Kate Kroll’s idea of a quaint Mexican vacation doesn’t include standard creature comforts such as white sand, endless beaches or cocktail umbrellas.
Instead, she’s headed south specifically to get thrown around, kicked, jumped on and possibly heckled en masse.
All of this will happen in front of hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
And her parents are none too pleased about the whole thing.
So goes the road of the Vancouverite’s odyssey into the world of wrestling. Just two years into her career kicking ass, Kroll — a.k.a Calamity Kate — is travelling to Monterrey, Mexico to vie for a title belt over the weekend of July 13 to 15.
Kroll has two got bouts scheduled, including her shot at title glory.
“It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen. I’m crossing my fingers that I don’t have to go to the hospital,” Kroll said. “The Mexican women are quite aggressive. They’ve all been wrestling for a long time, so I’m really hoping that I don’t get my butt kicked too hard.”
Kroll is admittedly a bit of a newb in the squared circle, given she’s been wrestling for just two years.
That’s where the name Calamity Kate comes in. Kroll’s been a burlesque dancer for 10 years, and her stage name while shaking boots carries over to her wresting name when she’s kicking butts.
Parallels exist between both worlds and there are many — fluidity, flexibility and finesse.
“In burlesque, it’s really about the hyper feminine [persona] and almost like a caricature of a woman,” Kroll said. “Whereas with wrestling, it’s really hyper masculine and almost a caricature of a man.”
Kroll will be wrestling in Mexico as part of the Lucha Libre Feminil wrestling company, which has been staging female-only matches for 17 years. Lucha Libre differentiates itself from North American wrestling due to a larger emphasis on acrobatics and less reliance on knuckle dragging.
“I find North American wrestling to be more about fighting and pounding, but Lucha Libre is more fluid and more like a dance, so I’m naturally attracted to that as someone who has danced for their whole life.”
As it turns out, wrestling is kind of a big deal in Mexico. Lucha Libre Feminil founder Luciano García told the Courier via Facebook Messenger that wrestling is second behind only soccer in terms of national popularity. There are seven venues in Monterrey alone that stage weekly matches.
“Everybody likes wrestling here,” Garcia said. “It’s like a national sport and everybody wants to see the good versus the bad.”
Competition for new talent is stiff to the point that Garcia has three or four people on staff constantly combing the internet for new faces.
“We love women’s wrestling, we love what we’re doing,” Garcia said. “Always, we have to look for different options. The fans, they always want something new, something different.”
Garcia found something different in Kroll via YouTube shortly after the Vancouverite turned to wrestling in 2016. Kroll and her tag team partner Melody Mangler went to Mexico for an event at that time and her upcoming contests are a continuation of that relationship.
“I saw something different,” Garcia said. “I know when I book her the first time, she’s some kind of dream.”
Garcia’s dream is a bit of a nightmare for Kroll’s parents.
Dad isn’t a fan.
“My parents hate it,” Kroll said. “My dad worries about me getting hurt. I think they would rather tell their friends that I’m a doctor or a lawyer. This is art in my opinion, and I don’t think they understand that.”
As for her character, Calamity Kate isn’t a heel nor a hero. Instead, her niche is her.
“I like to bring my showgirl persona from burlesque but with a punk edge. I don’t like to take shit from anyone and I work hard at what I do,” she said. “I try to work out five times a week, but it’s not so much about trying to get thin. It’s really to be able to lift up a bitch.”
To keep tabs on Kroll’s exploits down south, log on to facebook.com/LLFMonterrey or follow Kroll on Instagram at @calamitykateshowgirl.