INDIE’d had a special guest this week!
I was joined by Billie Starkz. We sat down and talked about everything from her training, recent matches, wearing Birkenstocks in the gym, her upcoming match with Miyu Yamashita at Garden State Pro Wrestling, and SO MUCH MORE!
The full transcript is below:
Mike Hamley: Welcome to another episode of INDIE’d, the independent podcast about independent wrestling. I’m Mike Hamley, your host as always. I’m the only one ever. I’m the only one who does the show. We’re joined by a very special guest today. One of the brightest lights in the wrestling, the reigning Girl Fight champion, the first and only 2econd Wrestling champion, she goes by a bunch of names, Space Jesus, Pizza Cat Jr., Bully, Billiam, I don’t think I’ve even touched ’em all there, but yeah, got the one and only Billie Starkz joining us today. Welcome to the show.
Billie Starkz: Thanks for having me.
Mike Hamley: First off, how do you end up with so many nicknames?
Billie Starkz: So, it just, ever since I started wrestling that people just have given me cute little nicknames and I’m like, oh, I’ll take it and just ran with it, and a lot of them are just like jokes about other people that I’m like, oh, that’s funny, I’m stealing it.
Mike Hamley: Nice. Nice. I’d imagine the list, it’s like, you’re like Jericho holding the list at this point trying to read them all off.
Billie Starkz: Yeah, like what one do I feel like doing today?
Mike Hamley: That’s good though. That’s good. You got options to draw from, right?
Billie Starkz: Yes.
Mike Hamley: So a little bit of background info. You are 17. You’re in your fourth year of wrestling now?
Billie Starkz: Yes.
Mike Hamley: You’re from Kentucky?
Billie Starkz: Yes. Louisville.
Mike Hamley: All right. Cool, good job. Good job internet. You help me out.
Billie Starkz: And most of the time the internet botches it, so I was very shocked that you got ’em all right. Yeah.
Mike Hamley: Gotta do the research, gotta do the research. So kind of just speed round through your background in wrestling and there’s, you know, some more current stuff I’d like to ask you about. But like, you know, let’s get into the history a little bit. When did you not like wanna become a wrestler, but when did you just become like a fan of wrestling? Like, what was the thing that you’re like, “That’s cool!”?
Billie Starkz: Uh, just watching wrestling and it like clicked for me that I could do it when I went to my first independent show, which was like a D1W show, um, I believe it was in the Colgate Gym, and I just loved it and I was like, this is great, this is what wrestling should be, and that’s when it clicked for me that I was like, oh, I can do this. Like, I can become a professional wrestler, and that’s when I fell in love, and I was like, I’m a fan!
Mike Hamley: That’s really cool that it happened at an indie show, cause like for most people you’d think it’d be like, “Oh, I saw Jeff Hardy like jump off a ladder and do something crazy”, and it’s, you know, for you, it was like the, the relatability of like “I could do that” was kind of the thing that led you into it. So you started training. How long did you start training, like, because you had your first match pretty quick into your training, didn’t you?
Billie Starkz: I did because I started training in May and had my first match in October of the same year. It was very, very quickly.
Mike Hamley: Whoa!
Billie Starkz: Cause I remember that like my first match happened on October 13th and it was Friday the 13th and I don’t know why, but it’s always been like stuck in my brain. I was like, “Haha! This was my debut.”
Mike Hamley: Where did you train? Like who did you train under and where at?
Billie Starkz: I trained in Jeffersonville, Indiana at the arena, Underground House, and they had a few different trainers, but the one that helped me out the most was Aaron LeMatta.
Mike Hamley: Nice. Nice. So like, wrapping up on the training – is there anything that, like you learned kind of early on in your training that’s something that’s just like practically, like something that stuck with you now that you can like kind of, you know, practice and apply to everything still?
Billie Starkz: Literally just cardio, cardio and cardio. I felt like that was like one of the most important aspects, cause it’s like mind over body. Like you can keep going, even though you don’t think you can and my trainer was very good about like keeping all the wrestlers in shape and it was like, even if you’re on a lower level or a higher level, cardio still sucks for everybody, and it’s what everybody needs.
Mike Hamley: For sure. You gotta have a motor. You hit the corner, you like, you hit the ropes and the corners quick too, so like you’re you gotta, gotta stay on top of that for sure I’d imagine. So kind of jump ahead a little bit, I did know obviously watch some other interviews that you’ve done kind of just to, you know, get a little, get a little prep work in, and I know in one interview I saw that you’d mentioned, uh, like watching wrestling as a fan. It’s kind of tricky, like when you’re wrestling to watch wrestling as a fan, because then you just end up kind of like analyzing and dissecting everything?
Billie Starkz: Yeah. It becomes like tape study at that point. It’s like, I can’t focus on anything.
Yeah! Is there a particular style or wrestler that you like go out of your way to watch and study?
Ooh, so I love just European wrestling and I love joshi wrestling, so any like quick pace, like joshi wrestling, where it’s just run spot, run, spot, run spot, I really enjoy watching that and breaking it down and I’m like, “Oh if they’re doing this move here, what could I replace it with that fits my move set?”, and then I love just European wrestling cause the chain wrestling and everything flows really well together, and I love just watching Millie McKenzie. She’s like one of my favorites and she’s always had like, a very strong personality that I’ve connected to.
Mike Hamley: Nice, nice. So with that studying of wrestling, is there an example kind of, of something common that you see while you’re watching wrestling that, uh, I guess one thing you like seeing and wanna see more of and then something else that you kind of dislike or wish people wouldn’t do so often?
Billie Starkz: I love pacing, like the pacing of different matches. I feel like it’s super important and tells a really good story and you don’t even have to do very much. It’s just controlling like the emotions of the crowd just by how quickly or how slowly you’re moving, and just seeing different wrestlers who have different paces, how they match up together.
One pet peeve. I just, I hate it so much, is when people get like shot off the ropes, the person who’s like pulling them, their arm is weak and then the same thing with like, when they shoot ’em off, there’s no pull and they also don’t go to like the center of the ring at all. They’re still standing over by the ropes and I’m like, “Please, please pull this person with your body and see how hard it truly is.”
Mike Hamley: Those are like, yeah, that that’s some small detail stuff too that I feel like I’d never noticed myself. I’m not gonna be able to unsee it now after this interview. I’m gonna be watching wrestling and gonna be like, “Yeah, you barely touched ’em.
Billie Starkz: It’s wrestling. We gotta get used to it.
Mike Hamley: For sure. Honestly, there’s some much more complainable things than that, so I’ll, uh, I’ll save my scrutiny for the obvious ones.
Getting back to your wrestling. What led to the Swanton being your finish?
Billie Starkz: So during the quarantine, I got bored and was like, I wanna do a 450 and proceeded to do 450’s and I hate them cause I have no control. I can do it. Doesn’t mean I want to. Then I just started working on the Swanton and making it like mine and pretty as possible. So I decided that it was gonna become my finisher, cuz I was like “Screw 450’s cause they’re scary.” I like Swantons cause it’s more of a fall and I have more control. I was like, “If they roll out, I can still reach ’em. If they roll in, I can still reach them.” With a 450, they have to be in the perfect spot or you’re getting knees to the face or I scorpion myself.
Mike Hamley: For sure. That’s weird to me that you’d say that the Swanton is like less scary than the 450 cause, like, you have such a late rotation on yours, and it looks so awesome, but it’s basically a head first dive until the rotation.
Billie Starkz: But I enjoy it cause I can see where I’m going the entire time. With the 450 my rotation’s so quick that I feel like I’m just giving myself whiplash.
Mike Hamley: True. That’s interesting. I’ve never actually heard the wrestler’s side of anything like that. Like from the viewer’s standpoint, it’s just, “Oh my God. That’s a head first dive and then a quick, late rotation. That looks terrifying.”
Billie Starkz: See, I feel like moonsaults are scarier cause when I can’t see where my opponent is and when I’m going backwards, I’m like, “Oh no, where am I?”
Mike Hamley: Oh yeah! Anything backwards just seems crazy to me, but that’s why I talk about wrestling on the internet and don’t actually do it because I couldn’t even put myself up on the second or third rope.
All right. I have less of a question and more of a comment here, but your entrance music – Aliens Exist. Enema Of The State is one of my favorite albums, so I just wanted to say good choice. I love that song.
Billie Starkz: I just love Blink-182, but it’s kind of like ruined it for me because I have to hear this song all the time now I’m like, “Oh, skip.” I can’t listen to it in my car, just trying to enjoy life cause I feel like I get in wrestler mode and I was like, “No, we are not wrestling right now. I do not need to be listening to Aliens Exist.”
Mike Hamley: Just get the instant pump up of adrenaline whenever the song comes on, I guess, yeah?
Billie Starkz: It’s like, “Okay it’s go time!” That’s what it feels like every time I hear it.
Mike Hamley: Nice. Alright so, I wanna dive into a couple of recent tweets, cause you have some funny ones out there. Um, I guess we’ll go pretty recent. Talk about wearing Birkenstocks in the gym.
Billie Starkz: Um, so I work out at a boxing and kickboxing place. So before that I went to go try to do kickboxing, and if you saw earlier, on my Twitter feed, I have a very bruised leg. So I don’t know where my smart brain just decided “Yeah, I can still kick box when my leg is black and blue,” and I could not. So I decided to go lift weights and I had my Birkenstocks, so I just slipped on my socks and started lifting.
Mike Hamley: Socks and ‘Stocks in the gym. We’re setting fashion trends. It’s gonna be happening now. I saw Trey Miguel giving you a bit of a hard time about the Jordans in the gym too.
Billie Starkz: It’s cause he’s seen me for a couple of weekends and I’ve just been a menace with my shoes. I was like, “Here’s my black Air Forces, here’s Birkenstocks,” and he’s like, “What are you doing right now? What is this vibe?”
Mike Hamley: Air Forces seem like they’d be at least somewhat sensible gym attire, more than Birkenstocks.
Billie Starkz: Not for the gym, it was just for a wrestling show. I was like, “Hmm, I’m feeling the black forces today.
Mike Hamley: So the next one I wanted to mention was “Ziplining with mom.”
Billie Starkz: Oh yeah.
Mike Hamley: One – how was the zip lining? But two – why does Sawyer Wreck have honorary mom status?
Billie Starkz: Because I just love her so much, and I joke d this weekend that she was my lesbian mom. I just love her and she’s always taking care of me. I got to drive around with her and go zip lining, and we had shows together this weekend. But the zip lining was very fun. I haven’t done it in a very long time, and it was the first time that I’ve done, like the long zip line. Sawyer went before me and I watched her disappear in the darkness cuz the cave – it was in a cave, so you can’t see anything, and she made the line just go bounce, bounce and she disappears. I was like, “Oh no, I have to go next,” and I begin zip lining and I thought I was gonna hit – they put like a mattress on the wall. I thought I was gonna just ram right into the mattress.
Mike Hamley: Oh, man, like I’m already like afraid of heights, so just the idea of ziplining is horrifying, but then adding the “Can’t see where you’re going into a cave at night kind of thing to it.” That’s just…
Billie Starkz: It was a different type of level. It was like, “Let me test like all of my fears right now.” We zip lined over three canyons at one point and I was like, “This is so cool, but at the same time, I’m terrified.”
Mike Hamley: Suddenly 450’s are not so scary. The last one I wanna get to is, uh, the bucket of soup incident.
Billie Starkz: It’s not an incident. It was a full blown decision that I made.
Mike Hamley: A lifestyle choice for the bucket of soup.
Billie Starkz: So I texted my parent, Mouse, and I was like, “Mouse, uh, I’m hungry. Are you gonna feed me?” and he was like, “Well, I already ate, so you can go get your food,” and I go, “Okay, I’m feeling soup. I’ll be back later. I’m gonna go get some soup,” and I proceeded to get on Olive Garden’s website and order a gallon of soup that came in a bucket. Drove 30 minutes there. Got it. Drove home, and my mom was back home and she was like, “Oh, I want dinner. Is this soup for everybody?” and I was like, “No, this soup is for me.” and I proceeded to grab a spoon and sit at my dining room table and eat a half gallon of soup and ate the other half the next day.
Mike Hamley: Okay, well, that answers like my follow up question of how long does it take you to eat a whole gallon of soup? I didn’t even know that was like a serving option, I guess that’s that’s intended for like parties or families or something.
Billie Starkz: Probably like catering or a family pack, and I decided, “No, I’m the family today. I’m going to eat this gallon of soup.”
Mike Hamley: Man. That’s a lot. Yeah. That’s just a lot of soup. So, I had Scott from West Coast Pro on here a couple days ago and we were kind of talking about the youth in wrestling right now, cause obviously Starboy Charlie, Titus Alexander and Nick Wayne are pretty regular with West Coast Pro…
Billie Starkz: mm-hmm
Mike Hamley: …and he made it a very specific point to also shout you out, which is absolutely correct. I don’t think you can talk about, you know, young people doing big things in wrestling right now without mentioning your name – you’re right at the forefront of that movement. When you’re first coming into a locker room, what’s the atmosphere typically like when you’re in a room full of folks that are like 10 to 30 years older than you, and you know, some of them have been doing this for like longer than you’ve been alive?
Billie Starkz: I just think of it as another family gathering where you don’t know most of them and you’re just going around and saying, “Hello.”
Mike Hamley: Nice. Obviously, through being in a lot of these locker rooms you’ve encountered some veterans and legends of the industry. Is there any wisdom any of them have imparted on you that really resonates and sticks with you?
Billie Starkz: One thing that like someone said to me, that sticks with me, like every day, even outside of wrestling is just “Being a good person gets you so much further than just being a bad person. If you’re a good person, people wanna help you. They want to continue being around you and just want the best for you,” and I don’t know why, but like ever since I heard that I was like, I just have to be a good person and good things come. I’m very hippy sometimes, and I’m like “Karma exists and good karma receives good karma, bad karma receives bad karma.”
Mike Hamley: Absolutely, a firm believer in the power of positivity, it’s, uh, kind of a focal point of the show is we just talk about all the stuff we like, and we don’t even give time to things that we don’t wanna talk about , you know, it’s a good way to live life. I’m Canadian, so I feel you on the being nice to people.
How does it make you feel when you see not just your own accolades and accomplishments, but like of guys like Charlie and Nick and all the young people taking over in wrestling right now?
Billie Starkz: I absolutely love it and I think it’s so empowering to see other people like me, just young and youthful in wrestling, uh, just killing it. Like Nick Wayne gets to wrestle Will Ospreay and Charlie just came back from his injury. I’m so excited for both of them. I wanted to be there for Nick Wayne’s match versus Ospreay, but sadly, I have a show. I was like, “Nick, you have to kill it, or I’m gonna be very disappointed,” and he was like, “I got you, Bill.” He also got his braces off today and I used to be a braces kid. So I was like, “Nick Wayne’s gonna smile for once. I can’t wait.”
Mike Hamley: Good timing for that too, cause I’d imagine he is gonna do a lot of it on Sunday. Like, just naturally walking around with one.
I think in order to achieve any kind of accomplishment or success at such a young age, there has to be like a level of dedication and hard work that goes into it. I was 17 once and I definitely had dreams about what I wanted to do, but, you know, without doing that kind of work, you don’t get really close to living them, let alone in your case actually doing it. So what kind of work goes in behind the scenes that people aren’t aware of and if there’s anyone you wanna shout out for their help, who are we shouting out?
Billie Starkz: I will shout out all of my friends and family for dealing with my shenanigans. My mom helps me so much with merch. She put in my order for t-shirts when I was like, “Hey, I’m running low and I’m not home. Can you please talk to my t-shirt guy and get these ordered?” and before I hopped on here, I was wrapping up, t-shirts putting on sizes and trying to get it all organized for this weekend, and she also just stays on top of me about like, “Get these promos done,” and then my little brother will help fill my promos and I am very lucky that I have such a great support system.
Mike Hamley: That’s awesome. Your schedule’s gotta be pretty crazy I’d imagine. Or in the summer, probably not too bad, but like during school –
Billie Starkz: I get more sleep during the summer for sure cause I don’t have school in the mornings, but it’s still pretty crazy cause I was up by nine-ish, nine, ten, and then had to run and go to the gym, lift, get my car washed so it doesn’t suck when I have to travel in it this weekend. Still busy as ever.
Mike Hamley: The work never stops, but with all the juggling in terms of your schedule and your personal life as well, just with training and stuff like that – what do you do to unwind in your free time?
Billie Starkz: I’m a big video game person, and I also just love my bunny. Good old Thumper. He’ll hang out with me. He let me brush his hair yesterday, which I was surprised. He usually doesn’t. That means it’s getting a little hot. He needs to get rid of some of it.
Mike Hamley: Bunnies are awesome. I’ve lived in houses with a couple. I’ve never owned one myself, but like when they get to the point where they’re just free roaming around your house and they’re like comfortable with everything and you just pick ’em up, those are awesome.
Billie Starkz: It’s the best. He still is grumpy when I pick him up, but he’ll hop on my bed and then lay there and I’m like, “Oh, you’re being so nice.”
Mike Hamley: What video games are particularly keeping you busy right now?
Billie Starkz: I’m a big Call of Duty fan, and I was on Fortnite for a bit. I just like the no build option. For some reason I was like, “Oh, this is kind of fun. I actually enjoy when people aren’t just spaming blocks”
Mike Hamley: I gotta try it since that, like, that’s the thing that drove me away from it was like seeing somebody put a castle up in front of me in like two seconds and I’m just sitting there, like, “I think I can get a wall.”
Billie Starkz: Yeah. It was like, “How do I build again?”
Mike Hamley: When you were first getting into wrestling, you were also doing some photography. Do you still keep up with that at all?
Billie Starkz: Not really. Sometimes I’ll mess with Mouse when he’s editing photos and getting pictures done for shows and he’ll show me a couple different, like, “Oh, I wanna edit the photo like this or this.” and I was like, “Oh, I like this edit better than this one.”
Mike Hamley: For sure. So I was getting ready to do this interview last night, and I was doing some research and watching some matches, and my daughter walked in the room. She’s 10 and has no interest in wrestling whatsoever. Like she couldn’t care less and it sucks. I just wanna sit down and watch an episode of Dynamite with her or something, you know. So I’m doing some research on you last night and she walks in, I think I had your match from Game Related or Ill Mannered. West Coast Pro – the three way with Dark Sheik and Shazza. I had that on and she actually sat down and was like, “Oh!” Like, she was fascinated by you. So she paid attention to three minutes of a wrestling match, which is more than I’ve probably got in two years out of her.
Billie Starkz: I love that I was there for the moment.
Mike Hamley: It kind of brings me to another story though. We here at Bodyslam have a very young correspondent named Lucy. About a year ago you met Lucy at a F1rst Wrestling show. She had her hair all done up in little knots and dyed blue. So I was talking to her dad and he mentioned you had like taken a picture with her, and then you’d sent her a birthday message and a shirt and stuff. How do these kind of experiences and interactions with young girls affect you and what do they mean to you?
Billie Starkz: It just reminds me from like, when I was in the same position as them and just – I love to see their happiness and their reactions to me, I guess, as narcissistic as that sounds. But at the same time, I don’t understand it because I’m like, why do you guys like me so much? I am just you in a few years. Just wait a few years and you’ll see.
Mike Hamley: Yeah, I think it’s really cool though. Like, it’s gotta be pretty wild to be 17 and then have people looking up to you and you’re still so young yourself, you know?
Billie Starkz: I was like, I don’t understand how I’m anybody’s role model. I’m still trying to figure my life out.
Mike Hamley: Yeah, look, I think you’re on the right track. You seem to be doing pretty all right so far.
Next thing I wanted to talk about is Big Starkz Brand. So some people think it’s a school. My understanding is it’s kind of like a network of friends that support each other through wrestling. What exactly is Big Starkz Brand first of all?
Billie Starkz: Currently Big Starkz Brand does not have a school. If we did have a school, it’d be the garage because we have a banner in there that says BSB Performance Center, and that’s where my ring is where I go roll around and do my shenanigans, but for some reason people thought we turned into a school. It’s not. It is just a group of friends that keeps getting bigger and bigger. I don’t know how, but it started during the quarantine. Mouse, who’s my dad, saw that I was just upset. I missed wrestling. I missed my friends and I just wanted to be in a ring and he made a joke that he was the LaVar Ball of wrestling, if you know what Big Baller Brand is, and joked that I’m the Melo and then he started talking crazy and was like “My kid’s the best wrestler, blah, blah, blah,” and I was like “Oh, my God.” But it made me smile and it was a good thing during like the quarantine that I needed cause it felt like “Oh, I’m back into wrestling. Like, here’s my people” and we just slowly started growing and growing, and it was just because we joked about it and was like “Here’s a arm band, here’s a knee sleeve” and then people actually started wearing them.
Mike Hamley: Yeah. I was gonna say the logo shows up everywhere in wrestling. Like, you can put on AEW and you see Dante Martin out there, and he’s got the knee band on. Then like, I’m watching Wrestling Open a few weeks ago Landon Hale shows up and I have no idea who he is, but I see the arm band and I’m just like “All right, I have a feeling I’m gonna enjoy this match.”
Billie Starkz: “This one’s gonna be good.”
Mike Hamley: It’s actually this kinda synonymous thing like “Okay, generally speaking, if I see this logo I’m gonna probably see a talented up and coming wrestler.” It’s kind of become this whole thing now. Did you ever think it would turn into that level of recognition?
Billie Starkz: I never thought it was going to be anything more than just a joke that happened during the pandemic, and now it’s just a thing that everybody pays attention to.
Mike Hamley: Okay. So if Mouse is LaVar and you are Melo, who’s Lonzo and who’s LiAngelo?
Billie Starkz: Ooh. So I think Tre Lamar is Lonzo. The one that got caught stealing. Mouse jokes all the time that that’s Tre and I think that’s hilarious. Then I think Cole Radrick is the other one.
Mike Hamley: The other one.
Billie Starkz: The other one. The forgotten child.
Mike Hamley: Oh man, Cole Radrick. I still have to reschedule one of these with him.
Alright, so I wanna get into some of your recent matches. First thing, it’s really cool seeing you show up now regularly on Uncharted Territory. It’s been like three outta the four last episodes. So what’s that experience been like?
Billie Starkz: It’s been really fun and it’s interesting not having school on a Monday and then being able to go wrestle.I just love the people down there. The TWE building is so nice. Everybody there just has great energy and is trying to kill it on a Monday night.
Mike Hamley: Yeah. You had a battle a couple weeks ago with Tank. I saw the match graphic and I’m like “What?!” Couldn’t believe the match. You guys were just beating the shit out of each other back and forth, and he said some really, really, really kind words about you at the end of the match.
Billie Starkz: For some reason, this man loves me so much and I don’t understand it. I was like “I looked up to this man,” and he’s just like “No, this kid’s great.”
Mike Hamley: It’s easily recognizable though, but when you have like revered figures, like Tank and other people giving you such strong praise how does that hit you?
Billie Starkz: It’s very surprising cause I just don’t understand why I get the love I do sometimes.
Mike Hamley: Okay. So by virtue of me being a Canadian, US regional geography is completely lost on me. Is Kentucky considered part of the south?
Billie Starkz: I consider Kentucky part of the midwest.
Mike Hamley: Midwest. Okay. I was wondering cause I’m like “It’s right there. It could go either way.”
Billie Starkz: Yeah.
Mike Hamley: That being said, I do have some questions about the south since Uncharted Territory is down there. I had Baron Black on here a few weeks ago and he was kind of talking about the south being slept on as far as wrestling goes. Do you agree with that sentiment?
Billie Starkz: I believe there was a time where the south wasn’t getting the attention it deserves, and thanks to like AC Mack holding the title and being a Southern wrestler, and then taking it to more Southern promotions and giving them attention from IWTV and getting Uncharted Territory there. I think it’s really shown off some of the Southern talent. But there’s so much more that’s going on down there that hasn’t been seen and that deserves more attention.
Mike Hamley: For sure, for sure. SCI actually that’s, you know, the big thing, the big event I would say in the south. You’re competing in that this year. You got a good first round match up with Robert Martyr.
Billie Starkz: Uhg, Robert Martyr.
Mike Hamley: Back to Uncharted Territory though, I think these weekly recurring shows are really cool, cause it’s it’s something that you don’t normally have in independent wrestling where you have, you know –
Billie Starkz: – a weekly product.
Mike Hamley: Yeah, exactly. It’s a lot harder to carry storylines over time in like a month to month basis. So the weekly format is cool. On your end of things, wrestling, what benefit is there on your side with experience and stuff that comes into getting a weekly recurring show like this?
Billie Starkz: Definitely the repetition. You get to work in front of the same people and you get to grow that fan base of “Oh, these people recognize me, cause I was literally here last week.” and just seeing the same people. You can kind of build your stories off of that. Like, “Oh, I can do this move set. Okay. Let’s give them something a little different, but still some of the old.”
Mike Hamley: Nice, nice. Have you been noticing some recurring… cause you’ve been there, what, three times now in the last like four weeks?
Billie Starkz: I believe so three, yeah.
Mike Hamley: So are you like noticing more engagement with certain people from the audience now that you’re returning week after week as well?
Billie Starkz: Yes, and I feel like they’re bringing more and more people in slowly. It’s like “Oh, I’m gonna tell my friend about you” and they come and then their friend’s gonna tell them about it.
Mike Hamley: That’s awesome. It’s like a weekly TV show, but like actually featuring independent wrestling. It’s super cool.
Some other matches that you’ve worked recently, that I kind of wanna talk about are a couple matches with Shazza McKenzie, you wrestled her a few times under tour over here.
Billie Starkz: Um, yes. I wrestled her a total of three times and I think I was like her most reoccurring opponent. She got stuck with me.
Mike Hamley: You were her last one, too, right?
Billie Starkz: I was, I was her very last opponent in America before she got kicked out.
Mike Hamley: Hopefully not for too long. She had some great matches while she was here. I hope she comes back. One of them being, I touched on it earlier, there was a triple threat you worked with Dark Sheik and Shazza for West Coast Pro. That was your first appearance for them too, right?
Billie Starkz: Yes, and that was my first time ever in California.
Mike Hamley: Scott! Smart man. Getting Billie out on the west coast. I have a feeling it won’t be your last time there. That match, I don’t know. That was just fun to watch. There was a like a double German suplex in that one, and then, well, there was the power bomb and German suplex out of the corner. You won the match by tombstoning Sheik onto Shazza. That was -.
Billie Starkz: It was a lot of shenanigans. A lot of people in moving parts.
Mike Hamley: Then you also got to work with Debbie Malenko recently.
Billie Starkz: Yes.
Mike Hamley: She’s had two singles matches since 2001. One of them was against Masha Slamovich, and one of them was against you.
Billie Starkz: Oh, I didn’t know that. I just watched the match versus Masha cause I knew Masha and her move set. So I was like “Oh, let me watch this match so I can understand what this girl does” and I had no clue. That’s kind of sick.
Mike Hamley: Yeah. You’re her second singles match in like 21 years, which is pretty crazy. She’s obviously a legend of the business and a pioneer of women’s wrestling. So, did she have any advice or words for you either before or after the match at all?
Billie Starkz: She was super easy to like, talk to about wrestling and when we had our match and came back she told me “Thank you” and that she had fun. But I’ve never had someone who I would talk to and it would just click automatically. It was like “Okay, sick, you do your thing here. I do my thing here.”
Mike Hamley: And that just happened with her?
Billie Starkz: Yeah.
Mike Hamley: That’s awesome. Another opponent that you’ve had some very entertaining matches with, one of which recently is a man we know as Effy.
Billie Starkz: Yes. That man, he tried to put me in time out.
Mike Hamley: You’re 2-0 on him though.
Billie Starkz: I am. I won twice. He is still defeated by all the children.
Mike Hamley: You guys, I don’t know, the dynamic that the two of you manage in your matches. He’s basically, you know, trying to steer you away from being a total POS and discipline you throughout the match. What’s putting a match together with Effy like?
Billie Starkz: Very spontaneous. I feel like that’s a good word to use, cause it’s very like, all over the place.
“Oh, I have to go sell merch. Okay. I’m gonna go sell merch.”
“Oh, let’s come back. Okay. I’m back.”
“Let’s do this. Okay.”
“Is there a chair? I don’t know. I’ll go look for a chair,” and I felt like that was our entire time. We were just bouncing back and forth.
Mike Hamley: And it all came together.
Billie Starkz: It slowly came together.
Mike Hamley: You watch the match and it’s like you sat there for hours working on it. Speaking of Effy, you also challenged Effy and Allie for the GCW tag titles recently with Marcus Mathers. I thought we were getting new tag team champions that day. There were some close near falls in that one. You guys bit me.
Billie Starkz: So close yet. So far.
Mike Hamley: So you’ve worked plenty of tags, plenty of trios matches and singles matches as well. Do you have a preference between them?
Billie Starkz: I honestly just enjoy all styles of wrestling. I’m having fun with doing tag team wrestling. I just don’t get to do it on a more consistent basis so I can be better at it, but I also just enjoy being in a singles cause I feel like I have so much more control and I don’t have to rely on another person. That’s my control freak coming out for a second, cause it’s like “I want wrestling to be perfect.”
Mike Hamley: Do you have like a dream tag team partner like “I’d love to just if me and this person could be a tag team, let’s go!”
Billie Starkz: Ooh, so many names come to mind, but like who? I don’t know. I feel like I would have a really great time with Billy Tipton, who I got to tag with at Uncharted Territory if I got to do it more.
Mike Hamley: Bills Getting Paid! Absolutely.
Billie Starkz: Yes! He was so easy to work with, and at the same time he’s such a big character and it covers up for me not being such a big character.
Mike Hamley: That was a really good match, too. For those of you that are watching this live it was Uncharted Territory episode four. It was Bills Getting Paid and you took on Kenzie Page and Drake…
Billie Starkz: Hunter Drake.
Mike Hamley: Hunter Drake. Thank you. A lot of the name Drake in wrestling. Alright. I saved the one I wanted to talk about most for last. You had an awesome match at Tyler’s Day Off with Willow Nightingale. Some new entrance music for that one too.
Billie Starkz: It’s all about winning at Black Label. Can’t ever lose.
Mike Hamley: Just gotta win. Whatever it takes. Play possum in the corner if you have to.
Billie Starkz: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Mike Hamley: No, no. It was a legit injury, that was.
Billie Starkz: Yeah. My ankle hurt so bad.
Mike Hamley: Yeah, big time, big time. You’re always at Black Label now. Do you have a promotion you consider like a home promotion?
Billie Starkz: There’s like a few places that I consider my home promotions. Black Label’s one of them. St. Louis Anarchy is definitely one, and Girl Fight. They’ve just been around since when I started and have seen me go from like Purple Hair Bill to Blue Hair Bill to whatever I am now.
Mike Hamley: Getting back to the match with Willow too, she’s kind of having a crazy trajectory in 2022. How well do you know her and what’s that been like seeing her take off the way she has?
Billie Starkz: I ran into Willow a couple of times, but that was the first time we’ve ever gotten to wrestle at all, and it was very fun to be in the ring with her, cause I won. But I think she’s an amazing wrestler and she’s killing it on the independents right now, and I loved her promo that she did last night. Was it last night? Yeah, AEW. I was like “Time fades together sometimes.”
Mike Hamley: Yeah, it’s understandable. Props you for knowing what day of the week it is, honestly. But yeah, that was pretty cool. She got some mic time. That was nice to see.
So I do want to get into some of your upcoming matches and kind of just promote what you got coming up. So this weekend, you got the Dingo Invitational for St. Louis anarchy, right?
Billie Starkz: Yes, sir.
Mike Hamley: So that’s actually going to have happened by the time this airs, but, you know, hope that goes well for you. Hopefully by the time this airs I’ll get to add to the video description that I sat down with the Dingo Invitational winner. Got Marcus Mather’s All I Want next week. That’s Thursday, the 23rd. You’re wrestling Zoey Skye. That’s gonna be an exciting one.
Billie Starkz: I’m very excited about that, and that will be the first time me and Zoey Skye have ever wrestled.
Mike Hamley: Really? Wow.
Billie Starkz: Yeah.
Mike Hamley: Damn. A lot of first time matches.
Billie Starkz: I also get to wrestle Matt DeMorest for the first time on Sean Henderson’s All I Want, not All I Want… I’d Do Anything. That’s big grade. So two first time matches that weekend. I’m very excited.
Mike Hamley: All right, and then even that Sunday, too. That’s the H2O 6 year anniversary. There’s a four way match you’re in there.
Billie Starkz: Yep. All the wrestling.
Mike Hamley: Katalina Perez coming up at Freelance Underground in July.
Billie Starkz: That’s the first time ever match.
Mike Hamley: Another first time singles match the day after that with Dark Sheik. You’ve never had a one on one as far as I could find.
Billie Starkz: Yeah. We had a triple threat, but that’s all we’ve ever done.
Mike Hamley: What, Starrcast kinda near the end of July, but the one upcoming match of yours that I do really wanna ask you about is Garden State Pro Wrestling on July 23. You’re wrestling Janai Kai…and Miyu Yamashita!
Billie Starkz: Yesss! It’s gonna be so much fun. I’m so excited.
Mike Hamley: So when they asked you about doing their show, did they tell you like straight up it’s to wrestle Miyu Yamashita?
Billie Starkz: I was like “Hey, I see that you have some really cool talent on your show. I am available this date” and they’re like “Oh, we were thinking about messaging you. We were thinking about you or Janai.” and I was like “Okay, well, I’m here if you guys wanna use me” and they said “Okay, we’re gonna use you AND Janai” and I was like “Oh, so I’m gonna be wrestling Janai.” Then they added Miyu to our match, and I’m very, very excited. I can’t wait.
Mike Hamley: How much Miyu Yamashita have you just watched as a fan to begin with?
Billie Starkz: I watched a few of her matches. I watched her versus Allysin Kay – pinky girl, and I just love her kicks. Her kicks are so clean. It reminded me a lot of Janai.
Mike Hamley: And you get to take them soon.
Billie Starkz: Oh, no. I’m gonna get my freaking butt kicked.
Mike Hamley: Obviously Janai Kai is, uh, yeah, she’s like an anomaly. There’s not a lot of information like widely available about Janai Kai, but she just goes into a ring and just kicks the shit outta people. It’s crazy.
Billie Starkz: I love it.
Mike Hamley: And then last one I do have written down here. So you’ve got Robert Martyr in the first round of SCI on August 5th. You’re shaking your head. Why?
Billie Starkz: Just because it’s Robert Martyr. I have to shake my head. I just hear the name and immediately go no.
Mike Hamley: Ah, we like some Robert Martyr here on the show. You know, he’s another young name that is just tearing it up right now. Yeah. I guess a bit of an annoyance at times I suppose?
Billie Starkz: He’s a tiny little man that just runs around murdering people.
Mike Hamley: Just been a nuisance, eh? Alright, so that’s the bulk of my questions for you. Well actually, pretty much all of them. Before I do let you go though, one of the goals of the show is to highlight independent talent and promotions in North America around the world. Doesn’t matter where. So before we plug all your socials and say goodbye, I just wanna ask who are some wrestlers and promotions that you think people should be having their eyes on ASAP?
Billie Starkz: Ooh, definitely Titus Alexander. I think he’s killing it right now. Definitely deserves more attention. I love Sandra Moone. She’s like, one of the women that I would love to wrestle just all the time. Pay attention to Southern wrestling, cause they’re killing it right now. Tune in for Uncharted Territory. They’re working very hard on that product to make it just amazing, and yeah, I think that’s all I got.
Mike Hamley: Awesome. Big agree on Titus Alexander and Sandra Moon. Couple of west coasters. Titus, we regularly put him in the category of can’t believe you don’t know this guy’s name, you should learn this guy’s name. But Billie, let everyone know where they can find you.
Billie Starkz: You can find me at Billie Starks – B-I-L-L-I-E. And then Starkz – that’s S-T-A-R-K-Z, and that’s on everything: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. Yeah, come check my stuff out, and if you wanna check out any of my merchandise, it’s linked in my Twitter bio, or you can go to bigstarkzbrand.com.
Mike Hamley: Perfect. And all of those links will be in the video description below. Once again, Billie, thank you so much for being on the show. Had a great time.
I’ll be here every Tuesday for the most part, unless I’m getting my mouth ripped apart. [Mike had dental work scheduled for the following week, which is why this episode was pre-recorded.] So, you know, keep an eye on my Twitter, which is right there [points to on-screen Twitter handle].
Shit. I do this wrong every time. There we go. That’s the one. This will be coming out, uh, well, you’re watching this now. It’s Tuesday. Keep an eye out for an announcement for future episodes while I’m dealing with all the dental stuff. Thanks and have a great day everyone.
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