Tuesday, December 8, 2020

On the Beat With Vicki Otis and John Cosper

I first saw Princess Victoria in my early days of following professional wrestling. Princess Victoria was a Native-American wrestler in the NWA. A respectful representation of her Native American heritage, Princess Victoria was a talented young wrestler on the rise.

In those pre-internet days of the early 80s, I only knew what I read in wrestling magazines or heard on television broadcasts. I had no idea of the traumas the woman in the ring had endured. Obviously, I also had no idea of the challenges she would face during and after her wrestling career.

Fortunately soon the full story of Princess Victoria will be told in a book. Vicki Otis, the woman I saw grace the wrestling rings as Princess Victoria so many years ago and wrestling author and historian John Cosper are collaborating to publish the Vicki Otis story.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Vicki and John about the upcoming book, which is planned for a spring 2021 release. This interview comes a few weeks after John first announced the book partnership.

I previously had inerviewed John about this book and other books of his. He described Vicki's book as being a hard read. In all honesty, I knew Vicki had experienced some difficulties, but I never knew what she experienced until I did even more research after that interview with John.

Vicki Otis was born in Portland, Oregon. After being trained by Sandy Barr, she feuded and then teamed with fellow trainee Velvet McIntyre. Vicki won the NWA Women's Tag Team Championship with Sabrina and later won it again with McIntyre. Vicki also held the NWA Women's USA title and later the WWF Women's Tag Team championship with McIntyre.

As a singles wrestler or in a tag team, Vicki was very popular and had a bright future. Tragically, Vicki suffered a career-ending injury in September 1984.

Vicki's career was relatively short, but her impact is still felt. Vicki was a true pioneer in women's wrestling. In a time when women's wrestling was slower-paced, Vicki's energetic, lively style stood out. She forced opponents to step up their game to match her in the ring. Vicki's legacy goes well beyond her in ring career though.

Every woman wrestler after her owes Vicki a debt of gratitude. As John states in our interview, a certain wrestling league shapes the history of women's wrestling as they see fit, but the real story involves women like Vicki, who put on great matches in small and large venues all over the world, without the benefit of being part of the “Diva Revolution” or the perceived “Women's Movement.” The true women's movement started with Vicki and others who haven't received the proper recognition by some.

Fortunately, the Cauliflower Alley Club is an independent organization that can celebrate the real heroes of wrestling. In 2018, CAC presented Vicki with their prestigious Women's Wrestling award.

One would think Vicki would be bitter, but that is far from the case. Vicki lives by the motto that a bitter vet helps nobody and she will not become bitter. That's not just lip service either and her upcoming book will be written, palpable proof of that.

In our interview, Vicki passionately talked about wanting others to know they can overcome life's adversities. Vicki is revealing pain and anguish, while also showing triumph and joy. Reliving traumas, putting them on paper and having them out there forever isn't an easy task. It's heartbreaking and gut wrenching, but Vicki felt so compelled to do it for others to benefit.

In our interview, I focused on the book. Stories from her career are best left to her book for now. Once the book is out. I certainly would love to revisit Vicki and delve into some stories.

I wanted to know what drove Vicki to write the book. I wanted to know how she found the courage to write the book. I had a rare chance to speak with a true wrestling legend and I wanted to hear her explain that.

I gotexactly what I wanted. I got Vicki speaking from her heart about her attitude, her desire to inspire others, her desire for others to take hope and more. That talk from the heart is much more meaningful and valuable than anything.

I hope we will have future interviews. I was so impressed with Vicki's perspective. Of course, I was already impressed with her career and accomplishments. Now I am even more impressed with Vicki on a much more significant level.

As for John, I know he is the perfect person to help tell Vicki's story. With more than 20 books on his resume, John is knowledgeable and has a true appreciation for wrestling and wrestlers. His book on the late Chris Candido is scheduled for publishing in early 2021, to be followed by Vicki's book. Both promise to be must reads. Both will find themselves in the ever-growing John Cosper section on my book shelf.

I started this process with an average knowledge of wrestler Princess Victoria. Through things like Taeler Hendrix's piece and my interview, I have learned so much about Vicki Otis and through the upcoming book from Vicki and John, everyone will learn all about Vicki.

I thank Vicki for a lot of great memories in my early days of following pro wrestling. I thank Vicki and John for their time and consideration in the interview. I look forward to the book and to future interviews. I encourage everyone to check back here for Global Women's Sports Radio's future coverage of Vicki's book. Lastly, check EatSleepWrestle.com for news on Vicki's book and for all of the other books John has written.

1 comment:

Jean Parker said...

Sounds like Vicki is a good person with a great story to tell ... hope her book does well.