Gigi Rey made sure everyone knew where she’s from when she made her solo debut in All Elite Wrestling last week.
“Mill Woods, baby, let’s go,” she said while throwing up an “M” and a “W” on each hand.
“All my friends and family are from Mill Woods, and we love being from there,” she told CTV News Edmonton afterwards.
The 32-year-old is not even three years into her wrestling career, but she’s already training and performing in Texas, while working as a nurse to make ends meet. It’s just the start, she hopes.
“I want to be on that big stage performing in front of big crowds wrestling and entertaining people the same way that wrestling has entertained me,” she explained.
“You guys are gonna see her on TV every week. She’s too good not to,” said Michael Blais, a local pro wrestler and trainer.
Blais trained Rey when she was starting out. He’s spent two decades in Alberta’s wrestling circuit, and said Gigi has serious potential.
“She’s very, very coachable and very athletic. And like, you could just tell she wanted to get as much in as she possibly could, as quick as she could,” Blais said.
Rey works with a promotion called Reality Of Wrestling in Houston. That includes strict nutrition, a serious fitness regimen and a little bit of danger.
“I know it’s like, wrestling’s not really ‘real.’ But like, it is a real risk to your body. You put your body through a lot of harm,” she explained.
Getting her first solo match, even one she ended up losing, Blais said, is a huge step. He’s confident she will get a full time contract with World Wrestling Entertainment or All Elite Wrestling, eventually.
“She has good gear, she has a good look, she’s a great wrestler, she’s super athletic and she’s just a very good person,” Blais said.
Rey said she wouldn’t be in Texas if she didn’t believe she could make it.
“I kinda just dropped my whole life at home to go and chase this wrestling dream…So I hope that inspires people to just go after something that you want and put your whole heart into it,” she said.
No matter what ring she ends up in, Mill Woods will be in her heart, and in her corner.
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Carlyle Fiset and Alison MacKinnon