INTERACTIVE WRESTLING RADIO INTERVIEW - KELLY KLEIN

Show: Interactive Wrestling Radio
Guest: "The Pretty Bad Ass" Kelly Klein
Date: 06/03/17
Your Hosts: James Walsh, Patrick Kelley, & Scott Vodrey

ROH relaunched its Women of Honor division nearly 2 years ago. Since then, Kelly Klein has emerged as the perceived leader of the division which has fine tuned itself to an identifiable core of talent. Today, we sit down with "The Pretty Bad Ass" to discuss ROH's Women of Honor's future, a potential title belt, and integrating Women of Honor matches onto the main ROH TV show and PPV events. Plus, where did the Women's Revolution begin, TNA or WWE?

Plus, a fun yet brief recap talking about Randy Orton's infamous #dive tweet with Independent wrestling referee Scott Vodrey and Patrick Kelley.

 





Download the MP3 here:

KELLY KLEIN:

 

On learning the business after never having been a fan growing up: "I think the thing about it is there are so many things that go into what wrestling is. If you talk about psychology, literature, history, pop culture... All of these things, you can parlay that into wrestling. We are story tellers. So, any genre of story telling is going to hit a crossroads at some point where there are things that are shared in common."

 

On simple nuances that piece together her character and if they come from training or stage presence: "I think that is almost a catch 22 or a chicken and the egg type argument. I think good wrestling training is going to bring out some things that somebody may already have. I think it feeds back and forth. So, you're going to capitalize on that through training if you have somebody that is a good trainer or a good mentor. But, by the same token, I have to bring that to the table in the first place. There are so mentors where they'll work out ideas with me. Sometimes it is as simple as I come to somebody and I have an issue I'm trying to work out and I'm not really sure how I'm going to handle it or what direction I'm going to go. So, I start kind of bouncing it off somebody and they start giving a little feedback with some guided questions. And then, I keep going and start formulating some things so in a lot of ways, I'm sort of coming to my conclusion without their guidance. But, if I don't come to them with it, they can't guide me and facilitate that for me. But, I do have to come to somebody with that because if you don't have those ideas and if you don't understand them really intimately, I don't think you can really execute them as well and as fully. There may be something where somebody comes with this awesome idea with all of these facets to it for someone who doesn't understand it or isn't invested in it, they may not be able to explore it as deeply as someone who is more entrenched in it." On her music career: "I think we called it ambient experimental. (laughs) There is actually some online. I think it is hosted on Band Camp. If you go to Google and search for Options 100 Different Spellings or you can Google 100 Different Options Band Camp, put my name in it, you'll come up with the "Cut, Copy, Paste" album. All of the female vocals on that are me. I cola collaborated with a lot of the composition and lyrical. It is out there! You can find it! (laughs)"

 

On the lack of an ROH Women's Title and if her Undefeated Streak is close to one: "I do perceive it that way right now in lew of a belt, that is the closest that we have. Now, I think that when a belt comes in to play, and I've mentioned this before, probably one of the best ways to introduce that would be to have a tournament. Because, all of the competitors... And, even that landscape has changed drastically over the last almost 2 years now as far as women coming and going, moving on to different places, or us acquiring new talent. Some that are totally fresh new faces. It would be extremely difficult for even a Statistician to go through and really determine the level of each person or the line-up. I think when that does come about, I think we are going to see a tournament and start everybody at a level playing field. Of course, there are always several different variables there. As far as why there is not a championship now, there are a lot of things that go into that as well. One of those things is us having the platform to have a consistent presence. Even the introduction of the belt, you'd want that to be on TV. But, there is limited TV time and Ring of Honor has this huge, huge roster right now to where Ring of Honor hasn't hosted as many tryout camps. We didn't hold a Spring one because we have so many people on the roster... We have too many to present all of these talents to our audience. Lets say, for example, one one of our Women of Honor episodes, we introduce a belt. Well, then what? Do we make the audience wait another 6 months to see another women's episode? What do we do with the belt between then? You don't want to have these really good matches but then not have them be as accessible to people. You don't just sit on the belt. What I'm getting at is in order to do justice to something like that (a belt), we need to have a little more consistent platform. I think we're getting there. Even now, i think we're at the point we have a consistent core roster of women. There have been over 30 women who have been in Women of Honor over the past 2 years. But, as far as who we would think of and people would know as the core of the roster, we're at the point where people know who that is. From there, we have the situation where we can present the product and can reach our audience with something like that."

 

On splitting out the Women of Honor from the regular ROH TV shows with only men: "There would be major benefits to that. But, there are also going to be people who say, OK, but who's time do you take?" On the flip side, that is how it would be seen. There is a finite amount of time available. Then, the trick is, how do we do justice to everything that is going on, there are so many moving parts and stories being put forward. How do we not fit in but actually pull a little time here and there in order to carve out time for the women? It is definitely doable. But, it is not overnight. It will take some finessing. I think that is what we are moving toward. I agree it would be valuable It is great that people have been watching our YouTube matches. That is the kind of thing that will backup the argument. I can say and you can say, "Hey, this would be really good and valuable." There is a point where you need the proof and you need the stats. I think the way people can have their voices be heard as far as the women and wanting to see more of that is, yes, YouTube views are great but YouTube is free. They want to know, is someone going to pay for a pay per view, for an I-pay-per-view? Are people going to buy the DVD that we did? Buy the Women of Honor T shirt? Then you tell the powers that be that it is a smart move on there part. Because, they're interested, they need to be because if it crashes and burns then I don't have a place to work. I support that."

 

On beating ODB by submission at the last ROH Women of Honor TV Special: "It was really big for me and maybe for a reason that a lot of people don't realize. For me it was mostly because I worked with ODB only 1 other time since I started wrestling. It was when I was very, very new. It was one of my first few singles matches. It was really early! It was at a time where I hadn't really fully transitioned into wrestling. I was a valet or manager. I got the phone call, "She's gonna be here. She wants to know if she can wrestle." I was very, very, very new and I got to work with her. It was a very good learning experience. I mentioned this even before I saw her again. It was one of my favorite matches. She was great to work with and I learned so much. But, it was a great experience because she made it so. She really god me through that. When I found out I was going to get to work with her again (in ROH), I was a totally different wrestler, athlete, and a totally different person. For me, it was kind of coming full circle. This time, I knew I was going to be able to contribute. So, it was little bit more riding on it for me to kind of give back to her. Hey, I can pull my own weight now. it was really important to me to be able to go 1 on 1 with her as a peer now. We could face off more on the same level. That meant a lot to me. It was a important to me to really bring it. I think we both did. Every time I have a match, I will look back and see something I wish I had done differently. But, that is also the learning experience. There were some things I actually thanked Nigel McGuinness, when I watched the match back and listened to his commentary on my approach and technique, I listened to those things and watched some of the things that he mentioned. Our performance and the outcome and the perception was really great. Plus, to be in the main event of that TV episode... It also meant a lot that we had a second episode! And, I was on the main event of the first episode! So, it was a huge honor for me to be entrusted to do it again. It meant a lot to me."

 

On where the women's revolution started, TNA Impact Wrestling or WWE: "When you look at other things outside of wrestling, at history. The person who writes the history book is always the winner. The person with more money behind them and more exposure is going to claim that. I think the WWE has done and is doing great things for the women's revolution. But, at this point, I think it is more a collaborative effort. There are so many women who are training and excelling now in the lower levels of wrestling and a lot of that is because they see there is a payoff, there is a place for them. Whereas, 10 years ago, when I was starting, there were very limited roles. That was when the Knockouts started. There were more roles and that was a big deal. There were more than 2 spots on TV for a woman! There was something to accomplish and not such a limited field. In the past, how prudent would it be for a woman to enter wrestling when there was a very slim chance for them to get past that glass ceiling? Of course, I went ahead and did it anyway as did a lot of other women because maybe we're crazy. (laughs) I think that's a necessary quality. As far as starting it, I think that the Knockouts really had a huge role in that." She goes on to say that WWE advanced upon what Impact started. "It is kind of funny, in a way. Even though there are more spots available, there are more women going for those spots. We do have to be working even harder and be at the top of our game. I love it because it creates competition among us and within ourselves to be the best."

 

On if she'll be a part of WWE's upcoming Mae Young Women's Tournament: "I am just going to say that I would always consider any opportunity. Every opportunity has many, many variables... many seen and man unforeseen. I am not one who would ever say I would never do this or never work for this place. Every opportunity is different and has to be considered individually."