Zeda Zhang recently spoke with the folks of Women’s Wrestling Weekly about her experience in the first-ever Mae Young Classic tournament. Featured below are some of the highlights.
On being involved in the first ever Mae Young Classic: “That was so much fun, but it flew by. Like, we were just training and out of no where Sara Amato pulls us aside and was like you guys are going to in Mae Young. And then nothing was spoken about it for probably about a month or something. So, all of sudden out of no where, it was like the week of, they were like ‘we got to go and do everything’… and it was rush rush rush. You’re filming all day, your doing shoots and I didn’t get to enjoy it, because it [was] literally just a blur. And I remember, my music starts and I’m in the back and I’m was out and I’m like oh my gosh here we go, this is about to start and all of sudden… ding ding and it was over. But overall it was a great experience.”
On getting released by WWE: “They told me why. But talking to other people who have been released, the why that they tell you, might not exactly be the why. So, all they said was we know you work really hard, but unfortunately, hard work is not what gets you far in this industry. I think what it comes down to, is the market because when I got signed, I was actually suppose to get signed [in] June or July of 2017 but they brought me in half a year early. Because they wanted me to come with the Chinese crew because they were trying to get into China at the time. But, because of the issues overseas and I guess the politics with everything, it’s hard to get in there. Because, China has a lot of rules and stuff like that, especially when it comes to another company from overseas trying to come in and promote something such as fighting and also the president over there is more traditional and he is very much about peace even though this is entertainment. They view wrestling back during like the Attitude Era. So, their idea is a little bit different… So, it’s kind of tough.
“That’s why you will see the new hires in waves.. All of the sudden Chinese people are here, then the Indian people are here, then the Saudi Arabian people, it is literally all in waves of what the market needs, which makes sense because it’s a big company and it’s all about making money. So, it has to do with market and timing and they just don’t see certain people on TV at this time. So, they originally told me I was going to be a part of the Chinese market and market me there. So, when I first started they had me on all the promos and doing all these things in Chinese, but then all a sudden they said, ‘we are going to keep you in the US market’, which then I wasn’t really out and about and promoted at all because they were so many other people.”
On the difficulties in developing her character while in WWE: “I don’t have the freedom of what kind of character I want to be. I can’t really test it out. They tell you when you wrestle and when you get to try things out, and they just tell you, “be yourself”. But the thing is everything that makes me is my background – my modelling, singing, dancing, music and MMA – and me just being Chinese in general. That’s what I am but when I was there, I can’t do the MMA thing because someone else has it, I can’t do the singing thing because someone else has it, can’t do the dancing thing cause someone else has it, can’t do the modelling thing because someone else has it, so I’m left with nothing. I can’t be Chinese either, they told me, I wasn’t allowed to be billed from China because it’s not true so because of that I was left with this heart gimmick.”
Check out the complete Zeda Zhang interview on iTunes.