Wrestling

Interview with Professional Wrestler Alex Gracia

Alex Gracia has been wrestling for just over two years and she’s been making a name for herself since her debut match.

Gracia was born in San Antonio and she’s a graduate of the Texas Wrestling Academy, which produced star wrestlers such as Daniel Bryan, Brian Kendrick and Paul London.

“The Pink Dream” has wrestled for Stardom in Japan, CMLL in Mexico and many more promotions, including RISE, SHIMMER, Reality of Wrestling (owned by Booker T), where she was their Women’s champion.

The talented wrestler had a tryout for WWE in Orlando on April and has a chance to become the first-ever ROH Women’s World Champion as part of a sixteen-women tournament.

The promotion had to postpone the event because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so we will have to wait a bit longer to see how far Gracia can go.

She checked in with me to discuss her early life, her career and more.

Check our conversation in the transcript below:

How did you get started in wrestling?

Alex Gracia: After graduating from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX I did exactly what I was “supposed” to do. I got a full-time job a news station, while also working part-time and a sports radio station.

I had the degree and the drive to work my way up the ladder to eventually work as a sports reporter for a major company. Everything seemed great until it wasn’t.

After some time passed I started questioning what I was doing. I felt like I wasn’t being honest with myself and pursuing something that made life worthwhile for me. I eventually left my job and after about a year of still trying to figure out what was going on I decided to move back home and really go back to basics as to what I envisioned for my life.

Wrestling was something that always caught my attention, but never did I think that pursuing that as a career was a reality for me so I swept it under the rug.

While at home, it felt like wrestling was coming back into my life and I started thinking about the possibilities of actually giving it a shot.

Luckily for me, Texas Wrestling Academy, formerly known as Shawn Michael’s Wrestling Academy, was about thirty minutes down the road from where my family lived. It seemed too good to be true and too close not to finally give it a shot. My first day of training was September 11, 2017 and after that I never left.

Where did you grow up and what was it like?

I grew up in Schertz, TX which is a suburb outside of San Antonio, TX. I lived in a diverse community and went to a 4A high school.

I never realized how important it was to have that background of being surrounded by friends of all colors, shapes and sizes because it has taught me the importance of equality for all.

On top of the community where I grew up, my family on both my mom and dad’s side are big in numbers. My dad is one out of eight children and my mom is one out of four. I grew up living down the road from my grandparents and my mom’s sister’s family which I am very grateful for because we have been able to form close relationships which I know that not everyone gets to have with their family.

When I was seven years old I found my first love which was softball. I played all the way through my senior year of high school before I decided to hang up the cleats. I practiced 6-7 days a week and even had the opportunity to play with a few national teams.

Finding softball at such a young age and it having made the impact on me that it did, I naturally started developing my competitiveness and learning that discipline was something that had to be a part of life if you wanted to stand out from the rest.

What result are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the fact that I have created a life for myself that I adore from the ground up. Everything I do in wrestling is an amped-up version of who Alex Gracia really is. I am a fighter, I am a girly-girl, I am competitive and I am a dreamer.

Growing up, I was surrounded by hard-working people. My mom was an educator who has her master’s degree and my dad was a truck driver who managed to be the only one out of his siblings to send all of his kids to college. While I respected what they did, I knew I was destined for a different path. I wanted to have the freedom to create and experiment.

Post-graduation, I was hired for a position in my career field which was followed by a path of working odd jobs until I finally worked myself so low that I felt that I had no other option than to put all of my energy into something that made me happy again which was wrestling. It’s been a very hard road, but I have stuck with it and continued to evolve into someone I am proud to be.

In only a few years, I have had the opportunity to wrestle in Japan, wrestle in Mexico, been looked at by major companies and have held championship titles.

I set big goals and have high expectations for myself so working for those goals is fun because I love the idea of it being one big competition within myself to constantly push to be better. It’s this desire of growing mentally and physically that has been the best reward for me.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My dad has been a massive inspiration in my life, to work hard, to not quit, he would go to the park or the background with me whenever I would ask so I could practice my pitching for softball.

He was raised by a single dad with eight children in a three-bedroom house, but he defied all odds and successfully raised his children in a good neighborhood and encouraged all of us to pursue an education after high school. He was a truck driver but worked his way up to higher positions and is now one of the most respected employees at his company.

I remember seeing how tired he would be after working long hours, but he would still actively encourage us to work hard at what we did and would do anything he could to assist us, whether that meant taking me to the batting cages on an early Saturday morning or taking me to Academy to buy new cleats once they started getting holes.

He would come home from work during the day and went straight to watching me and my baby sister so my mom could go to night school and finish her degree. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be like him because I witnessed what a selfless human being looked like.

I learned to do good for others because it was the right thing to do, not because there were expectations from it.

He allowed me to make mistakes, but he never once let me quit at anything so when I decided that I was going to quit my career and eventually become a professional wrestler it was a lot for him to try and understand but as long as I promised to work hard at it like I always do and be the best that I can be then he could support it. He wasn’t sure about it at first, but he trusted my work ethic and now he’s one of my biggest fans.

How have you dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, where are you these days, have you been able to work out?

The COVID-19 pandemic definitely rocked my world like it did for a lot of people. I had a lot of plans and opportunities that had to either be postponed or canceled so that was rough to deal with, but instead of dwelling on what I couldn’t control I started to focus on what I could like my fitness and nutrition.

I also went back to the drawing board as far as coming up with a plan on how I could evolve as a wrestler during this long break. Since May I have been staying around San Antonio with my family and spending much needed time with them. I feel like time has gone by so fast since I started wrestling that I have missed out on a lot of family time so time with them has been the biggest blessing.

The gym situation ranges because some gyms started to open while others remained closed, but luckily I did find a small gym down the road from my parents’ house that I feel comfortable working out at during these crazy times.

Any wrestler you want to face again or for the first time? What’s your dream match?

I could talk about my dream matches all day because there are so many amazing female wrestlers right now, but I would love to have a match with Io Shirai. She’s amazing! I could watch her all day and be entertained.

Jordynne Grace and Taya Valkyrie are the opponents I would love to wrestle again because I feel like I have grown so much in the ring since the first time we wrestled.

Other dream matches would be versus Sasha Banks and Bayley. They’re legends and it would be an honor to share a ring with them.

You are a role model for young people all over the world. What message do you have for them, especially for those who want to practice sports?

Hearing that means so much because all I care about is inspiring the next person. I would tell everyone to never dim your shine because of fear.

True happiness comes from being your authentic self and working towards a dream that’s bigger than yourself. As far as sports go, ALWAYS work hard for what you want because the work you put in is something no one can ever take away from you. And remember to always have fun!

Tell us about your upcoming plans and where we can find you on social media.

Upcoming plans entail continuing to focus on what I can and be more ready than I was before for the opportunities coming my way. To keep up with me you can find me most active on Twitter and Instagram @alexgracia3 and my YouTube channel www.youtube.com/c/alexgracia

Thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about me. The love and support is what always keeps me going!