AEW star Marina Shafir has revealed who helped her to grow as a performer during the more tumultuous days of her wrestling career.
A former MMA fighter, Shafir joined WWE in 2018 before being released from the company in June of 2021.
She later joined AEW in December of that year, losing to Kris Statlander on an episode of AEW Dark.
However, between her stints in the major North American wrestling companies Shafir toured the independent circuit, which included an appearance at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 7 where she defeated Masha Slamovich.
Speaking on The Sessions with Renée Paquette, Shafir discussed how working with Barnett helped her develop in the ring:
“He knows how to be like, ‘Marina, shut the f**k up. Simplify this.’ We simplified, we simplified, we simplified, that was the game plan. It just goes back to basics.
“I have a good enough foundation that I can lean on if I ever feel like I’m in trouble. I don’t need to just try harder than that reaction because the reactions are what are special. The two shows that I did, he honed it in for me both times.”
She also described how WWE’s Ronda Rousey and her husband Roderick Strong helped her to progress:
“At Bloodsport was where I felt that dragon feeling, that dragon feeling that everybody f**king talks about. Having the perfect match, yeah, we already know that it doesn’t exist because it has to come to you.
“I worked my f**king ass off, and it came to me. It was just so cool because I wasn’t used to people cheering me, and everybody stood the f**k up, and I’m like oh… A lot of motivation from Ronda went into that one.
“She helped me so much with my head. So did Roddy, he was there with me every day, but what really let me understand that it happened was a voicemail from Roddy.
“He left me a little voice message, and he was teary-eyed in it, he’s like, ‘You f**king killed it.’ He was just like, ‘enjoy it. You f**king killed it. That was beautiful.’ It really made me happy, and it was apparent to people who love me. That’s what I want.”
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Transcription courtesy of Fightful.
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