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2020: A Year Review

 

2020: Another Wrestling Year Review… One Like No Other…

2020 is finally over. I feel like I have nothing to say, yet so many things to say at the same time. I have nothing to say because I’m speechless about what this year has put us trough and that usually, I talk mostly about what I did in wrestling in these year reviews. However, in 2020, I went from wrestling every weekend and traveling everywhere into having only 6 matches.

2019 was an absolute rebirth for me as I went from “I’m retiring at the end of this year” to having the best matches and finding this confidence I didn’t know I still had in me. When January 1 hit, the future looked so bright.

 

End of 2019 and throughout 2020… The big leagues…

Before I go any further, I need to mention that I had been messaging back and forth with 3 people from 3 different major companies in the past months…

First one didn’t work out because they didn’t want/ couldn’t get me a US work visa… The other was someone interested as I even said I would fly myself in for a new project they had, only to get the “you are too experienced” excuse once again (like Tough Enough). I would then see people who had been wrestling as long as I did on that project…

Last but not least, I had someone trying to get me in the third major promotion… After many months of “maybes” and “I’m trying”, I got the final answer… “We are not interested in her.” No particular reasons.

As once again I was facing the “far away, so close” curse when it comes to the ultimate goal, the independent circuit was bringing a lot of positive into my life…

 

The Matches of 2020, Accolades and the Call I Had Been Waiting For…

I was named babyface of the year 2019 at FLQ Wrestling and they had already announced on their last show of 2019 that I would be facing one of the nicest people I have met in this sport in Nyla Rose. On top of this, C4 Wrestling announced a match I never thought in my wildest dreams would happen… I would be getting in the ring with ECW and WWF superstar 2 Cold Scorpio.

Scorpio was actually my first match of the year on January 19.  Not only the C4 crowd was so hot but 2 Cold put me over. I got to drive him to the show as well and talk to him. All little things you often take for granted. The conversations, the fact that he got me coffee… Little things.


LuFisto VS 2 Cold Scorpio at C4 Wrestling in Ottawa- January 19, 2020.

Then on January 30, what I’ve been waiting for over 23 years at this point happens… I get the opportunity I’ve been dreaming of. I don’t want to get my hopes too high because every single time I thought I was close ended up not happening. Anyway, I get myself a personal trainer to be in the best shape of my life as quick as I can as I only have a few weeks.

For the second match, February 4, I would answer Markus Burke’s open challenge at NSPW in Quebec City… But I wouldn’t be the only one as the “Walking Weapon” Josh Alexander would show up as well. It was truly a blessing to be in the ring with Alexander again but also with Burke who is one of Canada’s top talent.


LuFisto VS Josh Alexander & Markus Burke at NSPW in Quebec City- February 4, 2020.

After this match, fan favorite Maeve O’Farrell would confront me which is where the evil Wounded Owl (The Shine Wrestling one) would beat her down and turn heel on the spot… And I LOVE to be bad! I was really excited about what all this could bring as a storyline based on several months was planned. I was looking forward to it!

On February 8, I get to step in the ring with Nyla Rose at FLQ Wrestling thanks to its promoter Dina Marneris who wanted to present the first ever female main event of the company that night. I ended up on the losing end but I had so much fun. There was also a team from Radio-Canada with journalist Justine de l’Église who was there to finish a yearlong story about my career and the rebirth that happened of 2019. A very big and important article.


Hugging Myla Rose after our match at FLQ Wrestling in Montreal- February 8, 2020.

That night, I also got to meet a VJ of Musique Plus (our Quebec version of MTV) that I loved as a kid, Paul Sarrasin. He was the host of Solid Rok where I discovered a lot of the metal bands I am still listening to this day. He even bought me a t-shirt!

A few days later, about 2 days before my 40th birthday, I get my traveling info, my hotel room, the address where I need to go. I download the Uber app…

This is absolutely real. This is happening. Finally.

Back in the ring, I get to face Priscilla Kelly at Femmes Fatales in a No DQ match on February 21 2020 that has the crowd on the edge of their seats… We also break a wall. I loved that match. It was intense and a whole story was told within the carnage of this no rules brawl.


Video Recap Vs Priscilla Kelly, No DQ Match at Femmes Fatales in Ottawa - February 21, 2020.

The last two matches of 2020 happen on February 22 in tag team action and on February 29 where I capture another championship when I submit Jessica Black and become the Great North Wrestling Championship.


My Last match in 2020, winning the Great North Wrestling Women's Championship in Smiths Falls - February 29, 2020.

I have the honor to be once again named “Female Wrestler of the Year” in my home Province of Quebec as well as being chosen as one of the top babyfaces and one of the best matches of the year with Josh Alexander at C4 Wrestling. I am also part of the Top 5 Best Wrestlers of the Decade with the likes of Kevin Steen, Mike Bailey and Sami Zayn!!

 

Covid-19: The Biggest Heel of 2020 Shows Up and Cancels Everything

On March 9, the huge article from Radio-Canada comes out… And Covid-19 is officially taking over the planet. Unfortunately, the article will be lost into thousands of news about the pandemic. Three of my upcoming shows are canceled.

And then, I get the news on March 16. Borders are closing and my trip is also cancelled. Since we have no idea when this pandemic will be somewhat controlled, there are no future dates planned.

My gym closes but I train and diet hard at home because when this all ends, I’ll be ready to go.

 

Podcasts, CZW, Online Harassment and SpeakingOut

I decide to stay active as much as I can by doing podcasts, which I never do because I never can find the time. Also, what I will refer to as the CZW Situation happens in May… I won’t go into details about this again there are a lot of articles and podcasts about it.

However, one thing I need to mention is the hate and the harassment that came with it. Night and day, on every social media platform. My phone kept ringing all day, all night. I blocked accounts but the individuals would be coming back under several other accounts. This felt like when I was the only girl in the locker room and also when I fought the government for women’s rights in wrestling. It drove me completely insane, to the point where I had to call the police and a lawyer.

One positive thing that came out of this is that I got to exchange several messages and e-mails with a hero of mine in Mick Foley. What a kind man he is and how blessed I feel that he and others such as Mikey Whipwreck supported the fight for women to be seen as legitimate athletes and not sold as sexual objects without their consent.


The CZW video that brought a lot of light on how women wrestlers are advertised... And brought problems too.

May 31. I learn the passing of Danny Havoc. I’ve known him since his debut at CZW. In the past years, we had talked about graphic designs and we were trying to come up with something together. We were never able to get something ready together. Although not close, I do think about him often. I wonder what happened, what was he going through by then… No answer. A little bit like Marvin, Brain Damage, who was a big scary giant when you looked at him, but was always kind to “the girl” in the locker room.

July 2020. #SpeakingOut movement. Women wrestlers are really sick of being taken advantage of, being abused by people they trusted in the business… This is something I’ve been dealing with for 24 years at this point. There are so many things I kept to myself because in wrestling, there is that law of silence which could be compared to the famous “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. Well, you didn’t talk about what happened in the locker rooms, the hotel rooms, the private messages… But so many of these things were wrong.

I have my own stories. I knew a lot of stories already. I was hoping some of the boys and girls would get their shit together by growing older and smarter but I was so disappointed by seeing that some had become worst with time… And some people I never thought would be called out were. I was also very disappointed to see that some people were using this as a personal vendetta to get back at a boy or girl who had played them. I think this really hurt the real victims of abuse, the students who were taken advantage of by their teachers and whatnot…


Click on the image above to read the article.

I was contacted by a few news websites such as Sports Illustrated who wrote a whole piece about it… VICE also had me on the phone for an hour but never published anything about it. Many girls were vocals about the CZW Situation and #SpeakingOut at first. However, journalists who were trying give more exposure to this problem told me that many girls would simply not answer them anymore as they went silent once they got to bigger place.

Then, the movement kind of died.

 

Watching a Lot of Wrestling, AEW Online Petition and an Autobiography

I actually started to watch a lot of wrestling again at this point which I had stopped a long time ago. AEW, Ring of Honor, some independent wrestling event and even my first love, Japanese wrestling. As much as I am not wrestling, my love for the sport remains and this time off gives me the opportunity to be a fan once again.


The image that started a petition.

End of July, a fan creates a very cool graphic of LuFisto Vs Cody Rhodes. This brings the fans to start an online petition. With AEW not being interested in producing intergender matches, fans get vocal about getting me in All Elite Wrestling. Nothing came out of it but I feel blessed that so many people want to see me on their TV every week.

In that same month of July, I sign a deal with ECW Press to release my autobiography with author Greg Oliver. At first, I’m really into the project but then, that’s where everything goes into a downward spiral for me… I’ll get back to that…

August 2020, the gyms are opened again. I see my trainer where he gives me another diet and training and that motivates me. Going to the gym helps and I start seeing results fairly quickly. I am strong and proud. Businesses are starting to open up again… Looks like things are getting better…

September is quiet wrestling wise… As much as I had been enjoying the time off to recover from years of bumping up until this point, I’m actually beginning to really be bothered by the fact that I’m not in the ring somewhere teaching, wrestling or being an agent.

A few people are trying to get me back in the US but no one is ready to cover the cost of an entertainment visa… And well, no visa, no entry.

I also walk out of my regular job at this point because the manager talks shit about everybody and well, I will never accept that. That’s another story for another day…

 

PWI Top 100, Tracy Smothers and the Last Time I Saw Him…

October 2020. I learn that I am once again ranked in the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 100 of female wrestlers! With Natalya from WWE, I am the only woman who has been ranked every year since its creation on 2008, which means I’ve been in the magazine for 13 years. Unfortunately, I think this streak will be done with 2020…


13 years in a row in the PWI Top 100... Probably the end of the streak in 2021...

The government is closing the restaurants and the gyms again. There is a second wave of Covid hitting us and this time, it is worst because people are simply not listening. This is where it starts to be heavy for me. The gym had kept me somewhat sane so far.

One good thing is that I find a pretty good shoot job working from home thanks to my longtime friend and amazing wrestling author, Bertrand Hebert.

October 28, Tracy Smothers passes away. This really hits me hard. The last time I saw him, it was at Shine Wrestling and he told me he didn’t understand why I wasn’t signed, that there was absolutely no valid reason for it. He then asked if so and so could help out… My answer was “Well, we know each other but we’ve never been really close”. His answer? “You guys are from the same place; you need to help each other! Man, people get so selfish. We must help each other, all the time! That’s all we got really. Us!”


The only pictures I have with Tracy Smothers when we worked together at Destination 1 Wrestling.

That’s my last memories of Tracy in person… We did exchange some words on Facebook after that but that’s about it. I never took a picture with him because well, my generation of wrestlers didn’t ask for pictures because if you did “you were a stupid mark”. I never liked that word. Fans, they are fans. I am a fan too. I loved Tracy. I think I told him. I hope I did. If not, I hope he knows.

Two days later, there would be a major water infiltration discovered as well as a broken pipe in my home…

 

You are Jordynne’s Partner and Losing My Home…

IMPACT Wrestling announces its women tag team tournament and well, I GOT to be Jordynne Grace’s partner. It’s even on some websites that the mysterious woman is me. I make a fun graphic to show people I’m actually dealing with a problem at home… But people, fans AND wrestlers, think I’m working everyone. Actually, go back to paragraphs 3 and 4 of this text and guess which one is which.


Wrestlers and Fans thinking I was going to show up at IMPACT Vs The reality.

My co-author contacts IMPACT to get a statement from one of its wrestlers about me for the book and what he gets from one of the higher powers is “Who is LuFisto?” You then realize a lot of things… A lot of lies, a lot of deceptions and you feel betrayed. So, for all those who keep asking me to go to IMPACT, there you go…

Truth is while this was happening, I was packing boxes and moving out of my home.  Moving my furniture, we discovered we had been living in mold for months which explains why I was getting sick.

I moved into my mom’s basement and because of the mold, ended up with a bad sinus and eye infection that got me at the emergency. It was so bad that they actually thought I had a tumor… So, they cut all the piercings I had in my face so I could get a cat scan… Good news is, no tumor. One cancer is enough for me, thank you. My eye is still a little messed up though.

Mold not being covered by my insurance, I lost thousands of dollars in furniture and some pieces of collection. I had to send a formal notice to my landlord to leave this place for good and now, who knows will happened and if I’ll ever get some of that money back. I have nowhere to go at the moment.

This was just too much. That’s also where I realized that the book was too much for me to handle at this point…

 

The Book, a Look into the Past I Can’t Deal With…

November. After a few months of confinement and because of the fact that I was so close to reach my goal back in March, I’m not doing well. I am angry, I am sad… I try to focus on my book. I also get two propositions for documentaries about my career. However, at this point, I’m feel like I don’t want to tell my story. And honestly, this is so much time invested in a story most people don’t care about.

People want to read about successful people were the saying “Work hard and all your dreams will come true” actually comes to life. Especially at the moment, people need positivity. Seriously, who wants to hear about someone who crashed and burnt for 25 years and never got to the finish line?

By going back into my past, digging in the old scrapbooks I’ve been keeping since I started, I see how much I sacrificed, how hurt I’ve been, physically and emotionally… Old memories are coming back. I even have nightmares. The fact is that I now realize that I’m not capable of writing this book. It hurts too much.

There are too many things I kept hidden deep inside so I would look strong, indestructible and untouchable. The fact is that I’m not OK. I have no clue what will happened as I signed a contract. This is absolutely killing me. The more I dig, the more I feel like I wasted my life.

Some will say that I’m being dramatic, weak and that I did actually did cool things, that I do put way too much pressure on myself. Yes, that might be true but I believe this is a case of “Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes.” I don’t know if someone can actually understand. I know I’m not alone. How many musicians and other athletes have sacrificed everything they had but never made it because they were never at the right place, at the right time, getting help from the right people?


The second woman to enter the Quebec Wrestling Hall of Fame, first independent. Here with fellow inductees Yukon Eric and Henri Deglane

One thing I am extremely honored though is the fact that I was inducted into the Quebec Wrestling Hall of Fame on December 18. I am the second woman after Vivian Vachon and the first ever person who only had a career on the independent circuit as everyone else in the HOF has been a star in major promotions.

 

Brodie Lee passed away…

I met Brodie back at CZW when he was wearing track pants to wrestle. He was kind, funny and it was clear that quickly, he would become someone important. I would see him here and there before he got signed to WWE.


Jon Huber. 41 years old and so much to offer... Way to young.

As soon as I saw the news, I immediately cried. He was my age.  I met him at his beginnings… And again, no picture, no souvenir, nothing…

It puts a lot of things into perspective and with the year that just passed, the way you view the world changes.

 

What 2020 Has Thought Me…

So here we are, 2021. The pandemic is still going and doesn’t seem to get better. Families celebrated Christmas anyway and many are traveling to sunny destinations despite the government telling them not to… Now, the COVID-19 cases are up the roof, the medical personnel is tired and see their vacations being canceled because some didn’t care about others.

If one thing this year has shown us is that humans can be extremely kind, but also extremely selfish.


With my 12 year old Siamese, Monsieur Chu and Slash, the Persian.

This year changed me.  The losses, the confinement… If before I was just scrolling on Facebook and didn’t do anything, now if someone posts a nice picture of their pets, I’ll let them know I think their furry baby is cute. If someone posts something funny, I will comment on the picture laughing. I used to only think about it and never write anything but now, I do.

I’ve been telling to a lot of wrestling peers. “I miss you and love you”. I really mean it. If I see you on TV and that I’m happy for you and post pictures, I’m not asking for a job, I mean what I say. (Anyway, I am very aware that luck as never been on my side when it comes to that so I’m not expecting anything).

I want you to know that I love you, miss you and that I’m proud of you because tomorrow is never guaranteed. One quick instant and you could be gone… I could be gone…

I realize that, as much as I love the performance in the ring, what brings me joy are the discussions I have backstage with fellow wrestlers, laughing, discussing a match with new wrestlers, helping them to get better and learn from every match they have… I miss the interaction I have with the fans at the merch table or by ringside. I like talking to the refs and the staff that make those events possible.

I see that I’m strong but a lot more insecure and hurt than I wanted to admit. I realize that I do not have as many friends as I think. But maybe that is OK. You just need to keep your core of friends and family close, the ones that really love you. You keep them really close and need to be grateful that they are in your life.

I’m grateful to share my life with a man that never gives up on me and to have 4 wonderful cats that bring me unconditional love. I’m grateful that my mom is such a saint and is always there for me when I need her and that my 92 years old grandma is still with us, feisty as hell!! She is the original badass of the family!


Snuggles with my baby girl, Axelle. She had a rough beginning of the year but is going great now.

As of now, I still have no place I can call home. I would really like to buy my first house. I’m searching but the market is over-priced.

I don’t know what will happen with wrestling. I’m trying not to think about it to much... But I think about it every day… What could have been…  I don’t have much motivation to train these days either but I hope it will come back soon.

As for the book and documentaries, I have no clue what I’ll do either.

 

25 Years of Wrestling

June 2021 will make 25 years of wrestling for me. 25 years seems like a very long time. I have no clue how the world will be by then. If I’ll celebrate, or not.

Only time will tell… And how much time do I have left, I don’t know.


First picture of 2021... Without the piercings and with black and grey shorter hair.

Thank you to all who’s been following me on this journey, you who has never gave up on me. Thank you for the constant support and love. It means the world.

Cheers to a better year.

I love you.

LuFisto

 

 

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