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Back in September, former four-time TNA Knockout Champion ODB had the unfortunate news of finding out her ODB’s Meat & Greet Food Truck burned down. To help her get her food truck business up and running again, Impact Wrestling announced their upcoming tapings on November 7 and 8 at the Melrose Ballroom in New York City will donate one-hundred percent of the ticket proceeds to help ODB out. A few days later, she will be in San José, on November 10th, with Mick Foley as part of one of his comedy shows.
All of this is happening for one reason. ODB is one of the most beloved Knockouts who has ever graced the Impact Zone. ODB has long been a fan favourite in the business, thanks to her rambunctious, no holds barred approach in, and outside the ring. The party animal who can drink any Star in the locker room under the table has made no apologies for her in your face attitude.
One of the original Knockouts who formed the division in 2007, ODB defeated some of the best female wrestlers on Impact. She held the Knockouts Tag Team Championship for a record-setting four hundred and seventy-eight days. She’s a great balance between being an accomplished wrestler and not taking herself too seriously, which is what makes her such a loved Knockout.
SteelChair Magazine had the chance to have a one-on-one conversation with ODB about her comeback to Impact Wrestling, the situation of her food truck, her wrestling career, and what the future holds for ODB, in and out of the ring.
Can you explain what is the situation with your food truck and how Impact Wrestling decided to help you?
It’s amazing that Impact reached out to me and are doing this for me. Impact Wrestling has always been my home, and I thank them for everything. I mean, they helped me put ODB on the map, and it’s the one wrestling promotion that really brought me. That’s pretty damn good that Impact reached out to me, I’m so excited to go back and, you never know, I may have to kick some Knockout when I get there (laughs).
Who came to you with this idea of these Appreciation Nights?
Actually, Tommy Dreamer called me first and then got me on Busted Open Radio, then he had something for me, and then Scott D’Amore (Impact Wrestling EVP) reached out and then Josh Matthews. All these guys reached out to me and told me how awful the situation was. I was not expecting all this and it’s amazing that they love me after all these years. It feels pretty good, in fact really damn good.
What happened exactly to the food truck?
The food truck burnt to the ground. Nothing was left. My own whole business literally went up in flames. It happened a few months ago, but just watching it, although I mean that had been my livelihood for the last six years, to see it all gone, it hurt, it’s inner depth. According to insurances, which is another story, I obviously wasn’t taking care of it like I should have been. But it’s great that Diamond Dallas Page reached out to me and helped me, Mick Foley is helping me out, it’s great to be loved in the wrestling business, and I’m so thankful. Sometimes bad things happen to make good things, even better things come in your life. Maybe it means another run in wrestling, and I can still go, you never know.
Very recently, talking about the move to AXS TV, Impact Knockouts Champion Taya Valkyrie was telling how people like you, Awesome Kong, Gail Kim, or The Beautiful People helped build the Knockouts division and made things possible for the Knockouts of today. How do you feel about being considered a trailblazer?
The Knockouts Division started in 2007, and all of us, Beautiful People, Gail Kim, Kong, made history, and it was just amazing. It’s pretty good that we started an evolution back then, which is awesome. Women Wrestling nowadays gets back to that. It’s pretty cool to see women headline the big shows and what Impact do with their Knockouts. I’m excited to get back as a part of all of this again. Being at Starrcast III with the food truck was amazing, being a part of the AEW’s All Out Casino Battle Royale was awesome, I still have goosebumps about coming out in front of 15,000 people who love you. It was like, “They didn’t forget about me.” Once you’re in the wrestling business, you are never forgotten. All the wrestling fans, the wrestlers, they are my family, this is my life. I’m excited to get back in the ring. I definitely think it’s time for another run for ODB.
You have never officially retired, so you’ve always been in the business.
I’ve never left wrestling. I just expanded my brand with the BBQ food truck. A lot of people thought I left, but I can still do it all. I feel good to come back. I’m so excited to be back in the ring. I think sometimes bad things happen, so better things come along, everything happens for a reason. It sucks that this all happened, and I just take it day by day. It’s going to be a good time in NYC this weekend.
You have spent most of your career on Impact Wrestling. When you signed with them, it was a brand-new and small company. Why did you choose TNA at that time?
They approached me when I was in OVW for a couple of years, developing and polishing out the ODB character. WWE was never interested in me, and Triple H told me the TNA opportunity would be good for me. I’m glad that I did because Impact let me do me, they let me be the ODB there and have fun with it. They made me who I am today, and it’s a brand that keeps going, so I thank Triple H for making me go to TNA.
When I think about intergender matches, when I think about hardcore matches, all the things we are able to watch now on Impact, you were one of the very first in TNA to do that. Now, doing intergender or hardcore have become a standard for women on Impact Wrestling. When you watch Impact now, do you realize you’re one of the women who ignited that fire?
Yes, definitely. They let me do my thing. I had a lot of intergender fun with Cody Deaner. Then I was able to work with EY (Eric Young), and we had a blast. It goes along with the fact of being believable in the ring with a guy and a girl. It was very innovative, and I was very good at that. I love the interaction with the guys and the girls, I can outdrink all those men and whoop their asses (laughs).
Who in the current Impact roster, male or female, would you like to whoop the ass of?
I would like to get in the ring with all the Knockouts of the roster. They’re all awesome. A lot of those girls have raised the bar. I’m looking forward to meeting them and seeing what I can do with all of them. I love being the ring, there’s not a person I want to specifically get the ring with, but if anyone wants to bounce my ass, I will step in the ring and challenge them.
Do you feel like these Appreciation nights are like a possibility for you to come back to the company?
You never know. I’ve never retired, as you said before. I would love to come back. You never know from me, I’m always surprising everyone. But there now, I have a little time off with the food truck, I have a few months off to do my things, so you never know.
When you watch Impact now, do you like what you see?
I do like it, I like how they’re building up the talents in the wrestling world, and it’s awesome that Impact Wrestling is giving people you haven’t seen a chance. Impact Wrestling have always built a lot of wrestlers. A lot of people have debuted on TNA or Impact. So forward, they’re developing the future in wrestling, which is awesome.
When you think about all the things that you’ve done in the business, what are you the most proud of?
I’m proud of having been able to make history. I’ve been in the wrestling world for twenty years. I’m proud of everything in my career. I’m proud I did everything at Impact. I also worked with Ring of Honor for a little bit of time, and I worked for AEW, I’m proud of everything. I’m glad, and it was pretty damn cool, that I got married in a steel cage (with Eric Young in 2012), I don’t know a lot of chicks who can say that (laughs). That was one of my proudest moments.