Ring of Honor star Mandy Leon was recently a guest on Interactive Wrestling Radio. Here are some highlights….
On ROH finally getting a Women of Honor Championship:
“I think that everything was done exactly how it should have been. I love the fact that Ring of Honor did not throw this in the fans’ face. I think it took a little bit longer… (laughs) But with the timing and the character development and saying, “Hey, these are our girls. Lets see if the fans want this.” You have to remember, Ring of Honor never had a Women’s Division. They’ve had women in and out through the years. But, again, I respect the fact they didn’t throw this in the fans’ faces. We built it up to where the announcement and people wanting it even more was just so special. It is finally here and it is such an exciting thing!”
On why she got involved in pro wrestling:
“I’ve always been a fan of it ever since I was a kid, honestly, through my mom. She loved it. It didn’t really stick with me until I saw women (wrestling) later on. Like Chyna, Lita, and Trish because they were just beautiful and were in the ring doing these crazy things. They were so powerful and dominating. It was so inspiring to me. Throughout my career, so many athletes have inspired me psychology wise. But, really, yeah, a passion for it from watching it as a young kid and wanting to pursue it as a dream and finding a strong passion for it.”
On how training in the ROH Dojo has been an advantage:
“Yes, for me, I first started training with people I knew would be good trainers for me. People who would have good leverage for me in my career of professional wrestling. After doing some research, I found Ring of Honor and saw they were not too far from me. Upon staying on them and contacting them consistantly, they finally got back to me. I was fortunate enough to meet them and became one of their female students, the only female student at the time. There were a few (female students) prior to me. Luckily enough, I got in! To have, like you said, that Ring of Honor name behind me and to be born and raised (in ROH) and have that in my blood, it means a lot!”
On WWE Having a Women’s Royal Rumble:
“I think it’s amazing. We announced our Women of Honor Title Tournament and the night after, they announced the (Women’s) Royal Rumble. I think it is two history making events. Like you said, they’re long overdue! It is about time! I think it is great that different entities are doing what they love. We’re (ROH) doing what we love, WWE is doing what they love, TNA (Impact Wrestling) is doing what they love.”
“In my eyes and in the eyes of Ring of Honor, there is no competition between Ring of Honor and WWE. A lot of people ask, “WWE announcing a Women’s Royal Rumble match the day after you announce a title tournament. What do you think about that?” (laughs) To me, it is two entities doing what they love and it is long overdue! Women’s wrestling is so popular right now. Why wouldn’t they have a Women’s Royal Rumble? Why wouldn’t we have a Women of Honor title? Women’s wrestling is at an all time high and they just continue to bring it. We’re really bringing it! It is something people want to see. And, I love, now, how driven are in the business. A few years ago, it felt, and it still kind of is, male dominated where women just didn’t have a lot of opportunities. Whereas now, there are so many opportunities for women everywhere and there are so many incredible talents out there. It blows my mind. A few years ago, there were only a couple of women on the independent circuit. Now, there are just a ton of women scratching and clawing, so to say. I think it is amazing. It is inspiring. It is a phenomenal thing!”
On her goals:
“Honestly, the title and the tournament has always been my top goal since stepping into the ROH Dojo where everybody thought I was completely insane. Now that it is finally here, my top goal is winning the tournament and getting the title! Just to continue to learn and to train hard and to prove to people that if you put your mind to something, you can do anything! But, going into 2018, my number one goal is becoming the first ever Women of Honor champion. But, we will see! (laughs)”
Click here to listen to the full interview.