Hello there Allison….or should I say Miss Danger so you don’t beat me senseless?
Laughs Hi there Chiffon! I promise no beatings tonight.
You haven’t heard my questions yet!
I welcome them!
Anyway, thank you for making the time to talk with me today! I think we’ve both been busy all weekend doing the same thing, binge-watching Jessica Jones on Netflix. Before we get in the ring so to speak, what have you thought of the show?
I finished it. First off, the horrible, nasty, dirty thoughts David Tennant gives me should be illegal. That said, he deserves all the awards. He was outstanding as Kilgrave. I think the casting overall was superb and the storyline was exceptional. Marvel and Netflix knocked it out of the creepy park.
Yes, I thought it was wonderful. Okay, so let’s get down to business and talk about you and talk some pro wrestling!
Let’s do this!
So let’s start at the very beginning my dear. Where are you from originally?
I was born in Winnipeg, Canada but was raised in the suburbs, west of Philadelphia. On the playground is where I spent most of my days, chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool.
Wait….did you get in one little fight and your mom got scared?
I did! That is how my career got started as the Mother of Wrestling.
Well Philly is certainly a hotbed of wrestling. When did you realize the call of the ring was too strong to ignore?
I fell into wrestling in May of 2000 and it hit me the moment I walked through that curtain. I was a fill-in for The Sandman‘s wife at an indy show in Reading, PA. I went to the show to hang out with Francine of ECW and Sandman asked me to walk him out and hit people with his Singapore Cane. That feeling you get when you hear a crowd cheer, the energy the music gives you-it is so intoxicating. I was hooked in seconds.
Plus, you got to hit people with a Singapore Cane! I’m sure many people wish they could do that at work.
First night on the job! Right in the nuts. Punching people for money is cathartic, no doubt.
Did you know at that point you wanted to get into the ring yourself or did you ponder working as a manager/valet?
At first I figured I would stick with managing/valeting. My brother, Steve Corino, said that even if my ultimate goal was managing that learning to wrestle would help round me out as a performer. I enrolled in a school in Reading and was trained by him, Mike Kehner and Rapid Fire Maldonado.
What was that like, being trained by your brother? How quickly did you realize that you wanted to do more than be a ringside second?
At training I had to put aside that he was my brother and focus on him as a trainer. I knew expectations from my trainers, my peers and especially him were high. In my 13 years of performing, he was always in the back of my mind. Steve was the one who put me on the path into the ring. It started as a mixed tag here and there to further story lines and moved into the occasional singles match. Back when catfights were the rage he saw past that and felt the women could put on good matches. Even though I didn’t realize it then he was already supporting the coming storm of women’s wrestling that we see today.
I definitely want talk to you about the “Divas Revolution” that is going on in the WWE but I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here. You mentioned catfights became the rage as you were entering the business. Did that frustrate you as a performer and as an athlete?
At first it didn’t because it was what I had known from watching ECW and such. Along the way I realized that I didn’t fit that mold-beautiful, sensual sex kitten of say, Francine or Dawn Marie. Eventually I realized I had to cut a path that worked for me and who I was in wrestling. I needed to play to my strengths while covering my weaknesses.
How did you come up with name Allison Danger and where did the inspiration for the character come from?
Allison is my middle name and Steve came up with Danger. He said I needed something beyond Allison to make my name memorable. What people don’t know is the deciding factor for me to use my middle name is because when I was about to be hatched my brother asked my parents to name me Allison because one of his friends had a little sister named Allison and he wanted one, too.
See you can’t get tidbits of information like that off of Wikipedia!
Sadly enough I sometimes have to use Wikipedia to remember matches I have had in the past! Damn stroke.
I’m right there with you girl. At least you have an excuse. I’ve never taken a piledriver so I’m just getting senile.
Aging is a bitter bitch, eh?
Almost as bitter as I am!
I prefer salty.
So do I….wait,we’re talking about the rim of a margarita glass, right?
I knew I liked you Allison! So in your time in the ring, who has been your favorite opponent to work with?
Sara Del Rey. I absolutely love that woman, both in the ring and outside. She always challenged me, forced me to work harder, to aim to be on her level.
Did you know that from the first time you stepped into the ring with her?
I knew it before then. We had mutual friends in common who kept saying to us “Wait until you meet Danger…..Wait until you meet Del Rey, you two are perfect for each other”. It was almost a set up, laughs I had watched her PWG stuff from when she was still called Nikki so I was familiar with her work. Once we actually met, we clicked instantly. From having trained some nights at CHIKARA in Philadelphia, I knew what to expect in the ring. She tends to bring out the best in me, both professionally and personally.
And for those people who may not know, she is now one of the trainers down at the WWE’s developmental area, NXT and you could say she is a major reason behind the resurgence of women’s wrestling down there. Do you feel that the WWE’s use of Divas versus women’s wrestling is a pejorative term or can you understand why they use it?
They have been known as Divas for so long it would be “odd” for fans to have to refer to them differently I would say. So much branding has gone into the term “Divas” for WWE. However, I do think fans are seeing past that label and are finally recognizing the female division as athletes. And the female roster at NXT is on FIRE right now. To see them moving up to main roster, to watch my peers gain success on both levels gives me joy, gives me hope and makes me proud to see them soar SDR is a huge part of that yet at the same time we have to honor how much heart the women in the Divas/NXT divisions have.
Can I put you on the spot and ask which one of the women is your favorite to watch?
Gun to my head….Bayley. Sasha Banks is a close second.
I am right with you. The first time I saw Bayley I thought she was SO much money. I thought she could tap into the young girl market in a way that hasn’t been seen since maybe Lita?
Yes. She has that girl next door feel to her. She is the girl you go have a beer with. She is not the sex kitten. Her focus is her athleticism. She is a great role model for the younger female WWE viewers. My six year old is a huge fan of her and I feel great knowing that she has chosen a positive wrestling role model.
Have you crossed paths with Bayley, or for that matter, any of these NXT talents in your time in the ring?
Sure have. We worked together in California. Had a fun match with her out there. Plus she came to SHIMMER and worked there up until she got signed.
Well if that doesn’t make for the perfect segue, I don’t know what does! For those people who might not be familiar with SHIMMER, can you give us the Cliff’s Notes version of it?
SHIMMER is the brainchild of Dave Prazak, one of the biggest proponents of women wrestling and female athletes. He has been active in wrestling for as long as I have known him and longer. Prazak is without a doubt the biggest believer in women being seen and respected as athletes. SHIMMER was started ten years ago in Chicago. We didn’t expect it to go past one or two shows and we just celebrated a decade of wrestling at our last set of tapings in October. If you want to see women in their most athletic form, wrestling for the sake of wrestling then SHIMMER is your mecca.
It really is incredible the roster of talent that has come through SHIMMER in that time! I think it would be very fair to say that the roots of what we’re seeing in NXT and the WWE started in SHIMMER.
I agree. We have had the best of the best come through our locker room. Where else do you get to see young talent mixing with the likes of Saraya Knight, KANA, Aja Kong and my personal favorite Ayako Hamada. We have seen young girls debut and within a few years they are on WWE and NXT. The Australian squad continue to dominate each and every time they come over. My favorite match of the last tapings was Madison Eagles vs Nicole Savoy. Outstanding wrestling blended with immaculate story telling. An instant classic for me.
In a crowded marketplace, what do you attribute SHIMMER’s success and longevity to?
I believe SHIMMER filled a void, a niche in wrestling. Fans wanted more than a catfight or having the females fighting one another for the affections of <insert random name here> wrestler. Women are more than that. Too many storylines of females fighting over a man or being jealous of another’s popularity or looks. Too much cattiness from the writers and not enough substance. Two women can step into the ring for the sheer motivation of walking out the best athlete.
So wait, are you trying to say that women should be treated with the same respect that male wrestlers are? What kind of ridiculousness is that Allison?
Yeah, it’s all those drugs I did back then, eh? Delusional.
Madness I tell you! So getting back to you a bit, have you officially retired from the ring now?
I have. I will never have medical clearance to wrestle. My doctor’s words to me were “Try to go the rest of your life without getting hit in the head”. I promptly drove to the airport, got on a plane, got hit in the head by someone’s carry on and flew to NJ to wrestle for SHIMMER on iPPV.
Was it one specific injury that ended your career or was it a culmination of your time in the ring catching up with you?
It was a multitude of concussions that I suffered over the years. I went so long without health insurance that I never really got them checked out. I simply waited until the dizziness and nausea went away and then got right back in the ring. In January 2013 I suffered a stroke. After having a MRI the doctor showed me “hot spots” on my brain. These are areas of brain damage from multiple concussions. I credit fitness with helping me bounce back for the most part. Today I have the occasional blip in my speech and my short term memory is not the best which is why I can never remember where I park my car. Otherwise I am a-ok.
Do you have any regrets about your career and how it ended?
No regrets but I do have deep sadness about never wrestling again. I couldn’t watch any wrestling for 6 months after I retired. Even now I struggle here and there with not being able to get in there.
What are you most proud of that you accomplished in the ring?
I am proud of my role in being a part of the generation that helped changed the perception of women in wrestling. And even though I didn’t get to accomplish all my goals in wrestling I was able to do things on my terms.
If someone wanted to get a taste of your career, what is the one match you would direct them to go watch?
Hmmmmm. My first meeting with Rebecca Knox aka WWE’s Becky Lynch. SHIMMER Volume 3 if I recall correctly.
Available now at……
What is your role with SHIMMER now?
Backstage agent. Love it! Easier on the body. A little (ok, a lot more stressful) but very rewarding helping the younger generation put things together. I am lucky to have fellow agents Lexie Fyfe and Stephane Bruyere on our team, too. We make a good little trio.
For those readers who might not be as cool as you and I Allison, can you explain what a backstage agent does?
We help run point between Prazak and the roster, we help book matches, support the athletes, give advice, tend to wounds and handle backstage production.
Gee, is that all?
Give or take a few
What is the next big event/match that SHIMMER is building towards?
We would be remiss if we didn’t thank our mutual friend and drag superfan, SHIMMER Backstage Interviewer Amber Gertner for making the partnership possible! Love you Amber!
Love you, Amber!
I said that already! Copycat!
Imitation! Sincere flattery!
I’ll let it slide I suppose. So like I said Amber is a huge fan of drag and you’re a bit of a fan yourself. What is it about drag that appeals to you?
Besides the makeup and style being on fleek (as the kids say)? To me drag is a celebration of life, love and following your passion. I love seeing people following their passions, it is something I hope to instill in my daughter. Right now she is asking for an Instagram and her own Nickelodeon show.
I agree. Now that your career in the ring has come to a close, where do your passions lie?
Now that I am out of wrestling I am focused on my career as a fitness instructor and personal trainer in Las Vegas, a Beachbody coach (cjfitlv.com) which allows me to help train and guide those trying to get in shape remotely and I am also involved in the Girl Scouts as a local troop leader.
Based on the amount of Thin Mints I’ve eaten in my life, I’m a strong supporter of the Girl Scouts as well.
Hahahahaa! Well, now you have a supplier of all the Thin Mints you want!
That one sentence makes me both love you and hate you.
More love than hate.
Well my waistline might not be thrilled but I am so happy to have gotten to talk with you tonight. Before we call it a night and crack open a box of Thin Mints and a bottle of wine, do you have any final words of wisdom to leave our readers with my dear?
Kindness is magic. That is my mantra. Thank you for supporting SHIMMER and women’s wrestling in general. Thank you for sharing your time with me.