Ring Of Honors ODB aka Jessie Kresa recently took some time to participate in an interview. ODB discusses her work with TNA, ROH, training under Eddie Sharkey in OVW and her hopes for a Women’s division in Ring of Honor. Check out the complete interview below.
Discuss some of your training under Eddie Sharkey. How did it come about and what did ODB walk away with?
ODB: “Training with Eddie Sharkey (chuckles)… when I first wanted to become a wrestler I wanted to be trained. So going onto the good old internet there and I would say I looked up Eddie Sharkey and we basically trained in a backyard. I went there and I was just coming off from Tough Enough and I went there and I said I wanted to do this and he said, ‘Alright, I need some money’ and I said, ‘Of course you do.’ While I was there, Shawn Davari was there and I just knew that it was the right place you know, 10 minutes from my house and I trained 5 nights a week. I lucked out well and I learned from Eddie Sharkey, you know, hide your wallet (chuckles) and about the business, keep your mouth shut.
That obviously helped me a lot in my first few years. And as they say, I paid my dues and hopped in a van with 5 other guys for my first few years and we would go and do the whole Midwest scene, Chicago, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. Worked for $20 and I worked with a lot of guys to start out with and that’s where I learned the most was from the boys. Learn as you go, you never stop learning in this business. It was good to get trained by Eddie Sharkey. He helped me get into this business and I’m very thankful for that.”
Where did the name ODB come from and what the inspiration behind it?
Your early pursuit of ice hockey was great to see. Was there any consideration to pursue that on a grander scale?
ODB: “Actually, I didn’t start playing hockey until my high school years. They were having tryouts and the very first-ever girls hockey team back in 94’ was when girls hockey started hitting it out and I wanted to play. I never played hockey growing up. We had a pond in the backyard and I would skate, but I wasn’t good. My dad said if you want to try out for the hockey team then you better learn how to freakin’ play. All my uncles played hockey growing up, so I had all my uncles equipment. I remember the very first day of tryouts and freakin’ left my skate guards on and I went on the ice and fell on my ass! It was good times.
Then I started trying out and I was like, ‘I want to be the goalie.’ So thank God I was the goalie. I mean, I learned how to skate being a goalie. My first tryout days weren’t looking good. So I was like, ‘Fuck it, I’ll be the goalie.’ Oh God, the goalie has to be the best skater on the team. Lateral, side to side and back to back and backward and stop. I learned to become a very good skater being a goalie.
I also went off and played a couple of years in college at St. Cloud State in Minnesota. I only went to college to basically play hockey, party and meet boys. I never thought of making it into something more. I was just getting started. At that time, I was just thinking about my future and college hockey was just the furthest that I was going to go. I wasn’t thinking about going anywhere farther than that.”
Discuss your time in OVW under Danny Davis. What was that time like and what did ODB walk away with?
ODB: “That’s where I really came out my shell. I’ve always been in contact with Al Snow. I met him during Tough Enough and I would always be on indie shows. He was a man. He said, ‘You need to be seen. Just pack up your stuff and go down to OVW. Don’t worry about it. We’ll talk to Danny (Davis) and get you in.’
So I showed up. I packed up my truck and moved from Louisville, Kentucky and showed up on TV taping. I mean that’s where you had a lot of those guys there. You had (CM) Punk, Ken Anderson all the guys, including Spirit Squad. All those guys were getting called up then and it was perfect timing for me to come in because all the girls were getting called up; Beth (Phoenix), Mickie James, Melina. So I showed up, talked to Danny and he says, ‘Alright, you can be in a contract class.’
I got to train under everyone in developmental. So if not for that experience, I wouldn’t be where I am now. To be trained by all those guys and then WWE coming in once a week, checking up on us, doing promos in the ring, you just learn so much about the business when you’re there. It was an awesome experience. Those are part of the best times of my life during the two years that I was there.
I made some good friendships and I had a blast.
They let me do my thing. ‘Who is ODB? Show ODB!’ I got an opportunity where I made up the OVW women’s belt with Serena Deeb. She and I were the two non-contract girls and we made the very first OVW women’s championship, so we made history out there. I can’t tell you all the stories that happened out there, but it was fun. As I was out there, I had to work at bars and stuff to make a living. Actually, I was a bartender at a few strip clubs. Good old Seven Street was where we would all hang out after some shows. Some classy strip clubs out there (chuckles). Serena was great. She got to be in Wrestlemania and that’s everyone’s dream. She did her thing and there is a time where everyone has to move on in their lives and do a different thing.”
Between 2007-2010 & 2011-2014, you were part of the TNA Knockouts division. Share your time there and your memories of the promotion.
“I loved TNA. They made me who I am today, too. They gave me an opportunity and I got to be myself which was awesome. They were, ‘We love the ODB character!’ So that was cool. Then we had that awesome division when I first got there. There was me, (Awesome) Kong, Traci Brooks, the Beautiful People, (Christy) Hemme, Gail Kim, Roxy.
I mean it was a classic women’s division. We were all in the indies together. I remember having that first feeling ever at Bound for Glory 2007 with the first-ever battle royal that we did, the first-ever Knocked Up champ and it was an awesome feeling. I remember before the match, we sat in a circle, prayed and said, ‘We freakin’ did this.’ I loved all my parts in TNA. I mean I got married, so I got to have a cool wrestling wedding. That was pretty cool. I got my own talk show. That was pretty fun. I got to kick some ass while I was there.”
How was your first tour of duty with the promotion different from the second one?
“I think I left a couple of times, came back and recharged. Obviously, change happens. My first time was awesome and then they weren’t using me as much. When you’re a wrestler and not being used, it kind of pisses you off. I don’t want to sit on the sidelines and watch. I’m not going to wait at home for a phone call. When is the next time I’m going to be on TV? So I said, screw it, I don’t want to re-sign. Then they called me back. I came back all recharged. So it was cool how I came back. That was one of my favorite times when I came back and EY (Eric Young) and I got to do a storyline together. I was happy with that.”
Within the promotion, who could you say were amongst some of your biggest supporters?
“Shit, I don’t even really know who was really behind me. (chuckles) Actually, I think there was (Vince) Russo. I think he liked the characters. I think he was… I hope he was supporting me. I know a lot of non-supporters. I’m not going to say that. When I came back my second time and I was out there wrestling in Madison Rayne’s open challenge, I came back and after that match, (Eric) Bischoff pulled me aside and said, ‘Why the hell don’t you work here’? I’m like, ‘Well, I used to!’ He says, ‘You’re getting your job back.
I’m going to make sure’. So Bischoff and Hogan were big supporters of me and I want to thank them. Those guys know what it’s all about. Bischoff and Hogan got my job back and they helped me out a lot. I hope they know that, well, I think now they do.”
Which feuds/storylines within TNA were you most proud of and which ones do you think could have had a bit more done with them?
“When I first got there, I think I was feuding with the Beautiful People, which was awesome because our characters were so different. Then you add in Gail Kim and (Awesome) Kong in the mix and Roxy and we’re like the outsiders. Those were the fun times and they let us do our thing and they gave us a lot of TV time and we got a lot of in-ring promos. We did a lot of gimmick matches, so it was kind of cool. I think working with that was awesome.
EY (Eric Young) and I loved our storyline, but then it faded out and kind of sucked. I was a little pissed about that because it didn’t go especially well before I left where it could have been a big divorce. Leaving TNA sucked because when someone leaves a company, do something with it. There could have been an awesome divorce where I said, ‘Screw you, EY. I’m outta here! Here are your papers. Sign it, bitch!’ It just kind of faded out and he had his own fishing show and he was busy doing that and I was just standing around. ‘Where’s my fried chicken? Where are you? I’m calling you, where the hell are you?’ That shit got old. There were more things we could have done, and it just didn’t happen. So that kind of pissed me off, that situation.”
On Jan 3rd, you made your debut for Ring of Honor. Discuss how that came about, how your experience has been and what you are most looking forward to within the promotion.
“I left TNA last June, so I didn’t really make it a big deal. I just didn’t resign. I was just enjoying my summer off and didn’t wrestle for a while, and then Hunter had buzzed me and he said, ‘Would you, and I’m not exactly sure when the time would be, but would you want to come and do a little program with us?’ I’m like, ‘Hell yeah, that would be awesome!’ It took a while, but then that January came around, it was perfect timing. It was right after they had Daniels and Kazarian and AJ (Styles) kind of show up, so they didn’t want too much TNA talent coming in all at once. It was cool. No one knew I was coming. It was in Nashville at the Fairgrounds. That was kind of cool because that’s where I started with TNA.
It was kind of a cool feeling to be there, especially for Ring of Honor and I hid all day. No one knew I was there. The fans didn’t know. When I came out they were like, ‘Holy shit! That’s freakin’ ODB!’ It was cool too because they don’t really have women wrestlers there. So when I finally got my hands on Maria, that really made them think, ‘Oh man, we want a women’s division!’ I’m hoping there will be a women’s division coming from Ring of Honor. There are so many good young women talent out there that needs to be shown and I think so far so good. I think it’s going to happen. I hope that I am the main part of it, and who knows? Maybe they’ll have a women’s belt in Ring of Honor. That would be pretty sweet. That would be good history-making.”
With the success of the Knockouts division, are there plans within ROH to create a women’s division as well?
What does the rest of 2015 and beyond have in store for ODB?
“Well, I’ve got my own BBQ sauce and hot sauce out in my first year and I’m doing that. I’ve really been focusing in on that. I’m still going to be wrestling a lot with Ring of Honor and I’m taking my first road trip with my airstream trailer when I’m going to Sturgis. It’s going to be a fun experience. I’m going to be a vendor out there, so I’ll be selling my sauce and I’m excited about that. I’m using what my wrestling has given me and using my brand and getting out there and airstream trailer has really helped me out a lot.
I’m just doing my thing with them. I’m blogging with them. You never know what could happen and this year for me has gotten better and that’s what I look forward to each year, better. I bartend at a bar, I run a bar in Champlin, Minnesota at a little bar and I love doing that, so eventually maybe own my own bar someday, hopefully in a few years when my wrestling career starts slowing down and maybe get married and have some kids someday, but that’s not anytime soon (chuckles).
Someday I can enjoy that life.
Lisa Marie is one of my favorite people and I loved being in the ring with her. She is one of my very good friends and she is such a perfect person for running a restaurant because she is such a people person. She loves her fans, she is always at her restaurant from open to close. She always worked her ass off to get that business going. I’m proud of her for doing that. It’s all about the fans, you know? If it wasn’t for the wrestling fans, none of us would be here. You have to give props to all the fans out there.”