TNA Knockout Winter Aims to Turn up the Heat

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Christmas is just around the corner, so what better time of year was there to speak to TNA Knockout wrestler Winter than during the blustery month of December.

Winter, real name Katarina Waters, was born in Germany before moving to England where she started her wrestling career before heading to the WWE in 2008 where she was known as Katie Lea.

Since moving to TNA in 2010 Winter has held the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship as well as the TNA Women's Knockout Championship. caught up with the 31-year-old female star to talk about growing up in England, the Ultimate Warrior, and her New Years resolutions.

Q. How did you first get into professional wrestling?

I was born in Germany but both my parents are English so I am British. I came to England to study film and drama at university in York, then I went to London to go into the performing arts.

I had been a wrestling fan for a long time but I didn't actually know you could do it but it was something that was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to be involved somehow. I then found the wrestling school NWA (UK) Hammerlock so I started training there, and worked all across Europe with them.

Q. Who were some of the wrestlers that inspired you when you were growing up?

In terms of watching wrestling on a regular basis I was quite a late starter to be honest, but I had this huge fascination with the Ultimate Warrior. I remember thinking he was amazing and wanting to know who he was and I believed all the stories about the origin of the Ultimate Warrior.

However when I started watching it properly, my favourite wrestler was 'Big Daddy Cool' Diesel (Kevin Nash). I had a big crush on him. Some other the other guys that inspired me were Razor Ramone (Scott Hall), Shawn Michaels, and Bret Hart.

Q. Were there any female wrestlers that inspired you to get into the industry?

At the time I was watching there was only really Madusa and she was awesome, but she hardly got to perform when I first started watching. Later on there was Sunny, who I thought was phenomenal. She didn't wrestle but her microphone skills and her character were great - looking back at YouTube videos of her I still go 'wow'.  

Q. Having started out in the UK with NWA Hammerlock and FWA, how did it compare to what you were watching on TV?

I will never forget my first wrestling training session. I had learnt a few locks and holds and how to fall. They then went onto the slams and suplexes and I just sat there thinking 'oh my god'. I thought you could only get this on television but I was actually learning how to do it for real, it was surreal.

Q. Having watched the WWE on TV, what was it like when you made your debut with the company?

It was just surreal again, I don't think it ever really quite sunk in that I was there. It was just crazy showing up to work and you're star struck when you see guys you've been watching on television walking down the corridors.

Q. When Gail Kim (currently with TNA) left WWE not so long ago she slated the company for the lack of their female wrestling - would you echo that sentiment?

I wouldn't say that the standard of female wrestling in WWE isn't as good as in TNA, but I would agree that there is less opportunity for the girls in the WWE to showcase what they can do. Every now and again WWE would have a great story line with a woman or a great PPV match and then other times you watch Raw and if you blink you miss the girls wrestling.

In TNA there is a lot more opportunity for the girls to showcase what they can do and there are a lot more story lines for the Knockouts division - a lot of the time on IMPACT! there are two girls matches.

Q. Since coming to TNA you have held the TNA Knockout's tag titles as well as the TNA Women's Knockout Championship - do you feel you would have ever got the opportunities to win titles in the WWE?

I think it was possible for me to have the opportunity but I didn't for whatever reason. I could blame them and say they didn't give me the opportunity or I can maybe it's something I didn't do, its just something I'll never know. I did have a title shot once in the WWE against Mickie James and that was amazing, I would have liked to have got more opportunities.

Q. Since joining TNA how would you say you have evolved as a wrestler?

I have been aloud to do a lot more back stage stuff, and have been given the opportunity to build my character up television with in-ring promos and developing story lines.

Q. Having worked in both WWE and TNA how would you compare the two bosses you've worked for Vince McMahon and Dixie Carter?

really haven't had much contact with Vince McMahon apart from a couple of meetings about story lines and character ideas, I wouldn't really say I got to know him has a person.

Dixie is very approachable, she is always around and is super friendly, she has a lot more a a personal relationship with all of the wrestlers.

Q. Before you moved to WWE you spent some time with OVW (Ohio Valley Wrestling) - TNA have now teamed up with OVW, how important do you feel that is for the development of the company?

I think it is a fantastic move from TNA and again that is another step in the company evolving. It's great to have a facility where they will be able to hone people and polish people before they go on TV. I think it is something that has worked well for WWE in the past and hopefully it can work with TNA.

Q. It's been a great year for you in TNA and winning the titles, but heading into 2012 what are your New Years resolutions?

Just to kick it up another notch, I would like to be involved in more really strong story lines, have some really good PPV matches and hopefully get my titles back!

Catch Winter in action on Challenge TV FREEview 46, Sky 125 and Virgin Media 139 every Sunday night at 9pm on TNA Impact Wrestling.


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