What's the story?
Despite its scripted nature, pro wrestling is one of the most physically demanding careers to pursue. Unless it is someone like Jerry 'The King' Lawler - who is still active at 69 years old - most performers hang up their boots before they turn 50. Some even call it quits much earlier owing to different reasons.
Lisa Marie Varon, better known as Victoria to the WWE faithful, will be retiring from pro wrestling by the end of this year. The former WWE Women's Champion was exclusively interviewed by WrestleZone's Kevin Kellam, during which she revealed the reason behind the move to call it a day after being in the business for 19 years.
In case you didn't know...
Victoria began her pro wrestling training in 2000 after she was encouraged to take it up as a career by Chyna. After working hard in Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW) and impressing former WWE scout Bruce Pritchard, Victoria got the WWE job and was sent to its development system.
She remained with the company till 2009 and won the Women's Championship twice during that period. She signed up with TNA after her WWE departure and went on to become the top female performer in the promotion. Victoria won the Knockouts title on 5 different occasions. She has also wrestled for various independent promotions in the last nine years and is regarded as one of the most underrated Superstars in WWE history.
Despite being one of the better in-ring performers of her time, Victoria never really gets mentioned in the same vein as her peers, Trish Stratus and Lita. She was at the WWE Hall of Fame 2019 ceremony - her first WWE TV appearance in ten years - to watch her friend Torrie Wilson's induction.
The heart of the matter
In her interview with WrestleZone, Victoria admitted that her hard-hitting in-ring style, often perceived to be Strong-Style wrestling, had taken a physical toll on her and that the time was finally right to give her body some relief.
Victoria explained the reason behind her impending retirement by saying:
"My boyfriend picked me up from the airport and I was really quiet and he’s like, ‘what’s wrong?’. I said ‘Man, I can’t do this anymore’ and he says ‘really?’ and then I started crying. I can’t turn my neck, I couldn’t sleep on the plane, I couldn’t get comfortable, my leg was tingling, and I’m 48 and I’m wrestling girls in their 20s. I don’t do strong style, and I’m not really a spot-set kind of girl like ‘spot-spot-spot-spot.’ I’m more about character and facial expressions and ‘less is more.’ I’m just not that crazy where I’m diving out on to chairs; I’m 48 and I have to listen to my body."
Victoria added that she wants to be remembered as a wrestler who was still 'badass' when she retired and not someone who was slow, sluggish and a shell of her former self. She wants to retire while still being good in the ring, unlike many superstars who dragged on for way too long.
Victoria is one of the best in-ring workers of her generation and doesn't get enough credit for her contributions to the industry. As she winds up her career, we wish the former Women's Champion nothing but the best for all her future endeavours.