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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Interview With Francine

-- Stephen Ashfield

There weren’t that many females in ECW (the real ECW of course) but those that were in the company were all memorable. None more so than the Queen of Extreme herself, Francine. It’s a busy time for her at present, not just organising the ECW Reunion event (more about that on page 21 of this edition), working for WEW and getting ready to give birth in the next few months. Here Francine looks back at her career and tells us more about the ECW Reunion and WEW.

SA: Thanks for the interview, firstly I have to ask how's the pregnancy going?

F: Everything is going great. I'm 6 months pregnant now and couldn't be happier!

SA: You won a front row ticket for Monday Night Raw in a competition that also saw you shooting a commercial with Vince McMahon, what was that like and did that spark off your desire to get into the wrestling business?

F: It was a lot of fun. I really wanted to get involved once I started watching ECW in 1993. That's when I called and started my training at the ECW Arena.

SA: December 1993 saw you join ECW and you were the first graduate at the ECW House of Hardcore training school, what was that training experience like?

F: I was the only girl there, so it was hard at first. But I was determined to make it, so I kept at it and the rest is history.

SA: It wasn't until 1995 that you debuted as a fan of Stevie Richards, what are your memories of your first ECW appearance?

F: Scared. I had to sit in the crowd with the fans and the Philly fans are really crazy. Plus I had to talk on the mic and that was pretty frightening as well. But fun nonetheless.

SA: How different do you think your career would have been if you'd taken up the offer to join WWE as 'Sister Love' and why did you turn that offer down?

F: I'm sure it would of been completely different. But I am glad I stayed with ECW. I was just completely comfortable with the locker room and I was happy, so why leave and change anything?

SA: What was it about the company, both in and out of the ring that made it so memorable?

F: That fact that we were a family. I love the boys and had a great 7 years there.

SA: What was Paul Heyman like to work with?

F: Paul was great. So smart and talented. And willing to listen to our ideas.

SA: What are your memories of working with Beulah McGillicutty and was there any real rivalry between the women in ECW?

F: Her and I had a great time together. We all got along for the most part. People fight sometimes and then you get over it. It's a job first and foremost, but it never really felt like work to me because I enjoyed it so much.

SA: One such move saw you end up with a broken pelvic bone, what are your recollections of that injury and did it put you off taking bumps in the future?

F: Not at all. Bam Bam didn't tell me what he was going to do to me, and accidents happens. I never blamed anyone for my injuries. You take a chance every time you get into the ring. I just wanted to work!

SA: How did the atmosphere change in the company as the financial problems grew and the future of ECW became more doubtful?

F: We all became worried and depressed but as they say the show must go on. So we continued to work.

SA: 2002 saw you in TNA feuding with Elektra, Jasmine St Claire and Taylor Vaughn, those were the early days of TNA, what did you think of the company and why did you leave after the match with St Claire?

F: I only signed a 4 night deal and they didn't know what to do with me anymore so that was pretty much it. I had fun while it lasted.

SA: In 2005 the Hardcore Homecoming and WWE's One Night Stand ECW reunion shows were held and you appeared on both. How did each show compare and how emotional was it for you being reunited with many of the original ECW roster?

F: It was great to be involved with both shows and I loved seeing everyone again. I was happy to be on both shows.

SA: Following that appearance at One Night Stand, you signed a contract with WWE to appear on the new ECW brand working with Balls Mahoney in his feud with Kevin Thorn and Ariel. What did you think of this new version of ECW and was it disappointing you were released after only a few months?

F: I wasn't happy there and asked for my release. I got it a month and a half later. I was relieved. I'm much happier now then I've ever been. It just wasn't my cup of tea.

SA: In June, you're holding the 'Legends of the Arena' event in aid of the American Cancer Society. Can you tell my readers more about what they can expect on June 27th and the reasons for putting on the event?

F: My father and sister both died of cancer 4 days apart from each other last September. My other sister had kidney cancer and beat it. So cancer has affected my family deeply. I know there is still a desire for the original ECW product, so I wanted to have a reunion using only former ECW talent at the former ECW arena and be able to make a donation to the American Cancer Society on behalf of my Dad and sister. The fans can expect a bit of the past and a lot of fun. I can't wait! For more info, please go to www.myspace.com/legendsofthearena

SA: How frustrating is it that you can't use the ECW name?

F: It's ok. People know what kind of show it is just by looking at the talent booked and where it is being held. Those letters don't have to be mentioned at all and you still know!

SA: How can my readers find out more about you, your career and all the ventures you're working on at present?

F: www.myspace.com/francinefournier

To read more of this interview, go to www.fightingfemales.co.uk. The latest edition also includes interviews with Tammy Sytch, Melissa Coates, Roxie Cotton, Lizzie Valentine. Rick Cataldo and more.