Havok and Nevaeh’s careers seem to have been very intertwined. They made their debut the same year, they are the same age, they’re both from Ohio, of course, and they wrestled each other very early in their careers before they started to team up together. Obviously, you can’t go against that chemistry when you’ve known each other for so long.
When they are working on the indies, they are known as The Killer Death Machines. On IMPACT, I like to call them the Sisters of Doom. Last April, as Havok was competing in the ring, we all saw the silhouette of Nevaeh in the arena, scrutinizing what was happening. Was she going to help her friend? The answer was yes, of course. If Havok came back to IMPACT in June 2019, back from the Undead Realm, with Nevaeh by her side, they have become, now on IMPACT, the same destructive and powerful team they have been on the indies for so long.
This Tuesday night on IMPACT, Havok and Nevaeh will try to reach the finals of the Knockouts Tag Team tournament, which will take place at Hard To Kill on January 16, when they’ll face the team of Jazz and Jordynne Grace. It’s time to make history at Hard To Kill as the belts were deactivated in 2013 and are now about to revive.
SteelChair Wrestling Magazine had the opportunity to talk to Havok and Nevaeh just before Christmas. They told us about their upcoming semi-final match, what the Knockouts Tag Team belts mean to them, the Knockouts roster, and the role models they try to be.
You will face, this Tuesday night, the team of Jordynne Grace and Jazz to earn a place in the finals at ‘Hard To Kill’ and try to become the new IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Champions. What do these titles represent to you?
Havok: “We were elated when Impact Wrestling announced that the Knockouts tag titles were making a return. When that was announced, I was just so excited because Nevaeh and I are a very experienced tag team, and we were just waiting for an opportunity like this. I feel like it’s a perfect time for the tag title to come back, and I feel like Nevaeh and I have quite an advantage over the rest of the teams because of our experience.”
Nevaeh: “I’m going to basically second what she said because we have been tagging prior to being at IMPACT together. We do have a lot of chemistry and a lot of knowledge. We’re very versatile in what we do. For us, like to have the announcement of the Knockouts Tag Team titles back, it was like, “Okay, here we go, it’s our time.” I was so excited.”
What about Jazz, what does she represent for you? You will face off Jazz and Jordynne Grace in the semi-finals.
Havok: “This particular match that we’re about to have means a lot to me because Jazz is one of the women that I looked up to when I was younger watching wrestling. She is one of my favourites, and she and I have known each other from a few years back, it’s actually probably been a little over five years now, and we have developed a friendship and stuff like that. Then, I heard that she was retiring, and I was always bummed because I always told her you’re not allowed to retire till we wrestle each other, and she’s like, “Come on, girl.” We finally get this opportunity, so, for me, I’m over the moon about it and, as far as Jordynne Grace goes, I love wrestling her, and I can’t wait to get back in the ring with her.”
Nevaeh: “For me, it’s a first time I’ll get to wrestle either one of these women, but it’s one of those like I’ve obviously seen Jordynne, I’ve seen what she can do, she’s hard-hitting, she goes fast, you can put her in there with anyone. Then to get in the ring with Jazz is something that, as a female wrestler, if you can’t look forward to that, then I don’t know what’s going on with you. She’s an absolute legend, so I’m just over the moon to be able to jump in the ring with both of those. Hopefully, we get to stand tall over them, which I’m sure we will, but that’s the plan. I know we’re both just so looking forward to being in the ring with both of them.”
Nevaeh, you made your debut in the middle of COVID time last April, which was not the easiest moment to. Tell me about that. How do you feel now to be on IMPACT, on national television every week?
“Especially for 2020, we’ll just say that my 2020 was not nearly as bad as everyone else’s, luckily. For me, it’s been living exactly what I’ve been wanting to do and to put the cherry on top of it, I’m doing it with my best friend. I can’t ask for anything more, (cough) tag titles, but it’s just been exactly what you would hope for it to be. I feel like I’m where I belong. I’ve been wrestling for a long time, I have a lot of knowledge, so it kind of just brought it all together for me, like it’s where I need to be, it’s where I’m supposed to be. To me, to come in at the time frame that I came in, you normally are worried about the crowd and the buzz and all that’s coming in, and I came in, and I was just dead focused on what I got to do. It had different elements to it as opposed to what you’re normally used to as a wrestler.”
Havok, you came back last year, in June 2019. You were Knockouts Champion in your first run with Impact Wrestling in 2014. Did you feel a difference between that time of TNA and this new era of Impact Wrestling, may it be the roster or the Creative process?
“I feel that it is very different than the first time that I joined IMPACT. It is a complete polar opposite, and I mean that in the most positive way. The first time I was at IMPACT, it was actually TNA still, I was ten years in wrestling when I first got there, but I just felt so much like I had no clue what I was doing, and I lost a lot of my confidence. It was very testing for me. I was grateful to have Gail Kim and Madison Rayne there. I got to feud with Gail Kim, and I got to beat Gail Kim for the Knockouts champion, and I was Knockouts champion on TV for five weeks. That’s something I’ll always be grateful for, but to have a second opportunity at IMPACT and to get to experience how much IMPACT has changed for the positive. I feel like we’re a big family there, everybody on the roster’s very supportive of one another, friendly competition, always building each other up, never tearing each other down. The office and the management are a lot better than it was before. I feel like I could talk to them. One of the people from the office said to me, “Nobody knows your character better than you do, so if we give you a direction, and it’s not something your character would do, please speak up to us, and we will make this work.” That went a long way for me because it wasn’t like that before, at least in my experience. I love Impact Wrestling, and I’m very loyal to Impact Wrestling, and I’m grateful to be there. It’s been like night and day, but I’m loving my time here now.”
What is the dynamic of the Knockouts roster that is now made of 14 or 15 women wrestlers, with different characters and wrestling styles?
Nevaeh: “The Knockouts division is extremely versatile, from their appearance to their personalities to their wrestling. It’s a very strong core group of women, and I think that within all of the female knockouts on the roster right now, there’s something for everyone, whatever style you like, there’s someone there who you’re going to fall in love with watching wrestling. There’s someone there that’s going to inspire you, that you’re going to learn something from. To me, that’s a huge thing. I think that’s what keeps the Knockouts such a strong women’s division, and every single one of them can get in there and just wrestle. They’re just good, and for me, that’s a huge thing too, like the appearance, the personality, the character. That’s great, but when you can get in there and just wrestle. I think it speaks volumes because it’s an art form to me.”
Havok: “One thing that I will say is that the Knockouts division, the entire time it was TNA, when I was there the first time, the division was very different. They had The Beautiful People, Taryn Terrell, Brooke Tessmacher, a lot of really gorgeous women that looked like models, but they were also getting in there and wrestling. Madison Rayne has been a staple in that women’s division for so long, she is someone who can do it all, I love that girl for that because she’s so talented. My whole thing is even the women’s division now, the way it’s evolved, even from then, I feel like the women’s division that we have at impact now is the best division that we’ve had for a while, and I put our division up against any other division.”
Havok, you talked about lack of confidence. I dare to imagine that both you and Nevaeh suffered some bullying, one for her body, the other for being a Mum and a wrestler. How did you overcome that and do you try to make it something positive in your lives and in the ring?
Nevaeh: “I’m very lucky in the sense that I am very mentally and headstrong. It takes a lot to rattle me, it takes a lot to shake me, and as a female performer in the public eye, I’m well aware that people are judging my body and my appearance and everything that’s going on, but I do feel, because of my competitive edge, no one is judging it quite as harshly as I do myself anyway. So I kind of always feel like there’s nothing that people can say that I haven’t already thought, or hasn’t already crossed my mind. As far as the nasty negative comments, we live in a society where if we post a photo that’s too sexy, or however some people want to perceive it, unfortunately, I’m always prepared to read and get comments that no one should be posting regardless about anyone’s body, but I’ve kind of already mentally prepared for what’s about to come. I’m one of those people who also live in a society that it blows my mind in my head that anyone in this world thinks it’s okay to comment on anyone’s look or appearance. I don’t believe that anyone’s look or appearance unless it is a very nice, “Oh, you look great, keep up the hard work.” It should say anything about anyone’s body.”
Havok: “I agree with that. Even when I’m my most lean, I am still bigger than all the other girls that I wrestle with, so very early on in my career, I did have a hard time dealing with the comments because before I started wrestling, I never had a problem with my body, and I never thought that I was fat and what all these people are calling me. I was a bit devastated in the beginning, but to be in this business, you have to have thick skin, and you have to learn to tune out the negative. We could have a hundred people say, “You look so beautiful,” but we’re focusing on that one comment where somebody was like, “Ew, you look like gross or whatever.” We have to rewire our minds to push out the negative. The negative comments that I might get these days don’t bother me at all because I just am like, “Okay, they’re obviously unhappy with something within themselves, and they’re projecting it on to a complete stranger.” I think that it’s very interesting that in this day and age, a complete stranger can have an opinion of you without even knowing who you are, and it’ll be a bold opinion like they know.”
“We just have to roll with the punches and pick and choose our battles. I just think like, now what I do is, I keep my confidence in myself. I have self-respect, and I do have days where I feel like I’m really hard on myself, but most of the time, I’m working on being my best healthiest me. I don’t like to be overweight, and I’m currently going up and down with this weight-loss journey, but we all have a million-day once, and it happens, and as long as I’m happy with who I am, I do urge people to love who they are and be yourself, but I also like to promote like you should be your healthiest you as well, and right now what I’m doing as opposed to having a weight loss goal, what I’m trying to do is just be more healthy, so I could have a longer better life. So we just don’t listen to the haters, they’ll eventually grow out of it hopefully, or they’ll learn, but it’s just something that comes with the territory.”
Nevaeh: “Havok is being modest. Here’s the thing that people need to really understand in the generation beneath us as well that’s coming into the business, so one is that she paved a way for girls to be themselves. She came in with her tattoos, and that wasn’t something that was accepted, then everyone wanted us to have the perfect ten body with big butt, big boobs, tiny waist, great long hair. You had to be a certain way, and your wrestling wasn’t focused on. Havok came in and was like, “Guess what, I’m a taller girl, I’m a little bit thicker, I’m curvy, I’m still a badass wrestler, and I’m going to prove to you that, it’s okay to be exactly, who you are.” If you look at the girls who follow, the generation after that, you can see the change in the appearances that’s come into wrestling since then.”
Hard To Kill will air live on Saturday, January 16 at 8 PM EST (1 AM GMT) worldwide on Fite TV and on Premier Sports 1 in the UK. IMPACT Wrestling is airing on Tuesday at 8/7c on AXS TV and Twitch in the USA. The show is available to view in the UK from 2 am Wednesdays on the IMPACT Plus app and airs on FreeSports at 10 PM every Wednesday and 5STAR on Fridays in the late evening (please check local listings weekly).
All pics, videos, and screencaps courtesy of Impact Wrestling, AXS TV, Fight Network, and Basil Mahmud.