SoCal Val loved getting the chance to be the damsel in distress on camera before she started working on her skillset behind the scenes.
Val recently spoke with WrestleZone and talked about her influences in the professional wrestling business, including how Stephanie McMahon had an early impact on her. Val has previously said she took cues from McMahon’s bratty heiress-like character from the Attitude Era, and further explained where the appeal came from.
“That’s my personal Jesus. I think she’s the ultimate boss babe and I always wanted to be a character like her, in and out of wrestling and I was kinda working more as a heel on the indies. I was always a heel manager, always very bratty, spoiled brat, Stephanie McMahon kind of character,” she explained, “and then in IMPACT Wrestling, I had somebody else who believed in me who was amazing and taught me so, so much was Jeremy Borash and he let me do ring girl stuff.”
Val also spoke about the love triangle storyline she was in with Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt, and how it was the perfect one for many reasons.
“I was so happy out of all storylines I could have been in it was a love triangle because my favorite storyline ever was the Triple H, Kurt Angle, Stephanie McMahon storyline and I loved the drama of it all. Like me not wanting to be a physical athletic wrestler, I wanted to be the damsel in distress,” Val said, “I wanted to be maybe the harlot or the female character and romantic storylines I thought were really, really exciting because that’s what I liked. I liked the soap opera elements.”
“So being in a storyline where it was a romantic storyline was perfect and then to get to emulate Miss Elizabeth who was a huge influence on me and my character, was just an absolute honor. Unfortunately, I never got to meet her. I always wish I would have. I got to work with Macho Man way before IMPACT Wrestling. He was lovely,” she noted, “but I never got to meet her unfortunately.”
Val explained that once the storyline concluded, she was left without an on-air role, but still had a place in the company. She credited Mike Weber, now Chief Operating Officer of FITE, for giving her a shot as a host and says she worked hard on and off-screen during her tenure with TNA/IMPACT, and it resulted in honing skills she uses in her work today.
“But then after Jay and Sonjay were not in the company anymore and our storyline ended, they said, ‘Do you want to go back to doing ring girl? It’s a bit of a step backwards,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, actually it is, but I’ll do whatever the company needs. If you prefer me to be in that role, I’ll be in that role,’ but then eventually people like Mike Weber were seeing me do interviews and I was always trying to create my own shows and do backstage stuff and film social media stuff,” she explained, “and they eventually let me write my own scripts and work on our international markets.”
“I worked really, really, really hard behind the scenes and it’s funny cause a lot of fans don’t know that and then house shows. I was the ring announcer for several house shows for several years and just because I wasn’t shown on the show a lot I think people just kind of went, ‘Oh, were you still there during that time?’ And I was there, working really hard, doing things that you might not even know that I did,” Val explained, “and nine years is a really long time with any company. And like I said, I grew up in the company and I learned all of the skills that I now can use in outside companies as well which is awesome.
SoCal Val can be seen alongside Mickie James and Lisa Marie Varon each Wednesday on GAW TV.