Interview: Laurel Van Ness talks about training under Lance Storm, wrestling in India, working with Grado, and much more
With a total of 115 matches in her wrestling kitty and several championship victories, Chelsea Green aka Laurel Van Ness has proved herself to be one of the most respected names in professional wrestling today.
She currently wrestles full-time for Global Force Wrestling. She's also well-known for performing in several major independent wrestling promotions like Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (ECCW), Queens of Combat (QOC), SHIMMER Women Athletes, and Shine Wrestling, to name a few.
In this interview, Van Ness discussed her experience about training under Lance Storm, her maiden trip to India with The Great Khali's wrestling promotion, her thoughts on the now-infamous shoot incident between Rosemary and Sexy Star, and much more.
So, without further ado, here's our interview with GFW Superstar Chelsea Green aka Laurel Van Ness.
Q: You trained under the tutelage of Lance Storm in Calgary, Alberta, at Storm Wrestling Academy. What was it like to train under one of the best professional wrestlers in Canadian history?
Well, I think he’s really one of the best wrestlers in the world. He’s definitely one of the best coaches in the world. I got an experience that not many people can say that they have and I truly think that that’s why I am in the position I am in today; three years into wrestling and signed because of him.
Q: Your recent tour with GFW in Mumbai wasn't the first time you actually came to India, right? I believe your first trip here was wrestling for The Great Khali's wrestling school/promotion, Continental Wrestling Entertainment. What was that experience like? And how does it compare to your recent trip to Mumbai?
Oh, I love both parts of India that I’ve been to. They were very different experiences because I was absolutely in the jungle when I was working for Khali, and in Mumbai, we were right in the city. But, I love India so much, the people are so welcoming and Indian food is my favourite food, so I can’t wait to go back there and have more experiences over there.
Q: You're currently working with Grado, who's undoubtedly one of the best comedic wrestlers in the industry today. How's the experience working with him?
I love it. I get asked that a lot; he’s so funny and so fun to work with. And I think that translates to what you see on TV, in the in-ring segments, and promos.
Q: On a slightly serious note, one of your GFW roster members Rosemary, unintentionally got into an altercation with a certain now-infamous luchadora. Can you share your opinion on this issue as a female worker?
I really don’t have an opinion on Sexy Star, but I will say about the whole situation is that when we get in the ring, our main goal is to keep each other safe. So, [you know] it’s upsetting that there would be an injury in the ring especially to a very safe worker, a sound worker.
Q: Back in 2014, you were a part of WWE's storyline segment with Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella. You played the role of Daniel Bryan's physical therapist, Megan Miller. How was the experience of working in your first-ever live televised segment? Also, how did you manage to grab that role?
That was very terrifying; I actually took part as an extra and they ended up needing someone to play that role and asked me and it was very nerve-racking and it was sink or swim moment for me in my career. But I think that I did well for the job that I was doing and it's an amazing experience to look back on.
Q: Women's wrestling has seen quite a significant rise in the last two years. Can we expect GFW Knockouts to main event a major GFW PPV like Bound for Glory or Slammiversary?
Yeah, I can see that 100% happening in the future. We’ll just have to work towards that, you know build up a strong base build up the Knockouts division, build interest in the fans because if they’re not interested then why put on a main event or why main event a PPV? We need the fans behind us so that’s what we’re working on.
Q: How much of Chelsea Green exists in Laurel Van Ness?
*Laughs* I think you have to pick-up experiences from your real life to build your character on. But to an extent, you know there’s always going to be parts of you that come out. But I do consider who I am in the ring to be 99% a character. I think that in real life, of course, you get along with people in the ring, but you know there are always little things that come through that are me.
Q: GFW recently did a lot of house shows that received a lot of positive response. So, how does it feel to see GFW rising slowly and steadily towards getting recognised as a major wrestling brand?
Oh, I love it. Some years ago, we were competing with the WWE and we were a major influence in the wrestling world. Not wanting to pass that point of time because we have so many amazing workers on the roster and I think that we put on a great show and when people do watch the show, they pride at the talent and level of skill the past roster had. We're all wanting to get back to that and get back that recognition that the guys and girls deserve.
Q: WWE recently had the Mae Young Classic tournament. Do you see GFW putting on a similar kind of tournament in the future?
We actually have Knockouts PPV called the Knockouts Knockdown, which’s a lot like the Mae Young Classic. We shoot an angle and bring in talent from all over the world. Actually, some of the talent from the Mae Young Classic has been a part of the Knockouts Knockdown.
Q: Any parting message for your fans in India?
Thank you very much for the hospitality and for having us. We absolutely love working in India, the vibe of the crowd, the energy of the crowd is amazing, something that we don’t have everywhere in the world. We really appreciate that and I think that I speak for everyone when I say this -- we’re very excited to come back.
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