Ask anyone to list the top talents on the UK wrestling scene and it won’t be long before Bea Priestly’s name is mentioned. Dynamic, versatile, intimidating, hart-hitting, exciting, talented and always entertaining, Bea has proven herself time and again. Be it on these shores at Progress, Defiant, RevPro, Eve and many other promotions besides or overseas, most recently in Japan, where together with Kelly Klein she won the Goddesses of Stardom Tag League, Bea is one to watch. We caught up with her at a recent Defiant taping to discuss her past and her future plans. Read on and don’t miss Bea during 2018!
For those that don’t know Bea Priestly, how would you explain your persona?
I like to portray the survivor story. A few people know, but I had brain surgery when I was 18 and going through something like that, it does change a person. I feel like I’ve come a long way since that time. So I like to come across as a survivor, a changed person. I go to the monster thing because I changed into a bit of a monster.
You talk of a monster, you appear to have taken inspiration from Mortal Kombat, is that right?
I do like Mortal Kombat but I’m very into all my horror films. I love anything with blood and guts and gore. It’s my little thing, I really do enjoy that. My ring gear design as well, I get so inspired, I’m like “Oh my God, this is so awesome!”, I’ll draw it out. I feel I’ve grown a lot. In the last few months especially, I feel I’ve got a much better grasp of my character than when I first started. I didn’t really know how I should or shouldn’t be but now I’m really getting to grips with what I should and shouldn’t be doing.
Did we read that some promoters were nervous to book you on the basis of the surgery?
One person in particular was telling promoters that I wasn’t cleared to wrestle. I’ve never had any issues with promoters because I have my clearance letters if they have any issues. One person was being a nuisance and saying things that weren’t true, so I let people know I had the clinic letters if anyone wanted to see them.
You were recently in Japan, how was that experience? Will you be going back?
I am! I’m going back from February until May 2018 and then I’m going back again mid-July until the end of September, so busy busy busy! I really enjoyed the whole experience. I felt I learned so much just wrestling the girls out there. They’re at such a high level, honestly, some of the girls out there are the best in the world, not just for girls but on a guys level as well. Its nice to be training with girls that can teach me so much more and help me learn a new style. So I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to go back. I loved every minute of it.
People who follow you on social media will know you and Will Ospreay are partners. You’ve used his ‘Cheeky Nandos’ kick, is that a tribute of some sort?
Well, Will has actually had a big hand in my training as well, so its almost a tribute to my trainer but also last year, before I started doing my Mortal Kombat thing at a Progress ENDVR show, when they were still doing those, I actually did a ‘Will Ospreay’s girlfriend’ character. I’d come out to Will’s music, I’d come out wearing his actual ring gear – kickpads, jacket, shorts, everything! So that’s how that kick started coming about. I’d start doing all of Will’s moves, just really bad versions of them(!) In matches and I kept the Cheeky Nandos kick as [adopts high pitch voice] a tribute to my boyfriend…
What’s the goal, Japan is so big but will it be Women of Honor, WWE next?
I have been in talks with Women of Honor, the only problem is visa issues. They said if I had a visa then there’d be no problem but its getting the visa that’s a problem. At the moment, I just aim on going back and forth to Japan, doing that while I can and if anything comes along then it does but I’m happy to keep doing that for the time being.
Which wrestlers would you cite as an inspiration for your career?
Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho.
You and Will were in Australia and your homeland, New Zealand, not too long ago, were you helping to build the scene?
Will’s been helping to build the scene, I’ve just been there too! Will’s actually going back to Australia in February. I won’t be because at the time he’s over I’ll be going back to Japan. The Australian scene is insane. Some of their trainees are ridiculously athletic, its depressing to watch. I’m like “why am I so bad!”. They’ve been wrestling for a year and they’re so good. There’s an incredible scene and its great to see people are taking note of it now. WWE have just announced a big live show. Its so nice because I knew a lot of the people in the New Zealand scene before I came to England, so seeing my friends getting a bit more exposure is great.
You were active in WCPW with Viper. What does your future in Defiant hold?
I haven’t had a role yet but I’m excited. I don’t really know, I’m just going to see how it goes and take things as they come, it’s the best way to roll really!
Exciting is certainly the word that we would use when it comes to Bea’s career. You can follow Bea on social media and support her merch. Defiant return to Manchester, at the BEC arena in February 2018 with details and tickets here. Hopefully we’ll see you, and Bea, there!