TNA Knockout Christy Hemme is proof when one door closes, another can open.
When a neck injury sidelined her in 2009, she opted to recover without surgery. It was a difficult decision, one that came with a price. Her in-ring career was over, or so we thought. An opportunity emerged for her return to the ring as a ring announcer.
With her beauty, style, voice and handle of the TNA roster, the move worked for her and the company.
She learned the entrance music for each TNA wrestler. She spotted the time to start his or her introduction. She positioned herself to the main camera and mobile ones. Sometimes stand in the middle of the ring, sometimes to its side and other times outside it. She handled when to interact with the live crowd. She listened to last minute and sometimes last second changes, working on the fly.
Ring announcing, it takes time and effort to do it right.
Hemme is putting in the time and the effort.
She has a new appreciation for ring announcing and thinks each wrestler should try it, giving him or her a perspective that can help with their introduction. When to appear at the top of the ramp, how long to get into the ring, interact with the crowd, the opponent’s musical entrance.
A 2004 WWE diva search winner, Hemme wasn’t just a model, girly girl. Yes, she was a cheerleader at Tumecula Valley High School in Tumecula, Calif., and majored in dance at attended Mt. San Jacinto College, but she was a tomboy, eager to mix it up with the boys. Like everything she does, she put her all into training to become a wrestler.
Hemme, 31, grew up watching wrestling. She also got involved in extreme type sports, dirt bikes in particular. Her favorite wrestler, The Undertaker, especially when he rode a motorcycle as the American Bad Ass. With a little bit of daredevil in her, she loves adventure and speed. Today, she enjoys riding her Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider.
Prior to WWE, Hemme graced the pages of Maxim, Rolling Stone, Stuff and Playboy, something her father had to approve. She was in a music video for country music star Trace Adkins, joined the cast of Comedy Central’s The Man Show and appeared in commercials for AT&T and TrimSpa.
Most fun was performing at Easyrider tours and Harley motorcycle rallies.
Lita helped train Hemme, who battled champ Trish Stratus for the WWE women’s title at WrestleMania 21. Lita also worked programs with Victoria (TNA’s Tara) and Melina.
After being released from WWE on her own terms, Hemme joined TNA in 2006. She wrestled and hosted shows. From wrestling Awesome Kong, Sojournor Bolt, Traci Brooks, Hamada, Angelina Love, Madison Rayne, Raisha Saeed, Velvet Sky to managing The Rock ‘n Rave Infection to doing backstage interviews, her resume grew.
Retiring from in-ring action was most difficult but a must because of her neck.
One night TNA asked her to do the ring announcing. She did. Jeremy Borash, a jack-of-all-trades with TNA, is impressed with Hemme’s ring announcing improvement.
Away from TNA, Hemme acts and sings. She is the founder and lead singer of HEMME.
• YouTube interview with TNA Knockout Christy Hemme
• Twitter: @hemmepowered
• TNA Impact Wrestling continues its live summer series at 8 p.m. (EST) Thursdays from Universal Studios Orlando.
• TNA’s No Surrender pay-per-view is 8 p.m. (EST) Sunday, Sept. 9 at Universal Studios Orlando.