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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Interview with IZW Superstar Erica

Erica Torres 
“I started out as an amateur wrestler where I was a 3-time All-American, 2-time State Champion and National Champion.”

For Erica Torres known to professional wrestling fans simply as “Erica” competing has always been in her blood.  Fans of IZW know of her exploits at the Impact Arena and her partnership with Double D, but Erica’s career began much earlier than most fans know.  A wrestling prodigy since she was a child, Erica has over a decade of experience in the unforgiving and grueling world of amateur wrestling. When looking at her background and pedigree it more closely resembles the road that Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar took to becoming professional wrestlers than that of Beth Phoenix or Gail Kim.

“I wrestled for about 12 years. I wrestled boys all the way through to my junior year of high school, my junior year is when I went to my first girls’ tournament and started wrestling girls.  I was team captain from 7th grade until my senior year of high school.  I was the first girl to ever make it to the second day of the California Men's Divisional’s my sophomore year,” Erica said.

Originally from California, Erica’s esteemed amateur wrestling career did not end in high school.  She received a college scholarship which sent her to Oklahoma which is the place her professional career began.  “I got a wrestling scholarship to Oklahoma City University and it was really different for me because that was the first time I had ever been on a female team.  Myself and another girl on my team were the first females from Oklahoma City University to place in an international tournament.  I was also the runner up in the Dave Schultz International,” Erica remembered.

After her time in college, Erica set out on a professional career in wrestling and mixed martial arts (MMA).  Her cousin is former #1 UFC Lightweight Contender Joe “Daddy” Stevenson so competing and fighting is ingrained in Erica’s family’s DNA.   Competing in MMA under the guidance of Dr. Ron Tripp, Erica picked up wins by submission (strikes) and TKO proving that she’s a force to be reckoned with in whatever venue she competes in. 

But these days, Erica is dedicated to competing in the squared circle.  Erica like so many other rising stars on the Oklahoma circuit was trained by wrestling legend Tom Jones and that along with her amateur background and the high flying techniques she picked up from Double D has made her the most popular female wrestler in the Mid-South.

“Right now I’m focusing on being a top competitor and giving the fans the best entertainment possible.  I live to hear the crowd chant my name and scream at me to win. It’s the greatest feeling ever to know there are people coming to the shows and wanting to see me win,” Erica stated.

Erica has succeeded in one of the toughest businesses in the world with the same type of mental and physical fortitude that she displayed in amateur wrestling and MMA.  Her lifelong perseverance has made her the leader among women on the Independent circuit.  She continues to put 100% of her time and effort into becoming the best she can be. 

“Training wise I lift weights and work out at the gym, I like to do a lot of MMA training and I work on anything I may have gotten beat with or anything I need to perfect to make sure I beat someone. I always watch back my matches to learn from my mistakes and get better.  There are so many challenges that come with wrestling like making sure you get to the building on time, to give yourself enough time to warm up and get ready, to competing, or making sure you eat right, or the next day after competing being so sore you don't want to get out of bed. And there is always the possibilities of injuries,” Erica continued.

Commitment like this has garnered Erica the praise of the IZW faithful who in return have given her the nickname “The Lady of Impact”.  Now with IZW being broadcast every Saturday night on, Erica has the ability to have her matches witnessed by millions of wrestling fans around the globe.   “I think it is an incredibly big deal that fans around the world can tune in and watch IZW. I feel we have a very successful product and it needs to be out there for fans to see.  I am fully confident in the future of IZW.  It’s a great show, the best place by far to work for in Oklahoma. I hope more fans tune in and come live to watch us pour our hearts out and compete in a sport that we all love to do.,” Erica said.

In wrestling every Yin has its Yang.  Good versus Evil.  Part of Erica’s rise in IZW is do to her memorable and ongoing feud with rival, Starr.  “I see myself as a strong part of the women's division. For the longest time I was the only female and was a manager for Double D then Impact Inc. brought in Starr to, in their words, ‘stick it to me’. From there it all went downhill.  As far as me and Starr go, she hates the fact that the fans cheer me instead of her and I despise the fact that she has a horrible attitude,” Erica articulated.

Over the past several months, more fire has been thrown on the Erica VS Starr feud as two newcomers have been brought into the grudge and all they’ve done is stoke the fire.  “She [Starr] brought in Kyra Maya as a friend to demolish me and I found Lexi to even the odds.  Now after that swimsuit competition that [IZW Commissioner] Brandon Bishop decided to throw our way, Kyra is no longer Starr’s friend, so I do feel more confident knowing that every woman is in there for herself. But then again you never know what is going to happen,” Erica continued.

Next up for Erica is a history making match at IZW’s next iPPV “March Mayhem” on March 17 exclusively on  Having competed in hundreds of high stakes matches, the importance of her bout at “March Mayhem” is not lost on Erica.

“At ‘March Mayhem,’ on March 17th, I get to compete in the first ever Women's Fatal 4 Way against Miss Diss Lexia, which don't get me wrong we are friends but we are competitors first and I think that is why we get along so well because we know when to separate friendship  and competition. Then I get the pleasure of beating up Starr again which I love to do because she has diarrhea of the mouth and everything that she says is a load of crap. She is the...let me make this clear...."SELF-PROCLAIMED" ‘Queen of IZW’. In all honesty, I see her as one hell of a competitor but I absolutely despise her attitude and that drives me to want to beat and embarrass her. And I get to get my hands on that deranged bear of a woman Kyra. She may think she is the most dominate woman in IZW but I got news for her, she had to attack me from behind to put me through that table.  I guarantee she couldn't do it if I was ready for her. I have no problems going toe to toe with that woman because we may have a size difference but I’m smarter, faster, and I have a drive and determination that is unmatched. So I guarantee that it’s going to be one hell of a battle and everyone in that ring is going to give it their all but I plan to walk out the victor,” Erica replied.

 At 23, Erica is still very young in the sport of professional wrestling and for a woman that already has a proven track record of success, including multiple championships to her credit, it’s a no-brainer that the best is still yet to come for the Lady of Impact.    She has all the pieces of the puzzle to be a major player in any organization’s women’s division, including WWE and TNA.  

Still humble, even with all of her success, Erica knows it’s the fans that make everything possible.   “I would love to thank the fans for always being there for myself and all the other competitors out there in the ring.  If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't be where we are and I want to thank them for believing in me because when I hear them chanting for me it gives me that extra boost to want to win not only for myself but for them too,” Erica concluded

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