When you check her Twitter name, you can ask yourself what is “mean” in Gia Miller. The 23-year-old Impact Wrestling backstage interviewer and BTI host is nothing but smile and energy. She appeared on our screens at Rebellion last year, asking Willie Mack how he was feeling just a few minutes before the match that would make him become X-Division Champion. Next to the big man, her voice was shivering a little but she was not afraid.
Fifteen months later, Gia Miller has become as inevitable as her boyfriend Ace Austin can be on Impact Wrestling. Her voice, her smile, her facial expressions have become a part of the storylines and the show. When on IMPACT, a mic on hand, she is the person who tries to have the first impressions of the wrestlers or executives but also avoids some shots when things get hot.
And, with Jon Burton and Josh Mathews, she is the co-host of Before The Impact, the new show launched in March that reviews current events, previews the upcoming Impact Wrestling episode, conducts interviews with Impact Wrestling stars and usually airs one match. Gia Miller is as at ease on BTI as she can be on IMPACT, mostly next to two people who have been long-time players of that game, as reporters and sportscasters.
SteelChair Wrestling Magazine had the pleasure to talk to Gia Miller last week. She told us about her path, her first year on Impact Wrestling, now being signed 3 years, her goals, the differences between making IMPACT and BTI, her wrestling career, and what the future may hold for her.
I am going to let you present yourself, tell our readers who you are, when you fell in love with wrestling and maybe some specific Impact Wrestling memories.
“I’m Gia, otherwise known as Mean Gia Miller or GLAM or Georgia Lee. Gia is short for Georgia and a lot easier. I grew up in the middle of nowhere, in Carrollton, Mississippi. I grew up watching wrestling with my Dad and my two sisters. Even my Mom sometimes too, as she started to get into it much later, although she was in denial for a long time. I loved playing sports and performing, and then as I got older, I was like, wrestling is for me, that’s where I want to go but I promised my parents I would get a degree and I would go to college. So I went to college but I went with wrestling in mind, so I went for journalism, creative media, telecommunications, film, theatre, all this stuff that I knew would help me in wrestling and even with the production side and interviewing, so I would be able to do a lot of jobs. Lo and behold my senior year of college, I came to IMPACT tapings in Atlanta, Georgia. They happened to be looking for an interviewer, I was qualified and was willing to do the job, that was how it started.”
I remember when you debuted at ‘Rebellion’ 2020, you appeared a little scared and now, in a matter of one year, you’re now signed to a 3-year contract, which means that you are doing a great job, one of the hosts of BTI, Gail Kim revealed you’re wrestling. Does the company ask you to do all these things or are you also able to put a personal input to it, saying I’m interested to do that?
“It happened very gradually because, of course, I didn’t have much experience and when they brought me in, as I was what was available, they had talked to me about it but I hadn’t auditioned or tried out or anything like. When the pandemic started, I was actually visiting some of the other members of the roster and they started talking about doing the tapings. With the closed set, they didn’t want to bring in a bunch of outside people to reduce the risk and they knew that I was with someone from their roster (Ace Austin), so they asked like, would she be willing to come down? I said yes, so they brought me in.”
“That first set of tapings was my first time being on TV on that stage, on such a grand scale, and I just needed to get through that. I had very few things that I needed to, hit very few words, just do this. Okay well, I did that, it was okay. Then, over time, I started to get more and more words, more and more segments, and more and more involvement, sit-down interviews, stuff like that, backstage stuff. Then, they asked me to host the CELL-Ebration which was the first live thing that I did, I did that and that was okay, I’m starting to pick it up. I did express that I wanted to be involved, I always stay involved in whatever’s going on. I feel like I’m always either sewing someone’s gear up or fixing someone’s make-up, something like that, I’m always involved one way or another even if I’m not doing an interview.”
“Then I got the call about BTI. Honestly, I was like, this is it, they’re letting me go, they’re wishing me my best, but they were like no, we want to bring you on for another show. They explained this all to me and I was like, okay, yeah, great. So I’ve gotten more and more over time and then when the contract conversation happened, I told them that I love interviewing but it’s not the only thing I want to do, I want to do it all and I want to be a wrestler and I want to wrestle here on IMPACT. This is not a step, this is my goal, this is not a stepping stone, this is not somewhere that I want to get started, this is where I want to be. That’s what I’m working towards now but for now, I’m still pouring all that I have into my interviewing and my hosting and everything.”
BTI has become a part of IMPACT, a real part of the show, and you seem not to be impressed by Jon Burton and Josh Mathews who have so many years of experience. I’m sure they are giving you a lot of advice and guidance. Is there a difference between the way you come to BTI and IMPACT?
“They’re pretty much made the exact same, we stand in front of those cameras and we pop it out. There’s no script or anything, we just talk about what’s happening and how it’s going it happens in the same studio and pretty much within the same days.”
Is it more difficult to interview your man than the other wrestlers on the roster?
“It honestly isn’t because we are able to separate our work personas from our personal personas. When Gia Miller and Ace Austin stand in front of a camera together, that’s Gia Miller and Ace Austin, that is not the people behind the camera, that is not our relationship but it’s easy to play off of each other because we know each other so well. I’ve never had a difficult time interviewing him, I like to pretend like it’s difficult but it never really is. We’ve remarkably not had many problems with separating those two things, which is great and I think it’s because we are so young and we’ve kind of started this together and grown together, so it’s been really easy to keep those things separate.”
‘Slammiversary’ is going to be your first show with a crowd since your debut. Are you looking forward to having these different kinds of reactions?
“I am so excited to be around fans and to interact with them. I don’t get to get out in the ring much but I hope that, since we’ll have fans, maybe we’ll need someone at ringside to kind of interact with the fans. I’m going to probably pitch myself for that.”
Impact Wrestling has valued women more than anything and, at the same time, you are training to become a wrestler. Do you sometimes feel a difference in the way you are treated, mostly as a woman, when you are on IMPACT and when you are not?
“I have been very fortunate to always have been treated very well. Impact Wrestling has always treated me great and I think that has to do with what you mentioned, I’m not intimidated by people, I always carry myself as a professional and so people tend to respect that. I’ve always had very good interactions but there are occasions where people will kind of try to be condescending to me, maybe because of my lack of experience or whatever, but it’s often people that I’ve really never heard of before. I just kind of have to let it roll off my back, be happy, be proud of myself, continue to work and continue to be professional.”
Follow Gia Miller on Twitter @MeanGiaMiller.
Slammiversary will air live on Fite TV this Saturday at 8 PM EST (1 AM GMT). IMPACT Wrestling is airing on Tuesday at 8/7c on AXS TV in the USA and Twitch worldwide. In the UK and Ireland, IMPACT is available to fans for free within hours of the American broadcast on IMPACT Plus, with an encore presentation on 5Star on Fridays late nights. PPVs can be watched through the FITE app and website or a Virgin Media box.
All pics, screencaps, and videos courtesy of Impact Wrestling, AXS TV, Basil Mahmud, Dan The JOBR ManErratic TJ, Fite TV, and Fight Network