KZ: Hi Nikki! You’ve had an epic start to the year! Which event do you get most excited about?
N: The Royal Rumble is my favourite event. When I was growing up, I was a WWE fan and I would look forward to the Royal Rumble the most because you have 30 women in the ring and you have everyone coming out. There are debuts and there are returns – it’s just such an exciting night.
KZ: For sure! Is there anyone in particular that you’re keen to take on in the ring?
N: Rhea Ripley. She’s my former friend who betrayed me. She’s been telling everyone that I’m the villain, but I am the Almost Super Hero Nikki A.S.H. To me, Rhea is the villain; Rhea has betrayed me. I look forward to getting my hands on Rhea Ripley, my former teammate. Besides Rhea, we have some great legends returning – Mickie James, Michelle McCool, Lita, the Bella Twins, Summer Rae. It’s amazing to mix it up.
KZ: Who were your role models growing up?
N: The Hurricane and Mighty Molly were the superheroes of WWE back in the day. They fought for justice, so I was always a huge fan of them. They really inspired what I’m performing now, who I am now. Besides those two, Lita was one of my biggest role models. The first time I ever watched a WWE event, it was Lita and The Hardy Boys versus and Trish Stratus and Albert. Lita had these cool boots and an awesome T-Shirt. She was doing Hurricanranas, she was doing Moonsaults; she was doing things that I had only seen in movies!
KZ: We know you love superheroes, but how do you feel about villains?
N: I think you always need to respect the villains because they always have a reason for what they’re doing; they always believe they’re right. They might be misguided, they might be misunderstood, but I always think that you need to respect the villains just because you don’t have a hero if you don’t have a villain. Kingpin is played by this wonderful actor and he’s a very compelling villain. You literally can’t take your eyes off him. He just changes – when he walks into a scene, he just changes the entire room, he changes that scene. I really like Kingpin. I think he’s very complex.
KZ: What advice would you give to K-Zoners who want to be WWE Superstar?
N: Find a good wrestling school, and stick with your studies as well. I studied at the University of Glasgow and got my Bachelors degree and now I’m at the University of Edinburgh and I’m studying for my Masters. The way we’re learning can be completely flexible and it can be when you work out your schedule. So I think you’ll want to find a good wrestling school, but keep up your studies because it’s good to have something else in the back pocket. Also, be prepared to work really really hard. I feel like I worked so hard to get to WWE, just like any professional athlete in any profession or sport does, but when I got to WWE, that’s when the hard work really began. It’s the most fulfilling, amazing, exciting; it’s a dream come true, but understand you’re going to work hard. There are certain things you’re going to have to sacrifice, you’re going to have to miss parties and you’re going to have to miss certain things. It’s worth it, you just have to put in the work.
Read more of our interview with Nikki in the May 2022 ‘Trailblazers and Rebels’ issue of K-Zone, on sale now!
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