(Original Max: Viper, Lexi, Siren & Kat with another victim!)
Around two years ago, the UK session wrestling scene was rocked to the MAX when a new team of kick-ass beauties emerged.
They bought MAX-imum pleasure with their fighting skills, unique personalities, sheer beauty which provided our scene with a thrilling shot in the arm.
I have never felt things have gotten stale but there is no harm in something fresh and exciting coming along and, having met most of them, I’m delighted that the emergence of this band of badass beauties didn’t turn out to be a massive anti-cliMAX!
Have you worked out who I’m going on about yet? Of course, I am talking about the fabulous Irish Max Academy who, it is fair to say, have taken the scene by storm having seemingly come out of nowhere.
(Avenger and Maximus)
They are made up of originals Kat, Viper, Lexi and Siren and have recently been joined by Avenger Max and their only male member Maximus Max!
Not content with just having the official super six, they also have the significant matter of Heidi and McKenzie as affiliated wrestlers to the overall stable!
(Heidi and McKenzie)
They have their own base in Cork but they also frequently travel across to England for shows and sessions.
But who are they? How did they get together? And why Irish when almost all of them don’t appear to be from the Emerald Isle?!
To find out all this and a lot more, I decided to get all Jeremy Paxman on their asses and grill the “original quartet” – and what an insight they gave me!
Viper said: “The whole Max Girl thing came about because Kat liked the idea of having a team, all following the same ethos, all supporting each other and all challenging and developing themselves physically.
“Kat has been into the gym for years and loves combining a sport with having a lot of fun at the same time.
“We all met in a time long ago where crazy notions and abstract ideas bought us all together.
“We were living very different lives to the one we live now and have had a very interesting journey along the way, dipped our fingers in some delicious pies along the way and then found ourselves sat on men’s faces and wanting to increase in strength and mass, not your normal girls next door you could say.
“We have always been extremely focussed on female empowerment and thanks to Kat’s experiences found the wonderful world of wrestling was a gateway for just that.”
Most definitely not your average girls next door! But no matter how crazy and unusual their minds were working, surely they had some background in combat sports or something to lead them down this path?
Kat said: “I started wrestling over in Australia seven years ago. I was a member of a gym and they had grappling classes.
“The second I started learning how to grapple I knew wrestling was for me! I absolutely loved the closeness of wrestling and the mental focus it required to get out of certain holds.
“I found it incredibly exciting and am so glad I’ve now progressed into this being a full time job for me – even though it isn’t like work at all!!!”
Siren – the artist formerly known as Baby – added: “I have never done any kind of contact sport before, I was always more interested in performing arts as a hobby.
“Have been a big fan of the gym but have only wanted to take it more serious in recent years.
“Work wise I have had a sales background but have spent most of my time raising my children.”
Viper said: “Yes – I’ve done boxing, and as a child I did Tae-kwon Do. I’ve always liked a good spar!”💪🏽
Lexi: “When I was younger I used to play rugby for my local club and have always enjoyed things like body combat and boxing at my gym.
“Anything where I can throw my weight around has always appeal to me!”
And the scene has certainly responded positively to the IMAX girls coming along and throwing their weight around! A positive reaction that has certainly been appreciated by the girls themselves.
Kat: “I’ve always found every single female in the scene very welcoming, friendly and helpful.
“It’s funny because we often fight competitively but I’ve never found that anyone gets aggressive or is out to hurt another woman.
“There’s a real ethos of strong empowered females in this scene and I absolutely love it.
“The male fans are all so lovely. Before I started doing the wrestling so much I didn’t have much body confidence and now I feel so comfortable in my own skin and that’s definitely thanks to the fans who have given me so much support and shown so much appreciation for my larger than most size!”
Siren: “Coming into this scene has been like a breath of fresh air. It’s so inspiring to see women being totally accepting if one another and encouraging one another.
“It’s also so refreshing to see so many women who are totally comfortable in their own skin and not feeling the need to fit any kind of criteria.
“All the men on the scene have been incredibly respectful, you get your odd cheeky chap from time to time but the good certainly overpowers the bad.
“We could not have dreamt of the kind of reception we have received and the fantastic opportunities we have been given.
“We love our work and a big part of that is because of the amazing people we get to work with.”
Lexi: “I love the scene! Everyone has been so nice and it surprised me if I’m honest about how nice all the other wrestlers are.
“You never know in a female dominated scene if people will be a little cold with newbies but I can honesty say everyone I’ve come into contact with has been lovely. Especially the lovely Monica.”
Viper: “The scene is such a buzz of activity – especially on Twitter and leading up to events! The Max Girls have definitely been welcomed into it all with open arms!
“We’ve experienced the best banter and friendly feistiness in the scene and love being a part of the madness, as we ourselves are all a little bit mad.”
But, like with anything, there are good and bad things about the scene. What are the girls’ favourite bits and worst aspects?
Siren: “The best things are the people, the excitement of the variety, we literally never know what we are doing from week to week.
“We get to work with our best friends as a team and our job is about having fun.
“The worst things are losing to people when we have given it large on Twitter due to certainty that we will thrash their arses!! (Referring to anyone in particularly there, Siren?!)
“Being injured can be seriously rough too!”
(MAX ASS! Definitely a good thing…)
Viper: “Worst first – people sometimes think we are an agency 🙈 We are just a team who love working together!
“Best – making a living from something so fun and meeting great people along the way.”
Lexi: “The best is definitely all the lovely people, everyone is super friendly and I love doing the events because you get to meet so many people who I’d never meet if I wasn’t in this scene.
“The worst would be when you get injuries, but luckily for me I’ve only picked up a few minor ones so nothing is really that bad!”
Kat: “Best things for me is all the travelling we get to do and also the people we get to meet.
“Worst would be the same as Lexi, I feel like I’m constantly walking around with something that’s sore! 😂”
Of course, one of the biggest positives for these ladies is they are all part of the same team. It’s quite obvious to me that they are tight and extremely supportive of one another (either when I’ve seen them in person or reading their tweets). The benefits of having stablemates is certainly not lost on them.
Kat: “We always have that support right there. I love it when we are in London or somewhere in Europe and we all stay together in the hotel. We stay up until about 5am most nights just laughing and chatting even tho most of the time we have a session at 9am!
“We genuinely love each other and genuinely want to make sure everyone’s OK.
“In the past when one of us has had maybe a bad session, perhaps an injury or someone who went a bit too rough, we are always there to pick each other up. I like that cos it makes you wanna pick yourself up and keep going.”
Siren: “We get to work as a family and enjoy the experience with one another.
“It’s awesome to watch one another progress and develop and grow in confidence and strength.
“Our aim is to eventually take over the world so we think that we are doing quite well so far.
“I love watching the girls in their matches, I guess you could liken it to a football fanatic watching their team play. Its so exciting.”
Viper: “Well we get compliments like being “kick ass”! And we all keep each other feeling good about what we do, and life in general.
“There’s a lot to be said for having a crew that will love and support you, and who all want to love and support others too.”
Lexi: “The fact we’re a team, it makes all the difference when you know you travel together, have fun together, laugh together and learn new skills.
“I think what we have is super special and I’m very proud to be a Max Girl!”
So what next for this super special crew? Each day seems to see their reputation enhanced and their list of accomplishments grow. The IMAX juggernaut is most certainly rolling on!
Siren said: “Obviously world domination is a must!
“But seriously we just want to keep having fun and encouraging girls to become a part of a scene in which they are shown respect and can empower themselves physically and mentally.
“There’s so much more to this than what happens on the mat – the friendships that are built, the physical changes from the dedication to the craft, and self discovery as well, we have found.
“It’s satisfying on so many levels, and as long as that can be kept a constant then we have no plans to be anywhere else.
“We have lots of plans with the clip stores and events, so things can only get bigger and better really!”
Amen to that! But come on. Why Ireland? I’ve heard an Aussie accent and unmistakably English tones from the MAX girls I’ve met. So who put the I into IMAX? Kat was more than happy to explain…
“We have one girl with a beautiful Irish accent and two others who hold Irish passports, one has Irish ancestors, one of us has dated an Irish man and we all know at least one Boyzone song, so it makes perfect sense!
“But seriously Ireland feels like home and for us it’s where MAX Academy was born.”
Their ever-growing clips store is available here: www.clips4sale.com/studio/129205/max-academy