Lisa Marie is owner of The Squared Circle Restaurant in Chicago, IL. She is formerly known as TNA Knockout Tara & five-time TNA Knockouts Champion as well as an one-time TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champion. She is a former two time WWE Women's Champion, Finishing move is the Widow's Peak, debuted on WWF as one of the Godfather's Ho's, has worked on all three WWE brands (RAW, ECW &a Smackdown). She departed from the WWE in January of 2009. Owned Black Widow Customs & Fat Tony's Pizzeria in Louisville, KY. Moved to Chicago, IL for for a few years & currently resides in southern California.

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Exclusive Interview: TNA Wrestling’s Tara talks IMPACT on the road and much more

TNA Wrestling is bringing their weekly Spike TV show IMPACT on the road with the first stop being on March 14th at the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, IL which is just outside of Chicago, one of the biggest Pro Wrestling towns in America. One member of the TNA roster who is really excited see IMPACT in the Second City, 5-time TNA Knockouts Champion Tara.

Tara who some fans may know as Victoria from her time in WWE, grew up in the city and is getting ready to open her own pizza/burger spot in town, so it was fitting that she greeted the first fans to buy IMPACT tickets Thursday night at pre-sale party held at Jersey’s Pizza & Grill. The master of the Widow’s Peak sat down for an interview with Pro Wrestling Examiner discuss her new restaurant, her future in TNA, her good friend Trish Stratus getting inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame, and much more.

IMPACT is coming to your town March 14th. How do you feel?
Tara: It’s a big big event. I have a new outfit actually that represents Chicago, I am super stoked about that. This is first one, this is history, going on the road, first show on TV live, it’s going on in Chicago, and I could not be happier.

You have been active in Pro Wrestling for 13 years, enduring numerous injuries, and having a lot of violent matches. How is your body holding up at this point in your career?
Tara: “I am a little older than some of the kids in the business.”

They call it ‘vintage’.
Tara: Yeah it’s like wine, it gets better with age! Honestly though, I feel like I am in the best shape of my life. I work really hard, train really hard in the gym. I eat healthy. I don’t see myself slowing down. The day I do slow down a little bit, I’m done. I don’t want to be watching me walk down the ramp and feel sorry for me saying “oh, I remember when she used to be able to do this or this.
But I will never say ‘retire’.It’s always going to be a part of me. Wrestling is always going to be a part of me. It’s always so bad to say retirement, because we always come back. Something brings us back. Ya know? And I love it.

In March, you are opening up your new pizza and burger restaurant in Chicago. How did that new venture come together? What’s something on the menu that should be a must-eat?
Tara: I am opening a restaurant in Chicago, in the Lincoln Park. It’s called the Squared Circle. We are going to show all wrestling, local wrestling, WWE, and of course TNA. Pay Per Views and stuff like that. It’s going to be awesome. It’s pizza and burgers, my two favs. I am super excited about the menu. You have to come out and try it.

How long have you been working on it?
Tara: A year, good lord in (Chicago) it’s pretty tough to open a business. We made offers on several locations, they never bit. They would change their minds, our this building is not zoned for a restaurant and so on. Finally, we got a location in Lincoln Park by Depaul University. 2418 N. Ashland is the address. The opening is on March 14th.
Fans can follow the Squared Circle on Twitter @theSQDcircle for more updates

You are one of the most pure female wrestlers around.Is there any established wrestlers out there you want to lock up with?
Tara: There are several. What comes to mind is, Chyna. I never got to wrestle her. She was the one who recommended to the company (WWE), and said I had the good look for it. And Medusa, she’s freaking hard-as-nails. I heard she can whoop my butt and I never fought her. Maybe the ‘Divas’ when they are done, I can take them on the independent circuit. Eve Torres, I never got my hands. Her and I do jiu jitsu, so it would be an interesting submission match.

You have reached a point in your career where you are still very healthy but have gained a certain level of experience where you can have a new and exciting dynamic with fresh talent. Is there any new younger female wrestlers you want to have a match with?
Tara: Oh my god, I love it. I salivate over it, so many girls coming up too, that are green, nice, young, youthful and fresh. I can not wait for the initiation to the ring. I talk to them, tell me what’s your repertoire? What’s your style? Do you fly? Do you stick to the ground? Are you strong? They always say “I’m generally all of them”. And I am like “really?”, we are gonna test that out. Usually, you should be humble and say something like “i’m really just feeling it out” ya know? The respect thing.
But when I see a girl who has a little of , ya know 60% good in the ring. I am gonna make them look 100%. That is my forte. You give me a rookie, I will make them look like a million bucks.

You had to make too many look good in the ring.
Tara: Ya know, I did but so be it. This is my longevity in the business, too. I am never upset about it. It’s part of the business.

A friend of mine called you the “female version of William Regal” for your ability to make less talented wrestlers look better and your visible toughness in the ring. How do you respond to a comparison like that?
Tara: Yeah! Oh my god! I love him too. I am HUGE fan of his. And he’s still in the business though, it’s the longevity of us. You will never get rid of us.

But it’s harder for a lady, because there is a double standard with that.
Tara: I have been in this business a long time. I think I have earned that respect. A lot of people come up and ask me about that backstage, my bosses. I think they are protective of my character and they don’t want me to look too bad, never squash what I can do.
You are only as good as your opponent, you have heard that. I am hoping the girls coming up want to throw down. Not wanting to be here for pretty nails and looks. We can hire models for that. You need to be able to take a whooping.

Let’s say you get the call to put together your DVD of ‘greatest hits’. What matches should make on to that DVD?
Tara: Oh my goodness, I have a lot of good feuds. I would go with a lot of the ‘golden era’ as we like to call it. Trish Stratus, Lita, Jazz, Molly Holly. all of them. My cage match (against Mickie James in TNA) was brutal. Just because I tore my elbow but I kept on going and then I got a standing ovation from the crowd when I came back from the respect level. The Chicago Street Fight with Trish that is the epic. We beat the hell out of each other in that match. We just laid everything in. Ya know you give us a match, we made it just as good as the guys. I am very competitive with the guys. I want people to go “oh that was a great match for a women’s match”. I want people to say “that was a great match period.” Every match I try to top it, and it’s pretty tough.

What is the feeling in TNA right now with IMPACT coming on the road? How do you feel bring IMPACT out of Orlando and to the rest of the country?
Tara: Our fans get spoiled and callused They want to see us draw blood. In Orlando, thank god we are going on the road, our fans in Orlando got a little bit spoiled because they see us every week, but we were out there killing ourselves for entertainment. We are actresses and actors who do our stunts with drama. And when they don’t react to certain things, it’s like my God, what do you want me to do?!

Was that becoming an issue in Orlando?
Tara: Not for like my bosses. it’s just that we feed off the fans, we feed off their reactions. It becomes stale (without those reactions). And now we get to see fresh faces and that’s why it’s nice to go overseas too. I am just excited about going on the road, you have no idea. We don’t want ‘hush hush’ fans. It’s nice to hear everything, I have a problem where I can hear everything in the first couple rows. And if I hear someone cheering for my opponent. I am going to go out there and freaking tell them like it is. I am very fan-interactive. That’s a big part of TNA.

One of your greatest rivals and best friends in Pro Wrestling, Trish Stratus was recently announced as an inductee in this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class. This has to be a great news for you to hear. How did you feel about hearing this announcement ? Is there any chance you could attend the ceremony?
Tara: Oh she so deserves it! I am going to be honest with you, I wish I could induct her. I was in WWE. I am proud to be a part of WWE history, and now I am with TNA, there is no rivalry between companies for me. I love both companies but I am super proud of her, she deserves it for ‘the Golden era’. She also reached out and called me and said thank you, you helped me be inducted because we had hellascious matches. That’s a true professional, she appreciates who got her there. I would love to be there, but I don’t know how both companies would feel. Honestly, I am super proud. I love her, we are best friends.

So what’s the hard sell for IMPACT at the Sears Center on March 14th? How would you convince a fan who maybe likes watching IMPACT on Spike TV but might be on the fence about seeing the show live and in person.
Tara: Oh come on! You got Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, first live TV on the road! You know we are going to be pushing the limit. You have no idea of the excitement that the talent and the wrestlers are feeling. We are brainstorming on what we are doing. I don’t know who I am facing but I guarantee that person will not walk out of that ring pretty, because ya know I am going to feed off Chicago fans!

Follow Tara on Twitter @TaraLisaMarie

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