Interview : So Cal Val

1. First of all, please describe yourself to the readers?
Hi guys! Valerie Wyndham here or “$oCalVal” to the wrestling world. I’m a professional model, wrestling manager & announcer and I write a Fashion blog titled “The Art of Overdressing” featured with Orlando Style Magazine and Lucky Magazine. You can read my blog here:
2. When you were younger did you watch wrestling and if so who were your heroes growing up?
 I started watching wrestling around 13 or 14 years old. My main inspiration was and still is Stephanie McMahon. I picked a really good role model to look up to in terms of being a powerful, self confident female in a “man’s business”. I loved the Divas as well. Torrie Wilson, Trish Stratus and Stacy Kiebler in particular. I loved the ones who were feminine. I gravitated more toward the managers and those who spoke well. That intrigued me a lot more than the physical wrestling aspect. 
3. How did this lead to you getting involved in Wrestling?
I attended several independent shows in Southern California hoping that being around the business would eventually lead me into a permanent role within it. I was lucky enough to be asked to manage when I was 15. My first show was three days after my sixteenth birthday and I’ve worked as many shows as possible ever since. 
4. Of course you were signed to TNA between 2004-2013, how was your overall experience in TNA, what was your favorite moment when you were in TNA?
There are so many. To sign a contract at 18 years old was pretty unheard of at that time. So signing with a big company is overall my greatest accomplishment. All I really wanted was to contribute to the show and learn as much as I could and that’s exactly what I got out of TNA. I am eternally grateful that they gave me that chance. Managing Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt is worth noting as well, especially because of the nod to nostalgia. Playing a “Miss Elizabeth” character was a dream come true. She is someone that little girls can look up to. I hope one day I can be seen in that same light by young women hoping to enter the business. I feel a huge responsibility to the female fans for this reason. Because first and foremost I am a fan. I whole-heartedly embrace that and never apologize for it. 
5. What have you been up to since you left TNA and what does the future hold for So Cal Val?
To no ones surprise I am still mostly busy with wrestling-related events. Some managing, some just appearances but mostly announcing. I’ve also started my Fashion Blog “The Art of Overdressing” which has led to work with my cities largest local Fashion/Style publication: Orlando Style Magazine. To be a fashion correspondent for them and emcee some of their live events has been really exciting. I’ve always loved Fashion. I knew I’d be a good fit to work in the Fashion industry in the capacity I’m most comfortable in, which is hosting. Writing and doing photoshoots for the blog is a fun way to keep in touch with fans that know me from wrestling as well as reaching out to a new fan base of bloggers and those interested in Fashion. 
6. Last year you were over here in the UK for PCW and Southside, how was your experience over here and do you think you will be coming back any time soon?
I’d love to come back as soon as I am able to. I had the BEST time at PCW, Southside and at my appearance with Kevin Nash, Scott Hall & X-Pac in Durham, England for “Wrestle Euro Store”. I am such a history buff and I’m a fan of all things British so to be able to work while seeing the sights was so incredible. I’ve never felt luckier than I did on that loop. Plus it was really cool to meet new people in wrestling I wasn’t familiar with before. There are SO many talented guys and girls over there that I think very highly of. A handful of them I still keep in contact with. It’s nice to have friends over there to look forward to seeing when I return. 
7. What has been your favorite match you have been apart of as a manager?
In seeing this question I immediately thought of the “Ladder of Love” match between Sonjay and Jay. It was certainly the turning point in our relationships. But it was hard to watch some of the riskier moves they did. You can see that written all over my face, I think. When I watch it back I remember being so incredibly worried for them both. I have never been able to not cringe when I see dangerous moves. It’s worse when I know the person but really with anyone I worry a lot. I’ve seen too many injuries over the years. When it bothers me so much I sometimes wonder why I tolerate watching it. But that’s sort of the fun of watching wrestling. The roller coaster of emotions and the payoff at the end. It’s kind of a love/hate relationship that’s interesting enough to hold my attention. 
8. What are your favorite activities you do outside of the ring?
Definitely shopping. That goes back to the passion for Fashion, of course. I love Art as well so visiting museums, sketching and watching documentaries on artists. I also love educational shows on TV about Art and History. I’m a huge “Downton Abbey” & “Mad Men” fan. I’m also currently enrolled in French school. I guess I’m always interesting in learning, really. I was homeschooled so I think my mentality about education is that when it isn’t forced upon you it can be something you feel like you can never get enough of. 
9. Where can the fans find you on Social Media and have you got a message for your fans?
Please follow me on Twitter (@SoCalValerie) and visit my official website: I hope those reading this will stay in touch and continue to support me! I try my best to stay connected and share my journey with the fans. Through Twitter, promoting my events and of course more selfles than possibly anyone on the internet. 🙂
Thanks to Valerie for allowing me to conduct this interview with her and Please go and support her at the links and handles above!

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