Wrestler, Announcer, Manager, Commentator, Script Writer - there is very little that Valerie "SoCal Val" Wyndham has not done in the wrestling business. With model, presenter and fashion blogger also on her CV, it should be clear that she is both an incredibly hard-working and talented individual. In the UK for guest appearances at leading conventions in Cardiff and Milton Keynes, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to ask her some questions about her career both past and future.
You've appeared in UK promotions like Southside and PCW, what's your view on the UK wrestling scene?
I was surprised at how quickly I befriended so many of the wrestlers and found so many talented men and women. Some of the names that stood out to me and that I'd previously heard of included Kris Travis and Noam Dar -Noam is someone that I kept hearing was promising but to see him wrestling live was really exciting. You can tell right away that he's got a lot of charisma but there's a lot of guys and girls that I've met over here who are really talented and they're all really nice and humble too.
You're in the UK for the Cardiff Film & Comic Con and Collectormania in Milton Keynes. What's the weirdest thing someone has asked you to sign at a convention?
I had someone ask me to sign a can of red bull that I drank! My friend Jinder Mahal told me I should have charged $10 for it but I let it go for free. Someone in an email asked if I had any used trash bags that I could autograph and sent to them - that, I did not do!
We're awaiting news of TNA's new TV deal - do you think they're safe? Will they stay with SpikeTV?
Well before I answer that, I have to tell you that one of my biggest pet peeves in wrestling is making too many announcements for the sake of a big announcement. If you do that, the big reveal is never as grand as you made it out to be - and that I think, is a flaw of many wrestling companies. They're all about the announcement and not about the delivery. As for TNA, I would hope that they stay with Spike or at least go to a similar size network. I don't know if Spike is going to keep them or not but I would hope so. That would be my first choice for them. Ultimately, it's too good of a product with too many good people on the roster not to be picked up by a big network in my opinion. I have the feeling they will be picked up.
You were a "Rosebud"! Tell us about the experience
I was a Rosebud! Thrice I was a rosebud. Back in July, WWE had shows in Tampa, Orlando and Miami. Being in WWE has been my dream since I was maybe 11 years old and they've been wonderful so far as communication is concerned. I was asked to go backstage, to be looked at and to talk to some people and I was able to go on camera as a rosebud with Adam Rose. I had been a fan of his since he'd started performing as Leo Kruger in NXT. He has such depth of character - Kruger was a darker and more intense role which is hard to imagine now in his new role. It was obviously exciting. You're partying and getting to see the WWE universe and to perform on that grand stage - to me that was a real honour.
So who's in the bunny costume!?
Well it clearly wasn't me - I'm not the bunny and I'm not the Hot Dog!
We ask everyone in the business the same question - what's your best "rib" story?
I haven't been around too many ribs but one that I've spoken about before involves Robbie E, whom I love to death and who's one of my best friends in wrestling. He was doing a show over here in the UK and asked what price he should sell photos for during the intermission. Someone said "sell them for five pounds". So Robbie made a sign that said "5lb" and put it in front of the stall! All the boys came back and kept talking about it over and over, so he can't get away from that one...!
What are you doing at the moment and where can we see you?
Well, I've just finished a tour of the Houses of Parliament! I'm still doing lots of announcing for wrestling shows and I manage a lot as well. I've just joined Shine wrestling where I am doing that but my main job is as a presenter, ring announcer and interviewer. I am getting more and more into commentary which is newer for me as they don't tend to use a lot of female commentators on independent shows. That's exciting because whilst the athletic part of wrestling is great, I believe my strengths are in that area. I've also just secured a new role as a presenter for a travel show based in Miami called Travelzine. I'm really excited for that because I always thought if I were to do something outside of wrestling, I would hope it could be travel related and that I'd be able to see the world. I have a fashion blog too and whilst it is nice to take avenues outside of wrestling, my first passion and love will always be wrestling. I'm appearing in Florida, Orlando and possibly in California next year and may be back in the UK in spring.
Will we see you in WWE or perhaps another promotion like GFW, or back in TNA?
I don't know too much about GFW, I hear and believe it has promise but I can't really comment. I had a wonderful time at TNA for nine years and I miss my friends - it was a big chapter in my life, a huge part of it and I hold no ill will but I don't see me ever going back to Impact wrestling. The dream and the goal is to go to WWE and having a little taste of it backstage has solidified that for me. That is where I wanted to be - you don't get into wrestling without wanting to end up in the WWE. Period. It's the biggest company in the world with the best talent in the world. Ultimately if you're not moving forward you're standing still and I need to move forward.
There is no doubt that SoCal Val has a bright future. To ensure you're a part of it, make sure to follow her on Twitter @Socalvalerie There you can find pictures, interesting and exclusive insights into her life and no doubt that is where you'll be first to hear about her continually exciting and promising career.