Lisa Marie Varon, best remembered as former TNA Knockout Tara and WWE star Victoria, stopped by Talkin Sass to talk about her career. Recently listed in WWE’s 50 Greatest Women’s Superstar list at #14, Varon was stunned to have even been listed.
“I’m actually shocked I made the list,” Varon said. “I haven’t been wrestling in a while. I was surprised at the number I got. I was so honored, it was shocking. To make the list was just an honor…if I was number 50 I would still be happy. It was such an honor, it blew me away.”
Varon had lasted worked for WWE earlier this year, having appeared in the Women’s Royal Rumble. She detailed how that all came together.
“They called me 2 weeks prior,” Varon recalled. “To be honest with you, I saw the 203 area code and I didn’t answer. When we used to get the 203 area code calling, we were either fired, in trouble, or ‘hey we need you to fly out.’ My stomach started tingling (when I got the) message. And I’m like ‘wow, they want me at the Rumble!’ I hadn’t been to the gym, I don’t get my nails done, (I don’t get) botox, I don’t have hair extensions anymore, I’m not that Victoria-esque that people remember (of) me. These girls – the athleticism now, how fast they work and the spots they do; (I thought) ‘am I going to be able to keep up?’
“The insecurities came back. I think people don’t realize how insecure us wrestlers are, especially being female. That pressure of being skinny with no wrinkles, no grey hair, and just looking the part, I was self-doubting myself.”
According to Varon, the nerves continued even after she arrived to the show. It was only when it was time to hit the ring did things snap back into focus.
“I felt like a greenhorn. I felt like a rookie,” Varon said. “I was puking the day I landed, I was puking the day of rehearsal when we found) out our number. The next day I was throwing up because I was so nervous. My hands were sweating, I got a headache because I wasn’t eating.
“My belly was just in knots. I’m not good at pretending I belong and acting confident until I come out of the curtain. When I hear my music, it triggers. I’m not Lisa anymore, I’m Victoria.”
So what’s different in this era of WWE compared to the one Varon came up in? For her it’s the massive differences between OVW and WWE’s Performance Center.
“They have the gym, they have a chiropractor, they have a doctor, they have a green screen room so you can practice on promos,” Varon said. “We didn’t have that back in the day. In the old hard shell buildings like for OVW, with spider webs all over the place, don’t get me wrong, I learned from the best at my school. I was very lucky to be in the school I was at because everybody made it. But to have that, oh my God they are just so lucky.
“At NXT they have a bus; a heel bus and a babyface bus that takes them to the show. We used to all pile up in one car. At least they’re taken care of that way so they can focus just on the wrestling.”