Kelly Klein Talks Early Career, Working Japan and Who’s The WOHOG

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Kelly Klein
Photo: Ring of Honor

For tonight’s Women’s Wednesday for Ring of Honor, they showed the Women of Honor Quarter Finals match between Kelly Klein and Mandy Leon. The three year veteran of Women of Honor, the woman known as “The Gatekeeper” defeated Leon an advanced to the Semi-Finals (slated for the pre-show for ROH Supercard of Honor XII in New Orleans) to face the winner of next week’s match of Deonna Purrazzo and Stardom‘s Mayu Iwatani. The finals to determine the first WOH Champion will occur later than evening on the main card, when the winner of their match faces the winner of Tenille Dashwood (formerly WWE’s Emma) and WOH Original Sumie Sakai (who wrestled in ROH’s first women’s match back in 2002).

Kelly Klein Talks

Earlier this week, Kelly Klein spoke to Michael Jargo and Ric Vickrey of Hitting The Marks Podcast about her early days with Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA) in Cincinnati and working her way to where she stands today, as one of the faces of Ring of Honor’s Women’s Division. Here are some highlights:

Photo: facebook.com/WrestlerKellyKlein/

…on her current character compared to her past gimmicks (the seductress and G-Rated Superstar):

“Well, I think a lot of people have heard the…concept of when you’re developing the character that you’re going to present, that you want to really just find an aspect of yourself and turn the volume way up…that’s always what I was told and what I learned. So, even though there are times in my career where it seemed like I was really presenting drastically different things, everything I ever presented was some part of me, of who I was or who I am. Even the Rated G Superstar that was and is the side of me that is fun loving, I’m competitive and I work hard, but I’m there to have fun too. And it’s that side of me that there’s the humor and that kind of vibrancy and color…But what I do now, that determination and drive, but it’s like just honing in on that and focusing in on that aspect and just turning the volume up of my natural competitiveness and that’s just a huge aspect of who I am.”

on wrestling with Stardom in Japan and winning the 2017 Goddess of Stardom Tag League tournament last year with Bea Priestley:

“We were actually the first foreign tag team ever to win that tournament and go on and challenge…that was pretty cool when they were saying that to us. I remember after our win, they interviewed us and Bea Priestley was talking and her getting very emotional…you know, she’s been through a lot through her life and her wrestling career – I have too, but just totally different types of things and different journeys – but it’s a big thing. The fact that I think this was Stardom’s seventh year and to never have a foreign tag team win that. And Bea and I had never worked together, we ended up being put together there. We weren’t supposed to, going in, we weren’t supposed to tag…when we got there, we kinda clicked and from the outside the matchmakers saw that as well and they started putting us together, and putting us together in the tournament. It’s kind of a neat story….kind of “We’re not even supposed to BE here!”

…on being one of the Original Women of Honor in ROH:

“It’s incredible and incredible to be a part of…if you look back to the women that competed in Ring of Honor, to be part of that group of women…(laughs) When you said “Original”, I always call Sumie Sakai the ‘W.O.H.O.G’ and I kept calling her that and I think I even Tweeted it, and when I saw her in Las Vegas, I was calling her that and she kind of looks at me and I asked “Do you know what OG is?” and she goes “No??” And I just started laughing because I’m calling her this, meaning it out of high praise and she’s like “Why do you keep saying this?”…that’s like how humble and oblivious she is sometimes about who she is and I would never say this to her face. But I think she’s absolutely incredible and a definite force to be reckoned with. Honestly, my secret weapon against her has just been that she doesn’t always know how great she is.”

TO LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW, WHERE SHE DISCUSSES EARLY MENTORS, THE OTHER WOMEN OF HONOR AND MORE, CHECK OUT ‘HITTING THE MARKS’ PODCAST, PART OF THE HAMIN MEDIA GROUP

Photo: Hitting The Marks

 

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