingEVE (highly recommend everyone check them out), and today was PROGRESS. Now obviously Toni is not somebody you would be able to wrestle in IMPACT, so how much do you enjoy the fact you work for a major company that gives you the freedom to work for other promotions?
That’s pretty much the best thing about working for IMPACT: you get to work for almost anyone else besides WWE and ROH.
I think it’s inevitable at some point down the line you will challenge for the Knockouts Championship, which will no doubt be a great match, but if you could bring anybody in to IMPACT to wrestle one match with to show off just how good you are, who would it be?
Before Tessa was signed, I used to tell people I think she’s really the best women’s wrestler in the world, but now she’s already here, I think my ex tag team partner Lu Fisto would be incredible to bring in.
You started wrestling when you were only 15 years old. What led to you being so passionate about pro wrestling that you were willing to get in the ring yourself at a young age?
I think that as a kid I didn’t really know who I was. Wrestling gave me a bit of an identity, I really think that’s what led me to start pro wrestling. I’ve been doing it a quarter of my life now so I’d say it’s really shaped who I am and instilled a lot of discipline in me.
Your nickname is Thick Momma Pump, a play on Big Poppa Pump. We know you can lift like Scott Steiner, but can you do maths like him?
I’m actually really good at maths, so unfortunately for all the people that would like to see me cut a promo and be extremely bad at math, I can’t do that!
But Scott Steiner’s really good at maths! That’s the point, he’s on a level we can’t even comprehend!
Oh…yeah… we can’t even fathom how good he is at maths.
You’ve received thousands of strange messages over the years. Can you tell me about one of the strangest DM’s you ever received?
Oh my god, you’re making me narrow it down to one? Do you know how difficult that is?… A recent one was after I tweeted out if you want to see one of the weirdest DM’s I’ve ever received send a dollar through PayPal, which I was completely joking about but people actually started sending me money. This DM that I got was just a guy completely naked working out in a gym – he sent me a collage of pictures he made of himself doing squats, jumping jacks, and all kinds of stuff completely nude.
My favourite part was that I told him I was going to post this DM on Twitter and embarrass him and he said, “Oh, that’s no problem. I’ll send you my real Facebook account”, so he sent me his real account with his real name. He has absolutely no shame.
If you could have one Pokemon accompany you to the ring, what would it be?
My favourite Pokemon is Pikachu. Always has been, always will be, so Pikachu.
You’re currently in the UK, and you obviously travel a lot with this profession – is there anywhere here that stands out as somewhere you love to go?
I really like London, there’s certainly parts that are shady and weird but it’s a beautiful city. The first time I came over I took a really expensive day tour actually because London is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, even as a kid. I also went to Birmingham and went to a huge shopping centre called The Bullring. They had a huge food court and I loved it.
Is there anywhere else in the world you love to travel?
My favourite place to travel is going home, getting to see my entire family who I only get to see a couple times a year, so it’s always special going home.
If somebody did bring you a present at a show, what gift would be most likely to make you cry and ruin your tough guy image?
A fan actually today did bring me a card saying really nice things and I almost cried. I had to compose myself. I’m actually a big baby so I’m really sensitive. I think a card with something emotional and motivating in it would make me cry.
Can you tell me something surprising about you that fans may not know about or expect?
This is the most random thing I can think of… but I literally put ketchup on everything I eat. I usually keep a bottle of ketchup in my fanny pack.
What’s the weirdest thing you put ketchup on?
Hmmmm, (speaking to her fiancee) Jon, what’s the weirdest thing I put ketchup on?… Jon says it’s potato chips. I put it on Cool Ranch Doritos, he thinks that’s really weird. It’s delicious!
I have to admit, when I conduct interviews, there’s a trend of Jon getting brought up. It happened when I interviewed Colt Cabana, Kevin Kelly and LAX. Obviously you’ll be a little bit bias, but he’s a bloody good wrestler, isn’t he?
To me, he’s the best in the world, and I think to a lot of people he’s the best in the world. He was underrated for so long, and I’m so glad he’s finally got a chance to show people what he can actually do. I’m extremely proud of him
Recently I experienced a new form of vanity searching on Twitter. Rather than searching for your own name, you must have searched for Jon’s name as you liked one of my tweets about him out of the blue. I’m going to guess you’re pretty supportive of each other’s wrestling careers?
(Laughing) Yeah, I probably vanity search Jon’s name more than my own because I love seeing people praising him. It’s just really crazy to see in the last couple of years how much attention he’s been getting, and how much positive attention he’s been getting especially.
You’re a very diverse wrestler with many different weapons in your arsenal, from dives and drivers to something as simple as a bearhug. What do you think is your biggest strength as a wrestler?
It sounds cliche but I think my biggest strength is my strength, and also my ability to adapt. I have to wrestle men and women, you can’t do the same moves to Brian Cage that you could do to Penelope Ford. Definitely in the past couple of years I’ve learned to adapt my style so I can wrestle pretty much anyone with pretty much any style.
With you being such a unique performer, you offer up a different kind of role model to a lot of people. I’ve seen you talk about people reaching out to you and telling you that they look up to you and find inspiration from you. How do you feel about that?
It feels good… but it also feels bad too because I feel like there’s a pressure on me to do specific things. Basically all my matches now, especially on big shows, they can’t be bad matches because there’s a lot of hype. If I have a bad match, I think it’ll stop my momentum so there’s a pressure for me to perform a certain way and act a certain way on social media. I try and hold my tongue but there’s certain things I have to speak out against.
What are you looking forward to in 2019?
I have no idea what to expect. I think 2018 was the craziest year for me in wrestling, and the craziest year for wrestling in general. Who would have ever thought that All In would draw over 10,000 people, the UK indie scene would explode the way that it has, the women’s evolution is crazy. I can only imagine things will be more insane [in 2019] because there are so many opportunities for so many different people.
Final question – what’s the biggest reason you love pro wrestling?
It’s been a part of my life for so long, and pro wrestling is basically my entire family right now. I don’t have friends outside of pro wrestling, my fiancee is in pro wrestling, I just love everything about it. I love the way it makes me feel.
Follow Jordynne Grace on Twitter – @JordynneGrace
You can now watch Jordynne Grace on IMPACT every Friday night live on Twitch!
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