Indie Watch is our regular series that looks at all of the amazing talents working the independent circuits around the world. Some are veterans revitalizing their careers, some are indie prospects hitting their peaks, while others are names to be on the watch for! In this edition, we will be taking a look at another rising face of women’s independent wrestling in Australia’s Shazza McKenzie.
Wrestling in Australia is in a boom period right now and our local stars are beginning to grow into worldwide stars. Simply look at the NXT roster with its plethora of Aussie talent or New Japan Pro Wrestling where Robbie Eagles has become a household name. Over in All Elite Wrestling (AEW) though, one lone Australian has so far been given the opportunity to fly the flag there. That person being the ‘HEARTcore’ superstar herself, Shazza McKenzie. This appearance came in the Casino Battle Royale at All Out, but McKenzie had been working incredibly hard prior to receiving this big opportunity.
McKenzie first fell in love with wrestling at the age of 16, when she saw Trish Stratus on television. At that moment, McKenzie realized those female wrestlers weren’t just beautiful eye candy but were also powerful and empowered. With this newfound appreciation and love for the business, McKenzie sought out a local training school in Sydney. McKenzie lists George Julio, the legendary Madison Eagles, Ryan Eagles, Billy Flyswat and Jay Law as her trainers.
In 2008, McKenzie would make her in-ring debut at the age of 20 and has not looked back since. The name Shazza McKenzie was chosen as a homage to Australian comedy act Barry McKenzie. However, Shazza is no comedy act! She has established herself as a top tier talent not only in Australia but now the world. As an 11-year veteran McKenzie has wrestled almost everywhere and has crossed paths with a who’s who list of talent.
Throughout her career, Mckenzie has wrestled for Pro Wrestling Australia (PWA), Melbourne City Wrestling (MCW), Shine Wrestling, SHIMMER, GCW, Beyond, WrestleCircus, Pro Wrestling EVE, AAW, CZW, Bar Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, Progress, NXT, CHIKARA, and AEW, to name just a few of the highlights.
Over the years has worked with/against Veda Scott, Davina Rose (later known as WWE’s Bayley), Allysin Kay, Mia Yim, Santana Garrett, Evie (later known as Dakota Kai), Saraya Knight, Mercedes Martinez, Kimber Lee, Allie, Nicole Matthews, Rosemary, Candice LeRae, Toni Storm and Tessa Blanchard.
Some of McKenzie’s biggest highlights revolve around her time in SHIMMER. At SHIMMER Volume 89 McKenzie would pick up perhaps the biggest win of her career at the time by defeating Shayna Baszler in a No-DQ match. This victory would later be topped at SHIMME Volume 93 in 2017 when McKenzie would win her first championship in the company by defeating Nicole Savoy for the Heart of SHIMMER Championship.
McKenzie would successfully hold that title until SHIMMER 104 where she would be unseated by Dust. AEW was not McKenzie’s first major exposure to television wrestling audiences though. In 2015 and 2018 she appeared on episodes of NXT. Losing both times to Emma (aka Tenille Dashwood) and Kairi Sane respectively.
Finally, back at home in Australia McKenzie has held the PWWA Championship twice. She has also been a PWA Tag Team Champion, with her Choc Blockers partner Big Fudge. Late in 2018, McKenzie made the bold move of quitting her day job to focus entirely on wrestling in 2019. In early 2019 McKenzie spent an extended period of time living and wrestling consistently in the US. A move which ultimately put her on AEW’s radar and earned her the Casino Battle Royale opportunity.
Now it is only a matter of time before Shazza McKenzie is a name on everybody’s radar.
Check out our full list of previous Indie Watches, showcasing emerging talent from around the world!
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.