April 24, 2010
Ottawa's SheNayNay looks to lay the Smackdown on wrestling world
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
When Athanasia Alexopoulos got a call from WWE, asking her to appear on a Smackdown! card last October in Rochester, she was excited.
It was a dream come true for the Ottawa native.
Wrestling as Jenny Brooks and billed as being from Elmira, N.Y., she “jobbed” to Beth Phoenix.
With Smackdown! coming to Ottawa on May 18, Alexopoulos would love to step into a WWE ring again. It’s all part of her plan. She wants to get better.
She wants to be the best.
Wrestling as SheNayNay, she’s built up an impressive in-ring resume. She recently returned from a tour of Korea, which included rasslers such as Raven, Scotty 2 Hotty, Eugene and Billy Gunn. And she did matches for SHIMMER, which features many of the top women’s wrestlers. And she had a bit part in Sacrifice, a movie being shot in Ottawa.
Not bad for the bank customer service rep by day, who has long had a deep passion for the theatrics and physicality of wrestling.
“When I got the call for Smackdown!, I was stunned. I was so happy,” says Alexopoulos. “Whether I won or lost, whether I’m getting squashed or beating the hell out of another girl, it was something I’d dreamed about doing.
“My plan is to wrestle for WWE. But in the meantime, I’m getting wrestling experience. I’m looking to expand my opportunities.”
In the near future, she’s booked for the June 5 NCW Femmes Fatales show in Montreal.
From behind a counter, in the bank, she doesn’t look the part of a wrestler.
“People say, you’re a wrestler? You should be a model or something,” she says. “I understand that I’m not exactly a prototype. But I have something to offer to the WWE universe. If I was a prototype, I’d be just like all the others.
“When I get into the ring, I’ll work as either a heel or face. I’ve been told I’m a natural heel, but I’ll do what the promoter wants. You have to believe in your character to get the fans to believe in you.”
The daughter of Hyacinth and George Alexopoulos, who wanted her to become a doctor or lawyer, Athanasia took to wrestling along with her sister, Annastasia.
“She loved Bret Hart and Sunny. Her goal was to be a manager,” says Athanasia, who was a city champ in her weight class, then advanced to OFSAA on her high school wrestling team at Woodroffe. She later graduated from Notre Dame High School. “I was more attracted to the physicality of wrestling.”
And that passion for wrestling has never wavered.
WWE releases seven
Sad to report WWE has released Mickie James (a personal favourite), Katie Lea Burchill, Kung Fu Naki, Slam Master J, Jimmy Wang Yang, Shelton Benjamin and Mike Knox.
RVD takes title
Rob Van Dam won the TNA heavyweight title from AJ Styles on Impact. At TNA’s Lockdown pay-per-view, Kazarian won the X Division title, while Madison Rayne won the Knockouts belt.
Tim Baines is the Sports Editor for the Ottawa Sun and can be emailed at Tim.email@example.com.