Getting to Know Vanessa Kraven
Vanessa Kraven in full goth mode before an Indy show
Stories that go "she's not the typical girl" come along everyday, just not in pro-wrestling. Yet that's just how the story goes for Vanessa Kraven, a 22-year-old aspiring wrestler from Notre-Dame-des-Graces, who has dreamed of making her living in the squared circle since the age of 18. At 6 foot even and a very muscular 200 lbs., she has both the talent and the genetics to do it.
The early stages of Kraven's odyssey led her to Sully's Gym in Toronto, where she studied under Ron Hutchison, the same trainer who helped produced Edge, Christian, Trish Stratus and Gail Kim among others. Kraven trained twice a week there, going through time-honored bumping drills for half a year. Kraven felt like she was improving slowly, but steadily, and that she was really on the way to becoming a wrestler. However, as is the case with many good things, her sojourn in Toronto did not last much longer. The stint with Hutchison was drawing to a close as Kraven slowly became disillusioned about her training. It was during a visit to the U.S., where after observing American trainer Zaquary Springate III, that she realized that her training may not have been up to par.
Vanessa Kraven hams it up with Zaquary Springate (blue sleeves) and his crew in the Good Ol' USA
"I realized I couldn't even do a proper hiptoss." She notes that the experience with Springate was quite disheartening. "After that, you felt like you were getting screwed." She left the school before long, and returned to Montreal. Soon after, Hutchison's school closed down.
Back in Montreal, in the 2003-2004 winter, and still dreaming of becoming a wrestler, she called upon an old friend, Brian The Guppie, a former radio colleague from her little-known days as Amazon Alex. Guppie advised her to seek the various trainers in Montreal, giving high marks to the NCW school among others. His opinion was confirmed by NCW veteran Franky The Mobster, a man not especially known for beating around the bush. At her first class, "Amazon Alex" made quite the impression on NCW's Cobra with her size, her talent and her attitude. From then on, she was on the fast track to being an NCW regular. By ChallengeMania of that year, she was appearing during NCW's shows on a regular basis, donning the gimmick of an evil Goth chick, who happened to a towering figure over her "half-brother", NCW's James Kraven.
Kraven already has many fond memories of training under Cobra in NCW. "It's fun, a lot of fart jokes, and nothing is funnier than Cobra's interpretation of the English language," she laughs. Quite seriously, though, she remarks that "the training is very good. Cobra never lets you do anything you're not ready for, and pushes you to do what you don't want to do if you are ready. He's very good at judging that." In a small quip, she also adds: "And I can do a proper hiptoss now." In the coming year, Kraven states matter-of-factly that her goals are to continue improving her chain wrestling and just getting more comfortable in the context of a match.
Given her imposing physical presence, comparisons to former WWE-star Chyna are inevitable. Kraven is somewhat hesitant to accept the comparison, noting that although they are both tall, well-built women, she was never a fan of Chyna's style nor her wrestling. "She is more of a brute, I'd like to be more technical and skilled."
As for being a show regular, Kraven is loving every second of it and having a blast. Kraven notes that during the days, which she spends working at a clothing store trying to save up money, she thinks constantly about being in the ring. "I think of wrestling, and about the Vanessa Kraven character; Vanessa Kraven is a complete other side of me, she's sarcastic, sadistic and really bitchy." According to Vanessa, her power and size are the perfect compliment to James Kraven's speed and agility.
Meet the Kravens - Half-siblings Vanessa and James
Yours truly though, will note that Vanessa Kraven isn't exactly good at hiding her sadistic tendencies. Her thunderous chops, which are becoming a trademark hers, are given out on a frighteningly regular basis during her practices. As she rears back to deliver one of them, a torturous smile, fraught with the most evil intentions, never fails to form on her visage. "Yeah, I guess those chops are fun. I really like that sound!" she laughs cruelly.
"I'm really nice person," she says, in contrast to the malevolant "bitch" she incarnates when she is on stage. When asked how her friends would describe her, the first words that come to her are "I care about people, I enjoy people with a good personality and I don't care what people look like." Despite her quick success in NCW, Kraven has remained down-to-Earth, personable and quite easy to get along with.
Vanessa with the NCW posse, relaxing before a show in St-Donat, QC
Word Association With Vanessa Kraven
Brian The Guppie- Close friend.
Jimmy Stone - Hilarious.
IWS- Future possibilities.
Chyna- Pioneer; door-opener.
LuFisto- First person I ever spoke to about entering wrestling
Nick Blade- Cocky; yet human.
James Kraven- Amazing high-flyer.
Vanessa Kraven is a regular performer at NCW. You can find out more by visiting NCW's website.
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