EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Mariah May

Mariah May, AKA The Glamour is a professional wrestler and content creator based out of the United Kingdom. She made her wrestling debut on the independent circuit back in February of 2019, and has been working hard on achieving her dreams. While she may be new to the wrestling industry, she has garnered a lot of attention on YouTube, Twitch, and other social media platforms as a content creator. She shares content related to wrestling, video games, fashion, and more.

As a wrestling fan myself, I was so happy to have the opportunity to interview Mariah for my blog. In this this exclusive, she discussed her wrestling career, being a content creator, and more. Enjoy!

E: Could you please give some background on yourself?

Mariah May (M): My name is Mariah May, but I also go by the name The Glamour. I started wrestling as soon as I left school to pursue my dreams. I trained twice a week in the ring, worked full time, went to the gym for three hours every evening, and travelled up and down the country to wrestle. I create content on YouTube to give fans an insight into what it is like being an independent professional wrestler and my crazy life.

E: How did you become a wrestling fan?

M: I grew up with two older brothers, and we all adored wrestling. We would even take the cushions off the sofa and build a sudo-wrestling ring when my parents weren’t looking! As we grew older, my brothers found different passions- but wrestling stayed in my heart.

E: When and why did you decide to become a professional wrestler?

M: As far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a wrestler. As I was finishing school, I was encouraged to look for a “real” job and leave those dreams behind, but I could not bring myself to do it. Wrestling has always been a part of my life. and I would have regretted it deeply if I did not at least give myself a chance to make my dreams come true. I finished school and trained in accounting to allow myself a steady income whilst I pursued becoming a professional wrestler. I was determined to show my teachers that wrestling is as real a job as any!

E: How did you train to become a professional wrestler?

M: I trained at a variety of schools in London. I was consistent and put the time in- and each week, I saw growth in my performance. Training is tough and takes a lot of dedication. But when you are pursuing something you are passionate about, it is easy to put the time in.

E: What has the experience been like since training?

M: Incredible! I get to live my dreams out every weekend and wrestle! It is still so surreal to me that I am doing something I longed for so much my whole life. I have also enjoyed finding ways to help share my journey and make myself unique through building social media brands.

E: Would you say that you have a character in the ring?

M: Yes I do- The Glamour! When I first started wrestling, everyone was always telling me who I should be and forcing me to be something I am not. I was forced to suppress being a model, as well as my fun bubbly side. But being so personable and being a model and everything else I am is what allowed me to build the platform I currently have. I decided to start embracing who I was, and emphasized those parts of me to become an enchanting, fun and bright character- The Glamour. As soon as I made this shift, my confidence went up. The fans got behind me more, and I feel myself growing and evolving with each performance. The Glamour is about embracing who you are and being proud of it.

E: What has been the biggest achievement of your wrestling career thus far?

M: It’s between having a WWE tryout just four matches into my career, or having my fourth match for Progress at the Electric Ballroom. Both came within the same months, and were incredible accomplishments for me. I gave it my everything and learnt so much. I will always be incredibly grateful for these opportunities.

E: Do you have any advice for aspiring professional wrestlers?

M: Follow your dreams and do not let anyone stop you! There will always be obstacles along the way, but remember why you started and show the world what you can do!

E: What is the number one goal you wish to achieve in your wrestling career?

M: To be a full-time wrestler! I want to wrestle as a career, not whilst juggling an office job. Ultimately, I would like to be wrestling full-time and share my journey and life with the world through my platforms such as YouTube and Twitch.

E: Who would be your dream wrestling opponent, dead or alive?

M: It is so tough to pick just one, but I would have to say Trish Stratus. I relate to her journey a lot. She got put down a lot for her modelling background and just being eye-candy, But despite that, she continued to work hard, improve every week on TV, change the landscape for women’s wrestling, and create an incredible legacy. I get badly judged for being a model. Some do not care about my passion or work ethic; they just write me off by the way I look. But I love proving them wrong every single time! I work harder than them and my product shows it. I actually find it incredibly empowering proving doubters wrong. Trish also never diluted who she was, and that is part of the reason I became The Glamour, and stopped suppressing who I am.

E: Earlier this year, #SpeakingOut exploded within the wrestling industry, causing many people to speak out against instances of sexual harassment and sexual assault. You shared your own #SpeakingOut experience on Instagram. For those unaware, could you please share your story here?

M: Like so many others, I have experienced abuse in wrestling that ruined my life and mental health. I experienced entrapment, exploitation, my sexual assault being shared without my consent, emotional abuse, manipulation, smearing, blacklisting, and unprofessional conduct from my coach. I felt that sharing my story would help my healing as well as helping others come forwards and feel able to share what they have been through and hopefully create legitimate change in the industry so this never has to happen again.

E: How has your experience affected you?

M: It is hard to speak about, but I feel it is necessary because it might help others. During my abuse, I felt so trapped, and tried to pretend everything was okay. When I finally found the strength to step away, the blacklisting and smearing started to isolate me. I felt so alone. I had no friends and felt like I had lost wrestling- something I loved and worked so hard for. I was depressed for months and didn’t want to leave my bed. My work and all other aspects of my life plummeted as a result. I was incredibly fortunate that my partner was able to help me- despite suffering from smearing himself- he remained so strong for me, helped me rehabilitate, find a new job and friends, and pursue wrestling. I made a CV and Dropbox full of content, reached out to promoters, and got a ton of work. It showed me I could not be beaten, and no one can take wrestling or my dreams from me. Now I feel I can handle anything.

View this post on Instagram

Legal action has been threatened against me for #SpeakingOut about my experience, please help me defend myself: https://gf.me/u/yxmqqk (link in bio & story) The legal action threatened against me is to try to force me to delete my tweets, pretend I got things wrong, never speak about my experience again, defend the person I spoke out against and pin it to my pages with replies off.   If I do not comply, the person is also threatening to sue me for damages. In order to defend myself I had to get a solicitor. The multiple, lengthy legal letters I have no choice but to respond to have cost me £10,000 and increasing which I have had to borrow money to pay for. I first received a letter and it made me physically sick. I'm 22 and have no legal experience. I had to beg those around me for help because I had no idea what to do and then finding out the costs, I felt hopeless. I have never had access to that kind of money in my life. I lost my office job before the pandemic, and cannot wrestle currently. As of right now, I have no income. What little money I’ve scraped together from savings, odd jobs and merch has been accounted for This has affected my mental health. I don’t sleep anymore, I feel physically sick all the time, trying to move forward feels impossible some days. I have tried to keep a brave face and thrown myself into Twitch as a distraction but I am really struggling now. Any share or donation would be greatly appreciated, no matter how big or small it will make the world of difference to me. I should not be banned from sharing what I went through, I want to make wrestling a safer place not just for myself but for those joining. Please help me https://gf.me/u/yxmqqk Thank you

A post shared by Mariah May ♡ (@mariahmayx) on

E: What reaction have you received from others since sharing your #SpeakingOut experience?

M: The support has been incredible. So many wrestlers, promoters, trainees and fans reached out to me to support me both publicly and privately. Many wrestlers messaged me with stories or things they saw about my abuse, and apologised for not doing more. That meant a lot.

But since speaking out, my abuser has attempted to use civil litigation to silence me. Essentially, he has paid a lot of money to attempt to force me to say I lied, pin it to my socials with replies off, delete the hour long abusive phone call I recorded (Legally, I have every right to have this recording.), and never speak again. Unless I have thousands of dollars to fund a legal team, it does not matter how much proof I have- I would have to submit. So I launched a GoFundMe to help with legal fees to defend myself. The sharing and contributions have been overwhelming. I have been able to get an incredible legal team to represent me and not allow me to be forced into silence. When the legal action was first threatened, it drove me into a dark place again. I felt silenced all over again. But since going public, that weight has been lifted. I do not have to suffer alone ever again, and the letters seem to have stopped for now. I never expected this level of support, and it just shows how much the fans’ voices can make change.

E: In general, what do you hope changes in the wrestling industry from the #SpeakingOut movement?

M: Real change, such as an independent governing body for British wrestling. The industry has previously been self-governed by those at the top, which allowed for the exploitation of power and abuse. You could not tell anyone- otherwise, you would be smeared and blacklisted. People are scared to go against those who are powerful, or they want to protect their friends. This is still happening- and it is so important that we have a body we can report incidents to and to protect us. Otherwise, this will happen again in five years- and I cannot bare the thought of anyone else getting hurt.

E: In addition to wrestling, would you also consider yourself to be a content creator as well?

M: Definitely! I pride myself on content creating as it helps me stand out and garner more wrestling opportunities! I really focused on shaping my brand to help my wrestling, but I have become so passionate about content creating in itself! It is so fun giving people an insight into what it is like being a wrestler- especially at an independent wrestling level- and sharing other parts of my life from fashion, beauty, gaming and more.

E: What advice do you have for aspiring content creators?

M: Be consistent. It helps your audience want to invest and trust in you. Also, be yourself! I cannot emphasise this enough! Find what makes you unique and focus on that! When I accidentally fell into Instagram influencing years ago, I mainly focused on fashion. I didn’t really talk about wrestling or my other loves until a friend encouraged me to do so. The minute I started posting myself in my wrestling shirts, talking about my favourite PPVs and my training, my audience skyrocketed! Don’t be like everyone else- be different.

E: What do you hope is next for you and your career?

M: I would love to continue building my brand. I am really passionate about sharing my journey and making wrestling more accessible to those aspiring to join. I would love to wrestle full-time, as well as advancing on my other business ventures. Also, I would like to continue to make changes to help make wrestling a safer industry.

E: Where can people follow you and check you out?

M: I have the same username for my Twitch, YouTube channel, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Discord, TikTok, and Cameo– @mariahmayx. Merch is available at prowrestlingtees.com/mariahmay and mariahmay.bigcartel.com.

xo,

Elizabeth

Published by Elizabeth Sarah Larkin

Freelance Writer & Social Media Manager

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