Wrestler Mercedes Martinez Fights For Women In and Out Of The Ring | Her Stories | NowThis

Wrestler Mercedes Martinez Fights For Women In and Out Of The Ring | Her Stories | NowThis


– Women have to be
emotionally and mentally stronger than the guys when
it comes to this business. You know with us being just a
attraction match on a lot of the men’s companies, we
have to have thicker skin. What people don’t realize
is that I was really bullied when I was young, so this is my way of
getting that aggression out. My name is Mercedes Martinez,
I am a pro wrestler, I have been wrestling
for 18 and a half years. It’s definitely not what you see on TV, it’s not glamorous at all whatsoever. It’s a rough rough drive and you have to do that
to get your name known. (wrestlers shouting) – I was a big wrestling fan
but I didn’t want to become a wrestler, that was not my goal. When I was young I was
bullied really heavily to the point where they
lit my hair on fire on the school bus, I get
garbage thrown at me and stuff. It was just that type of bullying
that was really really bad where at times I just didn’t
wanna go to school or anything. When I look back when I was bullied like I’m surprised at like as many times as I tried
to take my life and stuff that I am where I am now because
you have to find outlets. Basketball was my big outlet and it got me to a full ride in college. I got injured playing basketball and I needed something to
kinda get myself back into it and I had so much downtime that I was starting going
into independent wrestling. Didn’t think I’d be where I am now, I thought I’d be a police officer by now but life has it’s course. I went straight into
wrestling with the boys, my first match was with a guy, beat him and it just kinda escalated from there. – [Instructor] Still this is a drill guys, just straight into the head. There we are, right back up. – [Mercedes Martinez] I
think my first wrestling show I didn’t get paid at all. I think for the first
year I didn’t get paid. Now women wrestlers do you get paid but I still think there’s the pay gap. I think if you don’t get
on TV, or some form of TV, you will never get
equal to the men at all. Within three to four years
after I was into the business and I was starting to work
for more woman’s companies, that there became an issue. There was a company
that we work for, ‘WEW’. It was ‘Women’s Extreme Wrestling’ but at first it was called
‘Women’s Erotic Wrestling’. Yes. So that was one of the companies
where we had to kind of draw the line and say
hey we are wrestlers, you don’t treat us like your strippers. I lost a lot of bookings,
a lot of promotions because of the way I talk. I don’t hold my tongue back for anybody. If you touch me a wrong
way, you’re going to hear it and I’m gonna let the world know that you are touching me inappropriately. I’ve seen so many female
wrestlers leave this business because they couldn’t handle the sexism or they couldn’t handle the backlash. And not just from males but
from even their own peers. Thanks guys, appreciate it. – It’s only within the last,
probably five years when the females actually took
control of their own bookings, took control of their
own pretty much wrestling and what they did in the ring and didn’t let the
promoters run them down. And I think the female wrestlers now, we’re more of a sisterhood. We watch each other’s back,
we support each other. You know, I’m working on bruised ribs. Ain’t no way I’m thinking
about putting a match together. Working on bruised ribs right now. I am married, I do you have a child. I play mum first, everything
else comes second. He is ten years old, regular life, He doesn’t care if his
mum is a wrestler or not. I have two jobs, full-time and a part-time
job as well as wrestling. Living the life on the road. So it is a very busy life for me. Been in this business 18 and a half years, I’ve had two shoulder surgeries, I’ve had three bulging discs,
I tore ligaments in my knee, multiple sprained ankles and
contusions, four concussions. You’re driving 7-8 hours, doing your show, coming back 7-8 hours, no hotels cause you don’t
have money for a hotel, carpooling with people so you can just not spend the money on the gas and then doing it twice a day. And that’s just paying your dues. My stepdad who raised me, he was the one who actually took me to a lot of my wrestling shows. And when he passed away, every match that I do is
always dedicated to him. You know he was my biggest
supporter in anything that I did. Always nervous before a match and I think it’s just, I think
it’s healthy to be nervous cause it means you care. So WrestleMania, there was no way that I
was gonna miss wrestling no matter where I was, bruised ribs or not I had to make it and I’m gonna
give no matter what 110%. So many women’s companies
that have been out there for the last ten plus years that I think now with
mainstream picking it up, it’s just now with the audience seeing what we’re actually capable of. So it’s actually a really
really big high for me to still be around and see this big change and be a part of this change. (shouts) We always hold out for WWE. You know I’ve been with them,
working for them on and off, you know try-outs and enhancement talents and then I did the Mae Young Classic. It’s always the goal to be in
WWE and perform at that level. If I get there, I get
there, if I don’t, I don’t. I know that I’m still doing my craft here on the independent scene. And now I’m training girls,
I have my own students that I’m actually helping
get into the business. Female students. Feel better on your
back you want this all. You wanna make her look like
she’s stabbed you right? – [Female Student] Yeah. – So for you to help her do
that you gotta get to her level. You know, training them the
right way, the way I was trained and then trying them. So I think that’s gonna be my next thing if I can’t wrestle anymore in the ring, I’m gonna be able to get
behind the scenes at any point and just do anything and
everything that I could and still stay involved in wrestling. Hands off that one. It’s never just a job,
it’s more than that. It’s a life.

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