When you ask most wrestlers about their ambitions for the future, they usually say they want to win more titles (if they’re already established), or they say they want a WWE contract (if they’re just starting out).
Not Winter, TNA’s black-clad, blood-guzzling dominatrix.
“I’d like to play Hedda Gabler,” she says. “And Maggie the Cat, in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”
But then, Katarina Waters is no ordinary wrestler. From a theatrical family (an opera singer father and a dancer mother), she’s got a stage background and hankers to tread the boards again one day. In the meantime, she’s digressing into hosting a series of horror DVDs, introducing a series of cult films under the banner title ‘Katarina’s Nightmare Theater’.
“It’s nice to have another creative outlet,” she says. “That’s one of the great things about TNA – having that flexibility to do other things that interest you.”
In London for a flying visit, she spent much of her young adulthood in the UK – first studying at the University of York, and then ring training in Sittingbourne. Although she used to be billed as from London when in the WWE, she’s not lived there, “but I think that might be the only English city American people know!” she jokes.
After a year in TNA, she’s very content, and says she has no regrets about her departure from WWE. “I don’t really have regrets,” she says. “Sure, I wish I could have achieved more, perhaps, but I’m so happy here now that maybe I was meant to leave WWE so I could be here instead.
“I was really glad when I got the chance to go to TNA,” she says. “We get TV time to show what we can do, rather than a quick tag match or something; there are two titles to go for [the Knockouts title and the Tag Team championship]; and there are usually at least a couple of storylines going on.”
Ah yes, the storylines. Her time in the world’s two biggest wrestling promotions is best known firstly for the current lesbian/vampire thing as Winter, and second for the incestuous undertone of her relationship with her screen brother Paul Burchill as the WWE’s Katie Lea Burchill.
Has there ever been a suggestion from creative that she’s turned down flat? She considers. “No,” comes the answer. “No. I’m pretty open-minded!” And then she laughs – not the cackle of the stony-faced Winter, but a proper chuckle from a woman who knows that this is a masterstroke of understatement.