Shayna Baszler was recently interviewed by Argus Leader, where she spoke about her career change from MMA fighter to professional wrestler.
“I think my coach had recognized and I think, you know, in hindsight, I can admit it, I think I was falling out of love with MMA, I started losing fights I shouldn’t have. I didn’t feel scared anymore. You know what I mean? Like I just didn’t care as much as I did before, when I was younger in the sport. So we asked the UFC, hey, could she do some pro wrestling in between? Just to keep her busy and in shape and keep doing stuff, earn some money and they were like, ‘no.’ And so my coach sat me down and was like, ‘Listen, how about we step away and do this pro wrestling thing and see just a reset?'”
On the differences between MMA and wrestling:
“One of the things that makes pro wrestling really special compared to other sports or other forms of entertainment is that the crowd is an integral part of the show. The crowd is a character in this whole thing. So the crowd being into it, the crowd chanting, how they’re reacting can affect how the match goes. Timing, I think, in MMA there’s not a story to tell. I mean, there might be a story to tell, but you’re not telling it in the match. You’re just winning the fight as fast as you can. Doesn’t matter if the crowd can tell what you’re doing. Doesn’t matter if it looks cool. Just the win is ultimately what matters. And I think in pro wrestling, you kind of want to show everyone what you’re up to. You want the crowd to know your thought process.”
On her personal wrestling Mount Rushmore:
“With a pair of each I’ll go [Trish] Stratus and Lita obviously, I think a lot of people will say, as far as WWE because during a time, like you’ve talked about the Attitude Era, and when the women were presented completely differently, they were able to draw the fans in and, and, and evolve their story into a point where they had this iconic women’s wrestling match. And I think that speaks so well of their ability and their desire to do that. And I know I, I speak for a few of the women when I say that one. And then I think Undertaker and Shawn Michaels.”