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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 03/28/2013


GET CAUGHT IN VICTORIA’S SPIDER WEB
A two-time Women’s Champion who stomped icons like Trish Stratus and Lita in brutal Hardcore Matches, Victoria broke ground in the Divas division with her take-no-prisoners style and Widow’s Peak finishing maneuver.

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 03/26/2013

Impact Wrestling Superstars Tara and Mr. Pec-Tacular Take on Scripted Drama
Wrestlers Are Soap Stars in “Tainted Dreams”
New York City, March 26, 2013

“IMPACT WRESTLING” superstars Lisa Marie Varon, known as Tara, and five-time CBS “Big Brother” superstar, Jessie Godderz, known as Mr. PEC-Tacular, have signed on to join the cast of NYC Brand Production’s ”Tainted Dreams.” This new, scripted “soap within a soap” is set to blow the lid off the behind-the-scenes comedy and drama of producing a daily soap opera. “Tainted Dreams” is a rare, realistic look at the interaction of actors, cast, and crew involved in producing a daily, scripted drama.

Emmy-winning director and “Tainted Dreams” creator, Sonia Blangiardo finds the casting choice of Jessie and Lisa Marie natural and symbiotic. “Wrestling has evolved into an ‘action soap opera,’ combining athletic prowess with the on-going, serialized drama taking place in and out of the wrestling ring,” said Blangiardo. “There is a tremendous crossover audience between traditional soap operas and wrestling which creates a perfect fit for Jessie and Lisa Marie in our cast.”

In the world of pro wrestling, Mr. PEC-Tacular (Jessie) and Tara’s (Lisa Marie) onscreen chemistry has earned them monikers such as “The Hollywood Power Couple” and “The First Couple of IMPACT WRESTLING” where they already rival the popularity of some of the most well-known pairings in wrestling history. Both Godderz and Varon are world-class athletes in their own right. Godderz is the youngest 2-Sport Pro Athlete in History. Lisa Marie was an All-American in Cheerleading and has held numerous fitness and wrestling titles including winner of the Fitness America Series, Miss Galaxy and the TNA Wrestling Knockouts Championship.

“Tainted Dreams” boasts a unique combination of high profile soap stars, reality stars, sports figures, singers and theater actors. To date, casting announcements for “Tainted Dreams” include Dina Manzo (“Dina’s Party and “Real Housewives of New Jersey”) Alicia Minshew (“All My Children”), Kelley Menighan Hensley (“As The World Turns”), Walt Willey (“All My Children”), Marnie Schulenburg (“As The World Turns”), Michael Lowry (“All My Children”) and Anthony Wilkinson (“My Big Gay Italian Wedding”).

Distribution details for “Tainted Dreams” are not yet finalized.

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  Read MORE      Filed Under: Spoilers, TNA
 03/20/2013

TNA filmed a match for Xplosion during yesterday’s One Night Only taping. An air-date has yet to be determined.

– Miss Tessmacher defeated Tara.

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 03/20/2013

The following contains spoilers for the upcoming Knockouts Pay Per View, Knockouts Knockdown. The pay per view is apparently being shown sometime in May.

– Tara w/Jessie Godderz defeated Mia Yim via Widow’s Peak.

– Battle Royal. Rules were wrestlers entered every two minutes. Over the rope eliminations but the final two face off in a match. Gail Kim won the match to become the “Queen of the Knockouts.”

Entrants
1) Hannah Blossom
2) Gail Kim
3) Lei’d Tapa
4) Tara
5) Mickie James
6) Brooke Tessmacher
7) Jackie Moore
8) ODB
9) Velvet Sky

Eliminations
1) Hannah Blossom
2) Lei’d Tapa
3) Jackie
4) ODB
5) Velvet
6) Tessmacher
7) Tara
When it came down to Gail and Mickie, Gail faked an injury and rolled up Mickie for the win. Winner, Gail Kim. Madison Rayne then came out to the ring with a crown and put it on Gail’s head. Gail forced Madison to leave the ring and posed for the crowd. Norah’s interviewed her after the match.

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 03/15/2013

Pro Wrestler Tara Opens Pizza & Burger Joint Updated 3 hrs ago
By Paul Biasco, DNAinfo.com, March 15, 2013 7:45am
@Paul_Biasco pbiasco@dnainfo.com

LINCOLN PARK — When Lisa Marie Varon isn’t laying the smack down inside the ring as a professional wrestler, she will be running the front of the house at her new pizza and burger joint on Ashland Avenue.

Varon’s The Squared Circle opened Thursday night at 2418 N. Ashland Ave. The name is a wrestling reference that dates to the Greco-Roman days.
The restaurant will serve New York-style thin pizzas such as the Hangover Helper topped with pepperoni, bacon and an egg, but the specialty will be the Squared Circle deep dish with a duck fat caramelized crust.

“You can’t reinvent pizza in Chicago, but we are trying to do our own take on it,” said Lee Varon, Lisa’s husband, who will be in the kitchen most nights.

Lisa Maria Varon, who goes by Tara in the ring and lives in Lincoln Park, wasn’t far from their new restaurant Thursday night during the opening, as she was performing at TNA IMPACT Wrestling which was broadcast live on Spike TV from the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

Varon wrestled in World Wrestling Entertainment under the ring name Victoria for most of the 2000s. She debuted with Total Nonstop Action as Tara in 2009.

The restaurant, which is adorned with wrestling memorabilia donated by fellow TNA stars, features a menu of her guilty pleasures: pizza and burgers.

Similar to their duck fat-take on deep dish pizza, the Varons decided to take their burgers to another level by stuffing each with cheese.

“We are kind of late to the gourmet burger race, so we are stuffing all of our burgers,” Lee Varon said.

The burgers are also topped with the cheeses, such as Merkts cheddar and gouda.

The Varons know that while wrestling fans will come in to watch pay-per-view events on the restaurant’s numerous flat screens and to see Tara, if the food is not top-notch they don’t stand a chance.
“They are going to come in to see the Jeff Hardy poster once, but only good food will bring them back,” Lee Varon said.

Lisa Marie Varon will be at the restaurant almost every day they are open, as she is only on the road for two weekends each month.

Although she won’t be making the pies every night, her first job was at a pizza place, and she has the experience, her husband said.

“She can throw some dough,” Lee Varon said.

Menu items such as the Hangover Helper pizza go for $12.50 for a small and $25 for a large. The Squared Circle duck fat deep dish pizzas cost $14 for a small and $22 for a large, plus $2 for each additional ingredient.

The burgers include the $11 Big Vic, stuffed and topped with Merkts cheddar, and the $13 Windy City, stuffed with Gouda and topped with sauteed mushrooms, onion rings, avocado, Gouda and aioli.

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 03/14/2013

Pro Wrestler Serves Duck Fat Dough, Stuffed Burgers at Ashland Eatery Debut
By Carrie Frillman

Diners at Lincoln Park’s new The Squared Circle can expect to devour burgers stuffed with peanut butter, deep dish pizza dough made with duck fat and tons of other decadent menu items inspired by pro wrestler Lisa Marie Varon’s guilty pleasures.

Peanut butter-stuffed burger patties, wood-fired clam and bacon pizzas and wrestling memorabilia have joined forces to create a new Lincoln Park restaurant inspired by what owner and pro wrestler Lisa Marie Varon considers to be her vices.

“All of this stuff at the restaurant represents my guilty pleasures,” Varon said Wednesday at a soft opening for The Squared Circle. “People always ask me why pizza, burgers and wrestling. Those are my three favorite things.”

Located at 2418 N. Ashland Ave., the restaurant is parked on a busy corridor in Lincoln Park. Its official grand opening is Thursday. The wood-lined walls are adorned with autographed wrestling memorabilia and there’s enough seating for about 60 people.

Although wrestling fans can rest assured that the sport will be showcased at Varon’s restaurant, she insists other sports will not be neglected. Basketball, football, baseball and hockey will also be shown on a regular basis.

“This is a great move for her,” her cousin, Ryan Madigan, 28, said at Tuesday’s soft opening. “The food is unbelievable and there are millions of sports bars in Chicago but there’s nothing like this.”

Varon said the process for opening Squared Circle—it was first announced in October—went smoothly but it definitely came down to the wire.

“We just got our liquor license this morning,” she joked. “Yesterday, none of these chairs had their backings on.”

The restaurant is the third in Varon’s family, she said, but unlike others owned by her father, this one is all her own.

Her husband, Lee, is her partner in the venture and the brains behind several recipes, including the “fat Elvis” burger which was recently featured on WGN News. The beef patty for the creation is stuffed with peanut butter and banana caramelized ricotta cheese.

“All of our burgers are stuffed,” Varon said. “They’re delicious. They’re all gourmet and all have a different, unique taste to them.”

She’s also serving up crispy fries and several different types of pizza—an extra crispy thin crust, a traditional New York-style and a deep dish with dough made using duck fat.

“It’s decadent,” she said, smiling.

For now, the restaurant will focus on its dine-in customers and will offer carryout. Delivery may come later but Varon says she wants to take “baby steps.”

The 41-year-old competitor, who goes by the ringname “Tara” in TNA Wrestling and formerly, “Victoria” in the WWE. She won the TNA Women’s Knockouts Championship at last year’s biggest TNA pay-per-view event, Bound For Glory.

Varon previously owned a pizza restaurant in Kentucky, she said, and brought several family recipes along with her to Chicago. She also tapped into local businesses to help with branding—Bucktown’s One Hour Tees created the signage, which features a pro wrestling motif and the backdrop of a Chicago flag.

Though she remains active in pro wrestling, Varon says Chicagoans will definitely see her at Squared Circle.

“This is not a pet project for me,” she told the Chicago Tribune when she announced the restaurant. “This is my job. I will continue to travel a couple days a week for wrestling, but I will be in the restaurant several days a week.”

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 03/14/2013

We look back at this past Sunday when Taryn Terrell “accidentally” cost Gail Kim the Knockouts Title match by attacking her, then we get comments from Gail Kim from earlier tonight. Her heart goes out to Brooke Hogan, but she made the right decision by putting Taryn Terrell on probation and tells Terrell she better not ever put her hands on her again.

Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky & Mickie James vs Tara & Gail Kim

Gail and Velvet start us off and trade takedowns, Velvet snaps Gail to the mat by the hair and nearly drags her over to Tara by accident before realizing her error and dragging her completely back across the ring to Mickie. Micie comes in and goes to town on Gail with punches and kicks, hits an enzigiuri, and covers for 2 as we go to commercial.

We’re back as a very patriotically-attired Tara is working Mickie over and tying her up in the ropes with a tarantula. Tara stops to argue with Taryn Terrell while Gail dishes out punishment on the DL, then Tara covers for 2. Gail and Tara hit a double slingshot suplex on Mickie and Gail covers for 2. Gail gets in Terrell’s face again, but wastes too much time on that side work and takes a flying headscissors from Mickie. Gail and Mickie wipe each other out with a double clothesline and make simultaneous tags, then Velvet starts running Tara over with clotheslines before jabbing a boot at Gail on the floor. Gail breaks a cover at 2, then goes back to arguing with Terrell and dares Terrell to hit her. Terrell doesn’t, so Gail piefaces her and shoves her down to the mat. Terrell really should disqualify her for that, but instead she opts to slap her, stunning her long enough for Mickie to hit a flying crotch off the top rope. Tara swoops in and hits Mickie with the Widow’s Peak, but Velvet comes in and hits In Your Face for the win.

Winners: Velvet Sky & Mickie James

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 03/14/2013

TNA Knockout Tara ready to take on Chicago
March 13, 2013 | Elliott Serrano, for Redeye

I first met TNA Knockout Lisa Marie Varon (AKA “Tara”) at Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con a few years ago. She was seated in the autograph area that was set up for all the pro wrestlers who attended the annual pop-culture convention in Rosemont, IL. When I approached her, I fessed up to being a “total mark” for her, having been a fan since her days in the WWE as the Diva named “Victoria.” She humored the awkward geek that I was, and we did an interview for Youtube, where she talked about her experiences in WWE/TNA, moving away from Chicago and being my date to the prom (see video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDBWZ0MJKKM). Soon after, Varon became a fixture in the world of Geek To Me when she stepped up and helped run the “Geek Fit Challenge.” (If you’re wondering who won the GFC, I’ll give you a hint: it wasn’t me.)

Since then, Varon has returned to Chicago with her husband and dogs after they moved to the South in the 90’s. Along with working a full schedule with TNA, she is opening a pizza place named The Squared Circle (2418 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL). And for the first time in years, she will be wrestling in front of her hometown fans when TNA Impact is broadcast from the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates on Thursday, March 14th.

I was able to catch her while she was on the road, traveling to one of her many appearances. We spoke by phone about the move back to Chicago; the challenges of going from WWE to TNA; and what advice she had for female athletes wanting to follow in her footsteps:

Geek To Me: You’re living back in Chicago again, what made you decide to come back?
Lisa Marie Varon: I lived here in the 90’s and lived here for 5 years, but I had to move to Kentucky for wrestling. (I was) working in a territory there, so I learned to wrestle there. We opened a pizza place there, and opened a custom car shop. Once that closed down, I saw my husband looking at Chicago real estate and said “Oh my god are we going to move back?” and he said “Do you want to?” I said “absolutely!” The next weekend, (we) got a rental car, drove to Chicago, met with a real estate agent about looking for homes, for permanent residency.

I cannot tell you how much I love Chicago. When I drive into the city and see the skyline, my heart quivers and I get super, super excited. It’s my home. I love the people there, people are super nice there. I love the city life, and it’s clean. The summers are terrific. I’m a Cubs fan, a Bulls fan, a Bears fan. There’s nothing like Chicago.

Geek To Me: What kind of challenge has it been for you making the transition from WWE to TNA?
Lisa Marie Varon: Oh gosh, no difficulties at all. I had a lot of freedom going to TNA. They told me to do what I do best. And I wasn’t used to that, having so much freedom. Its heaven, I’ll be honest with you. Don’t get me wrong, I loved WWE too, I learned all my craft and psychology – how to be fierce in the ring – from Fit Finley. I don’t have any hard feelings. (But) I wasn’t used to getting that much time on TV, having Dixie Carter – our boss – who is very “pro-woman”, she gave us a lot of time on TV.

And that’s what I say about the WWE girls, people are like “you need to help the WWE Divas”, I get tweets like that all the time. I’m like “it’s not their fault, it’s their time on TV!” They don’t get to showcase their talent; there are very talented girls there. And there aren’t very many places where girls can go, so, I love both (WWE and TNA).

Geek To Me: What can we expect at the TNA event in Chicago?
Lisa Marie Varon: I don’t know what to expect, but expect whoever I’m facing to get a beat down of their life! I am not going to hold back, especially in my home town. Performing in front of your home town, there’s no feeling like that, the fans are crazy. I’ve been doing a lot of media, especially with my restaurant (The Squared Circle) opening. I’m super stoked about it. I don’t know who I’m facing, but expect a beat down.

Geek To Me: What advice do you give to young female athletes who want to get into the business?
Lisa Marie Varon: I always suggest (getting) a college education. I’m very pro college education. You never know how long this business is gonna last. You can tear your knee; you’ll be out of business. You could break your neck, you’re done. What are you going to do? You always have to have a backup plan. And I think that people need to learn to be level-headed business people.

I extremely believe in living your dreams. Look at me, I get to wrestle for a living, and this is heaven for me. I think that you can tell I have the passion. I love what I do. Thirteen years in this business and I’m in the best shape of my life!

There are some girls who get into this business and don’t really take care of their bodies. Your body is your temple. You know from me training with Joey Thurman I take it serious. I’m 42 and I feel like I’m 20. That’s how you have to look at it. You have to go in it thinking that you’re a fighter and need to be in the best shape of your life.

You have to be able to mesh well with the travel schedule, being away from your family, and putting this business in front of your family. This is not a 9 to 5 job, this is your life. I love what I do and I think my fans know that. Expect it to not be a 9 to 5 or three day a week business, it’s 24/7.

Every second of the day I need to think – I’m getting my nails done “I have to look good for my fans.” I’m working on my body. These fans are expecting entertainment, extreme hardcore, even for female athletes. You’ve gotta be ready to throw down.

Follow Lisa Marie Varon on Twitter!

Watch “Tara” throw down with the TNA Knockouts Thursday nights on Spike TV!

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 03/14/2013

Chicago wrestlers are all about TNA
March 12, 2013|By Elliott Serrano | For RedEye

TNA wrestling is picking a fight with WWE, and Chicago is in the middle of it.

If Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling is going to be a true rival to the WWE empire, building its fan base in the Windy City certainly will help. TNA’s “Impact Wrestling Live” will be broadcast live on Spike TV on Thursday from the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates. The last time the organization held a show in the area was in 2008 for a pay-per-view event.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve been back up in the Midwest, unfortunately,” said wrestler Chris Daniels, 42. “It wasn’t up to me; if it was, I would have been there a lot longer. I’ve got ties in Chicago. I was trained there. I’ve got a lot of family and friends. … And I don’t get a chance to visit them as much as I should because of the schedule.”

TNA typically televises “Impact” from Orlando, Fla. The Nashville, Tenn.-based organization has a roster of talent that includes names such as Daniels, Austin Aries and Bobby Roode, along with superstars like Hulk Hogan and Kurt Angle.

The presence of these ring veterans has helped raise TNA’s profile and has had a positive effect on the athletes in the locker room.

“You see someone like Kurt Angle, who has had immeasurable success in professional wrestling as a whole, going out there and doing his best to try and make people aware of the product—you can’t help but give 110 percent in that same respect,” Daniels said.

Lisa Marie Varon, aka “Tara,” made the switch from WWE to TNA in 2009 and relocated to Chicago in the process.

“I lived here [in Chicago] in the ’90s and lived here for five years, but I had to move to Kentucky for wrestling,” said Varon, who lives in Lincoln Park. “[My husband and I] opened a pizza place there and a custom car shop. Once that closed down, I saw my husband looking at Chicago real estate and said, ‘Oh my God, are we going to move back?’ and he said ‘Do you want to?’ I said, ‘Absolutely!’ ”

Varon dismisses the notion that there were any challenges in switching wrestling organizations.

“I had a lot of freedom going to TNA,” she said. “They told me to do what I do best. And I wasn’t used to that, having so much freedom. … Don’t get me wrong, I loved WWE too, I learned all my craft and psychology—how to be fierce in the ring—from [WWE trainer] Fit Finlay. I don’t have any hard feelings. [But] I wasn’t used to getting that much time on TV. Having Dixie Carter—our boss—who is very pro-woman [helped]. She gave us a lot of time on TV.”

Daniels said TNA faces an uphill battle trying to compete with WWE.

“The truth of the matter is sometimes it’s hard to be different from the WWE when you’re trying to gain those same viewers,” he said. “Sometimes there’s a tendency to sort of follow in the footsteps of the WWE. And so it’s sort of a fine line where you want to be recognizable as professional wrestling but you also want to set yourself apart from what some people consider the standard of professional wrestling, which is the WWE.”

In the long run, putting TNA in the same league as WWE falls on the talent in the ring, Daniels said.

“I think the challenge for us as individuals is [to] try to stand out,” he said. “Try to get people talking. Try to get that word of mouth out about our product. Not just ourselves but the entire roster as a whole. Trying to get people talking about the differences in our talent. The differences in terms of the stories we’re telling in the ring. Trying to get some buzz about the things that we’re doing.”

Elliott Serrano is RedEye special contributor.

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 03/14/2013

Wrestler Lisa Marie Varon’s Chicago faves
March 12, 2013|By Elliott Serrano | For RedEye

Now that she again is a resident of the Windy City, TNA Knockout Lisa Marie Varon, aka “Tara,” recommends the following for those who want to get better acquainted with it:

1) Experience the food
“I recommend going to all the cultural food places like Greek Town and China Town. I’m a foodie. So you have to stop by the Squared Circle for burgers and high-end pizzas.”

2) Go to a Cubs game
“Nothing like a Cubs game. I recommend getting seats behind the visiting team’s dugout because I like to heckle; that’s my favorite.”

3) Take the double decker boat and bus tours.
“I took my father on one of those tours, just to do the tourist thing with him, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate Chicago now. I can’t tell you what I’ve learned about the city, the architecture, the history. It’s an amazing city.”

Elliott Serrano is a RedEye special contributor.

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 03/14/2013
 
 
 03/14/2013

TNA Wrestling’s Tara takes Chicago pizza into the Squared Circle
MARCH 14, 2013 BY: KEVIN KELLAM

Former TNA Knockout and WWE Women’s Champion Tara has answered the age old question: “When are wrestling fans going to get their very own brick-oven pizza place? “ The master of the Widow’s Peak has answered that question with a new pro wrestling themed pizza restaurant in Chicago fittingly called ‘the Squared Circle’ located at 2418 N. Ashland Avenue. The Lincoln Square dine-in spot which opens today, features a variety of pizzas, burgers, and more of the Second City’s delicious delights all with a heavy focus on pro wrestling fun.

Last night, Tara and the staff of the Squared Circle welcomed a packed-house of special guests to a grand opening party which Pro Wrestling Examiner was lucky enough to attend. An all-star cast of IMPACT stars were also on hand including Magnus, Chavo Guerrero, Matt Morgan, Robbie E, Velvet Sky, So Cal Val, Gail Kim, Joseph Parks and Brooke Hogan. The TNA talents dug into tasty pizza samples and mingled with the crowd in attendance. Tara greeted guests personally and appeared to be in great spirits with the opening.

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. Finally, we got a location in Lincoln Park by Depaul University. It’s pizza and burgers, my two favs. I am super excited about the menu. You have to come out and try it.

Read the entire interview with Tara at this link where she discusses the WWE Hall of Fame induction of her rival and great friend Trish Stratus

The atmosphere of the Squared Circle is perfect for wrestling fans with several collectible wrestling outfits and autographed framed photos on display. Ring gear worn by stand out wrestlers like Gail Kim, Lita, and Kurt Angle are all featured but the coolest prize was a striking glove worn by the Undertaker which hangs over the bar.

The restaurant has an inviting brick and wood interior and big bold ‘Squared Circle’ sign on the outside of the building that bares a striking resemblance to the same flag that adorns CM Punk’s ring attire.

Numerous big screen TV’s were showing TNA wrestling action during the party which is pre-cursor to the Squared Circle hosting live screenings of TNA, WWE, and UFC pay per view events. If you live in the area, make the Squared Circle your destination for pro wrestling get-togethers. Wrestling fans and pizza fanatics can find out more at http://thesquaredcircle.biz/ or by following @theSQdCircle on Twitter for more details. https://twitter.com/@theSQdCircle

TNA Wrestling has a big night on Spike TV tonight as they broadcast IMPACT live on the road for the first time from the Sears Center right outside of Chicago in Hoffman Estates. The show will feature some serious fallout from Sunday’s Lockdown Pay Per View with new TNA World Champion Bully Ray betraying Brooke Hogan and revealing himself as the leader of the evil faction, Aces & 8’s.

Pro Wrestling Examiner has exclusive coverage of TNA IMPACT in Chicago including three exclusive interviews, read them in the links posted below.

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 03/14/2013

The Squared Circle Serves Up a Delight of a Night
March 14, 2013

OK, I have to admit it: I spent the night with Brooke Hogan. All right, not the entire night. Oh, and with Christy Hemme, Gail Kim, Velvet Sky, SoCal Val and Lisa Marie Varon. Plus Robbie E, Chris Daniels, Joseph Park and a bunch of other wrestling folks.

My idea of work: Posing with Brooke Hogan was painless. Well, for me it was.
They all were at a private pre-party Wednesday (March 13) for the grand opening of The Squared Circle (2418 N. Ashland, Chicago), the restaurant owned by Lisa Marie and her husband/chef Lee. The restaurant is wrestling-themed — with memoriabilia framed on the walls alongside flat-screen televisions — but not overwhelmingly so.

The establishment will show wrestling on those TVs. Included will be the TNA Impact Wrestling live event Thursday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. The show is to be televised at 7 p.m. on Spike TV, so opening-night diners and/or drinkers (there is a bar area) will be able to take in the wrestling action.

Because the TNA Impact Wrestling action actually will be showing one card live and taping another, Lisa Marie and her colleagues are unlikely to make an encore trip to the restaurant Thursday before it closes at midnight.

Meanwhile, back to Wednesday night. Also attending were some members of the media. Included were Rich Koz (aka Svengoolie of TV fame), Luis Gomez of the Chicago Tribune and Elliott Serrano of Redeye, another Tribune property.

Also present and chronicling some of the evening’s events was filmmaker Matt Goldberg, whose movie “Tarafied” has been submitted to the Cannes Film Festival. And before anyone scoffs at that notion, let the record show Goldberg had an entry in 2012 at Cannes.

Goldberg has the knack for capturing the action and activity without being intrusive. One example occurred when Brooke arrived with a gift for Lisa Marie (known in TNA circles — or rings — as Tara). Brooke brought a little bag whose distinctive color indicated it was from Tiffany. Inside was a small box. Inside the small box was a smaller trademark Tiffany bag.

Lisa Marie carefully opened the present that included Tiffany tissue and a white ribbon around the book. Inside the bag was a necklace (you can see it in the accompanying video that Lisa Marie was gracious enough to submit to after an evening of meeting and mingling with her friends and assorted guests).

Goldberg blended into the woodwork — well, close to it — and captured the moment. Can’t wait to see where that video footage ends up.

Toward the end of the evening’s festivities, your humble correspondent approached Christy Hemme and reminded her of having escorted her to the ring at TNA’s 2008 “Bound for Glory” event, also at the Sears Centre. She feigned remembering our previous relationship. Can’t imagine why. At the very least, one of us recalled the moment and called it one of the highlights of his life.

Well, Christy still was/is a good sport and consented to posing with Velvet Sky for a photo (there it is toward the top of today’s posting).

Meanwhile back to Brooke Hogan. She is attractive and tall (especially in 4-inch heels, or however high they were) and seemed in good spirits. She even performed waitress duties by bringing a round of drinks to the table where she and some of her female cohorts were stationed.

Brooke also was a good sport and posed for a photo with yours truly — with Lisa Marie taking the picture.

If all this sounds a bit surreal, the reason is simple: It is. Was. Always will be. Was there an hour or two of waiting for that moment to occur? Indeed. Does anyone really care? Nope. Certainly not me.

***
Here is the interview that Lisa Marie Varon was gracious enough to do after a busy evening at The Squared Circle:

***

* Speaking of Lisa Marie Varon, she will be a guest on “Sports & Torts” on Thursday (March 14) at noon Chicago time on talkzone.com with co-hosts David Spada and Elliott Harris. Because she has to be at the Sears Centre before noon to prepare for the TNA Impact Wrestling event at night, the interview with her is taped. For those who miss the original “Sports & Torts” broadcast, it will become available on podcast later in the day.

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 03/09/2013
 
 
 03/05/2013

Exclusive interview with TNA’s Tara
Posted on March 4, 2013 by Seth

The lifestyle of a TNA Impact Wrestling Knockout is not easy, especially for a champion. And with Impact Wrestling taking to the road full-time, the schedule will only be getting more demanding.

Five-Time Knockout Champion Tara has been taking care of business in the ring for over a decade, but the still manages to find time to open a pizzeria in downtown Chicago. Tara also takes some time out to talk to us about both.

Ms. Tara, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. What do you think about Impact Wrestling going on the road full time?
I think it’s the right thing to do for the long term success of the company. I love going to work at Universal Studios in Orlando. But I’m also looking forward to feeling the excitement from crowds who don’t get to see us every week. And I think it gives the company an opportunity to bring in new fans who maybe aren’t as familiar with us now, but will become regular viewers once they get the chance to see us live.

How do you manage to stay in shape while on the road so much?
I train hard. I like to think that nobody trains as hard as I do. I’m living a dream, and in order to keep doing that, I need to be in peak physical condition. I have trained in the gym with MMA fighters, football players, boxers, triathletes. I have never seen anyone train harder than I do. I am fully committed. When I go through the indies, and people tell me that this is their dream, and they tell me they do no conditioning, I know that they aren’t 100% committed. If you want to be a professional wrestler on an international level, at least be in as good condition as this 42 year old woman.

Which heel character have you had more fun with? “Crazy Victoria” or “Cocky/Snobby Tara”?
They are both awesome. I have fun doing characters that are different than myself. For me, the more ‘out there’ the character is, the more fun I have.

Was Jessie always the planned “boy toy”, or was there ever discussion of using Joey Ryan?
I’m not involved in what happenes in those meetings. I show up to work. They give me some direction, and I take it from there.

Who is the one opponent you have yet to wrestle, and would be your dream match?
I have said Chyna several times. People don’t like that answer because a lot of people don’t think she’s been living her best life since she left WWF. Since it is a dream match, she would have come to WWE 8-9 years ago and we would have had a slobberknocker (to use ne one if JRs terms).

Where can people find your restaurant, “The Squared Circle”?
2418 N Ashland in Chicago, IL. We’re on pace to open on March 14th. You can get more details at www.TheSquaredCircle.biz or @theSQDcircle

Will “The Squared Circle” host PPV “parties or events”?
Absolutely! We’ll definitely be hosting pro wrestling PPVs.

Will you make appearances at your Restaurant?
I will be there on a regular basis. Several times per week. This isn’t a pet project. I will be managing it

What’s next for Tara? Perhaps setting a new record as a six-time champion?
The sky’s the limit!

Impact Wrestling begins touring full-time starting March 14th, and can be seen every Thursday Night at 8PM ET. If you’re in the Chicago area, make sure to check out Tara’s pizza restaurant “The Squared Circle” in downtown Chicago at 2418 N Ashland Ave.

More details on attending the historic first live Impact on March 14th is available HERE.

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 02/28/2013

Gail Kim was shown joining Tenay and Keneley at the broadcast position. Tenay noted that Gail gets to face the Sky-Tara winner for the KO Title at Lockdown.

Knockouts champion VELVET SKY vs. TARA (w/Jessie) — Knockouts Title match — winner defends against Gail Kim at Lockdown — Taryn Terrell referee

Tara, along with Jessie, was introduced first before TNA replayed events from last week when Gail pinned Tara during the four-way elimination match for the KO Title. But, Gail was unable to pin Velvet Sky, who captured the KO Title in the four-way. Velvet Sky was introduced to the ring as Gail had to watch Velvet Sky win the title last week. Gail noted she’s sick of KO referee Taryn, claiming biased officiating. Once the bell sounded, Tara angrily attacked Velvet Sky to take the early advantage. Early in the match, Taryn became involved when Jessie tried to get involved, as usual. Chaos ensued, then Tara turned around and took Sky’s finisher for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Velvet Sky

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 02/26/2013

Tara Opens “The Squared Circle” Restaurant in Chicago
BUSINESS OWNER BY DAY, PRO WRESTLER BY NIGHT… CHICAGO’S LISA MARIE VARON (TARA) OPENS THE SQUARED CIRCLE

A new pizzeria is taking shape in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago and the owner is professional wrestler Lisa Marie Varon. The Squared Circle, which is a term often used by wrestling promoters to refer to the ring, is located at 2418 North Ashland and will feature house-ground burgers, brick oven style pizzas and a full bar.

Formerly Leon’s Ribs, The Squared Circle will accommodate approximately 48 patrons in addition to 15 seats in the bar area. Autographed wrestling memorabilia will adorn the walls and TV’s will showcase live sports including wrestling pay-per-views.

Varon’s husband Lee, will head up the kitchen which will include a custom-built brick oven.

“I could not be more excited about returning to chicago, and about bringing my concept to one of the greatest food cities in the world,” explains Varon.

Varon is currently on board with TNA’s Impact Wrestling as “Tara” where she is one of their biggest stars and can be seen every Thursday night at Spike TV.

On Thursday, March 14th at 7:00 pm she will join wrestlers Hulk Hogan, The Icon Sting, Bully Ray, Austin Aries, Velvet Sky and many more to perform at Impact Wrestling at The Sears Centre at 7:00pm. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.

The Squared Circle will be open for business beginning Thursday, March 14th.

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 02/21/2013

Jessie is backstage giving Tara a pep talk as she prepares to defend the Knockouts Title…NEXT!

Knockouts Title Match: Tara vs Velvet Sky vs Brooke Tessmacher vs Gail Kim

Brooke Hogan is at ringside to make sure nothing screwy happens.

Okay, we’re back and it’s elimination rules as Jessie is ejected from ringside. Tara hits an electric chair on Tessmacher as Brooke and Gail go at it, but Tara joins Gail in a 2-on-1 against Velvet. Tara hits a twisting side suplex on Velvet, but Gail breaks it up at 2 and she argues with Tara over who gets to beat Velvet. This progresses to a shoving match and then a slugfest that ends in Tara backdropping Gail into next week. Gail dodges a charge in the corner and gets yanked to the floor by Tessmacher, but Gail gets ahold of her and goes for an atomic crotch on the ringpost. Tessmacher kicks off the post and bulldogs Gail on the floor, then she joins Velvet in a double team on Tara. Tara gets knocked out to the apron and hangs Velvet up on the top rope, then rolls back in and drops Tessmacher’s throat on the ropes as well. Tara goes for a moonsault on Tessmacher and connects, but she seems to hurt herself on the way down and Velvet hits her with In Your Face. Gail comes in and dumps Velvet to the floor and cradles Tara for 3.

Tara is eliminated.

So we’re guaranteed a new champion tonight as Gail and Tessmacher battle on the top rope. Velvet comes over and grabs Gail in a powerbomb as Gail tries to suplex Tessmacher and it’s the Tower of Doom! Velvet covers Gail for 2, then covers Tessmacher for 2. Tessmacher tries an O’Connor roll on Velvet, but Velvet reverses and catches a fall on Tessmacher.

Miss Tessmacher is eliminated.

Gail whips Velvet to the corner, but Velvet gets her feet up on a charge by Gail and comes out strong with a pair of clotheslines and a flying headscissors. Gail with a dropkick to Velvet and she tries a cradle while holding the ropes, but Taryn Terrell catches her and stops counting. Gail gets in Terrell’s face, then goes back after Velvet with kicks to the ribs. Gail charges Gail in the corner, Velvet tries a Jack Brisco sunset flip, Gail holds the ropes, and Terrell kicks Gail off the ropes and flat on her ass. Velvet hits In Your Face on Gail, and we have a new Knockouts Champion!

Winner and NEW Knockouts Champion: Velvet Sky

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 02/19/2013

Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Morph Trainer Joey Thurman, Lisa Marie Varon Keep Fit With Kettlebells.
Morph personal trainer Joey Thurman shared tips on how to keep fit using kettlebells. He and Lisa Marie Varon, a-k-a Tara, from TNA’s Impact Wrestling showed us how.

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 02/14/2013

Party Marty & The Blossom Twins vs. Gail Kim and Tara & Jessie

Jessie takes control of Marty early and gloats. Marty fights back and gets the crowd behind him. Marty charges but stops and slaps Jessie in the corner. Marty hits a springboard moonsault as we go to commercial.

We’re back as Tara tags in. Marty tags one of the Blossom Twins. One of them is Hannah and one is Holly and nobody knows which is which. Gail Kim is in now and almost gets pinned by a Blossom. Gail is pinned again but Taryn the ref has to get Jessie off the apron. Tara kicks the Blossom Twin in the back from the apron and Gail takes over. Gail tags Tara who slams the Blossom by her hair. Gail and Tara take turns on the girl and Gail gets 2. The Blossom Twin continues to kick out. The crowd tries to get behind her as Tara scoop slams her. Tara goes for a standing moonsault but Blossom gets her knees up and tags her fresher Blossom sister. She takes it to Tara and Gail and the sisters hit tandem offense on Kim but she kicks out.

Marty hits a missile dropkick to Jessie and knocks him out of the ring. Marty launches himself through the ropes but overshoots it and crashes more into the rail than Jessie. Gail hits Eat DeFeet in the ring for the win.

Winners by pin: Gail Kim, Tara & Jessie

Gail cuts an in-ring promo and tells Tara she wants her title back. Gail tells Brooke to come out and give her the match. Brooke comes to the ramp to ‘boos’ from the crowd. Brooke says Gail has her match but Miss Tessmacher will also be in the match. Tessmacher comes to the ramp but Brooke is not done. Velvet Sky comes out in her classic look. Brooke says it is a 4-Way Elimination and Brooke will be ringside watching. She wishes them all luck.

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