Kiera Hogan Reveals If She Has Been Contacted For Mae Young Classic

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On what it’s been like getting signed to Impact and Kiera’s lifelong passion for wrestling:
Honestly, a dream! I watched TNA back when I was in middle school and high school. So even being in Knockout is crazy to me. To be a part of the division and to be on TV is still crazy to me. I even can’t believe even when people come up to me, or like my pictures or tell me they watch me, it’s crazy. Because, it’s just like, I’ve only been wrestling for three years, I’ve been in the business almost four or five years — announcing, interviewing — so, to even be in my position is still like, not real…I knew at some point when I was like 14 or 15 that I wanted to be a wrestler. Like, that’s all I ever wanted to do. I wanted to go to college to play soccer, just so I could go to wrestling school in Florida. I wanted that to be my plan to tell my parents so that I could be a wrestler on the side! [laughs]. But I ended up staying in Atlanta and training in a WWE, and four or five years later here I am in this position! [laughs again]

Was she ever worried about being a small (4’11”) pro wrestler?: I don’t think I ever thought of it as being an issue, because I always looked up to girls that were smaller — Mickie James, and Melina, and AJ Lee, and Trish [Stratus] were all billed at under what, like 5’3”, 5’4”? So I just assume that I was gonna fit right in and even wrestling the tallest girls — I wrestled Madison Eagles, she’s 6’1”, and even to wrestle her is crazy for me because she’s almost exactly like two feet taller than me! I never, ever thought that being short would be an issue especially because like, Zelina Vega, wrestling her, she’s my height and I used to Tweet at her saying, “Thank you so much for being your size, because you make me feel like I can do this and I can be normal too!” So, I never thought my size would affect it.

How did you come up with the concept of The Girl on Fire? You know what’s funny, my boyfriend actually gave me the idea. He was the one who told me, like at the point I had my first match, I had this big chip on my shoulder — I didn’t have to come to training, I didn’t have to go work out, I didn’t have to do all these things, because I thought I was the “big dog” because I had my first wrestling match. And I was like, “Oh, I can this without the training.” And I kinda felt lost at some point, I kind of got really beside myself and got off track. And my boyfriend, Owen Knight, was like, “You need to find your ‘fire.’ You need to have that determination and that strength and that dedication to this because you’re gonna have to be committed to it.” And for some reason that just instantly clicked with me, and I was like, “I can be the girl on fire! I can be that determination, because, this is, again, all I’ve ever wanted to do. So I knew if anybody was gonna be on fire, it was gonna be me.

On working with a legend like Gail Kim: Oh my god, Gail has to be hands down one of the nicest people I have ever met! She is just in love with wrestling! Just to be able to work with her…I feel like I’ve never met somebody that is just so in love with the business — she just loves every single element of it. Even though she’s not even wrestling, she is so in love with the business, especially women’s wrestling! She is all down for women empowerment and working to get them the same treatment and that’s all she preaches to us Knockouts. I couldn’t be any more grateful to have her in my life at all, because I never thought that would happen.

Who else is on Kiera’s bucket list? Well, number one is Nikki James, obviously, because she is my idol. I don’t know if that’s ever gonna happen cuz she’s in WWE right now…I’m going to wrestle her, she wants to wrestle me. I’ve been going to her meet and greets since I was 17 years old, and the last time I was her was her first appearance at Shimmer. And she was like, “When are gonna wrestle?” So, we have to wrestle, like, it has to be! But, Ivelisse was definitely second…Melina, who I’ve spoken to as well. I would love to wrestle Trish Stratus and Lita, but you know, that’s just, far-fetched…A couple of Indie girls like Mia Yim, I really wanna have a singles match with Mia Yim. And I got to wrestle Tessa [Blanchard], who was somebody I met four years ago…so to be in the position that we’re in now, I got to wrestle her too. But there’s so many people on the list. I just love to wrestle people for the different aspects and different skill sets and you get to wrestle people that come from different backgrounds, or different religions or ethnicities…To be able to wrestle these people from all these different places is a test, and you can learn so much from wrestling different people. So to wrestle anybody honestly I would love.
On how her personal experiences with race have affected her wrestling career:
I have had a situation with me not getting something because of my skin color, but never in the sense of, “You should change this, or you should do this.” I always do what I felt like I wanted to do — like my hair is curly and everything now but if I wanted to wear it straight, if I wanted to wear it black, if I want to wear it red, natural…I’ve never had any issues with my appearance, but definitely I have had experiences with my skin color not getting me a position as a wrestler…It was international, and it was a tryout that I had and the person that was gonna be picked was me or the white girl, and the owner said he would rather have the white girl, because she white, and I was black, but we were both pretty. But, my skin color didn’t get me the international opportunity…It was in Japan…It was before Impact…Yeah, so that’s okay, ya know! It worked out. [laughs]

Will there be any upcoming changes with her current character, Girl on Fire? There is NO putting out the flame anytime soon! I just feel like I’ve found something that I love and I found something that I feel as though I’ve grown into…When I first started I was just kind of feeling it out, but in the past 3 years I’ve learned to market and produce myself as this brand of being The Girl on Fire. And, right now, I feel like in this era of wrestling there is a lot of fire gimmicks…I just feel like it’s the era of fire and I feel like if I change it, then I would be changing because it’s so popular now, and when it goes out of style, I’m still gonna be here. I would like to evolve The Girl on Fire, I’m just not sure in what sense. I’ve played with the idea of the phoenix and doing something with that, but definitely an evolution of The Girl on Fire is something I’ve been trying to think of, but, I haven’t quite gotten it yet.  

Has Kiera been contacted by WWE for the Mae Young classics?: No, I haven’t been contacted by the WWE in two years…then I got signed with Impact so I was like well I’m definitely out of the running now…

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in wrestling so far?: My personal problem now is I feel like even though I’m on TV I feel as though I’ve plateaued…I’m getting a little rise but honestly, not as much as I should. As me seeing my progress, and I definitely have my faults, I’m not going to say that I don’t. I’m definitely still learning…Even with other girls, I feel like there’s so much talent that needs to be looked at, who deserve opportunities that other girls are getting…I just feel like I said I’m trying to evolve my character because I feel like I’m just missing something…I’m just in the mix. I want to be the main event star, I want to be the reason people turn on the TV…I want a story…

Where do you think your career is going to take you?: In the past few months I’ve looked at my career so differently…when I first started, my dream was to go to the WWE, because ever since I was a little girl that’s always what I wanted to do. But, right now, I want to be able to learn, grow, and be able to the best wrestler I can be, before I go to the big stage…I want to be so good that they’re chasing me down!

If Kiera could wrestle anyone who ever wrestled: Mickie James will always be my number one…because she’s my idol. Literally, like some of the things I do in my wrestling are an homage to her…I would love to wrestle Mae Young and Fabulous Moolah…If I could bring back everybody, I would wrestle every single one of them.

Which wrestlers in Impact inspire Kiera? Angelina Love is most definitely one of my favourite Knockouts growing up. I just loved her aggression and her punky rock style, I was really into that in middle school. But I just loved her attitude and the way she works and Angelina Love was definitely somebody I emulate. Especially when I’m a Heel — Melina is in there a little bit too when I’m Heel…The Beautiful people as a faction as well was something that I looked into. And of course Gail Kim…Brooke Tessmacher…I always wanted to do a booty tag team with her!

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