After more than 20 years, Katarina Waters reflects on her journey through professional wrestling in the documentary The Other Side of the Ring.
The West German veteran is featured along with fellow former WWE and Impact Wrestling alum Shelly Martinez, independent star Delilah Doom and Keta Meggett, who WOW Women of Wrestling know as Keta Rush. Meggett connected Waters with film director and writer Jeremy Norrie.
“To be honest, I haven’t watched all of it now because I have resistance watching myself,” Waters said. “It takes me a while to overcome my fear and worry about saying something stupid. For me, the interesting part is I know the other women, but to get a deeper understanding of wrestling and their backgrounds and what their path was like is really interesting.”
Looking back at the past has given her a different perspective of how she broke into the business. A time when the 40-year-old recalled often wrestling men coming up because she was the only girl in the locker room.
“At the time, it was a really great experience. The guys took good care of me and made me feel like I was part of the show,” Waters said. “I didn’t feel like an outsider. I went back to England a couple of years ago for a show when it would be me and a couple of other women working for different companies. Going back, there are now 20 women on the show. Just the evolution of that and how things have changed.”
Waters, known in WWE as Katie Lea Burchill and Winter in Impact, was last seen on TV screens with WOW. It was there she took on the character of The Temptress. The performer is hopeful the company finds another outlet for their shows after leaving AXS TV in 2020.
“They were planning something right before COVID hit,” she said. “I think there is supposed to be something new. Fingers crossed. What I really liked about WOW is it was very character-based. It was a throwback to what the original GLOW was like. There are a lot of actresses and dancers being trained by Selina Majors, Bambi.
“Everyone has been given a character or helped you create one. It was called WOW Superheroes, so it was almost cartoonish in some ways, but it is really fun. The production values are fantastic. The setup, lighting, everything like that. The training is great. You have some of the women who aren’t as experienced and others who have been on the independent circuit. The matches are really well put together. I really enjoyed the vibe. I remember the last time we had the show and backstage looking at the monitor thinking, ‘Wow, this is a good show.’”
Waters wrestles sporadically when booked, but the focus now is on flexing her creative muscle as an actress and behind the camera. She admits that was always her “Plan A” before the opportunity for WWE came about. The star studied film and drama at university. Fans can catch Waters in everything from Karate Kill on Amazon to the horror-comedy Sorority of the Damned where she is unrecognizable as a witch.
“In terms of building a career, I would say that the [wrestling] part is over,” Waters said. “I feel like if I were to go for ‘another run, I would have to put all my focus and energy into that, which my passion is elsewhere at the moment in terms of moving forward.”
The Other Side of the Ring releases On Digital platforms (Tubi TV, Vimeo on Demand, and Google Play) May 20.