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Lacey Von Erich truly is a Knockout
By MIKE LANO - SLAM! Wrestling


Lacey Von Erich demonstrates the Iron Claw at a Pro Wrestling Revolution show in San Francisco in December 2008. Photo by Mike Lano, WReaLano@aol.com


Having seen and talked with Lacey Von Erich at wrestling shows and conventions the past few years, it is evident she stands out for more than just her beauty. For one, she genuinely likes spending time with her fans.

Von Erich said she is "trying to give back to them like my family always did. If they took time out of their day to come see me, that's a big deal for me," she told SLAM! Wrestling before she signed with TNA as the newest Knockout in The Beautiful People.

While some name stars sign autographs with a shrug of hello, it's been well-noted that Lacey really goes out of her way for them.

"I just love people wherever I go and I want them to know how much I appreciate their support and interest in my career," Von Erich said. "And for right now, I want them to appreciate me as an athlete."

At only 23, Lacey (real name Lacey Adkisson) has done modeling, TV and movies, to go along with her youthful wrestling career.

Born July 17, 1986 in Dallas, the daughter of Kerry "Von Erich" Adkisson, niece of many top stars, and the granddaughter of Fritz Von Erich, Lacey recently saw lots of press after signing with TNA.

"I'm very proud and ready to make an impact in the Impact Zone and beyond, doing my best there," she said.

Von Erich just made her TNA television debut a couple of weeks ago, showing off the famous Von Erich family claw her dad Fritz first used throughout North America and Japan. The move was later used as a finisher by the likes of Killer Karl Krupp, Baron von Raschke, Fritz von Goering, and others.

Von Erich was asked to step into The Beautiful People after Angelina Love was forced to the sidelines by visa troubles.

In an interview with Scott Fishman of the Miami Herald, Von Erich showed her confidence in the role.

"I feel like it was made for me, and she [Angelina] wasnít a good fit for it in my opinion," Adkisson told Fishman. "... I thought that everybody was going to be, `Oh no. Angelina is gone,í but not one person said that. Nobody really missed her that much. I feel like I can fill the shoes that Iím supposed to."

After it all hit the proverbial fan, Von Erich backpeddaled with a Twitter posting: "I hope everyone enjoyed the show last night! Angelina Love was amazing in the beautiful people and I hope I do it justice! P.S. Don't believe rumors! I think Angelina will be missed in TNA and hope we can work together someday!"

Putting aside any of the controversy, Von Erich said last March that she "always tries to be pretty easy going. I just do my best to get along with everyone, wherever I happen to be working, remembering it's wrestling and there are egos. I'm still trying my best to learn everything I can. So whether it's in the ring, on a modeling or movie shoot, I like to keep things positive, and again in wrestling, it's not always easy to do. The most important thing is showing respect backstage and out there in the ring to your peers."

Lacey spent well-documented time in WWE's developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling, and then after her release, took some time off while making movies.

"I've really grown as a person and wrestler since then," said Lacey. "I'd worked independent shows and autograph wrestling fan conventions. It really touched me how at these events, people would come up and tell me how much my grandfather, dad, and uncles meant to them. The Von Erich wrestling family was a part of their lives, whether they went to the matches or watched the World Class show on TV. My grandfather was such a big legend all over the world and one of the great heels and later good guys of all time and for many years. And he was way ahead of his time with World Class, syndicated TV and much more."

Last spring, the young mom ("I love my son dearly") suffered what was first thought to be an incredibly painful migraine, but reported later to be diagnosed as cranial meningitis. Thankfully, the beautiful blonde bombshell healed quickly and was soon given a clean bill of health and later full ring clearance.

She was vague when asked about whether her long-rumored Playboy shoot had occurred or was scheduled to occur.

"All I can say about the Playboy shoot is stay tuned. It'll be very hot," teased Lacey.

TNA is at the forefront of promoting athletic women's wrestling in the United States, with the smaller groups like SHIMMER providing the excellent training ground for future stars.

Last May while interviewing Lacey in Fremont, Calif., she mentioned what a fan she is of SHIMMER and groups portraying women in a positive light.

"For things to move forward, it's got to be the women as rough and tough competitors, not just basically eye candy to and for the guys," Von Erich said. "That's what I like seeing -- the women wrestlers really taken seriously like they are in Japan or Mexico. We've made great strides, and I hope it continues moving that way."

Lacey Von Erich was one of the major names signed to the upcoming Wrestlelicious women's wrestling promotion. She had to get her release from the anticipated weekly TV show after signing with TNA.

"Terry Taylor helped the people over there out since we'd already filmed it," explained Lacey. "It's like Saturday Night Live for lady wrestling, with athletics, comedy, some legends and more. We were sworn to secrecy at the time about it by the producers during the tapings, and we didn't tell anyone, except maybe our families. So up to now, most of it has been kept pretty quiet, again like a secret. And from what I saw, it's going to be a fun show, not serious TV like WWE or TNA are most of the time. It's not competition to them either, so no one has to worry.

"And now starting in TNA, that's where the seriousness must be for me, the competitiveness that runs in my family. And that part of pro wrestling is where the pressure comes in. I take the Von Erich name very seriously."

Perhaps better than anyone, Von Erich knows that at times there's often huge pressure when attempting to follow in famous family footsteps.


Lacey Von Erich fights Cheerleader Melissa at a Pro Wrestling Revolution show in San Francisco in December 2008. Photo by Mike Lano, WReaLano@aol.com
"It's often far harder for the son or daughter of a wrestler to make it -- and stay there -- because there's those big shoes to fill, issues and accomplishments to attempt to equal even on a different plane," Lacey said. "Lots of expectations to be good right off the bat. That thinking's just not realistic. Some take to it immediately and others need time because pro wrestling is such a difficult sport to do and do right."

It's changed through the years, she said.

"In the old days, often a wrestler needed several years, wrestling in front of people seven or eight or 10 nights a week all over the world, to even become accepted and hopefully good," she said. "I've been doing my best in the past to get experience which isn't easy in this day and age. I have so much respect for the women wrestlers in TNA and WWE. I wrestled Melissa Anderson, who's second-generation and so gifted, about a year ago in a long match in Northern California you [Mike Lano] shot, and she's one of the top top stars in the world.

"All the second and third-generation stars helping lead this great new future of wrestling is exciting. I also think about my dad a lot and how much he and my uncle David contributed to it. They were just such great athletes, my uncle Kevin, of course."

Apparently third-generation women wrestlers stick together as well.

"Nattie Neidhart helped teach me so much about this business while I was just starting," Lacey said. "I really thank and respect her. The great families of wrestling, the Harts, Guerreros, Von Erichs, Armstrongs and more. And as kids in these wrestling families, most remember watching our relatives wrestle on TV or at the arenas, making history like me and my older sister Hollie. I didn't really know the business as I was too young then. So now it's like those of us coming up are trying to add some old school to it, and leading us right into this new growing future of wrestling, which I think is a great thing."

Von Erich was also scheduled to be a part of the major Hulk Hogan tour of Australia, but had to drop out after signing with TNA. There may be another Hogan heading to the ring, she said.

"Even Nick Hogan might start we're hearing, and I have a nephew wrestling too now," said Lacey. "Wow, there's so many, but thankfully many great ones like Orton, Rhodes and DiBiase right now. And, of course, in Mexico and Japan too, so many second and third-generation wrestlers. It's a major family thing in those countries with so much pride and honor."

Although a Dallas lifer, Lacey and her significant other live near the beach in Southern California, where she's enjoys spending time with her son, roller blading and playing beach football. She also enjoys country music concerts and talking up a country/western singer friend of hers in Brad Stinson.

"He's just the best and a life-long friend. Fantastic singer," said Lacey. "When I have any time off, I also like watching comedy movies like those of the late Chris Farley. We all need comedy and fun in our lives. Movies like Tommy Boy, Borat, Jackass and anything with Will Farrell are my favorites. And we all need dogs and pets in our lives who love us.

"I may live here now, but I'll always love Big D (Dallas) which will always be my hometown plus full of badasses like me!"

When asked about life highlights so far for her young age she brought up an honour from this past April in Houston.

"Really, my family getting inducted into WWE's Hall of Fame with Bill Mercer was such a big thing for all of us," she said. "We were all so proud. My son. I'm still young, so I know there's highlights to come."

RELATED LINKS

  • Lacey Von Erich photo gallery
  • Lacey Von Erich bio & story archive

    Dr. Mike Lano has been covering pro wrestling globally since 1966 as a reporter/historian/photographer and is at wrealano@aol.com.