Interview: Allison Danger talks SHIMMER, motherhood and feminism

Hi Allison, and thanks for joining us here at TOWIS. First of all, I want to ask a bit about the Womanist Revolution – a concept I love and try to champion in my viewing. Incredibly brave of you to even dare to mention the word “feminist”, but I’m so glad that you did and you do. Have you always identified as feminist?

Not consciously, not until I was in my early twenties. It really kicked in when I was dating a musician; he had a life that I really admired and wanted for myself in a way. He was independent, traveled a lot and really lived his dream. I remember asking myself, “Why do I hold myself back? What steps do I need to take to really follow what my heart wants?”. I realized I held myself back a lot because I never really saw females in my environment grab life by the balls and take it for themselves. It was always about family, putting themselves on the back burner and dreaming. That is why I chose not to start a family until later in life. I think deep down the feminist roots were there, I just had to dig to find them.

You’ve mentioned problems like being asked to wrestle an untrained opponent – and you’ve said it happens “all the time”.  Do you think things are changing at all? And do you think your male colleagues also have a responsibility to help change these attitudes and situations, or is it down to female talent to improve their own working conditions?

Yes and no to things changing. I think it depends on the region as I am noticing certain areas doing well and others not so much. Here on the West Coast the talent pool is very limited but it does have some really bright spots. NY Knockout Nikki and I are really working
hard to clean up some messes left by other females. Davina Rose is doing a great job up in San Fran. Thunder Kitty just ran off for Midwest pastures but she will always be a SoCal girl to me. I think by women wrestlers banding together and keeping a high standard for our peers could help improve things both in and out of the ring.

I read on Sara del Rey’s blog about her relationship with food and needing to change it in order to be able to perform at the highest level – you’ve mentioned pressure on female wrestlers to look a certain way (ie aesthetics) rather than perform a certain way. Do you think the bigger promotions, ie TNA and WWE, help to reinforce this emphasis on female talent’s looks?

With Del Rey, I think her relationship with food is about using it as the necessary fuel to train her body to its absolute peak for  wrestling. She is a machine. She understands that filling it with junk will just weigh her down and stall her workouts. SDR has an  incredible mindset when it comes to diet and exercise. I admire it deeply.

I think TNA and WWE both force the  issue of the wanting their females to look like models with a few exceptions such as Phoenix, Natalya, Tamina, Kong, Sarah Stock (just to name a few). I really feel the bigger companies are missing the boat. They can have females that look like models but to hire a division that represent different body types could appeal to a whole new breed of fans. Not every person shares the same body type. If only wrestling companies would showcase and celebrate this.

How heavily involved are you in the creative side of Shimmer? 

I would say heavily involved. Prazak and I speak frequently about the direction of SHIMMER and certain athletes there. We don’t always see eye to eye on things but we both have the same general ideas. I respect the fact that he truly believes in women in wrestling. It’s never been about selling sex or catfighting, it has always been about the fighting and the passion. I am grateful to be a part of something like SHIMMER.

Who have your own favourite feuds been against?

NYKO Nikki, Portia Perez, Saraya Knight.

I guess it’s a bit passe and patronising to ask about balancing your work with being a parent – it’s a question that men never get asked, for starters. However, I did want to ask about returning to the ring after having a baby, which is obviously a hot topic since Kharma’s return to WWE at the Royal Rumble about a month after giving birth. How did you find it getting back to fighting fitness, and did you find that people treated you differently in the ring when you got back to competition?

It was very difficult returning, especially physically. The birth of my daughter was very traumatic to my body and resulted in emergency surgery. I took my first bump in practice seven weeks post-partum – awful, I should have stayed out longer than I did. I returned to SHIMMER way too early but I really wanted to push and continue my fight against Portia Perez.

I have slowed my wrestling schedule over the three years since becoming a mother. It’s harder to say goodbye when I have to leave her for a weekend but at the same time I still very much love being in the ring. I received a lot of support upon my return and I was very grateful for it.

And on a personal note, any chance of you guys coming over here and putting on a show in the UK or Europe this year?

No SHIMMER in the UK but you will see me again at WAWW, a promotion I am very proud to be a part of. Check us out!

You can follow Allison Danger on Twitter @AllisonDanger.

Next month she is taking part in the March of Dimes charity walk to raise money for good pre- and post-natal care – which she benefited from after having her daughter. 

She also requested that I use a picture of Michael Fassbender in this interview rather than one of her. If that interests you, click through to IMDb’s Fassbender gallery!

One Response to Interview: Allison Danger talks SHIMMER, motherhood and feminism

  1. […] an interview where you describe yourself as a feminist – I had a similar conversation with Allison Danger, but when did you start seeing yourself as a […]

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