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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‘Dresslemania’: Wrestling Stars Mickie James, Lisa Marie Varon & Valerie Wyndham Talk Mental Health
By: Scott Fishman
March 27, 2022, 11:00 AM

Some of the most popular and respected women in pro wrestling have mobilized for “Dresslemania II,” a fundraiser forged by “Grown-Ass Women (GAW) TV” hosts Mickie James, Lisa Marie Varon (Victoria) and Valerie Wyndham (SoCal Val). The fierce ring trio has an important cause in mind, collaborating with Tag Me In United initiative for mental health.

“Last year’s all-virtual Dresslemania raised almost $10,000 for Girl Up,” said Wyndham, referring to the United Nations-founded young woman’s leadership development program. “We thought to do a different charity every year. This year we wanted to honor our friend Daffney and do something related to mental health and awareness.” Daffney (Shannon Spruill), the onetime WCW champion, took her own life last September.

Now through April 3 fans can bid on donated gowns and dresses via online auction from the likes of WWE Hall of Famer Molly Holly, Chelsea Green, Jordnynne Grace, Impact Wrestling Hall of Famer Gail Kim, and more. The entire purchase price of items will go to benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The stars will also be meeting fans during a cocktail reception on April 2 at WrestleCon, an event that will raise additional funds.

Here Mickie, Lisa, and Valerie open up about how the “Dresslemania” cause hits so close to home.

You’ve all been in the business for 20 years or more. There was a time when there weren’t a lot of women in the locker room. How important was it to have a sisterhood to lean on?

Mickie James: Men and women process things very differently….You need people to talk to because we communicate differently. It is a tough business, and you have to keep this hard exterior all the time. Ashley [Massaro]’s suicide [in 2019] hit us really hard, especially in the female community. It got us to really have these conversations and check in on each other a little more. Daffney’s [suicide] reminds us things still affect people on different levels. We don’t really understand how some people are struggling more than others. All of that brought Tag Me United to life. Saying, “Hey, we need to start having a little more open conversation about this.”

Lisa Marie Varon: What happened to Ashley and Daffney; I ask, “Why didn’t they just call me and say, I’m in a bad place and need help.” In wrestling, we have this mask on; the happy face, and always being on. It opened our eyes….If I have any problems, I’m lucky to have Mickie and SoCal Val. People think we are living life and don’t have problems. We still struggle. People are not alone, and therapy is not a bad word. You need to reach out to your friends to get help.

Valerie Wyndham: We’re all very close and support each other, which is really what GAW TV is all about, which makes the initiative such a great fit. We try to keep in touch with our friends through the show. It’s an emotional subject. [We hope to] normalize the conversation with this charity project or our show. If it gets people to talk about it without any judgment, then we’ve done our job.

The items you have in the auction are pretty incredible.

Mickie: It’s really easy when you talk to your brothers and sisters, though it is a big ask. They are parting with, in some cases, a part of their wrestling history. It was Val who came up with the name and concept. We have so many dresses and gowns that we had to go to red carpets and galas and buy dresses for one appearance on TV. Seeing everyone come together has been great.

Val: Nick Aldis is also our first GAM (Grown-Ass Man). He donated a TV-worn suit. He doesn’t wear off the rack….People are coming out of the woodwork to help. When they hear what it’s for, it really touches their heart.

Mickie: WrestleCon has also donated the space for our reception. Pro Wrestling Tees has the t-shirt on sale where proceeds benefit NAMI, where if you wear that Dresslemania shirt at the event, we’ll autograph it. Impact handled the production for the’ Dresslemania’ commercial. Everyone is coming together.

Where do you think we are when it comes to women in wrestling?

Lisa: Mickie is an icon here. Still kicking ass as a mom. She opened so many doors. It’s so inspirational. I’m so proud because I got to work with all these people. I feel like a grandma saying, “That’s my kid.” It should have happened a long time ago. Now is the time.

Mickie: [It wouldn’t have been possible] without the work of Lisa and everyone who put in the time to get to this place. Now Gail Kim is the head of the Knockouts division. Seeing more women evolving and going into those power positions….These weren’t accepted things unless they were guest spots. To see more women at the table, we’ve grown so much. There are so many who have had longer careers because they have the knowledge now. And because of the foundation laid, more women are getting into the business to be wrestlers. The competition is tougher than ever.

Val: I think we’re on the right path. We’re seeing progression, diversity and acceptance. Finally, the ladies have been given the ball and are running with it.

If you had a girls’ night and could invite three people, living or not, who would you pick?

Lisa: You know I’m a Golden Girls fan. Golden Girls are true friends. Like I’m the Tomboy, Val’s the Fashionista, Mickie is freakin’ kickin’ ass and is still glamorous. All these different personalities colliding is very empowering. That is what friendship is about.

Val: I immediately went to Oprah. She just does good in the world. A huge influence on me is Lucille Ball. She is so pioneering. And mom, who is the most inspirational and independent lady of all time. If I could get another it would be Michelle Obama. There are so many!

Mickie: I would definitely put Marilyn Monroe because everyone knows I collect her stuff. She showed it was okay to be beautiful, sexy and powerful. Sherri Martel, I would say, because I got to hang out with her when I was young and green. I met her when she was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and reminded her of that moment. She was that pioneer for me of a woman who was looked at as one of the boys and respected on both sides of the locker room. She is the GOAT. I would also say my grandma because I miss her so much.

For everything GAW TV and DressleMania II, visit the show’s site at