George Wren interviews April Hunter



Image Turnbuckle Madness

-with-

April Hunter

By: George Wren

GW: Where were you born?

AH: Philadelphia, but we were military, so I've lived all over and continued until I got older. After 3 years, I got the itch to move again. I've lived in Alabama, Las Vegas, Boston, London England, Mexico, New Haven, Maryland, Canada, Japan, Louisville and spent a lot of time in France. Love all of it. Except the actual moving part.

GW: Where are you currently residing at the present time?

AH: Louisville, Kentucky for 3 more weeks, then to Tampa, Florida

GW: How did you get your start in pro wrestling?

AH: Playboy. I did a special Hardbodies layout that got me hired at WCW. I was later refered to Killer Kowalski's Wrestling School by Jim Ross for further training.

GW: For those unaware you was trained by the late Killer Kowalski. What was your training like?

AH: I loved Walter. He was good to me. Training was very hard. I was beat up in every way bruised, whiplashed, and mentally, since it was hard for me to pick up on a lot of things, like being comfortable with falling backwards without trying to grab something on the way down. I quit training a few months after I got there and my classmates talked me into coming back. I became known as one of the best & craziest female bumpers around who could work with anyone, male or female. I was better at bumping than I was at wrestling, IMO! that's why I prefered working with guys. Not only were they safer and usually better trained, but at 5'9" and 150 lbs, most women matches put me in the 'giving the bumps' position. A funny thing Kowalski told us was" In real life those who play heels are babyfaces and those who play babyfaces are heels." It's usually true.

GW: How important is it to go to a well known school to get proper training?

AH: Extremely important. Who you are in wrestling is who trained you most of the time. It's the second question you get asked after your name. I got a lot of doors opened for me because of going to a reputable school especially in Japan, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

GW: When did you actually make your pro wrestling debut?

AH: 2002. I had a weekend where I wrestled a mixed tag with Arch Kincaid (I was his "sister" April Kincaid) vs Dawn Marie & Simon Diamond. Then I drove down from Boston to PA to wrestle Taylor from Tough Enough. The Monday after that I reported to Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA) for a WWE week long tryout. Needless to say, it was too soon for me. I really panicked when we had certain drills. Dr. Tom Prichard told us, "Um...you're face, she's heel, you have 5 minutes." I had no clue what I was really doing at that point. I didn't come to the tryout dressed right either, since I was used to being the only girl at Kowalski's school that showed up in sweats, with my hair up and no makeup. I pretty much did that at HWA as well, which I think was not what they were looking for! But then, I honestly thought they wanted Wrestlers. LOL!

GW: Do you remember your first match?

AH: Yes, it was the mixed match with Arch Kincaid against Dawn Marie and Simon Diamond.

GW: What was your thoughts on how the match went?

AH: I think it went quite well, thanks to Arch Kincaid, Dawn Marie, and Simon Diamond.

GW: Who has been some your toughest opponents?

AH: Momoe Nakanishi, Mima Shimoda who was very tough! A few girls in Mexico who have taken liberties with me in and out of the ring that I won't mention because they don't deserve any publicity. Tigressa from Puerto Rico was amazing, Wesna in Germany, Nikki Roxx, Sara Del Ray, Sumie Sakai and Lovely Lacey here in the USA.

GW: In your early career you worked with Slyck Wagner Brown on the northern independents. What are thoughts working with Brown?

AH: I don't have any thoughts of him any longer. He beat the hell out of me. In case you'd forgotten, he was arrested and tasered for trying to kill me one night. He also took my credit card and social security number and ran up a lot of bills I got stuck with. I sued him and won, but he never paid me and didn't have a job or a bank account to go after. Was just a crazy situation.

GW: How did it all come about you working for World Championship

Wrestling (WCW) as one of the New World Order (NWO) ring girls? AH: I got hired after posing for Playboy.

GW: How long did you work for WCW?

AH: Not long. Maybe 6 months. It was their final year. They called me back to manage Allan Funk (Kwee Wee) after I'd left, but I'd already moved to Boston and gotten into Killer Kowalski's school and didn't want to go back on the road with them then.

GW: Was there ever any talks about putting you in the ring to work the women's division in WCW?

AH: Yes, they wanted me to go to the Power Plant. I didn't want to be trained down there. I didn't see many good wrestlers coming from that place and if I was going to do it and put my body through it, I wanted to be as good as I possibly could be. Coming from a modeling background, I already had marks against me.

GW: You have a modeling background. Tell the readers a little about your modeling background and how it all came about?

AH: I was a feature dancer a burlesque stripper. I toured around the USA for a week at a time in each city or town headlining clubs and doing 3 shows a night. I was modeling for magazines then, like Playboy, Maxim and Penthouse. I eventually got off the road and started http://www.AprilHunter.com . We updated it with new galleries, behind-the-scene diaries and video every week, so I had to work even more at this point. I lived in Las Vegas at the time and there was no shortage of locations to shoot or photographers willing to come out, thankfully I had always been athletic, so I started doing more fitness modeling and competing in the mens magazines, they prefered a soft bodied, blonder look and I always felt like I was "never enough" so all the hard work in the gym was never appreciated. I did much better with fitness modeling and took to it right away. I got a Met-RX contract in the USA and an Extreme Nutrition contract in the UK and started working all the fitness conventions as well.

GW: What made you chose the wrestling business over modeling?

AH: My age. I thought I was getting too old for modeling since I was past 25. Turns out, I've managed to age pretty well! (Thanks, Mom & Dad!)

GW: What publications have you posed for?

AH: Muscle Mag, American Curves, Max, Maxim, Penthouse, Playboy(several times), Bizarre, Ironman...just about anything you see on newstands that has to do with fitness, wrestling or centerfold!

GW: November 2009 you was offered a contract with Total Nonstop Action (TNA)... What made you turn their offer down?

AH: A few things. First off, I do like the people there and enjoy the lockerrom and backstage. It's a fun company. But there were a few issues. The money wasn't more than I'm offered on the indies. However, the main issue was they asked me to sign a waiver clearing them of any future medical issues, and that I had to get cleared by my own doctor first. I knew of two other girls fighting with them to get their medical bills paid at that point and I wasn't comfortable with the idea after all the injuries I've already been through. I know how easy it is to get hurt and I also know they like to suggest certain high risk moves at times. That is what royally screwed up a match I had with Desire years ago. TNA management put the match together using moves that neither one of us were comfortable or familiar with. So, I said no. I'd never rule them out if they change their policies, but for now, I don't think it's for me.

GW: A month later on December 31, 2009 you was used on Impact what made you decide to work a one shot deal with them imposed of you turning down a contract?

AH: I did a Women's show first and they offered me the contract a few months ago, after that show.

GW: In late 2009 you retired.... What caused you to hang your boots up?

AH: Injuries. I broke my back in two places, had 3 bulging discs in my neck, lost feeling down my arm. Just too many injuries. I rehabbed, but didn't want to do anything to put myself back in that position, where I couldn't even carry my own groceries.

GW: Are you still offically retired or have you came out of retirement?

AH: I came out for select situations. To go visit places I wanted to see, or if it pays well. My mom got stage 4 lung cancer it got VERY expensive traveling back and forth to Philadelphia, so I found accepting shows here and there helped.

GW: You have also did some Figure and Fitness competition. Can you shed some light on that background and what it consisted of?

AH: It's the most amount of dedication and drive you'll ever see. Trying to do a Figure diet for 12 weeks is very difficult. You cut out all gluten, sugar, dairy, red meat, and fruit and basically live on a very low glycemic brown rice, chicken, fish and greens for 3 months in addition to training twice a day. I still train twice a day, but am not as strict on my diet if I'm not competing. This year, I became a contributing writer for www.RxMuscle.com so I enjoy the fitness lifestyle.

GW: You also have a background in films. What films have you particpated in?

AH: Several indie movies like Hell House, Just Another Romantic Wrestling Comedy (Netflix), Ultimate Death Match and my favoritie, Ah, House Collapse/Â! Ikkenya Puroresu ...a wicked cool fight movie with Shinya Hashimoto that did pretty well in Japan. I have it on my store (Http://www.AprilHunter.com/store/)...it's got English subtitles.

GW: What are your thoughts on the TNA Knockout Division?

AH: I think it's one of the things TNA has done right, hiring real women wrestlers who love the business. They could succeed better and make their own way by doing what WWE don't do which is focusing on the women's division and the cruiserweights.

GW: Do you ever have any plans working for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)?

AH: Not unless it's a talent relations agent.

GW: For those unaware you married independent wrestler Jordan Danyluk (J.D. Maverick)... How did the both of you meet up?

AH: We met in Canada on a wrestling tour. In a nutshell, I'm not a fan of talking publicly about my private life. I think too many put their relationships out there, and once you do others feel they can deconstruct them. It's part of why couples don't last long in this business. Plus, I feel like I already put myself out there quite a bit (naked), so my personal life is personal. My family matters more to me then wrestling they will be there for me when wrestling want.

GW: With the both of you being pro wrestlers and you also doing modeling... How are the both of you able to spend time with each other?

AH: We have quite a few pets, so we have no problem sharing. While one person is on the road, the other holds the fort down. He's a good guy who can work with anyone and have a stellar match. He's a hard worker, with an amazing built and superstar look, and he's also a very decent person. He was originally selected for Tough Enough then was pulled off as it was felt he was too good for what they were trying to get across with the show.

GW: What are your future plans?

AH: To roll with it, to go where it takes me. I've been lucky so far and I'm very glad!

GW: What are your thoughts on the fans?

AH: Most I really like, some are extremely & amazingly good to me and which I have become friends with, some I can't stand. I don't put them all together. However, I'm very grateful to my good fans.

GW: Are there any closing words?

AH: Thank you for interviewing me, and please follow me on http://twitter.com/AprilHunter, "like" me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Official-April-Hunter-fan-page/108408215856352and check out my personal site (if you're over 18!), http://www.AprilHunter.com!

GW: April I want to thank you for your time and wish you all the best.

AH: Thank you very much. I enjoyed it.

Photo Credit: April Hunter collection

George Wren is a professional photographer for New Wave, Toxxic, and Wrestling World Publications. He has also done correspondents for The Wrestling Observer in the past. He is currently doing interviews on a weekly basis with the superstars of the mat.

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