Last month marked the 15th anniversary for one of the world’s most interesting, engaging, violent, and all around best wrestlers. LuFisto’s career has spanned across three decades, and in spite of major injuries and setbacks, she stars year 16 looking better than ever. Passionate and outspoken as always, LuFisto talked to us about what her fifteen year journey in wrestling has meant to her, as well as her recent spate of dream matches, the upcoming NCW: Femmes Fatales event, and why she has always been more than just a “women’s wrestler.” She is absolutely one of our favorites and it was a true pleasure to finally have a chance to chat we her. Here’s to us being fortunate enough to enjoy another 15 years of the incomparable LuFisto.
Photos 1-3,5 by Gregory Davis
What is it that love you about wrestling that’s kept you in it for 15 years?
I believe it’s because I love it back. There isn’t many things I refused to do for wrestling, whether is to spend all my money on gear, sleep in my car, be part of crazy and bloody matches, travel the world without knowing what I was getting into, try different styles and gimmicks, wrestle four times on the same day, sacrificing a normal love life, wrestling injured, training people, working on the multimedia aspect for a few wrestling companies, coming back from a knee injury, a back injury, a stroke, heart surgery… the list goes on. This love just has no boundaries.
Although I sometimes hate it, wrestling made me who I am today. It brought me pain but it did bring me a lot of joy as well. There is nowhere in this world I feel better than when I’m between the ropes. I love this sport with all my heart as I can honestly say that it has been a life saver many times.
Who was LuFisto 15 years ago? Who is she now? Did she have any idea what she was getting into?
LuFisto was a 200 pounds tomboy teenage girl from Sorel, Quebec with no self-confidence at all. She was hiding in her basement, drawing and playing guitar and Nintendo all day. Today, she is a strong woman who has learned to face her fears and get up when she is down to the ground. She has learned that hard work is the answer for many things in life, that everything happens for a reason.
And no, she had no idea what she was getting into. She really didn’t know that wrestling would mostly be for her about proving people wrong. She didn’t know either how many sacrifices she would have to make to succeed, and this just on the independent scene.
You’re in best shape of your career now. What brought about the change? What’s your training and diet regimen like?
I started to work with a professional trainer and bodybuilder, Vincent Comtois, after my boyfriend gave me a month of training with him for Christmas. I never stopped since. I see him once a month and he gives me supplements, a diet and a training program.
My program consists of two days of weight training that includes a four-exercices superset and two other supersets and 20 minutes of interval cardio on the step master. I repeat those two days twice a week plus, I add two days of one hour cardio. Therefore, I train six times a week.
For my diet, it’s based on organic and non-processed food. I will eat a lot of wild meat such as horse, moose, wapiti with white meat such as chicken, turkey and fish. I also quit everything that is made with gluten and all dairy. I eat six times a day, small portions. Of course, I will cheat once a week so I don’t go crazy!
Your student Kalamity has become NCW: Femmes Fatales Champion and a star in SHIMMER and WSU. How does it feel to see your student succeed at such a rapid pace?
Kalamity has been working for close to 8 years so we can’t really say things went super fast. She had been working with Stephane and I at ALF (Association de Lutte Féminine) from 2007 to 2009 but we were not close. When it was decided that she would face Cheerleader Melissa, she had a very hard time during the match and asked for my help. I took her under my wing, trained her and gives her all the advice I can since then. There are still a few things she needs to master by herself, but when she is training with somebody more experienced, she’s very good at listening and following.
For those who saw me backstage at the first SHIMMER taping she attended, I cried like a baby after her match. I’m really proud of her efforts and I hope she will keep her passion. Too many girls get to a certain point and just quit. I’ve trained a few girls, took some under my wing and they all quit but one, Sweet Cherrie. I’m hoping for the best for Kalamity as well. I often say that I may not have any children, but I do have two daughters anyway!
In Femmes Fatales you’ve had the chance to wrestle some women that you idolized since the beginning of your career. Tell us about your matches with Jazz and Ayako Hamada.
These are indeed women I never thought I would face, even meet. I grew up watching Hamada because of my friend Luc in Sorel who thought I would prefer the Japanese style of women wrestling then what we were seeing on TV. And was he right! I would watch Hamada, Bull Nakano, Akira Hokuto and Manami Toyota almost every day although it was hard to get footage back then. Their style was truly an inspiration that women’s wrestling could be better than the guys! I was scared I wouldn’t be able to be as good as her and that the match would look horrible. It turned out to be the second best match of the year in the Province of Quebec in 2011!
Although I truly respect her work and the effort she put in to be a serious wrestler, I never was a big Trish Stratus fan. However, I loved Jackie and mostly Jazz. She was a real fighter, a bad ass. Everything she did in the ring was so crisp. So when NCW told me I would be the one fighting her, I freaked out. When I met her, it was even worse. For the first time ever, I was totally star struck. She turned out to be one of the kindest person I’ve met in this business. I’m still amazed when she writes on my Facebook wall. A true class act and a professional of her craft.
You not only had an amazing match facing Kana in SHIMMER, but you’ve also formed a successful tag team with her. Give us your thoughts on Kana.
I love Kana. I feel like she’s my Japanese twin sister, but so much better when it comes to ground wrestling! Seriously, I rarely get nervous before a match anymore. Most of the time, I’m the more experienced wrestler. However with Kana, I was so nervous but in a very good way.
There was electricity in the air and I loved the match. After it was over and that people seemed happy about it, I was overwhelmed when she decided to shake my hand. I just wanted to shake her hand after the match because I felt that we both had given everything we had and that she had lit up that spark inside of me that sometimes is fading. I didn’t even know she refused to shake everybody else’s hand the three previous matches. When Dave Prazak told me I was the only person capable of getting Kana’s respect, it felt great.
No matter what I do, I always get good comments from my fans but not too much recognition when stuff like the end of year polls come out. In the rankings, I’m never high even after people say stuff like I was match of the weekend and so on. I guess it comes with the fact that I’m seen mostly as a character more than a wrestler (Or back then, just as a hardcore wrestler). So, having Kana’s respect meant a lot to me.
Many have said your match with Leva Bates may have stolen the show WSU’s Uncensored Rumble. Leva’s a wrestler that’s constantly improving, but were you surprised by Leva’s performance?
No, can’t say that I was surprised. I knew that Leva was good and I hoped to see a side of her that nobody had seen before. She had the same plan and she told me that it was fun because she knew she would have to try new things against me. I was pretty happy to be in the ring with her. She came in with a gameplan and, when matched against my own style, it made for a fight that was technically sound and entertaining at the same time. I think we had really good chemistry. I’m blessed by all the great comments we received and by how many times I’ve heard that this was Leva’s best match ever. Glad I was part of that and I’m ready for Round 2 anytime!
At the upcoming Femmes Fatales you will be facing Mercedes Martinez. Fans were shocked when you attacked her at WSU, costing her the WSU title. Would you like to explain your actions?
Simple: She attacked Kalamity at the last Femmes Fatales show and turned her back on the Montreal fans because she was too greedy for a championship. You just don’t touch my friends, whether it is Kalamity, Sweet Cherrie or Pegaboo. It was just pay back. Some might be angry by my actions. I just say she had it coming. WSU fans just haven’t seen the real Mercedes yet. But all the Femmes Fatales and SHIMMER fans know. In time, I’m sure she’ll turn her back on them too. Then, you will all say, “Hey, LuFi was right!”
Mercedes was facing Jessicka Havok in that match, member of the Midwest Militia. After seeing them up close and personal, what do you think of the group?
I do not fear them but I certainly don’t trust them. They work very well as a team and will do anything they can to achieve their goals. It’s like they have nothing to lose, which makes them so dangerous. They are coming to Femmes Fatales saying they want to take over. Courtney Rush already mentioned that she would be there to defend her yard. I won’t be too far away, ready for a fight, if that happens.
Tell us about your recent stint in Mexico for Lucha POP. Were you shocked to appear on the cover of Super Luchas?
I was especially shocked that my picture was so big on the cover, bigger than Davey Richards! I loved my time there. I guess I didn’t know how much I missed Mexico until I returned. People are so welcoming and respectful of our craft. Lucha POP treated me like a queen. I couldn’t have asked for a better time there. With NGX, it is really the best Mexican company I did work for and hopefully will be able to go back soon.
Whether in Japan, or Mexico, the US, or Canada, you’re one of the most well received personalities wherever you wrestle. What is it that people love about you?
Maybe it’s because I love what I do and I think it shows. Also, I make sure to have eye contact with the crowd and to get them involved. I believe they should be part of the match as well. I’m blessed by having so many people responsive to what I do. However, it’s not everybody that loves me. I have my fair share of haters.
You’ve never allowed yourself to be limited by your gender. You wrestled men. You didn’t wrestle what some call a ”girly” style, even if you like wearing pink and carry a doll. Why was that important to you?
I believe when you step in the ring, you should be seen as a wrestler. Period. Not a women’s wrestler. I want people to see my matches or my student matches and say, “That was a good match,” and not, ”That was a good match for girl.” I think girls should stop “play wrestling.” Get in there, hit hard and fight hard.
You’ve overcome significant adversity throughout the years, and yet you’ve become a very respected in ring performer. If things had be easier, do you think you would have been as driven to be as good?
I don’t know if I can say that I’m that “good.” Maybe if I were that good I would have scored a regular job as a wrestler. I just give everything I have whether there is ten or hundreds of people. I wish things would have been a little easier because today, all this is taking a toll on me, physically and emotionally. I don’t know if I did work on things that mattered.
After 15 years, I’m questioning a lot of things like my gimmick, how long should I be doing this again, what is left to accomplish since, according to many, I’m not TV or champion material. I’m proud of my accomplishments since not too many people believed in me, but I also regret a few things. I guess it’s a normal process to go through when you give so much of yourself to something. However, once again, I must say that I have the greatest fans in the world. Besides my stubborn need to prove people wrong, they are the reason why I haven’t quit yet.
As someone who has had as creatively diverse a career as you have, do you consider Pro Wrestling to be art?
Definitely. Being a wrestler, you are like a stunt man or woman who isn’t allowed, to fail because what you do is live in front of a public. There is no Take two. You have to create your character, your gear, your move set, and change when somebody copies you so you stay unique and work your magic live or in front of a camera. It is a constant work of art to perfect.
What are the chances we will see another 15 years of LuFisto wrestling?
Again, I’m wondering right now what is left to accomplish. Of course, I wish I could be SHIMMER champion, go back to Japan again, wrestle in Europe and last but not least, I really wish I could have at least one match on TV before it is all over. However, all I can do is give my best in the ring and at the gym. To realize such “last dreams” you need opportunities and people to take a chance on you. So, another 15 years? I’m really not sure, although being in the ring still makes me happy. Sometimes, you need to learn how to let go.
Is there anything else would you like to say to your fans?
Thank you for your kindness, your support and unmeasurable love. I was told many times that I didn’t have what it takes to succeed but you were always there by my side. You helped me pick myself up when I was down, you gave me the courage to get up from a stroke, heart surgery and so many injuries and stood up for me when haters and non-believers showed up. I am grateful for all the joy you brought into my life. Please know that I do keep a special place for you all in my heart. I used to have an 20 millimeter hole in my heart, but I never felt it because you filled the gap.
NCW: Femmes Fatales IX is this Saturday in Motnreal. DDS will be there, you should be too. You can follow LuFisto on Twitter (@Lufisto), Facebook, and at Lufisto.com. Below, see LuFisto takeon the Oncoming Storm, Kalamity.