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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Alan Wojcik Shoots With April Hunter

--Alan Wojcik

Alan Wojcik: On your Myspace page you declare you’re "A nerd with boobs." Explain any double meaning to the fans who might be wondering about it.

April Hunter: No double meaning. It's just that most days I'd rather pick up a book than go out drinking!

Alan Wojcik: During your RF shoot interview with Talia Madison (featured on Glamour, Glitz & Divas DVD) you mentioned you’ve been doing gymnastics your whole life. Were you in AAU competitions/school stuff and how did it lead to fitness modeling?

April Hunter: I competed in gymnastics at a basic level and martial arts at an advanced level. I also competed in swimming and volleyball. I just have always had an interest in athletics and fitness. I got a big lead into fitness from Devon Michaels. We were both doing centerfold work and the biz had just decided that 'glamazon' was out, 'barely legal softbodies with real breasts ' were in. Neither of us fit that look but we wanted to work. Fitness modeling welcomed our look.

Alan Wojcik: In addition to the fitness modeling you also had a layout in Playboy Magazine. Which is harder taking your clothes off knowing millions of people will see it or wrestling in front of thousands of people and why?

April Hunter: In the short term, wrestling is harder. It involves more skill and the fans can be tougher on you. Plus, it's harder on your body. But in the long term, modeling will come back at some point to haunt you. Whether your family has seen it (Mine has and thankfully, Mom was a model, too. The others aren't so cool about it) or your boyfriends friends (one thought I was actually a porn star), you'll pay for it in some way. But either way, they both beat the pants off a 9 to 5.

Alan Wojcik: You got your start in wrestling working for WCW in 1999 as a valet for the NwO (along with Tylene Buck, Midajah & Kim Kanner) before you trained for wrestling. Looking back do you wish you had done it on reverse, trained for wrestling before going into the business?

April Hunter: I've asked myself that before and I think the way it happened worked out well for me. The only thing I wish I'd known more about was to hang in there longer and realize the wrestling biz isn't the modeling biz. Meaning, the mentality for modeling is that you're only as good as your last published layout. You must keep going, keep getting published. In wrestling, hanging back, being patient and waiting for/creating an opportunity is more normal. But if you're not trained, you don't know this.

Alan Wojcik: After you left WCW you trained under WWE Hall of Famer Walter "Killer" Kowalski. How did you come to choose his school and describe a typical day of training; were the conditions as bad as one would think?

April Hunter: Terry Taylor set up a meeting for me with Jim Ross. I flew out to LA and met with WWE, who set up Killer Kowalski's for me. After getting on the indy circuit, I realized how great my trainer and training really was. The conditions were 'normal' for old school wrestling...an old boxing ring that was stiff as fuck, ripped up mat, no air conditioning, no showers. We bumped, we learned, we bumped some more. You paid up front...if you sucked or were a problem, they ran you out. No refunds, no "never been anywhere or done anything" trainers, no stringing losers along that have no right to be in this business just to keep them paying for another week of school. This seems to be what happens nowadays. It's a shame, because you can't always find the diamonds amongst the clutter of coal on the indies --and it seems that WWE has given up bothering to try. They rely on the lucky sperm club donations instead. Safer bet. But still sad, nonetheless. I see some on this level that simply shouldn't be here anymore. They should be making someone lots and lots of money.

Alan Wojcik: Before this interview you mentioned getting additional training overseas. How do the methods in Japan and Europe differ from training in American camps?

April Hunter: Vastly. They're more like Kowalski's. Europe and especially England have more opportunities to work more often, which is great. Here, you can only wrestle on weekends. But it's not uncommon to wrestle 3-7 times a week overseas, which is why I chose to travel and work outside of the US more often than in it. Japan is even more stringent with their standards. They will hold a mass tryout...2000 teens will show up. They narrow it down to half. Then run drills and narrow it to half. Then halve it again. In the end, they might ask you to do 500 squats and 100 pushups. You can't. No one can. But they'll chose the ones who TRY and don't give up. They look for heart. At the end, they have ten kids. They pick two. If you are chosen, you are pulled out of school and moved into the dojo to train full time. That's your career now. You can't just walk in off the street and sign up for wrestling school over there like you can here.

Alan Wojcik: Over your years in the business, are there any differences between April Hunter and the wrestling character "April Hunter?" Do you prefer being a heel or face and why?

April Hunter: I like playing either, but prefer heel. It's fun to act up. I am nothing like my character. People are always surprised at that. Apparently I look like a real bitch in pictures.

Alan Wojcik: Have promoters asked you to do stuff in the ring you found degrading and how did you address it?

April Hunter: Many. It depends. If it fits in with the match, I'd often do it. If it doesn't, I'd say no. Some have tried to get away with cutting pay after I was already there. They apparently forgot to promote their own wrestling show. I used to tell that that "50 Cent could be here...he ain't gonna draw either if you don't let anyone know and stick a few flyers up!" It's the ones you say 'no' to that will call you "problematic" (or worse) behind your back.

Alan Wojcik: I’m sure this is a dumb question. Are women wrestlers treated different in Japan and Mexico than here in America and if so why do you think that is the case?

April Hunter: Yes and no. It depends on who you're working for. In general, women's wrestling seems to get far more respect in Japan, Europe, Mexico and Canada than it does here. I used to come back home after a hard month and have mixed feelings. Hated it, because I knew I'd be in the ring soon with someone's half-trained girlfriend getting hurt. Loved it, because instead of 25 minute matches catching asai moonsaults to the floor and taking chairshots, I'd have 7 minutes of fluff, everyone would speak English and if it sucked, no one expected much anyway. After all, it was the women's match.

Alan Wojcik: You have wrestled literally around the globe. Do you have a city or country outside the United States you would consider your favorite to visit?

April Hunter: To visit: France. Utterly beautiful. To wrestle in: a tie between Germany and Canada. Both have such great wrestling fans who respect and love the sport.

Alan Wojcik: We have a mutual friend named Pandora (AKS Miss Rachel) who I know works stiff but comes off not dangerous. Besides Allison Danger (who will talk about later) do you have anyone you worked with that thought you were too snug/stiff or to turn it around anyone you would never work with you again?

April Hunter: Nope. I don't mind snug. I mind dangerous/untrained.

Alan Wojcik: Since your debut in the business you have seen women’s wrestling grow to new places like WXW holding a ladies Super 8 tournament and the birth of promotions like Shimmer and Women Superstars Uncensored. Your thoughts on those promotions and do you think women are still to this day looked at as ringrats or groupies.

April Hunter: I'm a Super 8 winner myself, ya know! I think the real female wrestlers are treated better than they once were when I was struggling up and down the northeast.

Alan Wojcik: Have you ever come into contact with some of the ladies who are legendary in the business like Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Tammy Sytch & "Sensational" Sherri Martel to name a few and if so what did you take from them?

April Hunter: Yes. I've picked their brains and been fortunate to have some good advice thrown my way...not all of which I took, but hey. Many of the male wrestlers have been just as helpful or more so.

Alan Wojcik: Mind if I ask you about some of the current indy stars like Mercedes Martinez, Daizee Haze, "Prime Time" Amy Lee & MsChif.

April Hunter: I haven't really been following along as much as I could be, but I always thought MsChif was very underrated in the ring. The other girls I know more personally and think well of them.

Alan Wojcik: In addition to wrestling you became manager to JD Michaels. How did this partnership come to be and personal relationship aside, do you think he has what it takes to work for the WWETNA/ROH?

April Hunter: We met over mutual broken noses on a tour in Winnipeg, Canada. He's extremely talented and his new TST (Top Shelf Talent) tag team at OVW is getting amazing reviews. Some of their vignettes are on YouTube: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOV1jgfK6rE) JD can talk, like no one's business, he's got an amazing natural physique with ripped abs and he can make anyone look good in the ring no matter what size they are. I think it's just a matter of time before he's on the top level. He's extremely marketable and appeals to males, females & kids. That's money. He'll be snagged up sooner, rather than later.

Alan Wojcik: At what point did you decide it was time to create a website (www.AprilHunter.com) and how hands on are you in its content and design?

April Hunter: I started my site in 1997, and it's helped me first gain notoriety on the feature circuit and then later, get out circuit. I've been a centerfold model since I was 19 and have accumulate a ridiculous amount of photos. Over 10,000. And loads of videos. I'm more hands on now than ever. I had to take a few classes first, but now I do just about everything. I have had a lot of success with my site and am very grateful to those who have stopped in to take a naughty peek!

Alan Wojcik: Like many wrestlers you have seen Mickey Rourke's amazing performance in the Wrestler. If Hollywood were to make a movie of your life who would play you?

April Hunter: Of course! I got my illegally downloaded copy last month since it didn't open in Louisville. ;) Billy Piper, from Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

Alan Wojcik: Since you’ve done Playboy and have nude photos on your site do you get emails from people who want to book you for stripping gigs and adult movies and how do you handle those contacts if they happen.

April Hunter: Here and there. I just tell them thank you, but not interested,. I get every kind of email you can possibly imagine. Some of the weirdest ones are regarding wrestling! It seems no matter how legit women's wrestling has become, it's still a fetish - just without the fetish paycheck.

Alan Wojcik: I know you don’t like these questions but I figured I would ask two of them. In your RF shoot with Talia Madison, you said harsh things about Allison Danger. Have you ever heard from Allison about your comments you made about working in Japan with her?

April Hunter: I did a tour of Germany and France with Allison last year and we buried the hatchet. We were both younger and more stupid at the time. Shoots encourage you to say whatever is on your mind at the time. I was there when she met Ares (who is lovely) and would like to say a big congrats on their new baby daughter.

Alan Wojcik: Recently you added Talia (TNA Wrestling’s Velvet Sky) to the list of people who deserve harsh words tossed at them. Clue the fans into how she ended up as a member of the "Beautiful People" in TNA Wrestling and how your ideas went with her.

April Hunter: I honestly thought she was a friend and a good person but I was wrong. She stabbed me in the back pretty hard over things like my wedding, bookings and money and used people harshly, including me. I likely gave to her a lot, including our ring entrance, because she was/is terrible in the ring. Ah, well. I've moved on. I won't say I'm happy for her, but I am glad she's not in my life anymore. It's par for course, getting backstabbed in entertainment. Happens every day to many greater and more talented than we are. I sent a tape to TNA a while before they were doing much with women. I was contacted and told they'd bring me in when they started the women's division. I hurt my back badly by the time that started, so I let them know I was retiring. They ended up hiring nearly everyone on my tape.

Alan Wojcik: On a recent video Q & A for your website you confessed you are physically unable to wrestle. What are your current injuries? It must have broken your heart to be told that you can’t wrestle. Have you moved past it and found a new passion?

April Hunter: I have 2 herniated discs, several other degenerated discs, hip problems and a neck injury. I have been in rehab for 2 years now and am still in pain, but at least I can get out of bed on my own now--and walk my dog---and work out. That was an issue some days. When you can't walk or do things on your own, you are humbled like you wouldn't believe. I got bummed, so I sat on the couch eating Ben & Jerry's and mourned my lost career path. And I gained 25 lbs. I was heavier than I've ever been. I was sloppy. I've dropped all that weight now and am in pretty good shape again, thankfully! Wrestling was never my passion. I never grew up wanting to do it. I've always loved pin up modeling, writing, photography, fitness & nutrition. Those are my passions and I'm still doing them. Those are how I got into wrestling, actually.

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