I hope you enjoy this week’s episode with Shazza Mckenzie. The full transcript can be found below for the interview; however, I hope I can talk you into checking out the show over on Patreon. The show is free to listen to, but if you like what you hear, I hope I can ask you to throw a dollar a month our way to invest in this show and the pro wrestling themed comic book I’m working on. This Patreon page is the official place to keep up with all the latest on the comic and the new show.
Gobbledy Gooker artwork was created by Rusty Shackles.
Shazza McKenzie: 00:00 Okay. I’m Shazza McKenzie. I’m a professional wrestler based in Sydney, Australia. I’ve been wrestling for about 10 years now. I started watching wrestling a bit later than I guess most people. Most people I guess grew up on it, and then inevitability lived out their lifelong dream, whereas I started watching when I was about 15 or 16, so I was a teenager. Very odd for a female at 15 or 16 to start watching wrestling.
But yeah, I had a boyfriend at the time and he really wanted to watch wrestling. I was like, “No, I don’t want to watch that. That sounds blah.” Yeah, I was girly girl, I was just like, “No, I don’t want to watch that. That sounds stupid.” Then one day he eventually won the fight and we put on wrestling. It was in 2004, and it was just after WrestleMania. I think it might have been two weeks after WrestleMania ’cause it was like they were doing the draft. I didn’t understand why he was so excited when Ed returned. I was like, “It was just a guy coming down [inaudible 00:01:12], what are you yelling about?”
But I remember Trish Stratus walked out and I was just like, “Oh, okay. This is cool.” She’s gorgeous, and then she got in the ring and she kicked ass and I was like, “Oh! Oh okay. I get this. It’s strong, confident women, and they just kick ass.” You watch it once and then you just get obsessed and then it just became my whole entire life. I don’t think I went out and left my house for a year, unless I was physically forced to.
I would go and I’d rent DVD’s because this is back when the internet wasn’t super fancy and torrents and all that video on demand stuff. So I would rent the same five DVDs that my local video store had at the time that was wrestling, and I would just watch them like crazy. But yeah, that’s what I started watching wrestling and then I was just like, “That’s what I’m going to do.” As soon as I started watching it I was like, “This is it. This is my life.” There was no other choice. I was going to be a wrestler.
B.J. Mendelson: 02:24 That’s beautiful. Let me ask you, if Trish was not there do you think that you would have been pulled into it the same way?
Shazza McKenzie: 02:35 I don’t know. No … it was just Trish was the first one I saw, so I’m sure if there was another female that came out and was put in a … it’s because she wasn’t put in a, I don’t know, a woman’s role. It was like she just turned on Chris Jericho, and she was with Christian, and she was being a bad ass bitch and she was just not taking crap from anyone. It was anyone that would have been put in that sort of character where she was able to outsmart the guy. It was something about that that brought me in. So I don’t know if it was Trish exactly, but any female that had come out that was being projected as a strong, confident female probably would have connected with me.
B.J. Mendelson: 03:30 I think that’s wonderful to hear. Let me ask you, is there a story behind your ring name? If so, where did it come from?
Shazza McKenzie: 03:39 Okay, so there is a movie I think in Australia where there’s a main character called Bazza McKenzie. Any name that’s like Azza, so Bazza, Shazza, Dazza, all those kinds of names is like, I don’t know if it’s Australian slang, that’s not the term. I don’t know, it’s kind of like a very Australian nickname you would give someone.
So Shazza is technically for most people a nickname for the name Sharon. It’s technically a nickname normally, but yeah, there was this character called Bazza McKenzie and my trainer at the time was like, “Oh, so I have this idea that you’re going to be Shazza McKenzie because of Bazza McKenzie.” I’ve never seen the movie, or the character, or anything, and I still haven’t. It’s 10 years later.
B.J. Mendelson: 04:41 Oh, wow.
Shazza McKenzie: 04:42 Yeah, no, I really haven’t. I was very adamant that I didn’t want to be Shazza because it is such a … the term is bogan. I guess the American equivalent is like a redneck name. Yeah, like it’s Australian, it’s bogan. I was like, “I don’t want to do that,” because I just wanted to be cheerleader or something. I was like, “No, I don’t want to be like a bogan, that’s not who I am.” Not that I’m a cheerleader either. I didn’t want to be a bogan. I was very adamant that I didn’t want that name, but when I debuted I did a run in on a match, in a guys match, and helped someone win a title or whatever, and then two days later they had the review up from the show. It was like, “Oh, and Shazza McKenzie ran in and did it.” I was like, “Well, okay, I guess that’s my name. I don’t really have a choice now.”
Yeah, so people, Australians at least, will ask me, “Oh, have you ever thought of changing it because it’s such a bogan name and you don’t do anything that’s bogan?” And I was like, “Well, no, because Shazza is only such an Australian name to people in Australia.” When I wrestle overseas you guys don’t know that, like it’s just a name to you and there’s literally no other Shazza’s, so if someone says, “Oh yeah, Shazza,” they know that they’re talking about me.
There’s not a confusion, it’s not like, “Oh, Jess,” and there’s 20 Jess’. Yeah, that’s where my name came from.
B.J. Mendelson: 06:20 Oh, I had no idea. To me, it just sounds like it’s fun to say. I really just thought-
Shazza McKenzie: 06:25 Yeah, but yeah, it’s super slang, Aussie slang bogan name.
B.J. Mendelson: 06:31 Tell us about your first match. You had the run in and that was like a debut, but what was your first match and who was it with?
Shazza McKenzie: 06:38 My first match was with, now she goes by the name Harley Wonderland, at the time she was Allison Wonderland. It was down in Canberra, which is I guess Australia’s capital, but it’s not where I lived, it wasn’t a local show. I drove a couple hours to go to it. Allison Wonderland, or Harley Wonderland, I’m going to call her Harley because that’s what she’s been called for the past, I don’t know, eight years or so. We came from the same training school, so at around 2007 there’s this influx of female wrestlers in Australia. Like 2007 to 2008 where we all started within three months of each other.
There was a constant come through, around the same time as when Billie Kay and Peyton Royce and stuff all started, was that 2007, 2008, 2009 era. So yeah, I think she’d been training maybe three months or maybe six months more than me. She’d only just become a wrestler as well, I think it was her fifth match and my first match.
Yeah, but it was before that there wasn’t an influx, there wasn’t female wrestlers, so this 2007, 2008 influx was the first women that wanted to be wrestlers and properly caring about it, in Australia at least. There’s like the Madison Eagles and stuff, she was around before that, but she’ll tell you herself the girls that she was wrestling before that influx didn’t have the same passion and drive for professional wrestling that my kind of generation does.
Yeah, so I wrestled her and it was fun. It’s on YouTube, so that’s really cool because then when my opponents are like, “Oh, I’m going to wrestle Shazza McKenzie, I better Google some of her stuff,” they get to watch my first match ever. I’m like, “Well, I do none of that, so we’re not going to do anything that I did in that match.”
B.J. Mendelson: 08:57 Do you get that a lot? Do you get a lot of people like, “Oh,” where their perception is highly from that YouTube video?
Shazza McKenzie: 09:05 Yeah, yeah, definitely. You’ll get people who will be like, “Oh, we’ll do some da, da, da, da,” and I’ll be like, “No. Literally not done that in years. Could you not look at that video and tell that I was a child?” It’s just, yeah, I don’t know.
B.J. Mendelson: 09:25 That’s wild.
Shazza McKenzie: 09:25 Yeah, it was my first match. I was also sunburned on my first match.
B.J. Mendelson: 09:27 Oh, really?
Shazza McKenzie: 09:28 Yeah. I tried to go in a solarium, like a sunbed for the first time ever and I got sunburned, so now I just spray tan.
B.J. Mendelson: 09:37 Probably for the best.
Shazza Mckenzie: 09:39 Yes.
B.J. Mendelson: Let me ask you, what shows do you have coming up that you want people to know about?
Shazza Mckenzie: 09:46 Well, I have a show on Monday, which is tomorrow, in Australia, so I don’t know if this will be out by then, but there’s a show on Monday at Penrith Panthers for World Series Wrestling, which is a big international show. We’ve brought in [inaudible 00:10:00] from overseas, so it’s Johnny … I don’t know what John Morrison goes by now, we’ll just call him John Morrison.
B.J. Mendelson 10:09 I think it’s Johnny Impact or something now.
Shazza McKenzie: 10:11 Yeah, okay, so he’s on the show, and Marty Scurll’s on the show, and Paige, Abyss, Jimmy Havoc, Joey Ryan. I don’t know, there’s a bunch of people that have come down to Australia.
I’ve definitely missed a bunch of them and they’re going to be really offended if they ever hear this, but I doubt they will. They’re all down for this big tour that’s been happening this weekend. I’m on the show tomorrow where I’m wrestling Laura James in her Lucha VaVOOM character, and then on Friday I’m in America.
Shazza McKenzie: 10:46 Yeah, I fly to America on Thursday, then on Friday I’ve got RISE in LA, and then on Saturday I’m at AWS in LA. Then the week after, on the Friday night I’m at NOVA Pro in Virginia, and then I’m in Naperville, which I’ve just assumed is Chicago.
B.J. Mendelson: 11:12 It’s close enough.
Shazza McKenzie: 11:14 Yeah? I don’t know. I fly into Chicago, so I’m in Naperville on the Saturday and Sunday for RISE. Yeah, RISE is both days. Then I fly back home. When I get home I’ve got … I get home on the Wednesday, and the Thursday I have Wrestling GO where I’m wrestling Tenille Dashwood. Then the Saturday and Sunday at the House of Hardcore where I will be wrestling The Beautiful People.
B.J. : 11:41 Oh wow, you’ve got a full schedule coming, that’s fantastic.
Shazza McKenzie: 11:45 Yeah, and then I’m going to fall asleep and never wake up again. It will be well deserved.
Shazza McKenzie: 11:53 Or have a mental breakdown. Yeah, one or the other, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m either just going to sleep for days or I’m just going to completely mentally break down and have to be sent to a hospital. Or just be like, “[inaudible 00:12:03].”
B.J. Mendelson: 12:04 Well I hope not, because you’re fantastic in the ring and I think that these upcoming events are things that people should definitely check out. So let me ask you one last question, where could we find you online, and is there anything you want to plug? It doesn’t have to be wrestling related, it can be anything really that you’re into.
Shazza McKenzie: : 12:21 Well, I’m only into wrestling unfortunately. I’m very multi-facet. I like the gym too, I like working out, but that kind of goes hand in hand with wrestling. I don’t know if I’d like the gym if I wasn’t a wrestler. Who knows?
But online my Twitter and my Instagram are Shazza_McKenzie, and then my Facebook is, I think, just Shazza McKenzie, or it might be Shazza McKenzie pro wrestler. I’m sure if you type in Shazza McKenzie it’ll come up.
Then I’ve got for merch stores, there’s wrestlermerch.com has a shop for me there, and then there’s a shop for prowrestlingtees.com/shazzamckenzie where I have a new shirt that I put up two days ago that’s really cute and fun, and everyone should buy it.