Billie Starkz discusses training with TJPW and working Korakuen Hall.
Starkz has become a breakout star in the wrestling world; the 18-year-old is still in high school, but she continues to compete around the United States, and she has also started working with TJPW in Japan. TJPW will hold a show in Los Angeles as part of The Collective 2023 on March 31. There, Starkz will face Rika Tatsumi.
In an interview with Fightful's Scott Edwards, Starkz compared training with TJPW to training in the United States. She emphasized that it's a different style, and the way they teach things differs from some methods in America. Starkz noted that she liked some of these little changes, and she credited the Joshi women with helping her a lot.
"I wanted to train, and I requested to train there. They were like, ‘You’re not here that long. Go have fun.’ ‘No, I want to train with everybody. I will also have time to do stuff.’ It’s just a different style. The teaching is kind of the same, but the motions and how they’ll change these little things, and I like the little changes that they make sometimes. When you are training, it’s still full speed, but you kind of cheat everything where you don’t hurt your body. ‘This is great; how do you guys do this?’ In my head, I’m like, ‘I just have to do it or walk through it, I don’t know this middle pace that you’ve figured out.’ I feel like the women that I wrestled there helped me so much with the little time that I got to be there. The Joshi women are whole different beasts of wrestling. I’ve always said that I am super-inspired by Joshi wrestling because those women are some of the best in the world," Starkz said.
Starkz also described the experience she had when she competed at the prestigious Korakuen Hall, when she challenged Yuka Sakazaki for the Princess of Princess Championship at TJPW All Rise 2022. She recalled how she thought none of the fans would react for her because no one knew who she was. Starkz expressed her excitement ahead of the match and her subsequent excitement when she found out that she main-evented the show.
"It was kind of crazy. I just remember in my head, I was like, ‘Nobody is going to say anything when you go out there, don’t freak out.’ In my head I was like, ‘Nobody knows who I am; I’m just a little white girl from America. I don’t know how I got here. I’m just trying. I hope you guys like me.’ I was so excited before I went out. I had no expectations. I just had to go out there and wrestle and have fun. As soon as I heard blink-182, I got so excited, ‘No way blink-182 is playing in Korakuen Hall right now. This is amazing.’ Right after the match, I had no idea about this, but the translator for TJPW came and talked to me. ‘Oh, how does it feel being the youngest to ever main event Korakuen Hall?’ ‘Huh? What do you mean?’ ‘You just made history and you had no idea?’ ‘Oh, crap.’ I was the youngest Gaijin to main event Korakuen Hall, not youngest wrestler. The person who had it before me, I think they said it was Jimmy Lloyd, and I laughed so hard. ‘I’m so glad I beat Jimmy," Starkz said.
Starkz continues to compete around the wrestling world for other promotions, including ROH, GCW, and MLW, among others.
In another interview, Starkz promised to have a winning record by the end of 2023. Check out her comments here.
TJPW Live in Los Angeles will air on FITE TV on March 31.