With the current state of the evolution of a revolution in women’s wrestling on the rise, what does the future hold in this growing and popular genre of the business?
That can be answered by the type of talent we’re seeing on the indies and higher, like the quick learning and hard working Karen Q.
An outstanding talent, she is tough, cunning, energetic, acrobatic, kick approved and smart.
Debuting in the ring in 2014, this elementary school physical education teacher by weekday experienced quite the year on her weekend gig in 2018.
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Karen Q talks being selected for the second annual WWE Mae Young Classic, her Chinese American heritage, skill, Ring of Honor’s Women of Honor and more.
Providing a solid showing at the Mae Young Classic, Q also wrestled for the new women’s wrestling group RISE in conjunction with Impact Wrestling. She received further opportunities from Ring of Honor, and thus, she closes the year in her first pay-per-view -- Ring of Honor’s Final Battle on Friday, Dec. 14 from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.
That’s not too far from Queens, where she grew up.
Quite the student athlete, Q competed in gymnastics and volleyball as a youth. She earned a volleyball scholarship from Queens College, playing her freshman and sophomore seasons. Her volleyball career ended to concentrate more on academics. Her senior year she decided to test the waters as a college diver -- another new challenge -- before embarking on a pro wrestling journey.
Karen Q talks Asian American culture, sports, teaching, academics, diving, wrestling training and more.
Education -- always important to her mom Maybelline -- played a major role in her upbringing.
So Q excelled, too, in the classroom, graduating with Honors (A average) at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School. Notable alums include former NBA player Rafer Skip to My Lou Alston, former Director of the CIA George Tenet, actor Reginald VelJohnson (Family Matters, Die Hard) and Olympic gold medalist hurdler Dalilah Muhammad.
Q continued her academic prowess in college, earning a bachelor of science degree in Physical Education from Queens College in 2013. She graduated cum laude (with Honors). Talk about a balancing act. While teaching, coaching gymnastics, training and wrestling, she attained her master’s degree (Master of Arts in Teaching) in 2015 from Lehman College in the Bronx.
Karen Q talks ring name, her start, Johnny Rodz, Ring of Honor, Deonna Purrazzo, Chinese roots and more.
As for her pro wrestling degree, Q learned the basics from WWE Hall of Famer Johnny Rodz.
Rodz has been training aspiring wrestlers for more than 24 years at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn. Many success stories from his alum in the ring and behind the scenes. Furthermore, some of his students trained other future superstars.
Even with Rodz’ pedigree in this discipline, when Q’s mom became aware of her bruising after school venture, she was not pleased. Partly, it’s the culture, but that didn’t stop Q. In time, her mom came to terms with it, knowing her daughter still had a full-time job teaching.
This school teacher turned wrestling student continued the ride, next learning and training at the Team Adams Pro Wrestling Academy under the direction of Damian Adams in Wharton, N.J.
Adams said: “Karen is very focused and determined, and you can see it by the lifestyle she lives. Aside from her career outside of wrestling, everything else is wrestling.”
At the Team Adams Pro Wrestling Academy, Q trained with WWE NXT Superstar and Ring of Honor alum Deonna Purrazzo.
Adams said: “As a pro wrestler, when I first met Karen, you could feel her passion and dedication to succeed, but what she [needed] was the proper guidance along with some additional detailed training to further her career. So I invited her to train with Deonna and I as I knew being alongside Deonna would help her tremendously, and it did. She started following in the exact footsteps as Deonna -- training with us regularly, wrestling for the top independents across the U.S., competing in Canada, wrestling for Ring Of Honor Wrestling and recently wrestling for WWE as well.”
He continued: “Karen like Deonna is a natural in the ring and picks up things rather quickly. She understands other aspects like ring psychology very well and the importance of taking care of your body while getting the most out of the least; so honestly it wasn’t difficult, per se, but with every trainee it’s still very time consuming as training is lots of repetition, timing, mental, etc.”
Adams added: “Deonna is one of the best in the world, so training, wresting against, traveling, talking with Deonna certainly benefited Karen. Like they say, surround yourself with likewise minded individuals.”
Q and Purrazzo are succeeding on their own merits, but they do share a desire, a passion. a work ethic, academic endeavor and a wrestling acumen which already established them as two to watch. Not only did both compete in the 2018 WWE Mae Young Classic and for Ring of Honor, but they worked for RISE and studied physical education.
Adams noted the differences: “Two different styles, looks, characters, move sets, etc. They are both very different which was an important aspect in progressing and getting opportunities. To me, they are night & day, and each unique in her own way. “
One a New Yorker and the other a Jersey girl, these young 5-foot-3 Northeastern talents are proud of their stately roots.
Q is also proud of her heritage. A Chinese American, she hopes to one day wrestle in China. With her teaching schedule, it’s difficult traveling abroad to wrestle, but summer break makes it possible. Competing in the UK and Japan are two other bucket list goals.
Adams said: “As long as she maintains that hustle and stays hungry as well as healthy, Karen will be very successful in pro wrestling.”
For now, Q prepares for Ring of Honor’s Final Battle pay-per-view where she is in a Fatal Fourway with Sumie Sakai, Madison Rayne and Kelly Klein for the ROH Women of Honor title. A victory there would be quite a way to wrap-up an already impressive 2018.
Karen Q talks Ring of Honor Final Battle, big break, character development, ring gear, and more.
Q’s favorite gymnast, Chinese American Amy Chow, a two-time U.S. Olympian (1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics). Chow is best known for being a member of the Magnificent Seven, which won the United States’ first women’s team gold medal (1996) in Olympic gymnastics. She is also the first Asian-American woman to win an Olympic medal in gymnastics.
Karen Q Twitter: @karenmeee
Damian Adams Twitter: @DamianAdamsss
ROH FINAL BATTLE
Final Battle, Ring of Honor’s huge, annual pay-per-view extravaganza, again occurs at the historic Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on Friday, Dec. 14.
All roads lead to the G1 Supercard -- co-promoted by ROH and New Japan Pro Wrestling -- at sold-out Madison Square Garden on April 6, 2019, and the results at Final Battle undoubtedly will have an impact on the historic show.
ROH FINAL BATTLE CARD
Friday, Dec 14, 8 p.m. ET
The Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom
311 W 34th Street
New York, New York 10001
ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH
JAY LETHAL (c) vs. CODY
WINNER EARNS ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH
CHRISTOPHER DANIELS vs. MARTY SCURLL
FOUR CORNER SURVIVAL FOR WOMEN OF HONOR WORLD TITLE
SUMIE SAKAI (c) vs. MADISON RAYNE vs. KAREN Q vs. KELLY KLEIN
ROH WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES: Ladder Match
SCU’s FRANKIE KAZARIAN and SCORPIO SKY (c) vs. THE BRISCOES vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS
ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
JEFF COBB (c) vs. ADAM HANGMAN PAGE
I QUIT MATCH
BULLY RAY vs. FLIP GORDON
The Real World Champ MATT TAVEN vs. DALTON CASTLE
JONATHAN GRESHAM vs. ZACK SABRE JR.
For more info, click: https://www.rohwrestling.com
ABOUT KAREN Q
FROM RING of HONOR WEBSITE
Every Women of Honor competitor wants to make an impact upon arrival, and what better way to do so than to score a victory over an opponent who was undefeated for more than 500 days in your debut match?
Karen Q did exactly that in April 2017 when she defeated Kelly Klein by countout. The Chinese-American star, who speaks fluent Mandarin, followed up that shocking victory by winning a triple threat match over Klein and Deonna Purrazzo in the main event of the Women of Honor television special in July 2017.
Q, who made her pro wrestling debut in 2014, has a hybrid style that combines crisp martial arts strikes with dangerous submissions, and she has proved to be wise beyond her level of experience in the ring.
- My Pro Wrestling on the Web and Social Media
YouTube: jim varsallone (jimmyv3 channel)
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