Lucha Tributes: Taya Valkyrie
To start this off, we've taken a look at one of the most entertaining rudos in the Lucha Underground Temple and one of the Temple's most unsung heroes. We're going to look at someone who hasn't officially been seen in the Temple yet. She's an accomplished performer for AAA, Los Perros del Mal's leading lady and someone who could easily beat up Jack Evans in a one on one contest (sorry Jack, you know it's true). Who am I talking about? Why none other than AAA's top female performer and Lucha Underground hopeful, the lovely Taya Valkyrie.
What You Already Know
I'll put it so bluntly you'll get blunt forced trauma (and after that, I'll see myself out for that terrible pun). Taya Valkyrie is best known as the Queen of AAA. That's not me packing more hyperbole than Bill Walton either. Ever since walking through AAA's doors back in 2012, Valkyrie has slowly become one of the top female performers for the lucha libre power, alongside good pal Sexy Star and nemesis Faby Apache. She solidified that by beating Apache at Triplemania XXII (that's Roman numeral for 22) for the AAA Reina de Reinas Champion, the most prestigious women's title in the company (Valkyrie remains the champ today, having successfully defended it in an excellent five woman match back at Heroes Inmortales IX. Also, IX is Roman numeral for 9. Sorry, had to). Perhaps even more notable is that Valkyrie was/is one of the core members of the stable Los Perros del Mal, and has continued to proudly display the Perros del Mal colors to this day along with fellow members Joe Lider and Pentagon Jr.
Oh, and then there's Lucha Underground. While she didn't appear in season one, Valkyrie is a performer that both LU fans and behind the scenes folk have hoped to add for season two, and she coincidentally seems to be in Los Angeles whenever Lucha Underground has been taping season two episodes. Is she a part of the promotion? Here's the better question; would you prefer I answer that with Brittany Murphy's "I'll never tell!" line from that terrible Michael Douglas movie Don't Say a Word or ignore answering it by going all "next question" like Terrell Owens' agent? Which one would give away the answer more? I'll stop now.
What You Didn't Know
Well for starters, Valkyrie is neither Mexican nor American. She was in fact born in Toronto, Canada, which (unless she hates hockey) sadly makes her another poor soul who roots for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Even us Cubs fans feel bad for those peeps.
Obscure notes aside, Valkyrie was always destined for some form of athletic greatness. In fact, she was a classically trained ballerina who would study for a time at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. That, her practice of gymnastics throughout her life and a several year stints as a fitness model, made her a natural fit for the wrestling business, which she would eventually begin training for in 2010. Her trainer, former WWE, ECW, and WCW star Lance Storm, runs a wrestling school, known as the Storm Wrestling Academy, in his hometown of Calgary. You pretty much couldn't ask for a better trainer than him, and it explains why Valkyrie has become such a polished performer. She also got some first-hand experience in TV exposure, as her and her fellow trainees (including current WWE/NXT star Emma) appeared in a ten-part reality series focusing on Storm's academy called World of Hurt. Think of it as the Canadian version of what WWE Breaking Ground is trying to do now.
Speaking of WWE, you might be wondering why Valkyrie never got a shot with the mother ship of pro wrestling. As it turns out, she did. WWE actually signed Valkyrie to a developmental contract in October of 2011 after less than a year on the Canadian indies. Sounds good right? There was just one problem; WWE never used Valkyrie. Like, at all. Despite her deal, Valkyrie never once made an appearance for a WWE affiliated show, either on the main roster or in the developmental system (back then still Florida Championship Wrestling), and quietly departed the company almost as soon as she joined them. The reason? As best I can tell there is none, and the best I can find online is details on Valkyrie being signed, not released. In any event, the WWE's loss would be lucha libre's gain, as Valkyrie would head down to Mexico less than a year later. Originally intending to just stay six weeks, she was convinced to remain in Mexico by future stablemate Perro Aguayo Jr. The rest, they say, is history.
Without question, it's Valkyrie's Reina de Reinas Championship victory over Faby Apache at Triplemania XXII. Winning a title (any title) is always a career achievement, and winning one at the biggest event of the year for the company you work for just makes even more rad I would guess. Combine that with the fact that this match was quite good (Apache is really underrated in her own right), and this is just tops. And I say this as someone who expects Valkyrie to have a ton of killer matches in Lucha Underground (if she does show up) and who loved that five-way match she had at Inmortales a few months back. The lesson, as always, is that choosing things is tough. Just ask the Grail Knight in the Last Crusade.
Lucha Underground has done such an excellent job bringing in female talent, and Taya Valkyrie's inevitable arrival will be no exception. Whatever you want in a wrestler, she has it; her look is excellent, her in-ring work is very polished, she's highly charismatic and is proven in the art of rudo work. It's no wonder everyone from Eric Van Wagnen to the Lucha Underground fans wanted her in, and I expect she will deliver some great work when she does arrive in the Temple (if she hasn't arrived there already). And the good work doesn't end there; remember, she's still the Reina de Reinas Champion in AAA, and I don't see her going away from there anytime soon either. Whatever way you slice it, Taya Valkyrie is a hell of a worker who is only going to get better and better. Now, if only AAA can give me that Taya-Sexy Star match. That's something I need to see, even more so than the Batman v Superman movie. Excuse me while I go shield myself from the angry comic book nerds.
And I'm spent. I'll be back later today with another one of these bad boys. Till then, I must go mourn the transfer of Charlie Austin to Southampton. You had one job QPR; ONE JOB! This is what I get for that Maples Leafs comment, isn't it?