Interview: Jenny Sjodin talks MMA, feminism and false eyelashes

You come into pro-wrestling from a martial arts background – what made you want to move into sports entertainment?

I actually started off in amateur wrestling because we didn’t have any pro wrestling schools in Sweden at the time but my desired goal has always been to be a professional wrestler. The martial arts is something I picked up in Dublin after a few months into my pro wrestling training. I love the level of physical work required, the pressure to always keep improving technically to stay on top and the close communication to the fans the sport offers.

Do you find any of your opponents loath to face you because of your MMA skills, and perhaps working a bit stiffer than they’re used to?

There are rumours that certain female wrestlers have begged promoters to not be booked against me, I don’t know if it’s true. Funnily, the wrestlers who have thought properly how to protect themselves and not whine as soon as their fake eyelashes fall off never seem to complain, though. They usually show lots of respect for me.

You name Sarah Stock, Cheerleader Melissa and Kong as three of your favourites – what do you  admire about them?

Sarah Stock is one of the most versatile wrestlers today. Kong is just amazing in every way and Cheerleader Melissa has brilliant technical skills as well as an incredible level of legitimacy. It definitely influenced me a lot when I first started.

What is the appeal of wanting to work in Japan?

Puroresu is the reason I got into the business, I’ve always been coloured by the hard physical work and no-nonsense technical wrestling that style is known for. I’ve never been that entertained by simple black and white but more drawn towards complex shades of grey where the crowd is allowed to make their own conclusions.

You’re also a personal trainer – are you as tough on your clients as you are on yourself? I’m told by the guys at EVE that you have a very strict training schedule!

My clients chose me because of my reputation so I guess it would be disappointing not to. They know, or will soon learn, that it’s all down to hard work and a die-hard determination if they want to reach their goals.

Your intergender work is very impressive – do you ever find that men are still reticent about wrestling a woman, or seeing a man wrestle a woman? I know that as a fan I have much more respect for men, such as the Kings of Wrestling, and the Chikara guys, who are happy to work with female talent, like Sara del Rey.

Thanks a lot. I sometimes come across it but not often nowadays – I’m that well known by now most men know better then to mess with me.

I also saw 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 feminist?

I got into the political debate at the age of twelve and I’ve been calling myself a feminist ever since. I guess I realised how differently men and women was treated in the political sphere, then in school, among my friends and eventually in every single part of society. I got my feminist tattoo when I was 18.

Who have your favourite opponents been, male or female?

I love kicking April Davids in the head. In the ring and during some training sessions I absolutely hate her, we know each other inside and out so facing her is truly challenging. My former trainer Phil Boyd is always a pleasure to wrestle but my favourite opponent so far is probably Sakura Emi. It was such a pleasure to meet her and I feel honoured that she stepped inside the ring with me.

One Response to Interview: Jenny Sjodin talks MMA, feminism and false eyelashes

  1. […] Jenny Sjodin lost her ProWrestling EVE title to the Alpha Female (who persists in wearing tops that threaten to […]

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