Recently I caught up with the reigning and defending Maryland Championship Wrestling Women’s Champion Amber Rodriguez. She has overcome many obstacles in a business many say is a man’s world.
Where it all began.
BW: How long have you been wrestling?
AR: 4 years.
BW: What was the defining moment that made you say “I want to be a wrestler”?
AR: I’ve always loved it since my childhood and when I was younger I was on the chubby side and wasn’t a very happy person I was bullied and picked on a lot, when I was 15 I joined a gym and started making healthier lifestyle choices. Also at that time my brothers had discovered a local wrestling school so I figured why not put all my energy into something that I love, something positive as the weight began to shed I became more confident and started looking at pro wrestling as more of a career than just an “after-school” thing to stay busy.
BW: Who were your favorites growing up?
AR: Shawn Michaels, Trish Stratus, Mickie James and Sensational Sherri.
Entering the Business
BW: Where did you train?
AR: Gillberg’s Pro Wrestling academy. My trainers were Earl Hart and Rich Myers.
BW: Who gave you the best advice?
AR: Amy Dumas AKA Lita getting to work with her and pick her brain within itself was unreal, next on the list would be William Regal, his outlook is different than most and he has a way of making things “click” and just in general giving you a better perspective of how this business works. And finally, Ron Simmons, he taught me a lot about story telling in the match.
BW: Who has been your best opponent?
AR: It’s definitely a toss up between Shelly Martinez and La Rosa Negra. Both are very fun and easy to work with especially Shelly, she’s so laid back and not egotistical at all like most females in the biz. The fact that she’s done so much and is so humble is amazing because there are girls who’ve only worked in their backyard and it’s like pulling teeth just to make a suggestion.
BW: Who’s been your least favorite opponent?
AR: Nyla rose… JUST KIDDING! Selene Grey, she’s just so awkward both in and outside the ring, we just didn’t click and didn’t have any chemistry. She doesn’t have much respect for people who have been around longer than she has. When I offered her a piece of advice that someone once told me, she “disagreed” and just wasn’t open to any feedback. I found that to be rude.
Rodriguez is someone who will tell it like it is. She has personality, understands her character, and will do whatever it takes to get better in the ring. She understands that she cannot wrestle forever, so she is preparing herself for a career in wrestling, and after.
Holding Nothing Back!
BW: What makes you different?
AR: There’s no one out who looks like me. There’s no woman out there CURRENTLY who can touch my promo ability. I’m constantly looking for ways to stand out and constantly looking for ways to get better, most other girls aren’t evolving the way I am, they’re comfortable most of them are comfortable because they look good and looks get you everywhere right? Well if all your money is on a pretty face, fake tits and a good weave but you don’t care about your mic skills or in ring skills then you need to get the F out.
BW: What’s been the biggest turn off in the locker room?
AR: the pettiness, the immaturity, the sensitivity! I bet a handful of people are gonna have something negative to say about me after this interview because they’re sensitive or they don’t feel comfortable when someone has an opinion different than theirs. We work in a business where you have to be “cautious” what you say because God forbid you say the wrong thing or drop the wrong name and you’re getting “blackballed” It’s so sad when ppl hide their opinions because of what ppl think, as if we weren’t humans with freedom of speech. I tell Maya and my younger cousin who’s known as Rick Powers just because you’re green doesn’t mean you can’t speak up for yourself especially if you feel like things aren’t going in the direction that they should. Because if you truly had no idea what you were doing, you wouldn’t be here!
BW: What was it like winning the MCW women’s championship?
AR: it was an honor not so much in the belt itself but the meaning behind it, the fact that Dan has enough faith in me and sees something in me to where he chose me to represent the company and to be the face of the women’s division. I’m very thankful for all the opportunities MCW has given me.
BW: Why haven’t we seen more of you and Jessie Kaye?
AR: She recently moved to Florida which cut off all future plans, best of luck to her.
BW: Would you two have been the next Trish Stratus and Lita?
AR: I’d say Nyla and I are if anything. We have feuded in several different companies all over the east coast and mid-west and now we’ve become a tag team. We’ve become very close throughout the years and even compare ourselves to C.M. Punk and Colt Cabana based on how we’ve had our match in so many different places, traveling together and learning together.
BW: You have been the most consistent and most true female wrestler at MCW yet we see others on TV why is that?
AR: I know I could be in better shape and that’s a personal issue I’m working on now but I do know that when I’m on TV it’ll be because of my work ethic and not my bedroom ethic if you know what I mean.
BW: What do you think of the competition of women’s wrestling on the east coast?
AR: I think besides WSU all the real competition is at SHINE and SHIMMER which both run outside of the east coast.
BW: Who are some people you would like to work with?
AR: I’ve been saying for a while now how I want to work people who are better than me, people who I can learn from. People like Ivelesse, Mia Yim, LuFisto, Mickie James etc… Id love to work my mentor Blk Jeez as well.
BW: Have you ever had to dish out any receipts?
AR: I wouldn’t call them receipts, I’d say more of adapting to someone else’s style for example girls like La Rosa Negra and Sienna Duvall who are hard hitters, some may even say stiff but when you’re in the ring with strong style girls it’s up to you to keep up.
BW: Where do you see yourself in five years?
AR: -ideally, I’d be on TV and more advanced in my modeling career, for a lot of people wrestling is all they know, all they are and don’t get me wrong as much as I love it, there are other fields that I want to explore such as runway modeling and fashion design.
Quick Discussion with Maya
I recently caught up Amber’s protege, Maya and we discussed how she has learned a lot from Amber.
BW: What do you think of Amber?
Maya: I think of Amber as a hard working individual who is a go getter. She is a kind hearted woman who is willing to help others achieve their goals.
BW: What are some of the things she has taught you?
Maya: Amber has helped me tremendously thus far. She has taught me things in and out of the business and she is guiding me towards the right path to lead me towards my goals and dreams.
BW: You have learned a lot from Amber, where do you see your career going?
Maya: I see my personal career going in a positive direction. I see myself being successful with all of my hard work and determination. The more one puts into it, the more they will get out of it.