Scrolling Headlines:

: Nineteen turnovers sink UMass men’s basketball in loss to Fordham Saturday -

January 21, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls to Fordham behind strong defensive effort by the Rams -

January 21, 2017

UMass hockey can’t take advantage of strong start in 6-1 loss to Boston College -

January 21, 2017

High-powered Eagles soar past UMass -

January 21, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling pins its sights on UMass

This Saturday, the superstars of Total Non-Stop Action (TNA) Wrestling will be at the Mullins Center. Tickets are still available for a 7:30 p.m. performance of “TNA LIVE,” which features the stars of the Spike TV hit show “TNA Wrestling Impact.”       

The prices of the tickets are $53, $38 and $23. University of Massachusetts students, faculty, staff and military personnel can get a $5 discount at the Mullins Center box office with valid ID.

Stars scheduled to appear include Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle, TNA Heavyweight Champion “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles, Desmond Wolfe, “The Blue Print” Matt Morgan, TNA Tag Team Beer Money Incorporated and the Beautiful People: Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky.

The Beautiful People were not shy about showing their beauty to UMass students.

“Students will want to come to this show because we [The Beautiful People] will be there,” Velvet Sky said.

 Two of the most popular female wrestlers in the world, “The Beautiful People,” Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky, discussed women’s wrestling with the Collegian.

Since joining the company in 2007, Velvet Sky has been an integral part of the success of the TNA Wrestling division. She and former TNA Wrestling Knockout Angelina Love formed the Beautiful People when they both came to the company. The Beautiful People added star Madison Rayne into their ranks in early 2009. When Angelina Love was forced to leave the company due to legal reasons, they got a new member, Lacey Von Erich. Von Erich is the daughter of former NWA Heavyweight Champion Kerry Von Erich, who competed in the World Wrestling Federation as “The Texas Tornado.”

“I’m pretty confident in saying that the current day Knockout division has really raised the bar for woman’s wrestling,” said Velvet Sky. “We’ve set a new standard as to what to expect from woman’s wrestling.”

“I think the group of girls that we have work really hard, the Knockouts are the future of woman’s wrestling,” she continued.

“Women’s wrestling has gone through its phases,” said Rayne, “when it was Lita, Trish Status and Victory (known as Tara in TNA) it was awesome.

“But then [WWE] goes through phases when all they are concerned about is models and teaching them to wrestle,” Rayne continued.  “During those phases there were people like us who were being swept under the rug because they weren’t models,”

 “We’ve proven that you don’t have to be a model and roll around in a gravy bowl to be in a woman’s wrestling division on television,” Velvet Sky said, “the knockout division is hard hitting; the punches, the chops, the kicks, and the hair pulling, everything’s real. We don’t sugar coat anything and that is why we are respected.”

Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne then talked about TNA President Dixie Carter. They credit Carter for being the driving force behind the Knockout’s push to change the face of women’s professional wrestling.

“She is our biggest supporter,” Velvet Sky said, “she has been nothing but good to all of us, the entire roster, not just the Knockouts. She really cares about everyone that works with her, she is a great, great person. She has a huge heart, and we’re lucky to have her.”

Sky said Carter is a solid fit for TNA because she understands both the business of wrestling and the dynamics of women’s wrestling.

“She has a mind for business, and a mind for wrestling and she has a mind for women,” she said. “So, she knows how to relate to us and try to do what she can do to make us as the owner of our company to help us feel comfortable, achieve our goals and be the best that we can be.”

“With all professional wrestling there is a risk of serious injury, but the Beautiful People aren’t afraid about wrestling at a style and a pace comparable to their male counterparts,” Sky said.

“There have been injuries here and there, but that is what is to be expected with wrestling,” Velvet Sky explained, “you aren’t going to get off scot-free.”

“We didn’t sign up for any dance class, ballet or model wrestling,” Madison Rayne concluded.

Ryan Damon can be reached at rdamon@student.umass.edu

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