Grit & Glitter is the weekly podcast dedicated to the power of women’s wrestling, hosted by Harley R. Pageot, Emily Fear, and their team of correspondents known as The Glitterati. “The Glitter Buzz” is an irregular feature here at Bell To Belles where Harley interviews various wrestlers and wrestling media personalities around a different central theme. Your theme for August is… momentum.
Momentum is a tricky thing. So much of it seems outside of our control. If you’re working in the arts especially, whether it’s music or theater or pro wrestling or writing, you’re reliant on an audience. Some days it feels like you’re just being constantly tossed about by the whims of the universe, so much of your success hanging on a thread of luck. Just look at this feature. We started “The Glitter Buzz” back in June with a trio of strong interviews and I felt great. I headed into July with a list of names in mind for that month’s interviews and I felt confident that all of them would likely be up for it. But it didn’t work out that way. Emails went unanswered, optimistic messages disappeared into the void of the internet. It felt like all my momentum had crashed to a halt in an instant. In those moments it’s easy to let disappointment get the best of you. Admit defeat. Walk away. I’ve let it happen to me before. I never learned how to skateboard or play guitar. Early momentum hit a snag and it got in my head. I gave up. But nothing is ever a constant ascension. There are hills and there are valleys and there are periods of quiet where nothing much happens. Your momentum is gone. But maybe the only thing stopping it from returning is you. Get out of your head and get back to it. With a little bit of luck, the momentum will be back on your side in no time.
The midnight mermaid. The waifu that launched a thousand ships. When she’s not winning over young fans across Florida or making grown men simp for her at a PolyAm Cult Party, she’s probably underwater in search of her next conquest. She is the pretty guardian who fights for love and beauty. She is Aspyn Rose, and she’ll punish you with the power of love.
PAGEOT: After a show like a PolyCult Party, do you see an immediate bump in new social media followers?
ROSE: Oh yeah! I think when I did my first one (MV Young’s PolyAm Cult Party 3), within the span of a week or two, I gained almost a thousand followers just from that show.
And I mean that’s the goal, right?
Yeah, it was crazy.
It’s not about the performance. It’s not about building a résumé. It’s just the followers. Get those gains.
It’s so weird to me because going into that show, I was thinking of it as my WrestleMania weekend. I didn’t have anything for Tampa because any places that I was originally booked for, for what was supposed to be the first Mania weekend in Tampa, none of them were running because the vaccines weren’t pushed out in Florida yet. I couldn’t legally get mine until two weeks after Mania so I didn’t have any bookings. I went but I didn’t have any bookings. I didn’t actively try to get anything just because I didn’t want to get sick. And I had had this booking lined up for a while. I was like “I really don’t want to wrestle five people in a span of two days and get sick and not be able to do it.” So going into that, that was my Mania week. I’ve got new gear, I’ve got music, I’ve got everything. And it went so well. And now I’m on every show. And now it’s like my new home, because Florida kind of doesn’t like me a lot.
Florida sounds… interesting?… from the outside. I’m in Canada so it sounds especially interesting.
Oh god, yeah. Florida is… Florida. It sucks because I’ve told people that I would like to be able to do more around home but it’s either people who don’t want to go anywhere else besides Florida, and then knock on you for going outside of Florida, or it’s just actual terrible people who can’t wrestle anywhere else so they come here.
Do you have a home promotion?
Right now, technically, I would consider my home promotions in Florida to be either Ignite Wrestling or No Peace Underground. I won’t be at Ignite in September because I already took a booking for that day back in January and anything else that I was wrestling for hasn’t come back up running yet. Or, because of wrestling being wrestling, and sadly because of my #SpeakingOut thing, a lot of places here haven’t reached out to me since then.
Well, you’re three for three at PolyCult shows now.
Are you going to be at PolyAm Woodstock?
I am! I’m in a tag match. Me and Mikey Banker are making this thing, doing the dream team. MV’s kind of told me some ideas of who we’re going to wrestle but I can’t say anything yet. But me and Mikey will definitely be there, beating up some people.
It seems like most of the shows you wrestle in Florida are strictly against women.
For the most part, yeah. When I used to do Punk Pro Wrestling, who I will never wrestle for again, they were probably the one place that let me kind of wrestle whoever. But most places here are very “girls wrestle girls, guys wrestle guys, there’s no in-between.” Which sucks, because I literally go everywhere else and I don’t have that. Florida’s weird in that sense and still stuck back in the times. But everywhere else I go, it’s just whoever. I’ll wrestle a dog. I’ve wrestled a cat. I’ll wrestle a dragon. It doesn’t matter to me.
You grew up on the Divas era of WWE, right? That’s what got you into wrestling. It just seems like such a contrast because they were very much “You only wrestle models and you only wrestle three minutes at a time.”
When I got into wrestling, I was kind of a late bloomer. Really, I didn’t start watching wrestling until 2009 when I was just going into high school. So, as I was getting into it, everyday I would come home, do my homework, and then jump on my computer and go on YouTube and just type in “WWE Diva matches” and watch whatever showed up.
Was intergender wrestling something you aspired to from day one?
I don’t think I ever put it as a goal or anything but it was never something where I second-guessed it or was like, “Oh, wrestling dudes? I don’t know about that. That seems kind of weird.” I’ve just always been open to wrestling anyone. When I was training, there was only one other girl in my class so I had to get used to wrestling the guys, anyway. It didn’t bother me, but I don’t think it was anything I really actively thought of. It was just, “Whoever they book me to wrestle against, I’ll wrestle,” and that’s it.
How do you adapt to different opponents and different audiences? I’d imagine a simp scrumble match at the PolyAm Mansion takes a different approach than facing Kenzie Paige in Alabama.
The scrumble match was definitely different. Weirdly enough, I’ve been in a lot of scramble or multi-man matches but not necessarily like that one, where we were timing who was coming out. Especially since it was a new place that I hadn’t wrestled at, I didn’t really know how to go about it for the scrumble match. Whereas New South Pro Wrestling, it had been a few years but I’d wrestled there before so I kind of knew how the crowd was. Some of the places down here, like Ignite, because I’ve wrestled there so often, I know the crowd is more family-friendly. This is the town thing for the weekend and a lot of them aren’t super crazy indie wrestling fans. When I’m doing shows like that, it’s gearing more towards an over the top character, big moves that I know they’ll know of even if they’re not super into wrestling, just being something memorable, regardless of whether it’s moves or the way I look. Because who knows if they’ll be at the next show, or if they’re actually going to remember someone’s specific name? I just try to do something memorable enough to where they’ll remember me, regardless of what the show is.
Do you find a lot of kids really resonate with you because of your name or your look?
Oh yeah! Even from the beginning, when I wasn’t a full-blown anime character, just being a wrestling mermaid had a lot of kids really liking me, even if I had to be a bad guy. If I ever had little, little kids coming up to me, I would be nice to them but try to make it like it’s our secret, don’t tell anybody, so they would feel really special. Especially now, doing the whole anime thing, I think it’s widened my audience. Now I get not just little kids but older teenagers who are super into anime and manga. Even if they’re not watching wrestling all the time, they see that I’m dressed as some anime character and they immediately know what it is.
The theme this month is momentum. What are the moments when you feel like “this is it, it’s happening”?
Oh, definitely after PolyAm Cult Party 3 for sure. Now that I’m actively getting back into wrestling and taking bookings again, it’s been crazy. I was just telling someone the other day, as of right now I have bookings all the way out to November. And I think the only thing I have in Florida will be No Peace since I won’t be at the next Ignite Wrestling show. Obviously I’ll be at Woodstock in a couple weeks. I have some dates lined up in Texas that I’m waiting for them to announce. And I’ll be in a women’s tournament in Mississippi in September.
Besides going to the gym or training in the ring, what are some ways that you work toward being the best wrestler you can be?
Surprisingly enough, my shoot job helps with that. I work in a pet store so it probably sounds kind of weird saying that but I do have to unload truck and do things like that. During the pandemic I was an essential worker, so I was working all the time. I was working full-time hours, even though I was a part-time worker, and I definitely think having that year straight of just working non-stop has helped keep me in shape when I wasn’t wrestling. And then coming home and playing video games or watching anime just gives me more ideas for my character.
After a big trending moment, do you feel a pressure to keep it going? “Don’t let up, can’t slow down, don’t drop the ball now.”
Definitely, for sure. I did the PolyAm show, then I had New South, and then a local show here and I wasn’t completely happy with the match here. I thought I could have done better. I thought the match could have gone better and I kind of beat myself up for it because I was on such a roll. But I think, regardless, you’re always going to go through feelings like that as a wrestler. I feel like if you don’t have moments where you think you need to improve on something or get better, then I don’t know what we’re doing here. You’re just at a stalemate and it’s like how do you keep going up if you don’t think there’s anything you can improve on?
In any type of art, whether it’s performing arts or visual arts or whatever, it feels like complacency is the enemy.
And there’s always that thing that I’ve heard of in wrestling from people. If you’re not nervous going out, then maybe that’s a time to rethink it. I usually don’t get nervous until after I’ve made my entrance and I’m in the ring, waiting for the match to start. Then I start thinking about everything. But it all settles down once we actually start beating each other up. I don’t think you need to beat yourself up all the time because obviously, if you’re getting booked, there’s something that you’re doing right. But we also need to be introspective and make sure that we’re constantly improving ourselves too.
What does success look like to you?
To me, it would be where I can solely rely on wrestling for an income. At the end of wrestling, I want to be able to take care of my mom and buy her a house and all that. Wrestling success for me is just making that my living. My main thing that I want to do is to wrestle in Japan but, other than that, as long as I can keep wrestling until my body literally tells me I can’t, I’ll be happy.
Is there a joshi promotion that you particularly love the most?
I’ve always liked Stardom. I started watching some Big Japan Pro Wrestling. I don’t think I would end up doing that. I’ll do some death match things here and there but I don’t think I could ever go that drastic. But I do like watching them so it would definitely be fun to at least go to one of those shows while I was there. DDT I think would be fun too, especially character-wise I think I’d have a lot of fun there.
If you were to debut in Stardom, which faction would you be in?
This is like the Harry Potter “Which house are you?” question.
Honestly, just because I’ve been a fan since day one, it would be Oedo Tai. When I first started getting into joshi wrestling, Act Yasukawa was my absolute favorite and she was one of the original members. That would definitely be it.
What’s your favorite Studio Ghibli movie?
All-time, growing up, it was definitely Kiki’s Delivery Service. I started watching that when I was super little. But now, if I had to pick, I think I would pick Howl’s Moving Castle.
Before I was prepping this interview, I was going to ask your favorite Sailor Scout but then I listened to you on Ella Jay’s A Wrestling Gal podcast from last year and I was like, “Ah! She already answered it. She said Venus.”
And then you also said you love Chibiusa and I thought about canceling this interview.
No! I mean, when I started watching Sailor Moon, I was really little. I don’t even remember how I was able to watch it because it was big but it wasn’t super, super big. But being a little kid and watching Sailor Moon, I just related a lot to Chibiusa because she was also a little kid. Plus, being a little kid, she was covered in pink and had pink hair. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Now that I actually watch it again and see all their different personalities, yeah, Venus is definitely my favorite.
See, I’m watching it for the first time now in my thirties and, oh my god, Chibiusa makes me… She’s the Scrappy-Doo. Every episode I just want to turn it off.
I mean definitely now looking back on it, she’s a little bit annoying. But when you’re a four- or five-year-old kid and there’s some little girl who’s probably only a couple years older than you and she’s covered in pink and glitter and has pink hair, it was kind of the coolest thing ever.
What’s your favorite pokémon?
It’s a very random answer. I literally just pick it because I think he’s cute, but my favorite pokémon is aipom. I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone who would pick aipom as their favorite but just the way he looks is cute. And the one episode where Ash finds him. I’ve always liked that episode. I just like aipom. I think he’s adorable.
Are you familiar with the wrestler Space Monkey?
Now I have a new dream tag team because he’s basically aipom.
Yes! That would be perfect.
Alright, we’ll work on making that happen. Last question: who’s next to simp for Aspyn Rose?
Oh man. Technically I think that would be a question for MV because he just books all these people to simp for me. It’s kind of great. But if I had to pick, I mean the dream scenario would be Minoru Suzuki or someone like that. But then I’d probably also die so I don’t know if I want that completely. I’m going to have to pick AKIRA. That’s my choice. There it is. I’m going to make him admit it at some point. Maybe at Woodstock.
Oh, he’s going to be there, isn’t he?
And history tells us anything can happen at Woodstock.
Exactly. I mean I already have the shortest match ever. Good ol’ Scotty the commentator from PolyAm Cult Party timed it for me and it was a whopping 19 seconds. Technically not the shortest match in history but it’s on the list. Realistically, I would want to try and make it a little bit shorter and slowly have the shortest match ever. That would be kind of cool. But going down in the history books for the world’s first I Simp match in wrestling is also pretty awesome.
Follow Aspyn Rose on Twitter @aspynthemermaid!
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