Before he became The Rock, before he honored his father and grandfather as Rocky Maivia, even before he debuted as Flex Kavana, Jillian Ferguson liked him.
Ferguson, better known to South Florida indie wrestling fans as Calypso, attended the University of Miami when Dwayne Johnson was a student and defensive lineman for the Hurricanes football team. She described him as a nice guy in college.
Johnson later transformed into The Rock, one of pro wrestling/sports entertainment’s biggest stars.
Little did Ferguson know that one day she, too, would be in a squared circle like The Rock.
Johnson’s father wrestled. His grandfather wrestled. His grandmother ran wrestling shows. So it’s no surprise Johnson entered the pro wrestling arena.
For Ferguson, a little different. In her native Trinidad, her mother would not let her watch wrestling or even discuss it. To now see her in the ring is a surprise. An even bigger one is watching this full-figured gal dancing and jostling and cart-wheeling on the mat.
Ferguson, when Calypso, has fun. She can be a big, bad mamma-jamma, bullying opponents (female, male, intergender) or a fun-loving, hip-shaking, fan favorite -- putting arrogant opposition in his or her place, sometimes two at a time.
Pro wrestling in Ferguson’s life occurred by accident. After taking classes at Miami Dade College and the University of Miami, she completed her degree in business at Miami’s Florida International University.
Dwayne Johnson also graduated college with a degree from UM in criminal justice. He later transformed into The Rock, a sports entertainment superstar, one of the best ever.
That intrigued Ferguson, almost as much as “seeing Dwayne in those tights.” Through a friend, she visited a local pro wrestling training session in South Florida in 2007. The instructors noticed her size and asked is she wanted to learn.
Not part of her career plan, she eventually stepped foot in the ring.
A larger woman, Ferguson also had some agility, offering something different. In pro wrestling, different is good. Learning from experienced wrestler/trainer Soulman Alex G via Coastal Championship Wrestling, she debuted in 2008 as Calypso. She enjoyed it from the start. She was hooked.
This is interesting time for women’s wrestling, and Calypso is in the middle of it.
She competed on a women’s pro wrestling show during the summer as Battling Bombshells held its second card at the VFW Post 2500 in (South Florida) Hollywood.
The event benefited legendary women’s wrestler Joyce Grable who is battling cancer.
Battling Bombshells, under the organization of Paul Jones (not the former wrestler), is the sister organization of Ring Warriors, a mostly male wrestling group, directed by longtime promoter Howard Brody. Both are based in South Florida.
Usually one’s women’s match may be on a pro wrestling show.
The roster for Battling Bombshells is women only. One of the referees, Dani Royer, is also a woman. Quite different from the norm. Remember, in pro wrestling, different is good. The inverse, you may see one men’s match on a Battling Bombshells show.
A male-dominated avocation, pro wrestling is beginning to see more women’s groups like Battling Bombshells.
Battling Bombshells link
• Some Battling Bombshells background
Trained by Soulman Alex G with (South Florida) CCW, the agile, full-figured Calypso attended the University of Miami, Miami Dade College and (Miami) Florida International University, earning a degree in business, before turning her attention to the pro wrestling business.
From Queens, N.Y., Cherry Layne is in her fourth year in the business. She was trained by Mikey Whipwreck at the New York Wrestling Connection and Jay Lethal and Mike Morgan at Ace Pro Wrestling in New Jersey and Lexie Fyfe at the Slam Shack in Valrico, Fla.
Ocala, Fla.’s Santana Garrett, an improving wrestler who trained at the Team Vision Dojo in Orlando, has made a mark in a short period of time on the indie circuit.
A tough Brooklyn girl who trained at the New York Wrestling Connection by Matt Striker, Brittney Savage has been honing her skills for six years. She can dish it out as well as take it.
From Tahleequah, Okla., Justine Silver is in her second year in the business. A Native American, she was trained by Norman Smiley at WWE’s then FCW in Tampa, Lince Dorado at the Team Vision Dojo in Orlando and Lexie Fyfe at the Slam Shack in Valrico, Fla.
Trained in Toronto by El Fuego and former TNA Knockout Taylor Wilde at Squared Circle Wrestling, Silvie Silver has been wrestling for more than two years. El Fuego also trained Traci Brooks, Gail Kim and Angelina Love.
• YouTube video interviews and action of Battling Bombshells, a new women’s pro wrestling group, at a summer show at the VFW Post 2500 in (South Florida) Hollywood.
YouTube on the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)
Sensational Santana Garrett
La Rosa Negra
Leva Bates at Ring Warriors show in South Florida