Thursday 7 August 2014

Interview: Bete Noire

Disclaimer: In conjunction with the A Wee Bit About: Bete Noire overview, Bete graciously agreed to take part in an interview with AWBA. Find out all about this fantastic wrestler's start in the business, her trip to Japan and what the future may hold.

Bete Noire - Facebook - Blog - Twitter - Website

AWBA: Hi Bete. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for AWBA. 

Let's start at the start. You're one of the many great graduates from the Source Wrestling School. Can you tell us a little about what got you interested in pursuing wrestling and how you got started at the School?

Bete Noire: I'd always been a fan as a kid and as I got older and other commitments inevitably crept in I fell away from it for a while. It was only when I had finished university that I really started watching it again and it sucked me straight back in. The whole art form of wrestling isn't just the things these guys do in the ring but that they tell a story as well. You genuinely care about what happens to these characters and that's amazing to me, you don't get that with any other kind of sport.

I was sitting at home with a friend and I can't remember the match but I know there were ladders involved. I remember in between moaning about not having anything to do that I wished I could do that and this friend, thinking he was taking the piss, said "Oh, why don't you go and be a wrestler then?" and it was like a little switch had flicked inside my head. I became a woman possessed with the idea.

After a bit of searching, I found what is now called the Source Wrestling School when they were based in Linwood. I went along on my first session, originally just to watch and get an idea of what it was about. Nikki Storm grabbed me, threw a pair of her spare joggies at me and marched me to get changed. I spent the next few hours getting launched about by Chris Renfrew. Clearly that didn't put me off!

AWBA: Talk about getting thrown in at the deep end! 

Personally speaking, my first exposure to you was the very first Fierce Females DVD from their show back in September 2012, but I believe you'd been wrestling for about a year beforehand. What can you tell us about your early career, any stand-out moments leading up to your Fierce Females debut?

Bete Noire: I had been wrestling for about a year before that yeah, mainly for my home company Scottish Wrestling Alliance but I had also just started to venture down to England with Pro-Wrestling:Eve and The Wrestle Factory as well.

My early career I guess I spent it like a sponge. I just tried my best to absorb everything I could, all the information and advice that was given to me by anyone and it taught me to grow a thick skin. I learned very quickly that when you start to gain even a little bit of success, not everyone is going to be happy for you. That was probably one of the hardest things I learned, especially when there were people I had started my training with who I considered friends suddenly being very sour with me for moving further ahead. That's one of the more difficult aspects of this business and it could turn you very cynical if you're not careful, I work hard to stay optimistic.

The first Fierce Females show was a really big deal for me because nobody knew who I was. I had been training with Mikey Whiplash at our school so he knew what I could do, just nobody else did. People obviously knew girls like Kay Lee Ray, Carmel, Nikki Storm and Viper but definitely not me, not in an over 18s environment. The only mindset I had was that I wanted to go out and make people notice for what I felt I could do best and that's just having a straight up fight. My favourite part of that match is still the fact I broke the overhead projector jumping from the top rope (Sorry Arches!)

AWBA: Speaking of Viper, although your first match at Fierce Females was in defeat to Viper, you two have teamed up quite successfully over the years in a variety of promotions, and are scheduled to face The Owens Twins in a tag match at ICW's "Spacebaws" event. I think it's fair to say, whether as opponents or partners, you and Viper seem quite close and have great chemistry together. Can you tell us a bit about your experiences with Viper, both as opponent and partner?

Bete Noire: I absolutely love that girl. We met years ago when I first started training and we've been practically joined at the hip ever since. Her other half is always saying I'm the only person he needs to worry about her running away with!

I think we work so well together because of that closeness. I know what she can do, she knows what I can do so as opponents we're both comfortable with doing the stupid stuff and taking the big silly risks. She's really the only person I think I could trust to pick me up by my legs and swing me into the ring post, for example. It's true, you do hit your friends SO much harder because at the end of it they're going to just smash you back and you're going to finish your match, get changed and go to the bar to have a laugh about it.

As tag partners we just like to have fun! She makes me laugh all the time and the way we interact with each other in the ring as partners is pretty much the same way we'll interact with each other everywhere else, it's just a little more amplified when we're in the ring. I actually enjoy that when we're a tag team we can both be a little more ourselves. There isn't as much pressure on because you've got someone there just to help back you up.

AWBA: That ringpost shot was gnarly by the way. You've taken some amount of knocks. 

Switching gears a little, one of the most interesting things about your career, from my point of view, was your trip to Ice Ribbon in Japan at the start of the year. For those of us who maybe aren't aware, can you tell us how that trip came about and what you felt about the experience?

Bete Noire: I'd always had a big interest in wrestling in Japan having kept track of it and watched it for years. I'm really into that style and I think that's why I don't mind getting knocked about as much as I do!

There wasn't much to it about going, I simply got in contact with Ice Ribbon and sent them a load of my stuff. Not really thinking anything of it until they got back to me about 6 weeks later saying they would love to have me over and to arrange travel details.

It was without a doubt one of the most terrifying, humbling, fantastic and mind blowing experiences I've had. Nobody tells you how daunting it is travelling alone until you're doing it and there I was flying to the other side of the world to wrestle and train. Once I got over the initial culture shock, I had some of the best experiences and met some of the best people. I was so upset to leave as soon as I did, I was crying in the airport. For that 4 weeks I was basically living the dream.

AWBA: Did you find there were many differences in the Japanese style of training as opposed to what you had experienced back home?

Bete Noire: Actually not as many as you would think! They had separate days for different aspects of training which I enjoyed. Everything was more condensed so you could pick it up a little easier.

My school has taken training from all over the world so I felt more than prepared for what they were teaching me. It wasn't easy by any means but I felt like it wasn't killing me.

Except Lucha training....cause big birds don't fly

AWBA: Focusing back home now, you've infamously yet to taste singles success at Fierce Females. This has seen you put out of both #1 Contender tournaments so far this year, which must be frustrating for you. I've noticed you growing more intense as time goes on, coming out to your match with Sweet Saraya sporting a kendo stick for example. It scarcely seems possible given some of the wars we've already seen you in, but it feels we may be on the verge of seeing a truly unleashed Bete in the near future. 

As 2014 seems to be the year of breaking streaks, and with at least two FF shows left in the year, are you working on a tactic to finally clinch victory?

Bete Noire: Hard to say really. At Fierce Females it's growing more and more difficult to keep a cool head in each match and my lack of self preservation skills on more than one occasion has been the deciding factor in costing me my matches.

I don't think I have any particular tactics going in, win or lose, a lot of the time I'm just looking for a good fight. Who knows how that philosophy is going to work out for me in the end? I'll either end up the last woman standing or I'll be leaving on a stretcher. I'm not sure I know how to do the in between any more!

AWBA: Finally, what are your aspirations in the near future for your wrestling career?

Bete Noire: Now THAT is a really big question. In the near future, I'd just like to travel more of the country and work some new promotions. There are a lot of people I've not had the chance to work with yet that I'd really like to learn some things from. Long term? If this year has taught me anything it's that planning too far ahead can ruin things. I'd like to just go with the flow and see what happens!

If you liked this interview, check out my article on Bete's career including some free matches to watch.

For more of Bete, please check out her Facebook page and her blog "Cupcakes & Chinlocks" through our fantastic friends at Breaking Baws.

No comments:

Post a Comment