Carmel Jacob is a wee bit good at this wrestling thing. Admittedly the first few times I seen her, whilst she was clearly talented, she wasn’t a person on shows I needed to see. When she took the mic at ICW There’s Something About Maryhill and tore a strip off everyone in…well Scotland really, thats when it all changed, and she has been on an absolute tear both on the mic and in the ring since.
Usually these intros are a bit longer, but d’you know what? Carmel said pretty much everything I might have in this bit. So I won’t keep you any longer. Get it read.
I find you a wee touch….well fuckin terrifying tbh. So I’ll try my best not to ask anything antagonistic at all. We’ll start off nice and easy. How did you get involved in wrestling, and what made you pursue it as a career?
Pretty generic story really, I always watched wrestling, and when I say always I mean from when I was tiny. For me, it was the entertainment aspect that hooked me initially, the characters and the storylines. I went through all the stages as a wrestling fan, getting my Uncle to tape Raw and Smackdown for me every week and staying over at friends’ houses to watch all the pay per views, making my predictions before each match. Eventually I convinced my Gran to get me a trampoline so that myself and my cousin could put on our own ‘shows’ which involved a couple of awful wrestling ‘spots’ intermixed with us both doing the worst Kenan and Kel impressions you can imagine (another obsession of ours).
I even used to sneak food out my house in the morning so that I could save up all my lunch money from school to buy tickets to see the WWE when they were in the UK. I was a true wrestling geek and I just never grew out of it. At 16 my Gran finally (after years of begging) agreed that I could start training and that’s when my real journey began, I haven’t looked back since!
Kenan and Kel man. I hope Liam Thomson doesn’t mind me saying. I love his burd. In a purely platonic, appreciate her talents type of way, but still. Fuckin Kenan and Kel. Who’s gonna love the rest of the of this interview? You! Is it true? MHMMMMMMM
Ever since you took the mic at ICW There’s Something About Maryhill at the tail end of 2013, you’ve been immense on the mic. Have you always seen that as your strength or is it something that you’ve grafted at over the years?
Well I have always enjoyed talking and I have certainly never been one to hold back on what I think, anyone who knows me well will testify to that! It all really started when I graduated from Uni – I took a job as a Learning Development Tutor at a college which involves me standing in front of classes all day every day and well, talking. I realised quickly that public speaking came quite naturally to me and perhaps this is something I should use to compliment my wrestling character.
At the time the Maryhill show was fast approaching and given that Kayleigh and I had just wrestled each other at Dave’s Not Here neither of us had a match booked. I was trying to think of ways that would keep us both involved on the show and keep the fans thinking of us then I thought, why not just go out there and be a total bitch about everyone! I asked Dallas for some mic time and despite the fact that I had not really talked much prior he took a risk and allocated me a decent amount of time on the show for my ‘rant’. I was so nervous. I knew the sort of stuff I wanted to say but did not know how it would be received/whether or not the nerves of speaking in front of what can sometimes be a harsh crowd would make me freeze! It seemed to go quite well and so I basically just kept talking at shows as much as I could. I am still trying to improve ‘talking wise’ and it is very much a working progress but it has always been my opinion that the ability to speak on the microphone and to the camera is just as important as your match performance.
I say “Over the years” like you’re old or something. Obviously that’s not the case, but you’ve been at this longer than any female not named “Kay Lee Ray” in this country (and maybe longer than her, I’m not sure) how much have you seen women’s wrestling, and wrestling in this country generally, evolve in this country since you first started?
When I first started it was really just me and Sara, we wrestled each other every weekend and whilst neither of us had any complaints you do begin to get ‘comfortable with each other’ which can sometimes stop you from trying new things. Eventually, a few more girls joined the scene which mixed things up a little, Kayleigh being one of them. The first time I wrestled Kayleigh in a singles match was up in Fraserburgh and whilst the match wasn’t the best we really gelled. I was keen to work with her more so it was not long before we started the angle in ICW where she was some ‘trainee’ fixing the ring and I attacked her from behind and well, everything kicked off from there. I feel almost like I was caught in the bubble of my matches with Kayleigh in ICW which was rapidly growing in popularity, that I almost didn’t notice the influx of female wrestlers in Scotland. Now I am amazed by the amount of Scotland-based female workers we have, and particularly because I feel everyone has something different to offer, you just have to watch a Fierce Females show to know that!
Speaking of Kay Lee Ray, it would be daft to do an interview and not ask about your rivalry with her. Whilst a lot of the earlier matches were before I started going to ICW, the one at Dave’s Not Here Man in Edinburgh was responsible for making me see women’s wrestling in a totally different light. How much have you enjoyed your rivalry with her and putting on so many high quality matches together?
I have loved it! A good thing about working consistently with the same person over a long period of time is that it forces you to be creative in all aspects – you’re wrestling itself, promos, storylines etc. Thanks to Dallas and ICW Kayleigh and I have been given the opportunity not only to have ‘gimmicked matches’ but also to be granted enough show time to build them and make them mean something! It always amazes people when I say that in terms of singles matches Kayleigh and I have only had three matches in ICW, the rest have been tags/multi-person matches and the majority of the time on shows we have just run angles. Its great working with someone you know so well as what to say/do comes so naturally. Dave’s Not Here Man will always be a standout to me. The crowd were incredible and it was in my home city; for two woman to be on a show of that caliber and have a standout match is a great achievement. Despite losing, I am very proud of that match and I could only have had it with Kayleigh!
There was a wee moment after your mixed tag match at 1,21 Gigawatts last year where you cut a seemingly heartfelt promo, wishing Kay Lee all the best in her TNA journey. Obviously the wrestling bit had to come after that, with you and Liam attacking her and Stevie. Heels n all that. How much of that promo was heartfelt? There seems to be a great mutual respect between you and Kay Lee.
I definitely have a lot of respect for Kayleigh and in terms of the promo I cut at Show Me Your Lizard I meant every word I said. I am also a strong believer that a ‘heel is a heel’ in wrestling and my decision, and it was my decision, to attack Kayleigh after sharing those words was the best decision I could have made at that time. Ultimately, I am a bitch, and I don’t want for a second anyone thinking anything other than that! Plus, despite meaning what I said it did make me feel a little sick getting so emotional so I had to do something to retain some credibility.
There’s always that. or you could just chuck her at a pile of dining room chairs if you wanted…..
For the past year or so in ICW you’ve had the chance to team with your real life partner Liam Thomson. Up until this year, how often did you get to team with him before? And how much have you enjoyed doing it more regularly in front of the ICW crowd? (that’s 2 questions, I’m a cheating bastard haha)
When I first started on shows, which was many moons ago, I used to valet for Liam. We also at the time had the occasional mixed tag match for a number of promotions in Scotland and even in Europe. We have tagged a lot over the years for BCW and most prominently I managed Liam in PBW, where he held the main title for some time. I love working with Liam. He is the person I feel most comfortable around and those feelings I will arrogantly assume are mutual so we definitely bring out the best (or worst, whatever way you wanna look at it) in each other. Chemistry is massively important in this business, if you are working with someone you have good chemistry with then everything is going to be better.
What are your personal aspirations in wrestling? Any designs on going abroad at any point?
I am between a rock and a hard place really in terms of my aspirations. Obviously when I started I wanted to run the world and become the best damn thing wrestling has ever seen and my initial thoughts were that this would be accomplished through taking as many bookings as possible and wrestling in as many countries as possible. To this day, I still have a lot of goals in this business that I will not quit on until they are achieved but I recognise that there is more than one path to success.
Outside of wrestling I have a full-time job that is well, I guess you would say a ‘serious one’ that I have to consider whenever I take on a project. My immediate goals for this year are to take some time to focus more on training, and try to improve a little athletically whilst continuing to get my promos out there and then well, I will see! The important thing is not to get complacent, so you will be seeing more of me in 2015 I just don’t know where! Just to add to that as well, going abroad is a great thing for those whose personal/professional lives outside of wrestling can adapt for that but I will attest that outside of the ‘big daddy’ we have the best wrestling promotion right here on our doorstep and that is ICW!
Who would you say your biggest influence in wrestling is?
That’s a difficult one that I really don’t think I can answer as I have had so many! Growing up I was always a Shawn Michaels fan. When the female division started booming in the WWE I was a Lita fan. In terms of my actual career I can’t think of anyone who has had more of an influence than Kayleigh Rae, and in terms of ‘talking’ my current influence who I am going to spend the immediate future studying is Leonardo DiCaprio in the Wolf of Wall Street!
Fierce Females have been running shows a lot more often lately. With you, Sara and Kay Lee Rays stable Hardcore Glamour taking center stage. How different has it been to work alongside Kay Lee as opposed to you and her trying to kill each other?
It’s been fun. I don’t feel we have had enough of a run yet for me to gauge which angle I prefer but either way it is great to work together. I think promoters are getting to the point where they feel everyone has seen enough of myself and Kayleigh trying to kill each other so it is good to change things up a little. Sara and I have tagged together on many occasions as the Glamour Gym and we have quite an established partnership so it will be interesting to see how Kayleigh fits into that in the long term.
With Fierce Females growing and growing, and more young talent than ever getting involved, how bright do you think the future is for women’s wrestling in this country?
Well let’s just say that moving forward I will definitely be fighting for a spot on shows!
Last but not least, feel free to tell us anything you want. Upcoming shows or any sort of project. Maybe you have Carmel Jacob name branded pinky rings coming out. Anything you want. Fire away.
Haha, no pink rings in the woodworks and I don’t think that there is anything I could say that would be as kool as the prospect of pinky rings so I will opt to say nothing at all.
Carmel’s good on the mic and stuff, but that last line proved that Ronan Keating was right about one thing after all. Sometimes you do say it best….when you say nothing at all.
I’m sure you’ll agree this interview was a cracker. If so, follow Carmel on twitter here . Get to all the Fierce Females shows, and more importantly than all that. Keep it G. Never forget, sometimes you need to lodge your foot in someones trachea to get what you want from life.