When you mix pure aggression and powerful, cut throat type wrestling, alongside intense, in your face, promos, with the inability to back down from a challenge and take zero nonsense from anyone, no matter the gender, you get Angelus Layne. The “Bride of Frankenstein” and a complete bad-ass, who will have you cheering one moment and immediately booing her the next. She’s appeared in many promotions, including St. Louis Anarchy, Nova Pro, SHIMMER and Dropkick Depression (which she is 1/3 owner of), just to name a few. Whether you love her or love to hate her, she’s well respected by both her peers and fans alike.
We recently sent Angelus Layne some questions about her injury and the obstacles associated with it, her return, her recent move to Georgia, and her goals for 2021.
1. We were so glad to see you wrestling again after suffering an injury. If you don’t mind us asking, what was the extend of your injury?
AL: I had been dealing with chronic migraines for years and finally couldn’t tolerate them anymore as I was having upwards of 7 a week. I went to see what I could do about the migraines and in trying to find a treatment for the migraines, learned that I had broken my neck at some point in the recent years. Since I didn’t know when or how, my neck hadn’t healed the way the doctors would have wanted to see and was causing some nerve issues and creating some issues that were making my migraines I inherited genetically much worse. I was originally told because of the nerve stuff, that my in-ring career needed to end immediately, which is the advice that I followed in the fall of 2018.
I underwent two neck procedures which resulted in a total of 33 injections into my c-spine, and 4.5 months of physical therapy to strengthen and realign my neck. I was halfway through PT when my physical therapist told me she felt like me attempting to roll around in the ring again wasn’t a taboo idea and that was the spark of hope that reignited my career. Since returning, I’ve had another neck procedure with another 22 injections as maintenance and continue to do at home physical therapy to keep my strength up and alignment straight. The injections also help manage my migraine pain as well by controlling nerve pain.
2. What was it like getting back into the ring after your injury? Have you made any adjustments in your wrestling style?
AL: The first time I got back in the ring, I was overwhelmed. The first bump I took was ugly. It was uglier than the first bump I ever took on my first day of training. Dominic Garrini was one of the only people who knew I was even trying to get back in the ring and he was the one who was helping me train. I remember the look of horror and disgust on his face when I bumped. You’d have thought I got hit by a car by how awful it was, haha. By the end of that day, I was doing things in the ring that I hadn’t done in my entire career before injury because I was just so overjoyed to even be back. I got in my car after that first training session and just cried on the way home because I was so overcome with emotion.
I’ve definitely had to make some changes. I still have some of the most ridiculous ideas for every match that I go into, but I have to scale myself back more because I know that at the end of the night, walking out of there is the goal. I used to always want to wrestle as a Powerhouse, but in reality, I don’t have the strength back to do that. I’m still adapting and learning the gym since recovering from my injury when it comes to my workouts, so my strength isn’t back to where it once was, so I’ve had to readjust my in-ring style for that as well. I also have made the decision to adapt my style to reflect this because my safety as well as my opponent’s is always the top priority and I would never want to put anyone in a position where I do something and my shortcomings cause an accident that could have been avoidable just because I was being overzealous.
3. What has been the biggest obstacle since returning?
AL: The pandemic!! Haha! But really it’s been myself. I’ve always been my own biggest critic, but trying to overcome my own self-doubt and questioning if I made the right call getting back in the ring has been hard. I’ve questioned if I still have the ability, if I still have the fans, if people want me back, if my peers want me there, if the companies I want for care, etc. I didn’t know if I still had a place in independent wrestling when I was training for my comeback and that really gnawed at me. Overcoming my own self-doubt has definitely been my biggest obstacle hands down.
4. You recently made the move to Georgia. Were certain aspects of the move tougher for you because of the current pandemic?
AL: Absolutely. I started planning the move in January before the coronavirus was even really a major thing. Back then it was more of a murmur. I turned in the notice to my job, I started lining up how I was going to relocate my stuff, figured out how to get my pets down to Georgia from Michigan safely, etc. Then the pandemic hit and I had to readjust everything the week of the move. We got me out of Michigan and drove straight through the 12 hours to Georgia in one shot. The day after we left Michigan, Ohio closed entirely. I ended up packing up all my stuff in moving PODS and having them ship my stuff down instead of using a moving truck because I didn’t know how many county closures we would run into and it seemed easier to just navigate the trip in my little car. It was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done.
I still haven’t found employment since relocating because I’m technically immuno-compromised because of repeated respiratory illnesses as a kid and scarring on my lungs, so my significant other and I have made the choice that risking me being exposed on the daily basis isn’t worth it. Me making a choice to put myself in a situation that is following guidelines and recommendations like some indie shows are feels much safer than exposing myself to anybody and everybody on a daily basis.
5. What are your current plans for the remainder of 2020? And what is the ultimate goal for 2021?
AL: My goals for the remainder of 2020 are to get in the best shape of my career both physically and mentally. I want to work shows that are following all CDC recommended guidelines during the pandemic era like St. Louis Anarchy, for example, and continue to work on having the most exciting return to wrestling that I can. The ultimate goal for 2021 would have to be finally winning the first championship of my wrestling career. After 11 years, I’d say it’s finally time to capture some gold.
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