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EXCLUSIVE: Vickie Guerrero has advice for South Africa’s aspiring female wrestlers

Published Aug 4, 2022


Durban — Vickie Guerrero has advised South African women who want to pursue a career in professional wrestling to have belief, discipline and devote hours into absorbing and learning the craft.

Professional wrestling enjoys significant popularity in South Africa though the nation has struggled to churn out quality international wrestling stars due to the fact that there is a lack of resources in the country towards developing sports entertainment professionals.

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Guerrero is best remembered by South African’s for her unapologetic villainous character and signature “excuse me” phrase. While best known for her time with WWE, she is currently affiliated to All Elite Wrestling (AEW).

“My advice for women who want to pursue wrestling in South Africa is for them to believe in themselves. They should love the business so much that they should be willing to make sacrifices and have discipline in the craft. They should be willing to study hours and hours of wrestling. They should not only study the women that are legends but also the men. If there is an opportunity to come to the US and train at a good wrestling school, it will be a good asset in developing a career. A good school will help develop camera work and promo work. You have to eat, breathe and sleep wrestling while remaining not distracted. You have to give it 100%, if not, find something else to do,” Guerrero told IOL Sport.

Launched in 2019 by Tony Kahn, who is also a co-owner of English Premier League football team Fulham, AEW has been making a strong impact in the wrestling industry boasting veterans such as CM Punk, Chris Jericho, Matt Hardy, Samoa Joe and Sting. AEW also boasts a women’s division with the likes of Red Velvet, Mercedes Martinez and Nyla Rose, who Guerrero currently manages.

While most South Africans associate professional wrestling with the WWE, Guerrero believes that South Africans should consider watching AEW because of its uniqueness and investment in young talent.

“We are offering a product for the fans to enjoy. If we come to South Africa, the fans will enjoy the experience. With the Covid situation now improving, we can start planning overseas trips again. We would love to show South Africans that we are happy about the attention that they are giving to our product,” said Guerrero.

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When doing her job, Guerrero is never one to shy away from controversy. She has never hidden the fact that she does not care about pleasing fans and always embraces villainous deeds. Fan opinion towards her is divided. Some feel that she is one of the greatest success stories in professional wrestling due to her ability to improvise while critics feel that her career was created due to the legacy of her late husband, wrestling legend Eddie Guerrero.

“A lot of people say I got the job because I was Eddie’s wife. I do believe in my heart that I had to prove internally that I could do it on my own. Eddie’s name was always going to get me about 2-3 months on TV but I knew that if I wanted to succeed, I’d have to show everyone that I was able to get in the ring and prove 100% that I knew what I was doing. I was raising my two girls on my own. The job was important for me to do what I wanted to do and take care of my family,” said Guerrero.

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Guerrero rose in the wrestling industry at a time when she felt it could be degrading to women, however, she believes that the industry is now more accommodating with the quality of matches also improving.

“Back then women were not taken seriously. There were a lot of bikini matches and dance offs. It was discriminating because the women wanted to wrestle. They were working hard to produce great matches. Women have broken barriers in the wrestling industry to be trusted with different types of matches. Barriers have been broken and women have proven that they can entertain as much as men. There is a lot that still needs to be done. I hope that women can get more time in their matches and also get more opportunities outside the wrestling industry,” she said.

Guerrero also gave insight into why she enjoys being a villain and how the famous “excuse me” phrase was actually the product of an error.

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“It’s easier to make the audience hate me than like me. Eddie was a great villain and after living with him for over 20 years, I learnt how to be a villain. I enjoy the audience booing me and then making them hate me by doing something like cheating in a match. The ‘excuse me’ phrase came when I forgot my lines during a promo and the fans were rude to me. I yelled excuse me really loud, the fans got louder and I got even louder. It started a new era. I used it when I went on stage. I used it as my brand and it has done well. A mistake has proven success to me years later," she said.

AEW fans can tune in to new episodes of Dynamite and Rampage on TNT Africa (DStv Channel 137) every Saturday and Sunday at 10am.


IOL Sport

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