Women in wrestling have worked hard to claim their time was now. If the women’s (R)Evolution in the ring has taken its time to become a reality, thanks to wrestlers like Alundra Blayze, Bull Nakano, and the current brood of female wrestlers, revolution around the ring is just starting. For a very long time, commentary or interviews were reserved for men or smiling female eye-candies.
Alicia Atout took her chance when she created Amby five years ago, a music blog, and decided to use it as a platform to fulfil her passion for wrestling a year and a half ago. Her wrestling interviews are full of wit and very well-documented. So when Impact Wrestling announced they were hiring Atout as their new backstage interviewer, at least for the Road to Slammiversary and the PPV, it seemed pretty obvious they were not just hiring a woman, but a true interviewer with a style and a real knowledge of the business.
“I’ve been a wrestling fan forever. When the music side of things got bigger, I decided ‘why not try a wrestling interview?’ and I did. It was fantastic and then I started going to a lot of local shows which turned into me, attending and doing promo work for BCW in Windsor, which is actually the company founded by Impact Wrestling very own Scott D’Amore. So I did a lot of backstage promos for them, had a couple of shows. Then him and I just kind of started talking. I’ve been brought on for the latest tapings which actually happened in Windsor and my debut is happening this Thursday which I’m very excited about. I’m also going to be at Slammiversary hosting a lot of interviews and backstage promos.”
Atout is, in fact, epitomizing another revolution starting to bloom in the wrestling business. After women being allowed to have a voice, women are now meant to be the voice of the circus. Most of them have been fans for a very long time. At a time, it was not easy for a woman to claim she could love this kind of sport, without being laughed at. Now, they can not only say it but they can also use it to become legit voices of the action.
Does working with Impact mean Atout has to stop working her Amby project? Absolutely not as the tone she’s decided to use with Impact is quite simply the one that has made her famous. “Impact is super supportive, which is one of the best parts about meeting over there and now work with them. I love the company and I love my website so I don’t have to stop doing either of the things that I love. I think I have a very conversational and calm style of interviewing which makes the talent on the other end feel very comfortable around me, which is something that I’m really proud of. A lot of Impact talents are friends of mine but there’s a lot of them I’m getting to know. The fact that we have those relationships makes it very easy to just come to work the tapings. I feel like that’s something that I bring to the table and it’s something that transitions extremely easily.”
Being taken seriously when you’re a 23-year-old woman trying to interview wrestlers is not the easiest thing. But when I asked her what she suffered from the most, Alicia Atout had a surprising answer. “There are some people who just thought ‘oh she’s young, she might not even like wrestling, she’s just another pretty face’. That really got to me because I’ve been a wrestling fan since I was like two or three years old and I have not stopped watching it since. So when people talk that way and you walk in somewhere and they think oh she’s not going to really know anything, of course, that’s something I had to deal with. Being younger, there was nothing more than I wanted to do than to prove those people wrong. That’s why, going into my interviews, I make sure they’re extremely well-researched. I go in and I want that person sitting across from me to be like ‘she knows her stuff’ and luckily that’s what’s been happening.”
Atout is pointing out the fact that, a long time ago, it was not easy to be a wrestling fan as a woman. Some were not even coming to live events. But luckily times have changed. And the women’s revolution in the ring has influenced this other revolution around and outside the ring. “I feel like we’re able to empower one another, not just in the locker room. You don’t see too many female backstage hosts, like on the Indies per se, but I feel like there’s that kind of camaraderie that can make it happen.”
Impact Wrestling has been a pioneer when it comes to giving women the power to be wrestling actors. But is what they have done for wrestlers can be valuable for interviewers? “Absolutely. I feel like they’re not creating it, I feel like they are a part of it. When I think of a revolution I don’t just think of one specific company, I think of it as in all the women, whether it’s major or Indies in wrestling. I feel like it’s like one massive thing and when I’m at Impact, whether I’m in the locker room backstage with all of the girls, whether I’m working promo with the girls, there’s such a camaraderie and everyone’s just so good at what they do like. I don’t know what else a revolution would be aside from a bunch of incredible people who are talented, beautiful, incredible in the ring and outside of the ring coming together and just putting their all into their craft.”
Most of Alicia Atout’s Amby best memories are related to Impact Wrestling, like when Rosemary licked her hand or Eli Drake turned her interview upside down. Her becoming the company new backstage interviewer is another way to create good memories. And even if she’s a woman and she’s young, not only she will do it, but she will do great. The Impact roster and fandom are supporting her in it. That’s the other side of women empowerment Impact Wrestling is able to plant the seeds of.