Welcome to Starter For 10. We ask professional wrestlers 10 questions so that you can find out a bit more about your favourite real life superheroes.
On this edition, we pose our 10 questions to, The Best, The Beautiful and The Only, Emily Hayden.
What drew you into professional wrestling?
It’s a pretty generic answer but I grew up watching WWF at a really young age with my Dad and my brother. I was always a bit of a tomboy growing up! I remember watching Chris Jericho debut on RAW and having his back and forth with The Rock which was one of the moments that properly hooked me in. That and seeing Lita with The Hardyz in Team Xtreme for the first time and doing a top rope moonsault. I remember thinking, “Girls can do this too?” after seeing that. From then on I rarely missed a show.
Who were your favourite wrestlers growing up and who are your favourites now?
Growing up, I always loved watching Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Edge, Lita, Trish Stratus and Victoria. They were my favourites as a kid.
Now, my favourites to watch are still Victoria and Chris Jericho (of course!), Io Shirai, Hiromu Takahashi, Alexa Bliss and Asuka to name a few.
What made you decide to start training to be a wrestler and where did you start?
In 2012, a friend of mine that I met through college, told me about a training school as he overheard me talking about the Summerslam PPV of that year. I had never even known that there was a wrestling scene in Scotland until that point. My friend then informed me of the school which trained people to become wrestlers. After hearing this, I decided to go along to a training day and have a look. When I arrived for my first day of training, I met my coach, TJ Rage. I only watched for my first day to see what training was like. At the end of the day, TJ asked me if this was something I wanted to do and if I was coming back to take part the following week. I did and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
Who are your biggest influences in professional wrestling, as a fan and as a wrestler?
I have a few but as of late I’m really influenced by Kay Lee Ray as she’s a graduate of the academy. Another influence I would say is Viper. Both have accomplished so much and have done pretty amazing things. They really set the bar for aspiring wrestlers like myself and I hope to be at least half as talented as them one day.
Who has been your favourite opponent(s) and do you have a favourite match?
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with so many brilliant, talented people since my debut but my standouts have to be Kay Lee Ray and Sammii Jayne. The matches that I’ve had with both women were the ones that really helped me gain more confidence and helped me to up my game as a performer.
I have far too many favourites! This year I’ve been lucky to be part of so many enjoyable matches. The two that stick out in my head in particular though have to be, firstly, the match that I had at Airdrie back in April where I got to tag with Mikey Whiplash against Wolfgang and Kasey Owens. Great bunch of people and truly a laugh as well as a learning experience.
My other favourite was the match that I had against Sammie Jo at Caithness Pro Wrestling with my good mate, Christopher Saynt, as my manager. Too much hilarity in one match! That whole experience at Caithness Pro Wrestling overall with Christopher Saynt is genuinely in my top 10.
What has been your career highlight(s) so far?
Biggest highlight of my career so far is getting the opportunity to appear at a show in my hometown, Airdrie, this year. Was a goal of mine to get the chance to wrestle on this show and I’m really delighted that I can cross that off my list. Was a buzz for my family and friends to be there to see it too.
Who would be your dream opponent, past or present?
A dream opponent of mine would either be Victoria, Meiko Satomura or Io Shirai.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In 5 years time I hope to be wrestling more frequently across the UK. Hopefully getting an opportunity to go to Japan as well as that’s a huge dream of mine.
Where can we find you on social media?
And finally, why do you do what you do?
I used to love superheroes growing up… still do… it’s as close to being a superhero as I’m ever gonna get and I love it! Best decision I ever made.
Thank you to Emily for answering our ‘Starter For 10’.
Photo by Brant Adam Photography