Trisa Laughlin, the longtime star of Extreme Championship Wrestling, wife of Tommy Dreamer, published author and mom, actually got her first taste of professional wrestling north of the border in Canada.
“I have a sister who’s three years older than I am, and we would take trips,” Trisa said recalling her teenage years. “We would just take state maps — we would pick what state we wanted to go to — and we just closed our eyes and we’d point, and whatever major city was close to our fingers, that’s where we would go,” she added in a telephone interview days before her final wrestling appearance at House of Hardcore 7.
“We ended up in Cincinnati, Ohio. And while I was in Cincinnati, I ended up meeting (the late) Brian Pillman, who at the time was playing for the Cincinnati Bengals. We became friends. He ended moving up to Calgary (because) he was going to play football up there,” Trisa explained. “And he, of course, got associated with the Harts and went into wrestling.”
While visiting Pillman in Calgary, Trisa got her first taste of the business, not long after Pillman did.
“I played his sister for a few days up there,” Trisa recalled. “That was kind of fun. That was my introduction to wrestling.”
That’s not to say that Trisa was a neophyte when it came to the world of professional wrestling. Far from it, in fact.
“I watched with my dad,” Trisa answered when asked if she was a wrestling fan as a child. “I didn’t watch by myself, but my dad used to watch Georgia Championship Wrestling, with Gordon Solie, who I used to think was the most amazing announcer ever, of course until I met Joey Styles,” she added. “I loved Gordon Solie and Georgia Championship Wrestling. After that, it went to my dad watching NWA.” She would also attend a couple of live events with her father.
“I never really thought I was ever going to end up in wrestling, so that was kind of a surprise. But it was a good surprise, because otherwise I wouldn’t have met my husband and had my wonderful children,” she said, referring to their twin daughters, now 10.
While unknowingly planting the seeds for a future in wrestling, it wasn’t until a chance encounter with former Major League Baseball player Ron Gant while working for the legendary musician Prince that fate intervened in Trisa’s life and steered her down destiny’s path.
“I was in Miami during Super Bowl one year,” Trisa recalled, “and I used to do rhythmic gymnastics, which (featured) long ribbons. Prince had these nightclubs called Glam Slam, so I was hired to do these gymnastic ribbons. There was a stage and everybody would dance to the techno music they were playing. They would shut off all of the lights on the stage except for black lights. You couldn’t see me, but you could see my ribbons flowing to the music.”
It was there that Trisa met Gant, who played 16 seasons in the majors.
“He introduced to me to Raven,” Trisa said, referring to the famed wrestler with whom Dreamer and Trisa’s wrestling alter ego, Beulah McGillicutty, have a long and storied history.
“(Raven) was like, ‘Hey, with a gymnastics background, did you ever think about getting into wrestling?’ I go, ‘Funny story, I knew Brian Pillman.’ Blah, blah, blah, he and I started talking and he put me in touch with Paul E. (Heyman) and that’s how I got hired.” Continue reading »