Exclusive Interview with SHINE Nova Champion, Priscilla Kelly

In a short amount of time, Priscilla Kelly has become the wrestler to watch on the independent wrestling scene. She started training in 2014 and had her first match in 2015. In just a small span of time, the self-proclaimed “Gypsy Princess” has had plenty of people talking due to the unique nature of her character. Combining her Gypsy upbringing with an overtly sexual presentation as a succubus character, Priscilla Kelly certainly has “the look” that will go far in this industry. Add to the fact that she just happens to be a legitimately great wrestler who can put on an entertaining contest with anybody put in front of her, she truly has the makings of a superstar. Now that she has become SHINE’s inaugural NOVA Champion after winning a tournament for the title last month, her career is guaranteed to reach brand new heights at just age 20. We spoke with “Hell’s Favorite Harlot” regarding her recent championship win, among other things.

First thing’s first, congratulations on becoming the first ever SHINE Nova Champion. Was winning that title the first time you thought to yourself “Wow, I made it as a wrestler,” or are there other moments from your career where you felt that?

I think that was definitely a moment of “Wow, I really made it somewhere.” I think that was the biggest moment I had yet, other than my debut in EVOLVE. One of the biggest moments in my career so far.

How did your debut in EVOLVE go? 

It went really well. I kinda just came out and creeped around the ring during Austin Theory and Darby Allin’s match and [my role] had grown from there.

Are you still one of the only women in EVOLVE right now, or are they slowly growing their women’s division?

As of right now, I am the only woman regularly on EVOLVE. I did have a match with Allysin Kay, or [GFW’s] Sienna, not too long ago, but other than that, that was the only time another woman was on EVOLVE.

Do you feel like EVOLVE needs to expand their horizons as far as women’s wrestling goes? Like they’re behind on the curve?

I don’t know. I think, right now, it would be great to have more women’s matches with more women on call, but I think that the fact that I’m the only woman on EVOLVE is what makes it so uniquely different and it makes me stand out more whereas if you have five different matches on the show, it wouldn’t be special.

Going back to your NOVA Championship win, what does that title mean to you? Is it like the Intercontinental Championship, or does it represent a special sub-division of women’s wrestling in SHINE?

I think you can call it the Intercontinental to the SHINE Championship. Because, to me, it kind of represents…like, the NOVA Championship is kind of about coming up and rising. To the future of women’s wrestling, that kind of thing. So, it’s like the first step to getting the SHINE Championship, I’ll say.

Despite being a SHINE Champion, you also work for many other promotions. Like EVOLVE, CWF, AWE, NOVA, etc. Which promotion has been your favorite to work in so far?

Well, AWE is where I got my start from and I love being in AWE, but I think EVOLVE and FIP are my two favorite places to work right now.

And why is that?

Well, EVOLVE feels like one big family and FIP is just a fun atmosphere because in FIP, there are no rules and you can kind of say whatever you want and do whatever you want in the matches and that’s pretty cool.

You’ve said before that you started wrestling because of you and your younger brother’s mutual love for The Undertaker. I was just curious if your brother has seen you wrestle live and if so, what’s he think?

Yeah, he’s seen me wrestle a few times now and he likes it. He enjoys coming to the shows and stuff, and he always wants me to give him a big hug on my way to the ring.

Speaking of The Undertaker, and this is kind of old news, but considering the influence he’s had on your career, how did you feel when The Undertaker presumably retired at this year’s WrestleMania?

Definitely a sad moment. Nobody wants to see their childhood hero retire. It definitely was sad, but understanding the toll that being in the business for that long takes on your body, it’s completely understandable.

Let’s wind the clocks back about five years ago. You were 14 years old and on the show My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding. How did you go from being this gypsy girl on the verge of marriage to becoming a pro wrestler?

Well, uh [laughs], it was just one of those things when I started training and it kind of just grew from there. I never enjoyed the quote-on-quote “gypsy culture.” I didn’t like doing the tv shows. [Laughs]. I rarely talk about this because a lot of the stuff that was portrayed on the tv show was very scripted and fake. It’s been hard breaking away from that image, but I’m pretty away from it.

Speaking of your training and your upbringing, what did your family think when they found out you started training?

They were supportive. My mom kind of just wants me to, you know, get married and have a normal life [laughs], but you know, they’re both supportive. And my dad has always supported me.

Your character has evolved a lot in the past few years. When you first started out in 2014, you had this positive princess type of gimmick. In one promo, you blew glitter at the camera. Now, you’re this pale succubus from Hell. What inspired the drastic change?

Well, back then, I was still living at home and my mother was very controlling over the way that I dressed and the way that I portrayed myself. I wasn’t really allowed to be who I wanted to be. So, for years, I just kind of had to dress the way that my mom dressed me and wanted me to portray myself. Once I moved out, I was able to find myself and actually build into my own person without somebody telling me who I should be. Then, I pretty much got comfortable with my character and what I can do in the ring instead of having to worry about what mom would think and it kind of evolved into what it is today.

 A big aspect of your character has been your sexuality. First off, would it be correct to say that your in-ring character is bisexual?

Yeah, for sure. My character is very bisexual, but at the end of the day, it’s a lot of mind games for my opponents and a lot of times, they do get sucked into it.

Ok, now, with that said, this next question is a bit of a mouthful so bare with me for a second. You’ve said in a previous interview that you want to represent that it’s ok to be open with your body because you felt as though too many gay wrestling characters are treated like a joke, or in your own words, “derogatorily.” Since then, most recently, Pro Wrestling: EVE’s Charlie Morgan came out as a lesbian in the middle of the ring. And down in PROGRESS, Jack Sexsmith has gotten over as the Pansexual Phenomenon. In light of recent events, do you think that LGBTQ visibility in wrestling is improving, or do we still have a long way to go?

It depends, because some promotions take it very seriously and don’t want their talent to do or say anything that is derogatory towards anybody of any ethnicity, gender, or whatever. But then, you’ve got some promotions that don’t care. You’ve got some wrestlers who go out there and their whole gimmick is basically “Oh, look at me! I’m a gay guy! Aren’t I funny?!” And it’s not funny. They don’t realize that they’re making the people that actually are who they’re trying to portray feel bad and that’s not ok.

 How do you think LGBTQ visibility in wrestling can improve? Just by presenting these characters in a serious manner, like how your character is in many ways, or just present more LGBTQ characters in the ring than there are now?

I just think it should be taken more seriously because those people don’t understand that what they do or say hurts other people. They’re using derogatory slang in the ring and don’t realize that those little things can make the situation worse.

Intergender wrestling tends to divide audiences. People either love it or they hate it. As someone who has wrestled guys before, what makes a good, acceptable intergender match?

One that entertains and one that, you know…I don’t like to see guys pull any punches on the girls any differently than they would the guys. So I think it should be about wrestling each other just as hard as you would wrestle anyone else and just making a good, entertaining match.

Before we end this interview, is there anything you’d like to promote? Like any upcoming matches or appearances?

This weekend, I will be at Women’s Wrestling Revolution because I will be facing Jordynne Grace for the first time. Also this weekend, I’ll be in AWS teaming up with Mercedes Martinez. Then, on the 28th of this month, I’ll be at AWE’s ROAR show against Leva Bates. So far, that’s my next weekend.

Where to find Priscilla Kelly: Twitter Facebook Instagram 

Joe Anthony Myrick

A photographer/journalist working out of Detroit.

wambamitsjam has 55 posts and counting.See all posts by wambamitsjam

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