It’s no secret: we at DDS are huge fans of Serena Deeb. Her undying love and passion for wrestling reminds us all why we care about this sport so much. In the past year she’s become one of the most in-demand wrestlers on the planet. We caught up with her, just before she set off for Australia, in order to talk her matches for Wrestling Superstars Uncensored’s June 25th iPPV, as well Anarchy Championship Wrestling’s June 26th American Joshi Queen of Queens Tournament, and all the other great things happening for Serena. We hope you enjoy this as much as we did!
We’re so glad to have an interview with you, as you are known for being one of the nicest, most humble, and most down to earth wrestlers in the sport. You treat all your fans wonderfully and give everything you have wherever you perform. How do you manage to stay so grounded and dedicated after already achieving so much success?
Firstly, thank you! That impression of me is very special to me because, from the first day I started wrestling, I vowed that I would never change. Oftentimes the “ego” can be one of the most detrimental qualities one can develop. I will never forget where I came from and that inspires me to stay motivated to continue to move forward and continue to accomplish my dreams in this industry. One of my favorite quotes is: “Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back… play for her.” I was 11 years old when I fell in love with wrestling and I still get butterflies over it!
Because of your success and noted work ethic, a lot of young women now look up to you as an inspiration. Is being a role model for others something you envisioned when you started?
Absolutely. When I fell in love with wrestling I was at a very young, impressionable age and I am blessed that I found positive role models to inspire me. Chyna was the first woman to do that. I always wanted to have that effect on someone, and I hope that it continues on to many more.
We don’t think people talk enough about what a phenomenal athlete you are. You are in fantastic shape and one of the fastest wrestlers in the sport. What exactly is your daily training regimen like?
I believe my speed is from the 14 years of soccer I played before I wrestled! Now, my daily training is very simple…yoga. Specifically, hot (Bikram) yoga. I have been practicing for a few months now and I’m hooked. It’s healed many of my injuries from wrestling too!
In spite of being approachable outside of the ring, you’re one of the most intense wrestlers in it. Where does that signature Deeb ‘gameface’ glare from?
Hehehe. My evolution as a wrestler over the years has really changed my demeanor in the ring and now I carry myself very differently. I believe that if you carry that intensity to the ring, and it is REAL, it will translate in your performance and also onto your opponent.
WSU is a company you started working for late last year and it’s featured you prominently. What makes WSU a company you choose to work for and represent?
I appreciate the concept of all women’s promotions and the work that goes into running one, and one thing that’s guaranteed is those shows will always be fun! WSU features a lot of incredibly talented women and is successful at creating interesting story lines to keep fan interest up in between shows. Lastly, they stand for women’s wrestling and it’s no secret that I LOVE me some rasslin!
You came into WSU with the goal of capturing the title from long reigning champion Mercedes Martinez. You had an incredible near 20 minute match with her to headline the WSU 4th Anniversary iPPV [1. Mercedes vs Serena Deeb available here from WSU.]. Tell us what you think about Mercedes and what that match was like for you.
Thank you very much. I respect Mercedes very much and consider her one of the best in the sport. I had high expectations going into the match because we had wrestled only one time prior and had that “chemistry” that you don’t always have right off the bat. I knew it would be good, but it even surpassed my high expectations. I would rank it up there with some of my favorite matches of my career and would be honored to wrestle Mercedes again any day.
Your next match is also on iPPV [2. Uncensored Rumble IV available for order here on Go Fight Live.] against former WSU champion Nikki Roxx. What are your thoughts going into the match? Would you dare try to cut her hair as you did Mercedes?
Pure excitement. We have wrestled alongside each other in the same promotions for the past six years and I have never once wrestled Nikki. There have always been a lot of comparisons between the two of us, so being our first match together it’s pretty exciting! Regarding the hair cut, we already know Nikki looks great with short hair, so I don’t expect myself to do that. With Mercedes I was simply making my statement about what I came to WSU to do. But, never say never…
You will also participate in the Uncensored Rumble match that night. Winning it would give you another opportunity at WSU gold, but you have to go through 25 other opponents. That’s going to take a lot of spears. How do you prepare to battle nearly every girl on the roster?
The number of participants doesn’t intimidate me. In fact, it inspires me. I haven’t lost sight of that WSU Championship and I said from my first night there, I will become champion. I’ll spear all of Union City, NJ to get another shot at the gold.
You’ve said in the past it was always a dream of yours to wrestle in Japan and you achieved it when you went to SMASH. Overall what has that experience been like for you?
Incredible, amazing, breathtaking…I love love love Japan! SMASH is a very unique and fun promotion to work for. Tajiri has created such a well-rounded product and SMASH continues to grow. I am honored every time I am invited there because as a wrestler, there are few greater honors than wrestling in Japan. Can’t wait to go back!
In SMASH you’ve had incredible matches against some of the rising stars in Joshi. First, what are your thoughts on SMASH ace Syuri as a wrestler.
Syuri is awesome! She could easily become one of the best female wrestlers in Japan. She has eagerness to learn and keep improving and she seems to be making all of the right moves being a mainstay at SMASH. Our second match in Nagoya was far better than our first so I am looking forward to our next one.
In your match with Makoto you…bit her. That’s not typical Deeb fashion, but it seemed quite effective. What do you think of her and her dream to become a mainstream wrestler in America?
I am fully behind her! Makoto is also very gifted, much like Syuri, and very young, with a fantastic attitude. My first impression of her in the ring is that she moves very effortlessly and smoothly. I would love to see Makoto make her way to America, and it will happen sooner rather than later.
Kana is known mostly for two things: hitting extremely hard and being insanely angry. You seemed to encourage this before your fight with your video calling her an ‘amateur.’ First, what were you thinking? Second, that match turned out to be an epic, semi-main event in Korakuen Hall. Describe that experience for us.
I wanted Kana to know my intentions before our match. Kana is one of the best in the world and perhaps the best in Japan. As I mentioned before, the intensity that you bring will rub off on your opponent and the match overall. I wanted nothing short of the most intense and hard hitting response from Kana. Korakuen Hall was a dream come true and pure honor. There are certain places, because of their history, that just have a special feel (e.g. Madison Square Garden), and Korakuen Hall most definitely ranks in that category. I had a special feeling that entire day.
Kana didn’t take the loss well and has promised that your issue is not over. What do you have to say to her? Are you willing to show her more respect after she gave you such a hard fight?
Of course I respect Kana. She brought out the best in me and is undoubtedly one of the toughest opponents I’ve ever faced. She is right…our issue is not over. We will see each other again, and hopefully very soon. If she thought our match in Tokyo was the most intense I can be, I can assure you she is very mistaken.
You’re on an amazing undefeated in SMASH, and seem to be a heavy favorite going into their Women’s Title Tournament. How great would it be to be crowned the first ever champion for a Japanese promotion?
SO great! I am incredibly excited for the Women’s Title Tournament and I fully intend on being the first champion. After all, gotta keep spreading that Deeber Fever!
Sara Del Rey, whom you’ve had a storied history with, hand picked you as her tag team partner for two recent Ring of Honor matches. What did it mean to you to be chosen as a partner by someone who previously felt you didn’t even belong in the same ring?
I have now been wrestling for six years and I still, with confidence, say that Del Rey is the best woman I have ever wrestled. I have enormous respect for her, in and out of the ring. She works harder than anyone and is constantly improving and evolving. To be her partner was phenomenal and I personally think we make a good team!
Your tag team match vs Ayumi and Hiroyo was a really big moment for women’s wrestling [3. Sara Del Rey & Serena vs Ayumi Kurihara & Hiroyo Matsumoto available here from Ring of Honor.]. One that changed a lot of peoples’ minds about women’s wrestling and got international coverage. Did the added pressure of performing on live PPV on the biggest wrestling weekend of the year make you nervous or make you more motivated?
More motivated without a doubt. High pressure situations can be approached in many different ways, but with every match that I have, my goal is to steal the show. I want the fans to get their money’s worth, and every single cent of it at that. In a male-dominated industry, I set an even higher bar for myself as a female and with that particular match, all of the other contenders were on the same page with regards to that. It’s always a pleasure to work with the Joshi women because they bring it just as hard as any guy can…Del Rey obviously included in that league.
Of course ROH is the sister promotion of SHIMMER: Women Athletes, a place where you have probably your most loyal fanbase. What has the undying support of SHIMMER and it’s fans meant to you?
I’ve stated this in many interviews, but will reiterate…there are two places I call home: OVW and SHIMMER. SHIMMER was responsible for so much of my progress as a wrestler and gave me the experience that I needed to grow. The SHIMMER fans are so diehard and so committed to supporting women’s wrestling, giving it the respect that we work so hard to attain. There are many fans who have never missed a taping. That’s just incredible. Post-WWE, I was at SHIMMER just two weeks later. Again, it is home and I will always feel warmly welcomed there.
Unfortunately, we can’t talk about SHIMMER with you without talking about Portia Perez. She seems to have made it her goal in life to permanently remove you from wrestling. You two used to be friends and partners. How do feel about her and how she’s changed over the years?
As a performer I believe Portia is one of the most talented wrestlers I have ever seen. She carries herself like a star, has evolved immensely over the span of her career and continues to do so. I have had many memorable moments with Portia, and having both started in wrestling around the same time, I’ve been alongside her for much of her growth, and vice versa. Unfortunately she took things too far at the last SHIMMER tapings and drastically changed my intended approach towards her. Now, our issue is extremely personal. I promise that things will get even uglier than they already have.
Please, tell us the story behind your great spiked hair at the last tapings.
Christina Von Eerie! I wanted to try something different and she happens to love doing hair! The stars aligned!
On fashion, your black and red and metal gear you wore upon first returning to SHIMMER was pretty amazing, what inspired it? Also, your current gear print is a homage to some of your earlier outfits, what led you to return to that design?
Thanks! I was feeling like going with a harder edge, having just been in a role in WWE with that style. I liked it, but decided to meet more in the middle of the hard edge and the old Deeb style. I loved the style and pattern of my old gear so I made a few small changes and reinvented it.
Before you left SHIMMER for that period you were in title contention, and since returning you’ve picked up some significant victories. Do you think you deserve another shot at the next tapings? Do you think you are the woman to dethrone Madison Eagles?
Yes and yes. I strongly believe in my ability to become SHIMMER Champion. I’ve had nearly every obstacle possible thrown in front of me in my career and I’ve hurdled over every single one of them. From day one at SHIMMERI wanted to prove to the world that I am capable of being the best and to me, that championship embodies the best in women’s wrestling.
You’ve also have had a run-in with Portia in Texas’ Anarchy Championship Wrestling. You teamed with Rachel Summerlyn and Jessica James against Portia, Athena, and Amanda in huge six women match that main evented the show [4. Rachel, Jessica, & Serena vs Portia, Athena, & Amanda avalaible here from Smart Mark Video]. We were there and it was one of the best matches we’d seen live. How was wrestling in that unique ACW atmosphere?
Super fun. The ACW crowd and environment was a blast to perform in front of. I loved my team with Rachel and Jessica, and definitely fed off of their energy. ACW has something special for sure and that match was just a preview of what’s to come.
Later this month you’ll be participating in ACW’s Third Annual Queen of Queens Tournament. Your first match will be with rookie sensation Amanda Fox, who scored a shocking pinfall on you previously. Since then she’s been saying she’s your “worst nightmare.” What are your thoughts going into the tournament? How much are you looking forward to shutting Amanda up?
The tournament will be a fantastic time I’m sure. The girls they have chosen to participate are all uniquely talented and will most definitely deliver a great show. As far as Amanda Fox goes, “worst nightmare” is just humorous to me. Literally.
Next week you’ll be heading to Australia for the ‘Wrestling for Rotary’ Charity Event. Please tell us more about it.
The event is aimed at raising proceeds for charities in Bendigo, mainly centered around the youth organizations. We will be doing conferences and appearances at schools, seminars and talking to and meeting children in the area. The main website is: http://wrestlingforrotary.eaglehawkrotary.org/
In the past year you’ve wrestled seemingly everywhere and everyone. What are some wrestlers you haven’t faced that you’d still like to take on?
Madison Eagles, Cheerleader Melissa, Lin Byron and the top of my list is Mickie James. That’s been six years brewing!
You’ve often stated that one of the things you love most about wrestling is that it’s allowed you to travel all over the world. What are some of your favorite places you’ve been? Where do you want to go that you haven’t?
In the U.S. some favorites are Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, NYC, Arizona and Miami. Some favorites abroad are Australia, particularly Sydney; Barcelona, Spain; France and Mexico City. Places I want to go and haven’t are Italy, India, Puerto Rico, South America (especially Brazil), Toronto, Vancouver and Amsterdam.
What do you consider your biggest accomplishment so far? Besides winning more titles and traveling more, any future goals you hope to achieve?
Two accomplishments come to mind: performing at Wrestlemania and wrestling in Japan. Both were lifelong dreams and goals I had set for myself and both are still surreal in many ways. I have many goals that I have yet to fulfill but I am so appreciative of where I am right now and the opportunities that are coming my way.
You’ve gone from being someone just trying to earn their spot to someone fans and peers are calling the best in the sport. How does it feel now that you are talked about in the same breath as people like Sara Del Rey?
Truly an honor. When my career began, I had every intention of becoming the very best in the world. I have been incredibly blessed to have had some of the best trainers along the way and the opportunities to be in the ring with women who have elevated me and brought me to that level. Of course this industry would be nowhere if not for those who came before and inspired, so I’m also grateful for the strong female role models that made me believe in my dream. To be held in such high regard is a great compliment and I will always give everything I have in the ring for the fans, hoping to inspire others to follow their dreams, no matter how big. Anything and everything is possible.
As a now established veteran, which young wrestlers have caught your eye? Who out there could the next Serena Deeb?
Amanda Fox and Athena are two youngsters who I see a lot of potential in. They will both go far if they want to.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to the fans?
Thank you endlessly…
You can order June 25th’s WSU Uncensored Rumble IV here at Go Fight Live.
Tickets for June 26th’s ACW Queen of Queens Tournament in San Antonio are available here.
Tickets for October’s SHIMMER tapings in Chicago are available here.