Lei’D Tapa spoke with Jim Varsallone of The Miami Herald. Here are some highlights.
On being a TNA Knockout: “It’s an honor to work with TNA and to be a Knockout. It’s a great opportunity.”
On participating in Gut Check: “I’m just really grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in the [TNA] Gut Check. That put me on the radar — to get me out there and get known. It was the perfect opportunity for me and the right moment for me to be in front of the right people.
“For TNA to give me the opportunity to be with them and to grow as a wrestler and as an entertainer, I’m really honored and thankful.”
On working with Gail Kim: “It’s an honor to work with Gail Kim,” Tapa said, “and I’m so glad I have the opportunity to be doing what we’re doing right now. She’s a great teacher to me. She’s helping me to keep growing and giving me advice.
“She’s a phenomenal athlete and a great, great talent. Before I started wrestling, I would watch her on TV to see how she works. Not only is she a beautiful woman, she’s a strong woman. I always believe that being a woman stands for something, and when I look at her, that’s what I see.”
On her wrestling training and auditioning for Gut Check: [George South] “He took me in and taught me the basics. I trained there for six months, and when they felt I was ready, they put me in these independent shows. I then happened to go to a TNA Gut Check seminar in Fayetteville, North Carolina. A week after that, I got a call from Al Snow, and TNA wanted to give me an opportunity to do the Gut Check Challenge, and I went form there.”
Continuing her training in OVW: “It’s a great experience to be able to learn the technique and be able to learn the psychology and physicality of wrestling and to be able to train with such great trainers who pushed me to my limits to understand how to take moves and how to give moves and how to portray your character. “If anyone’s out there that wants to wrestle one day, if you have the opportunity, go for it and try it, because it’s something you won’t forget.”