By Anish Vishwakoti, Prowrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
Last week on Lucha Underground television, we saw my interviewee proposed to by her fiancé Johnny Mundo. Taya Valkyrie of the Worldwide Underground spoke with me at the Lucha Underground Season four tapings. We spoke about how she transitioned from Mexico to Lucha Underground, her relationship with the Worldwide Underground, and her favorite moments in the Temple.
Anish: So Taya you’re a little newer to Lucha Underground, although you’ve been here for one full season, so what was it that first drew you to coming here.
Taya: I’ve actually been on two seasons,
Anish: Ah, Seasons 2 and 3, sorry.
Taya: I’m originally Canadian but I worked in Mexico for AAA for three years, I was the longest reigning champion there, the Reina del Reinas Championship. And from there I was brought to Lucha Underground. So it was a natural progression, I believe for me to go from that Lucha Libre world to the Temple in LA.
Anish: How did Lucha Libre influence you growing up? You’re a huge name in Mexico now, was it always your goal to get there or did it sort of just happen to you?
Taya: Wrestling as a whole was just something I always kinda wanted to do. I had all these memories of watching WWF when I was growing up, and when I was in high school I remember watching all of the Divas, the Trish Stratuses, Litas and Victorias, Molly Holly and everything like that, and Chyna of course. Being inspired by the strength and the level of athleticism and different things that they were doing and how controversial it was and how crazy it was.
Anish: You just wanted to be part of that?
Taya: I never shied away from that, I was very excited, I wanted to be part of that. I wasn’t very familiar with Lucha Libre, honestly, I only knew what I’d seen on TV and in movies like a lot of people did. But when I was planning on moving to Mexico to train down there, I obviously did some research and watched a lot of that style. But it wasn’t until I got there that I completely understood what it was. I was so surrounded by it, I lived it and breathed it for like over five years, so that’s a huge influence in my style now.
Anish: So why should people watch Lucha Libre and Lucha Underground specifically?
Taya: Lucha Underground is such a cool product and so different than anything you will see. It can never be compared to something you would see in WWE. Lucha Underground is a television series. People die and come back to life, There are demons and dragons… possessions. You know, all these really crazy graphic novel type storylines that are happening behind the scenes that happen at the same time as what you see in the ring.
Anish: Yeah, of course.
Taya: Right now we’re taping the end of Season 4, it’s been a crazy month. This is just something so crazy and extraordinary that if you don’t know what it is, take a chance on it tune in, Seasons 1 and 2 are on Netflix, Season 4 will be on El Rey Network. You should definitely take a chance on this show, it is available to buy on Amazon an iTunes and things like that. Take a chance on it, if you love scary movies, graphic novels, comic books, superheroes. If you love larger than life characters that have dimension and feeling and we all do our own stunts!
Anish: That’s the truth.
Taya: (Laughs) We are doing some crazy stuff and some matches here that you will never see anywhere else. Check us out, we’re pretty cool and let us know what you think on social media.
Anish: Okay, so what was any specific moment or match that you’ve had here in the temple that you really liked. One of my favorite matches that you’ve had was the ‘Baddest Bitch in the Temple’ match with Ivelisse.
Taya: Oh! Well I think that my first match ever in the Temple, which was with Brian Cage.
Anish: Oh yeah, he was telling us about that.
Taya: So I feel like that was a really big moment because I had been trying to get to Lucha Underground for a long time. It was like a breakout moment for me definitely. But I’ve had so many other crazy tag matches and different altercations in the two seasons that I’ve been here. I feel like some of the stuff on Season 4 is my favorite stuff that we’ve had… Just stay tuned, it’s gonna be amazing.
Anish: What is it about the fans here especially that makes it so special? Because they’re the believers, they’re different from the ‘Universe’ or whatever New Japan has, they’re the believers in this small dingy little dungeon.
Taya: Yeah, I think that anyone who knows about Lucha Libre or has watched live events on Youtube or wherever from Mexico, knows that the fans are a huge part of the way… Like the wrestlers are interacting with the fans and the fans are very involved with the dynamic of what is happening. And the screaming and the chanting and the crowd and I feel like the Temple and the crowd we have here at the Temple is the closest we can have to a fair representation of what real Lucha Libre crowds are. So I guess I think it’s very interesting and can’t really be described.
Anish: You have to come here, get to a Lucha Underground taping if you live in Los Angeles.
Taya: Oh my god, you have to experience it live. It’s Goosebump worthy, you can’t describe it in words, you have to experience it.
Anish: And you are part of the Worldwide Underground, alongside Johnny Mundo, PJ Black, Jack Evans and… maybe Ricky Mandel?
Taya: Oh Ricky Mundo, my oh my, ahahaha…
Anish: So, what’s like being part of that team, especially with your fiancé Johnny Mundo?
Taya: Umm, it’s been really great, and I think with Season 4 we’ve all changed and grown so much since it was quite a long time between filming. But the chemistry that we have is undeniable, we’re all so creative, we play off of each other so well, I think that it’s just going up from here.
Anish: And where do you see Lucha Underground the company in ten years. Do you think it’s going to be around? Do you think it’s going to be competing with other major companies?
Taya: Well, of course I want it to be around! I don’t want it to go away, I have way too much fun doing this and I feel everybody else does too. And it’s very clear in the product that we put out and when you watch it you’ll see the passion that we put into this.
Anish: Yeah, and you are one of those people who works in a lot of places. So what have you learned from Lucha that you can take to Impact or to AAA that makes you different from everybody else?
Taya: I just have a different background. I have broken the mold as to what a Luchador is, I’ve broken the mold as to what a Canadian wrestler is. I touched both worlds, so I try to bring that combination hybrid style you know, with my own special touches. No one is like La Wera Loca!
Anish: Yeah, the people in the temple they call you…
Taya: La Wera Loca. Which means ‘crazy blonde girl’ Which was given to me by Perro Aguayo in Mexico City. I didn’t speak Spanish when I got there, and he would argue with me and I would respond in English and he’d be like ‘Wera Loca’ and it stuck. And here we are six years later, and I’m still being called that so…
Anish: But hey, I guess it gives you something else for the fans to chant for. Is that your favorite chant in the temple?
Taya: Well, of course, It’s my name, I don’t wanna hear anything else. Hahaha!
Anish: Fair enough, and just for our sports fans do you have a favorite sports team?
Taya: Any sport… Well, obviously I’m Canadian, so I really enjoy watching hockey. I haven’t gotten around to watching as much as I’d like to, but I went to University of Calgary so I’m a Flames fan and a (Vancouver) Canucks fan. A little bit of both (laughs)…
Follow Taya on Twitter and Instagram @TheTayaValkyrie and on Facebook at Facebook.com/TayaValkyrie.
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