KATEY HARVEY INTERVIEW – “The biggest change is that men have become more accepting and more willing to train us”
Katey Harvey is a wrestling super talent with the world at her feet. Hailing from Ireland, which is one of wrestling’s most fertile breeding grounds for talent, she is also tough as old boots. When we spoke to her she told us that she had been wrestling with a broken shoulder for the last year without even realising it.
We were lucky enough to grab some time with Katey to speak about Irish wrestling, her goal of reaching the WWE and how she uses Rik Mayall as a wrestling inspiration.
Women’s wrestling is on the rise, is it getting too competitive?
No, I don’t think there can ever be too much talent. I have been wrestling for 6 years and when I first started the only two girls on the Irish scene were Martina Session Moth and me. We have wrestled each other 100 times over the last six years. So for us it is really cool to go over to England as each time there is someone new to wrestle. We also get new wrestlers coming over to OTT. I think it is at a nice level of competition, where girls are pushing each other, there will never be too many. When the nastiness starts is when there is a problem and there aren’t too many of those girls.
Female wrestling has changed a fair bit; it has got a lot better, why do you think it is improving so much?
The biggest change is that men have become more accepting and more willing to train us. Before I started wrestling I’d been watching local Irish wrestling, ever since NWA Ireland had been running under Paul Tracey and Fergal Devitt. What used to happen would be the girl would go out and do a head scissors or she might be in a tag match with a big move at the end. Everyone used to clap and that would be her time. Whereas in the last few years’ girls have shown up to training schools, put in the work, and have been taken seriously. We have proven that they can hack the training and can keep up the pace.
Again there is a lot of talent coming out of Ireland from the WWE right through to the Indies. What has brought about this upturn?
It is because we have some of the best schools in Europe here. The one I coach at is called Fight Factory Pro Wrestling and that has been around for eight years, before that it was NWA Ireland. From that school came Jordan Devlin, Becky Lynch and others who have made it to NXT and all around Europe. So we have always had a really good pedigree of trainer over here. I have trained with other NWA guys and girls and the same standard of training has been passed down.
We used to be lucky to get a show every week or two, this weekend there were four shows on. For a tiny island that is amazing. I get to travel a lot with wrestling; I wrestle all over the UK, Holland, Belgium, France, and Germany. But it is at the stage where I can get just as many bookings in Ireland. It’s crazy. We have OTT which has had crowds of 2,200 people and likely to do those numbers again in August.
What’s your wrestling ambition?
Everyone’s ambition is to end up in WWE but I think it is really cool that it isn’t the only choice anymore. People are making a living in Japan or the UK, so it’s a really exciting time. You can go lots of different places. The goal is WWE and anyone who says that it isn’t is probably telling an untruth. I am lucky to be getting some really high profile bookings with the likes of PROGRESS and wrestling overseas. I am going to just keep working my hardest.
Who is the best company to work for in the UK?
PROGRESS is up there for me. I used to fly over to go to the shows as a fan and I remember being in the crowd for Chapter 25, when Toni Storm, Dahlia Black, Pollyanna and Jinny had a four way, it was amazing. Literally everyone was on the edge of their seats. Ever since that match it was the company that I strived to work for and I have been lucky enough to do it twice.
Why do you think people like to see you wrestle?
I do think I try to bring something different. I just love wrestling and I want that to come across, I’m doing it because I love it and I’m a fan first and foremost. I try and make it interesting; I have a lot of weird inspiration from where I pull promos and matches. I am a massive Rik Mayall fan and I am doing this whole feminist icon character, which is basically Rik from The Young Ones but in female form. That isn’t the first inspiration you would draw for wrestling but it’s show business. I pull bits from my life and turn it in to a big ball and hope people enjoy it at the shows. The last time I was in London I stayed an extra two days with my friend Pollyanna to go to Hammersmith and sit on the bench dedicated to Rik Mayall.