Rising star Alex Gracia recently took part in an exclusive interview with PWMania.com. Gracia is known for her time in All Elite Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, NWA among several other promotions. During the discussion, she opened up about her WWE tryout, her time in AEW and Impact, her degree, her beauty line, and much more. You can read PWMania.com’s exclusive interview with the star below:
You have a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M. What’s your degree and why did you think that was important to achieve, even though you had this dream of wrestling?
“Absolutely. So my degree is in Telecommunication and Media Studies and I wanted to go into sports journalism. Then my minor is sports management, and I went into that career because I grew up an athlete and thought about playing softball and thought about playing in college, but I just kind of lost the love for it and wanted that actual college experience instead of being a college athlete, because I never really got to have that experience. So I went in, I knew I wanted to do television, and I knew I wanted to stay in sports somehow, and so that’s how I went into that career, and it was one of the best things for me in college because it actually made me want to finish school. It was like a blessing in disguise. I was like, maybe college is not for me. I don’t like going to classes, and I do love learning, but the whole school thing didn’t feel like it was for me, but to have the job I wanted which was “12 Man Productions” at Texas A&M, I have to be enrolled in this school. So it kind of helped push me and it was all a blessing in disguise. It’s like, okay, I can’t have this without this, and that kind of taught me that discipline of, you’re gonna have to put aside some of the privileges, so that really helped me establish that you need to do certain things, and not everything you want to do is what you actually love to do. But it’s all part of the big process of sacrificing to get where you want.”
You went into training for wrestling at a Texas wrestling Academy with Rudy Boy Gonzalez, you were also at Reality of Wrestling, which everyone knows is Booker T’s school. Explain the transition from college to training in wrestling?
“Yeah, so I got very lucky out of college, I had a job in radio and I had a job at the local news station. So getting those jobs right away at an entry-level, I was super blessed to already be starting my career, and so I was working in College Station still but I think I just outgrew the City College Station, because I had been there already for four years. Plus it’s a college town. So I kind of felt like I would’ve wanted to graduate out of that city.
“So one of my best friends was moving to Dallas and I moved there with her and signed a one-year lease, and that was just I feel like just trying to figure things out. I started doing more of the media stuff on my own. I had a sports podcast where I would interview people I knew in sports, but I got to be in charge of it and ask my own questions and edit it the way I want to. That’s when I also started a vlog which, again, was starting to become like a popular thing at the time. But I think just being there for a year, I was like, I’m not really doing anything that I could see myself doing in life. I was just kind of trying everything because I didn’t have that trial period after college, I went straight into having a job. So my parents said, well before you sign your lease, move home and figure things out.
“The only thing that I could think of was actually grad school because I was like I don’t know what to do next. So you start to go through well, what’s the next step? Oh, if you don’t know what to do you go to grad school after you graduate with your bachelor’s. So I got into the University of Louisiana, and I got a job at ESPN Radio as a producer. So I had that set where I was like, okay, that’s obviously what I’m supposed to be doing, because I got all these things, but I just didn’t feel excited about it.
“One day at dinner, I had grown up with family members watching wrestling, and it was always something that intrigued me to see because I grew up an athlete. And then, of course, being a female, seeing the girls wrestle was just, it’s cliche, but super inspiring and motivating, and it’s like, that’s something I could totally see myself doing, the gear is up my alley, the athletics is up my alley, the TV is up my alley, all of this is just something that I think like, I didn’t know what it was. Then I realized, oh, everything I’ve been pursuing was actually bits and pieces of professional wrestling. I had no idea. I was at dinner with my family and my cousin was like, I don’t know why you’ve never gotten into this. My thought was, I don’t even know where to start, how do you get into professional wrestling? He tells me, well, there’s a wrestling school down the street it’s called Texas Wrestling Academy, formerly known as Shawn Michaels Wrestling Academy. Oh, well, that sounds legit and so I ended up emailing him and I went in for my little Trial Week, and it was more of a “let’s just see if I like this”. Because I was still had grad school as what I was doing the next step, but I went to wrestling training and never left, and here I am, four years later.”
2018, you enter training and in four years, you’ve packed in a lot. You’ve been to a lot of places. So let’s, let’s start at the beginning. You were at Stardom in Japan? What was that experience like?
“I had my one-year anniversary there. So I talk about things I’m like, I feel like when I went I was thrown into the sharks, like, Hey, you’re gonna learn how to like defend yourself. You’re gonna learn how to swim. You’re gonna just learn this like even though I’m just figuring this out. How am I gonna go to a different country? I thought it was a joke when they reached out to me, I thought it was like a prank. I was like, there’s no way they’re reaching out to me already, and the more I started to see things like when the verified Instagram or Twitter followed me, I was like, this is really them talking to me. And so I was there for about two and a half months and while I was there, I already felt extra motivated and extra inspired and I thought to myself: ‘Okay, I just want to learn as much as I can and what’s the next step?’
“I had a lot of my basics from Texas Wrestling Academy, and I thought, Okay, how do I continue my progress because I want to constantly be growing. I had already started going and traveling to Houston for some training sessions but I thought I want to commit to that style of training and that mentality because it is almost like a miniature NXT that Booker has there at the school. So if you want to learn that way, learn how to do TV wrestling, that’s where you go.
“I ended up moving to Houston, and going there I was Booker’s champion for a little while, and then I ended up going at the beginning of 2020, I did this seminar with a CMLL wrestler, and they ended up bringing me into CMLL and that’s how I got to go to Mexico in the beginning of 2020. I was planning on going back but then, of course, COVID happens. So that took a year and a half off, I don’t know what to do because I felt like I had all this momentum and I just had such a good routine as far as my workouts, my wrestling training. I was getting booked consistently and then it just stops.”
2019 you get a WWE tryout at the Performance Center. So what was that like compared to the other places you’ve been?
“My first tryout, when I got that invitation, I was tearing up like calling my mom like “We did this, we made it like, we’re here.” I celebrated that invitation as if I just got hired. It’s just a surreal thing, because you’re working towards something and then to finally get recognized. So then when you finally get the recognition, you think, they know who I am. This is awesome.
“I went there and was still really early in my career, it was a little after just wrestling for a year. So like, just had the advice, just build the bigger name on the Indies, everything I was doing was great so far, and I had just moved to Houston. I haven’t even really gotten a lot of that consistent training under Booker yet. So they liked that I was gonna go be there and just keep expanding. Then right after I got back from Mexico, is when I went for my second tryout, but we got sent home because it was the day after the NBA, got canceled that season because of COVID, of course. I was ready, I was training, but I was like, ‘Oh, if the NBA shut down, we’re definitely getting sent home.’ They were using the PC to do the shows. That was kind of how that one ended until later on, like a year later. I went back again for the actual official second tryout.
“When you see stuff like that, I think when a whole league is canceled where you know that a lot of money’s involved, oh, this is a really big deal.”
So after this, you go to Impact…
“Yes. I did Impact, mostly it was my first match…I think I had two matches for Impact in 2019. While I was there, we did a joint Impact show with Reality of Wrestling, and I wrestled there. Then when they had the pay-per-view in Dallas, Texas, I went and did a dark match there. But for most of 2020, the beginning I spent in CMLL. And then, later on, you have the summer and then that’s when I ended up doing stuff with AEW towards the end of that year.”
What was Jordynne Grace like to be to work with and to be around?
“Oh it was awesome. I knew that this was one of those matches that I need to stand out. I need to bring it because she was making her name and she had just recently gotten signed to Impact. So I was picked as the person who was going to have the singles match with her. So I just wanted it to be good all around for her, for me, and for the company. I knew I was Booker T’s student and Jordan was Impact’s girl. So it was like, okay, let’s bring it. That’s still one of my favorite matches to this day. I think you just learn so much from people who really understand it.”
AEW has been in the news for both good and bad in the last few weeks and we’re not going to get into it here because that’s not really what I do, but what was your experience like in AEW?
“I mean, I’m beyond thankful I was able to work there during COVID where you couldn’t work anywhere else. So I was going every other week and just being able to wrestle while so many people were stuck and not having that opportunity. It was great. I was there and I had a lot of good, great things happen to me there I got to do Dynamite and faced Shida who was the champion at the time, and I had matches consistently. I felt like I was always getting to wrestle someone new, which is what I love to do and what I love about working for wrestling companies, I love that there’s a roster. So you have those group of girls that you know, you’re gonna wrestle and it’s like every match you’ll have, it’s just gonna get better and better, because you have that first time you wrestle someone, but then it’s like, okay, I know you can bring it, let’s go again. I think that’s what’s really exciting about it.
“Around six months went by and WWE had reached out again, Ring of Honor reached out and NWA reached out. And that’s where… I had to make the decision because I wasn’t signed to AEW. I thought I need to go explore other things if I’m not going to get offered something right now. That’s what made me go take other opportunities. Like you can’t, you can’t sit and wait for things to happen, you’ve got to go make things happen. I wanted to stay there and be there for my personal and professional self, I felt like that would have been a great place. Plus, I really got along with a lot of the girls there because we were all there in the little COVID group. We were always seeing each other every single week. However when the time came and I saw that I wasn’t gonna get offered anything and I was like, Okay, I need to get out of my comfort zone, which has been here, and go explore other options, or at least that or maybe it just means I need to go keep growing as a wrestler. That’s when I ended up stepping away.”
You bounced back in 2021 in NWA and Ring of Honor. Ring of Honor is in a very weird limbo right now, we’re not really sure what’s going to happen with them. NWA is still around. So NWA is in a weird place as the biggest small promotion ever. Did you meet Billy Corgan when you were in the NWA?
“Yes, briefly. So I was only there for one TV taping and that’s what I was brought in for. That’s when I started doing all this stuff with Ring of Honor, which that’s when Maria Kanellis was taking over the women’s division and starting to do Women’s Division Wednesday and planning the tournament.
“Right after NWA, I was mostly doing the Ring of Honor stuff. I felt like we were getting really good momentum with at least trying to build the women’s division back up so we had really solid girls and all just people who want to wrestle and do their best and it felt like no drama. Like we really were like all sisters in that and so that was really cool to have. So I hope it can get back to something like that. I know. It is like a just a weird spot right now and it is like no one knows what’s going to happen.”
You must have made a solid impression in Mexico because you’re coming back for the CMLL Grand Prix. At the end of October, you are one of three American women in this tournament. So what can we look forward to from seeing you in the CMLL Grand Prix at the end of October?
“Um, I’m just ready to go back better than I was before. I’ve been doing my Lucha training and having to train their way because they wrestled the opposite from the US so I’m having to retrain myself all over but it’s been a fun process To be one of the three Americans going to represent the USA in this Mexico versus the World tournament, I just think is that’s what I needed in my career because I just felt like you get so down on yourself when you feel like it’s rejection after rejection after rejection. Like what did I do wrong? I feel like I’m trying to stay up with my brand, stay up with my improvements, stay up with being in front of people’s faces. You feel like you’re doing all the right things, but you may not be getting seen. And so when CMLL reached out, it’s like, okay, they saw me and it feels good and it felt really re-motivating again, to be like, okay, you can do this. They wouldn’t just ask anybody and so you need to see that as there’s a lot of people who don’t get that opportunity or that chance to wrestle in Arena Mexico, and I’m gonna get to do that and so I was just super thankful. I’m just super motivated and focusing on that right now because I want to go and make an impact there.”
You’re starting a beauty line. Let’s dive into that because I’m actually excited about that.
“So the inspiration for that is growing up, I was the biggest tomboy but I still loved Mary Kate and Ashley, Hilary Duff, like all these people. I had a Hilary Duff bedspread, I had the Mary Kate and Ashley curling iron. I want to be something like this where I just am inspiring little girls or children or anyone by just being yourself and being you. I wrestle under “The Pink Dream” and so the beauty line, I want it to be something totally different from wrestling, like in its own separate market, but that’ll be the Pink Dream Collection. I was hoping I was in like, a bigger name or in a bigger role so more people would kind of have that face matched with the name, but I was sitting there and I was like, you know what, you got to make your own opportunities, you got to take your own steps, and you got to jump from that cliff, even if no one sees what you see yet. I also thought, what am I waiting for, I can do this myself.
“I’m very proud of everything I’ve been able to do not being ever signed to a contract at this point. I believe I have the mind for this. I can do this. It’s gonna be like just little essentials that I know I would have loved as a little girl like little compact brushes, and I have a purse and I have scrunchies and mirrors and glitter eyeshadows and stuff like that. Things that I could wear at my age if I want to but if a little girl or little boy or anyone wants to play with it as a kid like they can too and it just for them to see that The Pink Dream is who I needed growing up and that’s who I’m trying to be now and inspire people to just be think that you can do this with your own talent; you can do this being yourself; being your authentic you and if no one else sees it yet that’s okay. Do it anyways.”
Here’s a look at three of the liquid eyeshadows that will be available with my beauty brand.
and 💛Golden Yellow (in production)
𝒫𝒾𝓃𝓀 𝒟𝓇𝑒𝒶𝓂 𝒞𝑜𝓁𝓁𝑒𝒸𝓉𝒾𝑜𝓃 coming soon! pic.twitter.com/EA6LPZLwDr
— Alex Gracia (@alexgracia3) October 20, 2022
If there’s a little girl out there reading your story, what is your message to them to make sure, if you have a dream, follow it. If you fail, you fail. It just wasn’t meant to be.
“Yeah, every one is going to fail at some point, especially when you have big dreams and so times do get tough and there are times I have wanted to quit and I lost confidence in myself because I thought that I wasn’t good enough because of the opportunities I’ve missed or the rejections I’ve had but I’m becoming a better person and stronger person because of it. I feel like it motivated me to make myself more marketable. It motivated me to be a better wrestler, to get in better shape. To have the mindset of, okay, tell me no, I’m going to make you regret telling me no, and I can accomplish anything I want to accomplish by myself. You don’t need other people’s approval to be you and do what you want.”