Lisa Marie Varon On Why She Announced Her In-Ring Retirement, Going Out On Top And Passing The Torch (Exclusive)

Photo by Allen Berezovsky/FilmMagic

Lisa Marie Varon recently took part in an exclusive interview with WrestleZone’s Kevin Kellam. Varon, known as Victoria or Tara by fans of WWE and TNA, is currently in the final year of her in-ring professional wrestling career as she has announced she will be retiring at the end of 2019.

Varon explained her decision to retire, saying her body is telling her it’s time to start winding things down, but she also wants to go out on top instead of having people see her in a different light:

“I was doing quite a bit of indie wrestling, and I think people confused my style with ‘strong style.’ I don’t work strong style. I think there’s an art to making it look real, without really laying it in. You know what I mean? I’m a little snug, there’s a little more contact, but in the same areas. My boyfriend picked me up from the airport and I was really quiet and he’s like, ‘what’s wrong?’. I said ‘Man, I can’t do this anymore’ and he says ‘really?’ and then I started crying. I can’t turn my neck, I couldn’t sleep on the plane, I couldn’t get comfortable, my leg was tingling, and I’m 48 and I’m wrestling girls in their 20s. I don’t do strong style, and I’m not really a spot-set kind of girl like ‘spot-spot-spot-spot.’ I’m more about character and facial expressions and ‘less is more.’ I’m just not that crazy where I’m diving out on to chairs; I’m 48 and I have to listen to my body.

I think we’ve discussed this at the [her Squared Circle] restaurant before, but you see some legends come out and it’s like ‘oh gosh, remember when? I hate seeing him / her like this’ and I don’t want people to remember me like ‘wow, she’s really slow’ or ‘she’s really grizzled’ or ‘she can’t move in the ring like she used to.’ I’m still good in the ring and I do a lot, and there’s stuff I shouldn’t be doing, but I still do—my ego, I’ll take a superplex, I’ll take a suicide dive, which I shouldn’t—but I still want people to remember that [I’m] still a badass. I want them to question why I’m still retiring while I’m still good in the ring. I want them to remember me kicking ass.”

When selecting her matches for her ‘retirement tour’, Varon says she’s getting to pick some favorites like ODB and Melina, but there are a number of indie talents out there that are the future of the business. She said she does research names that she’s unfamiliar with, and while safety is paramount, she wants to pass the torch to the next generation and put them over on her way out.

“I’m going to be wrestling ODB, she’s one of my favorite opponents. Her and I, we don’t care what happens in the ring. We like to have fun and not worry about memorizing stuff, and we just go with what the fans are into. We try to get the fans involved and almost try to make each other laugh. Mickie James is already in WWE, so I can’t have a match with her but I’m wrestling Melina Perez, and I’m excited about that, but most of my friends are retired.

There are a few girls on the indie scene like Leva Bates, she’s one of my favorites. There are certain girls on the indie scene that I’m honored to be in the ring with. The girls now are awesome. The ones that I’m facing, they’re not really, really green. They’ve been working for a long time. With the competition now and the future of the business, they are going to be getting some awesome girls out there. Now with AEW out there, Ring Of Honor, New Japan, all that out there and WWE, [IMPACT]—now there’s a lot more platforms for girls to be showcased.”

“I will ask for the name of who my opponent is, and I will Google or see them on YouTube. I’m gonna work with someone that’s safe. I don’t want my last year, to do something extremely wrong, and I can’t walk. I want—when I turn 50, I want to be able to still go hiking, go skiing and all that kind of stuff. I need to know who my opponent is, and if they’re experienced and if they work safely. Safety is number one.”

Also, there’s a lot of indie girls that I’m a big fan of, and people are shocked that when I do the indie scene, I generally lose. I remember my agent going ‘you booked these matches’—I hate to spill the beans—‘do you need to win the matches?’ I go, ‘no. I’ve done my time. I’m not looking for another career in this, I want to give back.’ Let these girls get to do promos saying ‘I beat her’ and get the rub. The torch must be passed on.”

Check out our full interview with Lisa Marie Varon below: