Trish Adora is fearless. As the Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Champion (she was crowned by F1ght Club Pro Wrestling), her athleticism and her energy are undeniable. You can’t help but smile and cheer as she bounds across the ring, taking down challengers and showing off her abilities in her signature colors of red, green and gold. In person, she’s just as confident as she recounts her time training to become a professional wrestler in Florida, the tough decision she made to move back to D.C. and her upcoming matches. From the past to the future, Adora knows what she wants. Even her mistakes become gems of advice. If you want to become a professional wrestler, or if you’re just looking for a primer on what it’s like to be, and thrive, in this world, you’ve come to the right place.
So we met up with the D.C. native to talk about the ins and outs of D.C.’s burgeoning wrestling scene, her dream wrestling match and what songs are at the top of her workout playlist.
I would tell you to buy a ticket to her upcoming match at Prime Time Pro Wrestling’s upcoming Butch vs. Gore show, but it’s been sold out for weeks.
What was your first job?
My first job… I was a waitress at Ruby Tuesday. I was 18 and it was the summer right before I went off to college and I was like, let me see if I can make some money.
How old were you when you became interested in wrestling?
Well, I was really young. My father, he was a big wrestling fan, so me and my brothers would all sit around and watch TV, and just see him get so excited about it. I didn’t really understand, I was really little… But growing up and seeing a lot of people that you’d watch on TV transition… It felt like I was watching this long standing soap opera. It was pretty cool to watch everybody grow.
I thought, “Man that’d be kind of cool, I could do something like that.” But you know, when you’re a kid, you kind of just say those things. Nobody ever really takes you seriously… until you start doing it.
Yeah, every kid wants to be a ballerina or a firetruck… Well, not a firetruck… a fire person? Anyway, do you remember who your favorite wrestler was when you were a kid?
I really liked Chyna and Jacqueline, they were some of the tougher, you know, the rough and tough ladies. I thought that was pretty cool, especially having five brothers, there’s a lot of horseplay going on. I definitely looked to them for motivation.
At what point did you decide, I do want to pursue this, I want to get involved in my local scene, I want to try this out?
2015 was when I started training. I moved to Florida, actually, and I was there for about four years to train down there. I did research for maybe two years leading up to that point, because I was in the army, so I couldn’t commit to both. So I was like, all right, I’ll just wait until my contract runs out. I’ve already done so many things that everybody else wanted me to do, let me just do something for myself and see how it feels. So I packed up everything and moved down to Florida without much of a plan. I got it figured out and by May I started training at a Team 3D, that’s in Kissimmee.
And you just kind of took to it?
I would consider myself pretty athletic, but it was a little difficult. Once I caught on, it took me maybe a couple of months for me to really feel what I was doing and understand my movements.
Did you feel like your time in the army like helped?
It definitely helped it. There’s a brotherhood, right? Just people that you trust and people that you know and you’re in close quarters with those people. Before [the army] I was very shy and I wouldn’t talk to people. I would keep my head down sometimes or I wouldn’t look people in the eye. So just helping with that confidence and being able to connect with other people.
There’s a lot of trust that goes into wrestling. It’s really important that you feel a brotherhood or sisterhood, or that you feel the trust is there. So having that background and being able to be receptive to having people in your circle. All the physical things definitely help, but mentally it definitely toughened me up.
And now you’re in D.C. and you’re involved with Prime Time Pro Wrestling. Can you tell me about how you got connected with them?
It all started with an email, I mean it usually does right?
Yes! All cool things start in boring ways.
Yeah, so it started with an email, just pretty direct. This had to have been April of last year, so things were a little new on their end. I believe at that point they might have only ran one or two shows. I was talking with them about July and trying to get in on that show and it worked.
You know, it struck me as so odd, because I’d been back in D.C. for a little while and there was just no wrestling around. There’s just nothing for anybody to do, so little old me would have to drive by myself to Florida all the time, fly to California, drive up to Detroit and stuff like that. Even hearing that there was a promotion around, I was like there’s no way… That’s crazy.
But they’re 100% legit. They brought me on board for July, and I thank god every day for them. I’m so happy to have that relationship with Lolo and Gator, I think they’re lovely people. It’s nice to finally work for someone that feels like they care. I don’t know who is telling people that wrestling is some cash grab, that’s not exactly the case. There’s a lot of your own money that you got to put up initially. You can just tell that they put so much care in everything. I feel like I’m working for people who really care about what they’re doing. It’s a good feeling.
Is that unusual in comparison to the other promotions you’ve worked with? Or is this just more of an enhanced, kind of like a family feeling?
That’s what it is. It’s more of an enhanced feeling. I enjoy a lot of the locker rooms that I end up in, but with them, it’s just so much more enhanced. It’s almost like they took the standard levels ahead of a lot of things that I’ve been in contact with.
What brought you back to D.C.?
I just hit a plateau in my career. In my career personally, professionally, just through and through I was having a tough time, so I decided to come back home. It was the best thing I could have done. I couldn’t believe how much the world just opened up for me. And there was so much fear behind it, as you get older, you’re like, “Oh I can’t move back home, there’s a long list of things I should have had done by now.” With my fork in the road, I went this way and I’m very happy with my decision. The wrestling scene is finally here, I’m very thrilled about that. There’s a lot of training facilities here.
The timing seems kind of impeccable. You were really able to get in when all of these things were coming up.
Yeah, it’s very important to feel a part of the growth of something, to be a part of the foundation of something. I think that’s super cool.
I know you have a show with Prime Time coming up in early March, which is going to be a pretty groundbreaking show for the wrestling scene, or at least it seems like it from the outside looking in.
Yes, it’s Bush vs Gore…
I know. It’s officially sold out at this point, and it’s been sold out for maybe about three weeks, which is which is crazy. Anyway, just the fact that things are selling out in this area, It’s pretty cool to see. It’s going to be our LGBTQ friendly show, they all are honestly, but this one is putting more of a spotlight on things. I personally will be defending a championship against Ashton Starr and I’m super pumped. I’m very very happy about this.
Let’s talk a little bit about the things you do in the ring, tell me about the character you like to portray.
What I do is I exaggerate my own points. Normally would be very mild, or pretty soft spoken. I’m pretty chill by nature. I make sure to turn that up and go completely over the top. I try to channel that in that energy and just play superhero for a little bit. I try to be just over the top in all of my movements, grandstand a little bit and peacock a little bit. It’s not something I would normally do, but I feel that with wrestling, when I’m in the ring, I can sort of be whoever I’d like. You can emphasize things that you like or you can just be completely different. You can paint your face and wear a cape if you want to. I think that’s really cool that you can make it your own at the at the independent level.
When I’m in the ring, I try to highlight my athleticism and things like that. I highlight my femininity as well, because I find myself in intergender matches a lot. So I think that’s important to sort of lean into my femininity.
What’s your favorite part of your job, what’s your favorite part of being a wrestler?
My favorite part of wrestling… it actually just happened this past weekend when I won this championship. There was a young girl who just sat and enjoyed the show, but when I came out, she started jumping up and down. She was a sweet little black girl and she was so enamored with everything I did. I was the only female in the tournament and whenever I came out, she came alive. She started jumping up and cheering for me. Everybody was recording her off to the side and that sort of went viral, on a smaller scale, D.C. viral.
It was such a sweet moment to see her have such a good interaction with me and my character and what I’m presenting to everyone. By being the only female in that tournament, just the journey throughout the night was so cool. I knew she was so into it and it was such a good feeling. We got to take a picture afterwards and she was so sweet. I can tell she had such a good time.
I can only imagine like how it feels, especially because wrestling has that multi generational appeal. There’s little kids losing their minds and adults really yelling and cheering.
Sometimes I’m just in the thick of it and I just get so overcome. I’m just so excited that people are into it. It’s a cool feeling.
On the other hand, what is the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part is the transitions, the transitions are very difficult. You start at a training school and once you start there, going from training to being at a professional level, making professional money… For everybody, it’s super different. For some people that time is like three years… Or that never happens for people and they continue at an independent level. It’s hard to make sure that what you’re putting your time and effort into is coming back to you in some way.
I’ve been wrestling for about three years in the independent scene and I’m just getting to a point where I’m comfortable with the amount of money I’m making. Everything that I’ve put out is finally coming back in, all the training, you’ve got to pay for your own gear, you’ve got to get your own merchandise, you have to travel to these places. You work for free a couple of times, then a little money a couple times and that transition to try to inch your way up, it’s very difficult. A lot of people hit some snags on the way there.
Are you wrestling full time now?
I am! I’m wrestling full time. I never thought I’d be able to say that and it’s because of places like F1ght Club, where I won my beautiful championship, and places like Prime Time Pro Wrestling. They put on good shows and they put on shows often. I enjoy working in my city. It’s a good place for me to sell merch, it’s a good place for me to show face and take pictures with the kids.
Is there anything that’s missing from the D.C. wrestling scene? Would you like to see more programs or more places to wrestle or more attention from the city at large? What’s missing?
Everything. Let me write down everything you just said. Even another training school. There are a couple of training schools, like MCW, which is Maryland Championship Wrestling. There’s the Ring of Honor Dojo, they have a place out in Maryland as well, but that’s more of a finishing school per se. It’s not particularly open to newer students. So maybe something that is… Maybe something that’s central to D.C. That would be a huge help. Aside from just wrestling in general, I think it would be nice to have a couple of after school programs. Give kids something to do.
Speaking of training, what is your training schedule like?
I spend four days in the gym and maybe one or two at a proper training facility. I’m currently training at the Ring of Honor Dojo. I spend, I’ve got to be honest here, I spend a lot of time at the gym. I’m there for a while, probably a little longer than what’s necessary. I usually cap out at about two hours and 30 minutes. We’ve got good stretching in the beginning, a nice warm up, then you have the majority of your workout. I take my time, I don’t rush myself through any of my workouts. At the end, I spend about 30 minutes in the sauna. I usually stretch in the sauna and just do all the finishing things in there.
I get it, it’s your job.
Yeah, they remind you all the time how cosmetic the business is, for better or for worse.
What do you listen to when you work out?
90s rap is always a good workout staple, it kind of propels you in the direction you need to go in. There was one time I tried listening to a little bit of pop, listen to Beyonce at the gym, and I was like, “Alright, I can feel it, this is cool.” I changed over to my Snoop Dogg, added about 20 pounds on each side and I was good to go.
Are there any moves that you haven’t nailed yet, something you really want to do in the ring, but you’re still working on?
I wouldn’t call myself necessarily a high flyer or anything like that, but there was one… Well, there’ll be footage forthcoming of an attempt… But there’s a move that goes off the top rope into a flip. So I’m hoping to be able to do that. My flips on the ground are pretty cool! I think if we add a couple feet, I don’t know, it might be cool. Health insurance, whatever!
Who is your dream person to wrestle, dead or alive?
I’m going to say Trish Stratus. It might still be possible! Even more possible, Jazz. She was a wrestler back in the day and she ran a program with Trish for a really long time that was amazing to watch leading up to awesome Wrestlemania programs for them both. I’m very inspired by her. She’s actually still on the indies right now. So, that’s probably a thing. I would love to defend my title against her.
If you could go back in time, before you started training in Florida, what advice would you give yourself?
Save your money! Every dime you get ahold of, save it. Save it and be smart with your money. Aside from it being physically demanding, I think that part is something people don’t think about when it comes to like wrestling. Things cost so much so quickly… And very little of it is going to be somebody else’s responsibility for a while. You’re going to have to be your own accountant and your own seamstress sometimes. You’ve got to buy your own fabric, you’ve got to figure out who’s going to make your boots, you’ve got to figure out the next time you’ll be able to get photos done. It all costs and it all costs so much. It’s important to be smart about your money.
I would tell myself over and over, make sure that you’re smart with some of the things that you’re investing in, as well. The school you end up going to, that is so important. It’s like what college you went to, with name value and colleges, a lot of times what’s most important is where you went. Make sure you go to a place with people that actually care about what they’re doing. Do your research with everything, with every single decision that you ever have to make in wrestling, do your research. Look three different times on three different days, make a list, make sure. Please do your research about wrestling schools and please save your money, be smart with your money.