LADYSPORTS SPOTLIGHT: ANDREA THE GIANT

Q &
A: ANDREA THE GIANT

'I like to catch, hurt and then finally finish off my opponents.'

Professional wrestling has seen its fair share of giants over the years, albeit almost exclusively on the male side of the line. On the distaff roster, there have been comparatively few... 6'9" Isis, 6'4" Lady Maxine, a couple of others. But now, rising to that lofty height is a Southern woman who has been tearing up rings and opponents... both female and male!

LadySports Online is proud to introduce to fans worldwide the towering wonder known as Andrea the Giant!


THE STATS:


Height:        6 feet 3 inches

Weight:        255 pounds

Hair:          Dark Brown/Black

Hometown:      Garner, North Carolina

LADYSPORTS: Welcome, Andrea! When did you first get into the sport?
ANDREA: I got in to wrestling about three and a half years ago. At the time I was doing roller derby and not looking to do much more. One day, the derby team had a chance to do a promotion with Ring Wars Carolina at a local venue. When I and the other girls got in to the ring to do our promo for the team, and I could feel the ring underneath bounding with our every step, I just had a strange feeling over come me... a flood of memories of my mother allowing me to stay up late and watch wrestling on the television, when I was a young child, filled my head. That was the start of the dream, to be a professional wrestler.

LS: Who trained you?
A: I was trained by two wonderful trainers with Ring Wars Carolina, "Nite-Stic" Eddie Brown and Hangtyme. Eddie handed down the lessons learned by his trainer, Steve Corino, to me each weekend. Hangtyme, who is an active wrestler for at least ten years, is my weekly coach in the ring, training me through all my moves and practice matches. I have had additional training provided by Allison Danger, Marco Jaggi, Claudio Castagnoli via several in-ring training seminars, and non-ring seminars with Al Snow. Just recently, I had the extreme pleasure of doing some in-ring training with the legendary Susan Green.

LS: What was your biggest influence to become a wrestler?
A: Wow, what a list of influences to sort through! I guess it was that I was lucky enough to live to see what I call the Golden Age of Wrestling back in the 70's and 80's every week when I was a child. Seeing the greats like Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, the Rockers... Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty... the Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Susan Green and so many others every week left a lasting impression on me.

LS: What other sports do you have an interest in?
A: Well, my other favorite sport is women's flat track roller derby. I need to throw out a quick plug to my old teams of the Carolina Rollergirls and the Rogue Rollergirls. Derby is what got me out of the house and into sports, and that which finally led me to my first wrestling ring. I also enjoy racquetball, bowling and ice hockey.

LS: How would you describe yourself in terms of attitude, personality, likes, dislikes, and strengths?
A: I would say that I can have a very strong personality at times. Anyone who has seen me around a wrestling ring knows this first hand. But I do have a very warm and caring side as well. I'm kind of a gentle giant of sorts outside of wrestling. I love to hang with my dear friends whenever possible, much like everyone else does. I also have a strong comedy gene inside me that at times love to burst out.

LS: What is your most marked characteristic as a wrestler?
A: That's an easy one: I'm big, huge, and yes... giant! I am a strong gal, and my opponents know that when I hit them with my huge chops. I am also a little mean and perhaps just a little dirty. I am also just a little scary; children tend to hide on their mothers' sides when I come walking by.

LS: Describe a typical day of training for you. What is most important in your workout?
A: A typical day of training for me starts in the morning with a healthy breakfast. I am huge on eating good foods. After breakfast, it's off to the gym for about two hours of weight and cardio training. Cardio training is so important for a wrestling being in the ring and winning. I personally do the elliptical machines for my cardio workout. I'm in the gym a solid three days a week. I fill in with p90x workouts when not in the gym and at home for the evening. For ring training, it depends on the day but it goes from about two to five hours of training. That training is composed of basic move training and practice matches.

LS: How would you best describe your ring style?
A: I would say my ring style is along the lines of old school wrestling. At my size I do not go to the air much at all, but it does happen every once in a while. I like to catch, hurt and then finally finish off my opponents.

LS: What moves are you best known for?
A: I am best known for my choke slams and submission bear hugs. Both leave my opponents gasping for air and waiting on help to get out of the ring.

LS: Have you ever been injured in the ring?
A: Well, small injures happen all the time. Heck, it's real folks! The worst injury I had encountered was a twisted ankle. It put me on crutches for about four weeks.

LS: Who have been your toughest opponents?
A: The guys for the most part have been my toughest opponents. They are the only opponents that at times come close to my size and strength. Yes, I can take on them and win, too. As far as women wrestlers go, Mia the Scandinavian Sweetheart has been a pain in my side. She is fast and has a very stiff kick that is very effective.

LS: Who are your allies?
A: Allies, I really don't have any at this time. I think most are scared, and the ones that try to be usually can't be trusted. So for now, I am making my own destiny a reality.

LS: What has been your most memorable win?
A: I think my first belt is the most memorable win to date. To have that gold belt in your hands for the first time, well it's an awesome feeling. It's why I got in to the business in the first place, to be a winner.

LS: What was your worst loss?
A: My worst lost was my ladies title belt win that was taken back from me this past March. I clearly defeated the RWC Ladies Champion only to be stripped of it by the original ref minutes after the end of the match. You see the first ref was hit by my opponent as I threw my opponent in to the turnbuckle prior to a viscous choke slam. A secondary ref ran to the ring to declare me the winner as the primary ref was knocked out by the collision. I am still steaming over that lack of qualified officiating that cost me my title.

LS: Who is the one wrestler you would most like to face in the ring, but haven't yet?
A: Darn, you only want me to name one... ? Well, right now I would say it's Awesome Kong. She is the only girl that I ran into that I think would yield a giant match. Think of it, Giant vs. Kong. You know that has to be an exciting match. But even better, think of the tag team potential if we ever joined forces.

LS: What type of match do you enjoy the most?
A: I love an engaging match. An engaging match for me is one where it's a battle that takes both of us to our limits. One that makes the fans get out of their seats and stand to applaud both of us as we leave the ring.

LS: What sort of reactions do you get from people when they learn you are a wrestler?
A: They back away and increase the distance between us. They also ask if it's real or fake. I then show them my bruises and they know it's real.

LS: What is so special about this sport to you?
A: The personal challenge to be my best at what I love and have loved since I was a child. It's also the history. So many wonderful matches by legends have become classics. I want to get to a point in my career where I am a part of those next generations of classic matches that fans will talk about in the years to come.

LS: What are your fans like?
A: My fan base is of all age groups. It's an evenly split among the children and the adults. The older fans do seem to like me more because of my old school wrestling style, while the younger fans seem to like me because of my dark natured wrestling character and physical size.

LS: If you had the power, what one thing would you do to improve the sport?
A: Take wrestling back twenty years to where there was less high flying and more wrestling action.

LS: Where have you wrestled, and what titles have you held?
A: I have been wrestling primarily in the Carolinas but of late been making the rounds in Florida with the hopes of creating a larger wrestling region for myself. The goal is to make it to the top of our business. I have held television, tag and women champion titles in several federations. My current goal is capture as many titles as I can moving forward. You see, the GIANT is very fond of gold.

LS: What are your thoughts on women participating in the sport?
A: It's simple; women can do wrestling just as good as the guys. And we can even look good while doing it.

LS: What was your most unforgettable moment in the sport?
A: The Wrestlemania match with Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels. These two guys put on an incredible match and they are personal favorites of mine for years.

LS: Any regrets?
A: Yes, I should have started wrestling sooner. I am coming at wrestling later that most in the sport. That just means I have to work harder to achieve my goals.

LS: What would you do if you couldn't be in wrestling?
A: I would be going to wrestling shows or watching it on TV. I do this now on my off days when I don't have a show scheduled.

LS: What is your personal motto?
A: Think big, think GIANT.

LS: What would make you most happy in life?
A: To have a length career in the WWE or TNA, maybe do some movies, and find someone to settle down with along the way. Life is too short not to follow our dreams and share those dreams with someone special.

LS: Anything else you'd like to add?
A: It's has been a total pleasure to sit down with you and share my wrestling adventures with you all. I would like to invite everyone to stop by and fan up with on my Facebook fan page. Just search for "Andrea the GIANT" on Facebook to find me. If you all have pictures or videos of me, please send them up to the fan site as I know others want to see you have. Also check me out on YouTube.com and ringwarscarolina.net. I would also like to thanks everyone who has helped make my dream a reality.

pics courtesy of Andrea