Fighting

Interview with Nikki (Storm) Glencross; WWE NXT in Fort Pierce

NXT superstars No Way Jose and Nikki Glencross pose for a photo with a fan before a WWE NXT show at the Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce. NXT returns to the Havert L. Fenn Center on Saturday, Aug. 13.
NXT superstars No Way Jose and Nikki Glencross pose for a photo with a fan before a WWE NXT show at the Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce. NXT returns to the Havert L. Fenn Center on Saturday, Aug. 13. Photo By Jim Varsallone

Nikki Glencross’s first days at the WWE Performance Center served as a reminder of why she became a professional wrestler.

“I was 10-years-old, and it was [WWE] ‘Fully Loaded’ that my sister put on [the television],” the Scottish lass recalled. “The first match was Lita and The Hardy Boyz against Trish Stratus and Test and Albert. That was the first match that I ever laid my eyes on.”

WWE conducted that ‘Fully Loaded’ pay-per-view in July 2000 from Reunion Arena in Dallas. The show also featured Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle, Triple H vs. Chris Jericho, the APA (JBL and Ron Simmons) vs. Edge and Christian...but all it took was that six-person tag match, and Glencross was hooked.

Ironically, Albert, Jason Albert, is now the head coach/trainer at the Orlando-based WWE Performance Center and Lita a coach/commentator.

“I actually haven’t [told them that story], but I probably should mention it to them,” she chuckled.

“The action, the glamour, the characters. I never had seen anything like it before. Back in the UK, I’d seen football; you call it soccer in the U.S. I’d seen the Olympics, stuff like gymnastics, but [WWE] I’d never seen that style of entertainment. It’s like a movie. It’s an amazing mix of drama and action. I can’t even compare it to anything else.”

Her sister understood. Stands to reason the first person Glencross told when she received a developmental contract offer from WWE was her sister and then her coach. Spoken highly of, she is one to watch in NXT.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Glencross competed in several sports including basketball, field hockey and netball.

Netball is a ball sport played by two teams of seven players. Its development, derived from early versions of basketball, began in England in the 1890s. Games are played on a rectangular court with raised goal rings at each end. Each team attempts to score goals by passing a ball down the court and shooting it through its goal ring. Players are assigned specific positions, which define their roles within the team and restrict their movement to certain areas of the court. During general play, a player with the ball can hold it for three seconds before passing or shooting. Netball is most popular in Commonwealth nations, specifically in schools, and is predominantly played by women.

Netball is just one ability in her repertoire. Glencross, 28, also was a cheerleader and a dancer. She even took acting classes, performing in school. A college graduate with a master’s degree from the University of Glasgow, this well-rounded individual is a fitness instructor, nutritionist and physical trainer.

“All that shaped me as a person,” she said. “I knew I wanted to be a wrestler since I was 10-years-old. So everything I did was to help me for wrestling. As much fun as I have doing other things, being a wrestler is all I wanted to be. Whether it was acting or playing sports, all of it was to become a wrestler. I think all the experiences help you as a person, and that helps you in becoming a sports entertainer, finding out who you are in the ring.”

During her time at the University of Glasgow, Glencross had a revelation.

“I was studying history, and one day I took a break from writing an essay...I couldn’t tell you what the essay was about...and I knew that this was an itch I really wanted to scratch,” she noted, “so I Googled Scottish Wrestling School. I was 18-years-old, and I wanted to find a good professional wrestling school.”

That’s how she found the Source Wrestling School which runs shows under the Scottish Wrestling Alliance banner.

https://www.facebook.com/scottishwrestling/

“I went, and it just felt right,” she said. “I was at that school for about seven or eight years, and I can’t speak highly enough about that school. They helped me countless, countless, countless ways.”

Beginning her wrestling journey there in 2008, Glencross became Nikki Storm, building a solid reputation worldwide.

Trainer/Wrestler Big Damo O’Connor of the Source Wrestling School said: “Nikki [Storm] Glencross was a member of the most talented training group I had the privilege of teaching. A large number of them have went on to make great success of themselves in wrestling, but from day one, it was obvious that Nikki had a chip on her shoulder.

“She was fiery, determined, and if we told her she couldn’t do something, then she would go and do it 100 times over. This was at a time when women’s wrestlers were often treated with kid gloves at wrestling schools, but Nikki absolutely refused to be treated differently to her male counterparts and demanded the guys hit her as hard as they hit each other. She was crazily resilient. For example, she broke three bones in her hand and was back to training the next day. I struggle to think if she ever missed a training session.

“Her consummate dedication to her wrestling training, promo practice and fitness was unsurpassed in what turned out to be a very talented and successful training group. She went on to compete in North America, Japan and all over Europe, yet returned to training every week, to try and bone up on her skill set or pick up something new from various guest trainers. It is no surprise she eventually caught the eye of the WWE Talent scouts. We felt it was only a matter of time; she’s the ‘Best in the Galaxy’ after all.”

@BigBeardDamo

@SourceWres

Glencross landed a tryout with WWE in April 2015 in London.

“When I received the news that they wanted to sign me, I was wrestling in Japan,” she said. “I was so excited. When I came back from Japan, I was wrestling all over the UK, and I tried to focus as much as I could on wrestling. I just tried to be very focused.”

A focused Glencross made Orlando her new home in April 2016, learning, training at the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center.

“Even now it feels like a dream -- like I have to pinch myself everyday,” she said. “It’s just amazing being here.”

Though she has traveled the world, adapting to life in Central Florida is an adjustment, but she is finding a comfort zone, since moving there.

“I like Starbucks,” she laughed.

It’s a start.

She continued: “I’ve wrestled in Scotland, England, Ireland, all over Europe. I wrestled in Japan. I wrestled in Canada, and I wrestled in America; all pretty much to get to WWE.”

Pro Wrestling Illustrated ranked her No.39 in the 2015 PWI Top 50 Females. That’s very good, but she confidently rates herself higher.

Her moniker is ‘The Best In The Galaxy,” and she backs it up.

“I was traveling all over the world, and I was wrestling all over the world, and I was competing against the best all over the world,” she explained. “Everyone says ‘Best In The World,’ but for me I needed something bigger. I needed a bigger larger than life moniker. I said ‘Best In The Galaxy’ on the microphone, and it caught on. It was a moniker that I very much encouraged, and I find it entertaining...and it’s true, ya know [chuckled].”

What’s also true is the 5-1, 120-pound grappler can wrestle all types -- all shapes, all sizes, all styles.

“Nikki in the ring is very fiery, very passionate about wrestling, very feisty, very loud and obnoxious,” she said. “She really loves wrestling and wants to be the best competitor and steal the show, and I think that comes across in my in-ring performances.”

Some of those qualities she carries away from the ring, too, and it all helps in her developmental process as a WWE sports entertainer, working hard to be the best in this world...the best in this universe...the best in this galaxy.

TwitterNikkiGlencross

- NXT in Fort Pierce

WWE NXT returns to the Havert L. Fenn Center at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13 in Fort Pierce.

See first some of the newer faces on the NXT roster as well as progressing talent who are continuing to build a hot NXT brand and working toward joining the ranks of the main roster in WWE.

There will be a pre-show meet-n-greet around ringside included in the price of admission

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Bell time is 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: General Admission $10; Gold Circle (Ringside) $20.

NXTFortPierceTickets

HavertLFennCenterEvents

@WWENXT

- NXT on WWE Network

WWE NXT is 8 p.m. Wednesdays on WWE Network.

@WWENetwork

@WWE

- NXT in Brooklyn

WWE NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II is Saturday, Aug. 20 live on the WWE Network from the Barclays Center, the night before WWE SummerSlam at the same venue.

NXT champ Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

NXT women’s champ Asuka vs. Bayley

NXT tag champs The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) vs. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa

Bobby Roode vs. Andrade Almas

Austin Aries vs. No Way Jose

Ember Moon vs. TBA

- NXT abroad

To see NXT in a city near you, check

www.wwe.com/events

- NXT/WrestleMania 33 Orlando

WWE WrestleMania 33 is Sunday, April 2, 2017 at Camping World Stadium, formerly Citrus Bowl Stadium, in Orlando. During WrestleMania Week, WWE NXT is Friday, March 31 at the Amway Center, home of the NBA Orlando Magic.

@WrestleMania

- Pro Wrestling On The Web

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/fighting/

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YouTube jim varsallone (jimmyv3 channel)

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