Saturday, November 14, 2009

Toxic Diva

A phone call from Paul Perschmann changed the course of Megan Nicole Desire’s life.
Perschmann, you see, is better known to the wrestling world as “Playboy” Buddy Rose. Last May, Desire contacted Perschmann’s Portland wrestling school after a Monday night of watching WWE Raw.
“I thought, Hey maybe there’s someplace to train around here,” said Desire. She ended up finding a few.
She called Perschmann’s school and left a message, but got no response. Later she sent an e-mail and the “Playboy” himself contacted her the following day.
“We talked for about 30 minutes and then he invited me up to the school,” said Desire.
The 5-foot-5, 135-pound, 20-year-old made an impact on her instructors from her first day at the academy.
In the male-dominated world of pro wrestling, females are largely relegated to the position of managers and valets, people who escort men to the ring and interject only to help their man win a match or serve as the damsel in distress. Increasingly, women in those positions are being called on to “work,” or participate in the match or matches independent of their male counterparts.
Finding a woman both willing and able to take on the task is fairly rare.

The science of falling
The first day at the school Desire was taught how to fall without getting hurt.
Human beings are kept standing by a fluid called endolymph in our inner ears. When endolymph rushes too quickly to one side we are left with a feeling of dizziness, disorientation or nausea depending on how quickly the fluid moves and how long the fluid imbalance endures. Falling is the extreme affect of this lack of equilibrium.
Endolymph levels, when combined with sensory input from the eyes as well as muscles and bones, signal our brains that we are falling and our brains instructs us to prevent it from happening. The end result is we reach out and grab a wall or try to break the fall by throwing our hands in front of us. Enjoy the sprained/broken wrist.
Wrestlers, on the other hand, fight this instinct.
Rather than throwing out their arms, wrestlers train to “cushion” the impact of a fall by spreading it out over as much of their body as possible. Ideally, a wrestler dropped on his back will absorb the blow through his shoulder blades, triceps and feet as well as his back. It’s still going to hurt, but the risk of injury is greatly reduced.
“They make it look so easy. Even if you’re in good shape, there are so many things you have to learn that go against your natural instincts,” said Desire.
After picking up some basic arm bars and other holds, Desire began to progress rapidly, which she attributes to being a fast learner and previous experience as a cheerleader.
“It was kind of amazing how much they are alike,” she said.
Much like reacting to a bad toss in cheerleading, quick responses to poorly executed wrestling moves will prevent career-ending injury.
Desire has already suffered through a knee injury and being dropped on her head by an opponent who attempted a DDT, a move in which the victim is pushed down headfirst into the mat while in a front facelock.
Living for the pop
It didn’t take long for Desire to get her first pop, or crowd reaction.
Three months into her training, she’d picked a name, The Toxic Diva, and developed a choice of finishing moves, either the Toxic Drop or Toxic Kiss.
Both moves were chosen for their “devastating look,” she said.
The Toxic Drop is a leg sweep accomplished by Desire lining herself up alongside her opponent and throwing her arm over his shoulders and wrapping her inside leg around the inside leg of her opponent. Desire then throws herself on her back taking her opponent with her.
“It looks very powerful,” she said.
The Toxic Kiss is a sit-out facebuster accomplished by grabbing the head of her opponent and slamming it down to the mat between her legs as she leaps into the air and ends in a sitting position.
She was amazed when the crowd popped for her the very first time she made an event entrance.
“I came through the curtain during a show and heard the crowd pop. At first I thought it was for the guys I was with, but then I realized they were shouting for me by name,” she said. “I had my web site up, but I had no idea that people would have heard of me.”
Self-promotion is familiar territory for Desire. She has her own line of altered denim, called Eve in Exile, and recently became a model for, a photography site featuring models with body modifications. Desire has three tattoos and a septum piercing.
“It was an amazing experience. I’ve taken a lot of photos, but to be on the other side of the camera and have to create something with looks and poses was pretty gratifying,” she said.
Miles in front of her
For the time being, the Toxic Diva remains a valet, escorting bigger names to the ring, but even that might not be as easy as it seems on the surface.
“You’re not actually doing anything but you have to put it out there like you are,” she said.
As far as she’s come, she’s got miles of road ahead. Desire has yet to square off in a one-on-one match during an actual wrestling event.
“I’m building to it in the next couple of months. Some people get picked up before they’re ready and you never hear from them again because they’ve ended up with an injury,” she said.
She spends hours training both in and out of the ring in preparation for the opportunity.
“I would love to do a big ‘ole Ironman match,” she said.
In an Ironman match, opponents must fight for a specified time length and score points through pins and submissions.
Her biggest victory thus far has been proving her naysayers wrong.
“Most people weren’t too happy about me getting into wrestling. I think it surprised them. I also think the end result has made them change their mind about their initial reaction,” she said.
The Toxic Diva can be found online at, or Friday nights with New Revolution Wrestling in Gresham.

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