Taylor Wilde burst onto the scene on Impact Wrestling as a fresh twenty-something underdog who stunned fans by taking down Awesome Kong (glow Kia Stevens) to win the Knockouts Championship. Taylor went on to have a stellar career before retiring from the sport to become a mother and a firefighter.
Fast forward a decade and Wilde found her way home on an episode of Impact. The Canadian now has a renewed passion for wrestling, and is looking forward to leaving the upcoming pay-per-view event Hard to kill at Torch of Glory by defeating Deonna Purazzo, Killer Kelly, and Masha Salamović. Here Wilde reflects on her journey, battling fires and opponents.
You have found your way back to professional wrestling in 2021 after a decade away. How do you look back on that decision?
Taylor Wilde: You’ve seen this huge leap from what was known as the Attitude Era with the blonde face versus the brown heel to this huge mix of really talented professional wrestlers and personalities. Women really get the respect they deserve as wrestlers and entertainers. At that time my life was really changing. My marriage was not good. I was a firefighter for seven years. I knew I lost a part of myself like you do when you are in an unhealthy marriage. You become a mother and your whole world becomes your child, which I wouldn’t change for one second. It made me that confident person, and it made me know who I was. So it was about all these changes happening. I had a really good friend Chrissie Vine that I was in development with. She’s this spiritual, psychic being and she called me five years ago saying, “I don’t want to sound crazy but you’re running into professional wrestling that isn’t over. Take this for how you want it.” I thought, “You’re crazy. This isn’t going to happen.” we are here.
How does professional wrestling compare to being a firefighter?
Firefighting was a good bridge for me. It was a blue collar job and power. It’s a tough job. You should also have thick skin. Since I had this career as a professional wrestler, I’d say for the first four or five years of my life, guys would call me “the wrestler.” This was an easy way to connect with me in a gender-detached way. I am now nine years old as a firefighter and have established myself as one of the men. They’ll definitely be in Toronto for front row shows, covered in body paint and gloss. They are my biggest fan.
What do you think of shows like Chicago fire?
They are sexy, but nothing like ours. They make everything about fighting fire exciting and romantic. All this romantic stuff happens in the halls. Nothing like that. It’s d*** and fart jokes. We are all brothers and sisters. I grew up watching Law and order And CSI. It’s a sexy version of a Hollywood action. Of course, there are valid elements. We love to watch Chicago fire And Backdraft. These two are always in the firehouse.
Did you have any interesting interactions with celebrities as a professional wrestler?
I met Super Dave Osbourne. [Bob Einstein] in effect. I grew up watching it as a kid and it was a really weird moment where I was shaking hands with ‘Super Dave Osbourne’. For WWE, I met Steve-O from donkey before being sober. It was a mess. He wasn’t very alert at that time. He had a therapist and he was a stutterer behind the scenes. He talks about his time and his journey to sobriety. But I will never forget that.
Mickie James would call it a career if she didn’t win the Knockouts Championship from Jordyn Grace at the Hard to kill. How much do you see yourself in your career?
If anything I stress and can totally relate to where she is in her career. I think she does it in a really cool practical way. Sometimes it is difficult to make this decision. Are you done? Am I not finished? You don’t want to get burned. This is the best way to let go of a high note. At least I fought to the bitter end. Miki is one of my sisters. my allies. I respect her in and out of the ring. She always helped push newcomers. Anyone who’s been in the ring with her is better because of that. I’m rooting for her. I’m rooting for Jordynne too because I’m a fan of Knockouts.
I have been a huge supporter of mental health. Where do you think we are when it comes to wrestling?
We didn’t talk about the mental health period 10 years ago. I think it’s very important for people to speak up and get the help they need. I am very pro-medication and love everything you need to do to make yourself feel healthy, happy and safe. I will always be the first to speak up and say that I have faced my personal struggles. We are those greater-than-life performers, but we are also human. We are hurting and we have moments. If we can help anyone by being transparent about our struggles, I hope it helps at least one person reach out and get the help they need because life is short. Life is precious, and there are so many reasons to feel blessed and happy. And we can still enjoy our moments. That’s okay too.
Have you ever been to a wrestling show where you had to wear your fireman’s hat?
Only the latest impact recordings. I don’t want to talk too much about it, but basically, there was a concussion-related injury and it was before the show. It was one of those moments where do we have a medical year? Yes but you go. I’m like a fireman. You stabilize the scene and wait for higher authorities like doctors or paramedics to get there. You are never out of work.
You’re in a four-way match Hard to kill For a shot at the Knockouts Championship. It’s a mix of unique talents here.
Going Hard to Kill would be a very interesting combination. We have four women from very different backgrounds. Masha, we had a one-on-one match. She is very talented and well travelled. It’s very psychological in the best way. She struggles all the time. sports student. She pushes me to be better. Diona is this selfish and veterinarian in her own eyes. She had one of the most captivating knockout tournaments I think. It’s one of the talents that I love to have a storyline against because I think there’s a lot we can pull from each other. Then we have Killer Kelly who joined the Knockouts division as a Knockouts fan. We all have this scary dark energy. This will really create a mess. Nobody will get bored of watching this.
Impact Wrestling, Thursdays, 8/7c, AXS TV
Hard to killJan. 13, 8/7c, Pay-Per-View and FITE TV