The ‘Session Moth’ Martina has taken the UK and Irish Wrestling scene by storm in the past year, with an ironic twist on femininity. Crude, sexual and at times outright vulgar, Martina has amassed a huge following on the indie scene. This year alone has seen her work with most ‘Super Indie’ promotions and on most occasions she has stolen the show. She spoke to us about the development of her innovative gimmick, her journey to becoming a star, and the unstoppable unity amongst British and Irish wrestlers.
What was your journey to becoming a Professional Wrestler?
I started wrestling seven years ago. I was training in a school in Dublin. I didn’t think I could do It – I didn’t think I was fit enough and I didn’t think I’d be able to remember everything. But then I met a trainer and he kind of set up a class for me, and I thought screw it, I’ll go. I never thought I’d do a show; I saw it as more of a fitness thing. But before you know it I was on a show, having my debut. There weren’t many girls wrestling in Ireland, so they got me on shows quite regularly, because female wrestling wasn’t that strong back then.
I got to the point where I was travelling around with my home crew, that actually became part of the main roster at OTT now. We’d travel around the country doing kids’ shows – we had a blast. Then OTT came along, and we wanted to do something different, something new, something geared more towards adults. There was no product for over 18’s, so there was a market for that – everyone loved the Attitude Era and they wanted to see that. I did my first OTT show as Kazza, but there was no way I could go out there and just be my plain self. Plus, I don’t like wrestling in wrestling gear and being generic – It’s just not who I am. Backstage and with my friends I always have a laugh. I’m very loud and obnoxious as it is, I’m very jokey.
Two guys from the first show were just instantly the most popular guys on the card, and they were the Lads from de Flats (Paddy M & Workie). They tore it up, they were hilarious. And the promoter said I should go with them. And I thought it’d be great fun – I’d never done comedy wrestling. The term ‘Session Moth’ is very heavily used in Ireland – It’s a term for girls that go out to nightclubs and they just get absolutely hammered and the next day they are so hungover and tired, that they just go to the shops for a chicken fillet roll in their jammies. It also translates well to the UK, it’s every girl that goes out to a nightclub on the Saturday night and is just dying on the Sunday. She just wants to drink more – she doesn’t care what she’s wearing or who she’s dancing with. She just genuinely wants to have as much fun as possible.
How is it different when developing a character directed towards an over-18s audience compared to children’s shows?
I do use sex as part of my gimmick – I pretend that Martina is just mad for lads, so she grinds on everyone in such a vulgar way. I’m kind of taking the piss out of the Attitude Era where women had big boobs and no clothes on, just used as sex objects. I like the idea that Martina thinks she looks like that and acts like she looks like that but in reality she’s really hungover and is wearing pyjamas, her hair’s in a mess and she has a cigarette in her mouth. I slut drop badly, I booty shake badly, I put my vagina in people’s faces – that’s part of my asset but it’s all just entertainment and taking the piss out of sexualising women. I remember the last match in OTT, that I wasn’t in, and there were some very good looking girls in the ring. And some idiot shouted “Get your tits out” which is totally inappropriate, and if someone shouted it in my match I’d pretend to love it and take the piss out of how people demean women like that.
How much of Martina is actually you?
I think a lot. I’m a very loud and jokey person and I take the piss out of myself all the time, so why not do it in the ring. I think the fact that I’m confident allows me to go out there and genuinely make a fool out of myself and make people laugh. I just love to have fun.
Is there something about the generation of female wrestling fans coming through that can identify with you?
Definitely – I think that’s the thing that’s given me the upper hand in OTT. A lot of people were kind of casual fans. A lot of the guys that would go would probably bring their girlfriends that weren’t into wrestling at all. For them I was relatable, and people think “Oh that’s so me, I’m so hungover!” That’s the thing I think I have over other girls, it’s not just the wrestling, it’s character-based. It’s not just the story in the match, it’s the story of who Martina is. You don’t have to be a wrestling fan.
What are your long term goals in Wrestling?
I remember last year around this time, I wasn’t really working anywhere in the UK, but I started getting really hungry and I started following all these promotions and of course I knew about ICW and PROGRESS and all of these places and I wanted to work there. So that was my goal, with those two at the top of them. And Fight Club and WhatCulture. Now, I’m working for every single promotion that was on my bucket list, which is a great, amazing thing to say.
I have OTT this weekend, and I’ve been so fortunate with OTT, they’ve named two shows after me. I was their first women’s champion and hopefully I’m going to be in a big fight to get it back one day. They’ve given me some amazing matches, like my Joey Ryan match, and some of the matches with the Lads from de Flats and the Gymnasties. And Kay Lee Ray, and some just amazing matches. I have PROGRESS next week, and I’ve just started a storyline with ICW, that’s going to go forward. Fight Club as well – I love that place. Apex Wrestling, Discovery Wrestling – all these places are just picking me up now and it’s amazing. My calendar’s not totally full but it’s getting there and that was my thing last year. I wanted to be wrestling every weekend.
I now I can offer things on a wider scale, so my next little pit stop will be – I’m wrestling in Canada, and I never imagined going out there and wrestling. I’d really love to go to more places in the USA. People see me on FloSlam with OTT and people are saying to me that I should be on SHIMMER and SHINE. So that would be a huge goal. Also in Japan, I love that they are so into their characters, so of course Japan would be another absolute dream. So I’d love to wrestle in America and I’d love to wrestle in Japan.
What was amazing was in our ScrapperMania show, where we sold out about 2,000 people, which is unheard of in Ireland. When I came out, the response was the loudest cheer of the night – it was electric. These are people that have been watching me for two years now. I’ve had so many moments, but that was the best moment of my life. There is nothing that can top that.
Are we returning to a time where gimmicks are more important?
I would put myself down as quite cartoon-y, but at the same time wrestling has progressed in the actual in-ring work. It will never be like it was in the 80s, people are loving their spots now, and wrestling has changed so much from back then. Wrestling has to change with the times. I don’t think people have as much of a gimmick, but there are so many strong characters – looking at British strong style – the hottest thing right now. And the you have Matt Riddle, and your Ring of Honor stars – Marty Scurll, who himself is a character but also such a strong character. For me, my gimmick is very important – promo videos are very important for my character. And, I do love incorporating my gimmick in the ring – at ICW recently I did a stalling suplex and pulled out a cigarette halfway through it! I remember I did ‘Beer Mist’ instead of Tajiri’s ‘Green Mist’. I like to do spots that are still wrestling, but I like to bring my character out in my matches. If you’re coming to see me wrestle, I want to bring something that only I would do, and you wouldn’t see any other girl do.
Why do you think there is such a big camaraderie in the UK wrestling scene?
I think the fact that from the get go, even though nobody was really looking at us. But now, Ireland and UK are booming right now, and the audience are starting to enjoy our products more than the bigger products, and so it’s almost like a pat on the back for us all. We were training hard, getting no sleep and travelling every week. Now it feels like we are finally getting the appreciation we deserve for putting all the effort in. I think we just like to see each other do well, especially for me, Jordan Devlin from Ireland wrestling with WWE. I’ve trained with him, and travelled with him, and he puts so much time in. He worked in Japan years ago, and he’s just a killer talent. He’s the most deserving person in Ireland.
If you could step into the ring with one person you haven’t wrestled before, who would be your ideal match?
That’s a good one. I haven’t wrestled Alex Windsor yet, and I’m wrestling her on Saturday. She’s someone that for a really long time I’ve wanted to wrestle. I’d really like to wrestle Laura Di Matteo – she’s great. I never got to wrestle Nixon – I’ve tagged with her. She’s so good. Kay Lee Ray is always one of my favourites to wrestle, and I’m lucky to do it a lot. Male, there are a few. Pete Dunne. I think it was actually Nixon who said it before and we were wondering what we could be doing, and said “Oh it could be a mystery opponent” and she goes “I’d love if it was Pete”. Pete has such a good mind. Even just the fact that his character is strong and mean but he also has a lot of fun in his matches. I’d put him down as one of the ones I would have loved to wrestle. But I don’t think it’s going to happen. But then if people saw that, I think that people would think “that’s something I would need to see!”