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Saturday isn't just another day for Nikki Addams

Image: Warriors of Wrestling

By Thomas Gerbasi for F4WOnline.com

In combat sports like boxing and mixed martial arts, Saturday night is the big one for a fighter, the moment he or she has been waiting for weeks or months to see. For a professional wrestler, especially one working multiple times a month on the indie circuit, the trips to the ring can often blend into one another, making it just Saturday.

That’s not the case for Nikki Addams, whose Saturday night this week is booked for a match against former WWE/TNA star Lisa Marie Varon that doubles as the first women’s main event ever presented by New York promotion Warriors of Wrestling.

So yeah, it’s not just Saturday.

“Actually, none of my matches are just a Saturday, Friday or whatever day they land on,” Addams said. “They’re always a big deal to me, no matter who I’m working with, because it’s another opportunity for me to get out there, show people your talent, what you’re made of, and earn their respect.”

This one does have a little extra on it though, considering that one of the Long Islander’s wrestling heroes was Varon, best known to WWE fans as Victoria during her long stint with the promotion.

“It obviously has a special place in my heart,” Addams said of this week’s match. “One, to earn the main event spot as a woman, and not only that, but to work with Lisa Marie, who I’ve been watching and following for her entire career. She’s definitely one of my inspirations, and in some ways I’ve patterned myself after her, so this is a very, very big deal to me.”

In a perfect world, this will be a turning point in Addams’ career, one she’s been diligently pursuing for seven years she says, “Went by in a blur.”

That’s usually the case in the wrestling business, with the shows, road trips, matches, and training sessions adding up and before you know it, seven years are gone. Addams is no less enthusiastic about this gig than she was when she began. In fact, as she’s making her name outside of the local scene, she’s starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. So she’s not stopping now.

“To do this and to stick with it, you have to be in love with wrestling,” she said. “Wrestling has to almost be the love of your life. I’m not saying you can’t love a person or something else, but it has to be your passion. It’s not for everybody. But if you truly love it and want to succeed and make yourself better, even though there are negatives, you kind of view it as paying your dues and getting to the next step. You’re doing it because you really want to be there. And you hope that another opportunity comes your way.”

For Addams, that means wrestling as much as she can, getting in as many training sessions as possible, staying active on social media, and networking when the chance comes up.

“I’ve always looked for whatever I could do to challenge myself and move to the next step,” Addams said. “I learn new techniques, I go to the gym regularly, and I try to do the best I can do for myself, so that way when opportunities to meet people or to do a seminar or a class or have matches presented to me, I am ready to go. That could be the only shot you have, you don’t know.”

Unfortunately, there is no blueprint to success in this game, and making it to a big show is often a product of being at the right place at the right time. For a woman, it may be even tougher, with fewer spots available at the elite level. Addams doesn’t necessarily agree, as she believes it’s tough all over, male or female.

“There are going to be different opinions on this, but my personal opinion is that it’s equally difficult, just because there are some perks and there are some setbacks as well,” she said of being a woman in the pro wrestling biz.

“I know guys have their setbacks. For every ten male wrestlers, there’s one female, so an opportunity might present itself more readily for a female, but it’s very hard for a female to get respect and to build her credibility. You want people to say, ‘She’s really good, and it’s not because she’s a female; she’s just a good wrestler.’ No labels, male or female. That is a tough thing for a female to achieve, where she’s one of them, just like the rest, male or female, it doesn’t matter.”

Addams has earned that respect among her east coast peers, now it’s time to take it to the rest of the country and beyond. Luckily, women's wrestling is seemingly entering a golden age at the moment, with WWE putting their muscle behind wrestlers like Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Asuka, among others, on the main roster and through NXT.

“It’s on the rise and it’s taking off,” Addams said of women’s wrestling. “Look at what WWE has been doing in NXT and on the main roster. It’s incredible. I think overall, this is a great time for women, and even if it wasn’t, I was going to make it a good time. I definitely have the heart and passion, and when you want something bad enough, the only thing that’s gonna stop you is yourself.”

And Addams has no intentions of doing that.  

“This is gonna be the year of Nikki Addams,” she said. “I’m gonna be in your face and if you don’t like it, you’re gonna learn to like it. I’m gonna earn your respect, whether you like me or not. You can’t knock me for not trying, for not putting in the effort. I work hard, I’m not gonna go out there and half-ass it and think I’m entitled to something. Anything I do get, I earn. I love wrestling so much. Even with the negatives, they are so miniscule on the scale for me. I look forward to it and there’s not much time in the day when it’s not on my mind."

“I know that I’m not sitting on my couch right now saying, ‘Man, what if I tried?’”