On what it’s been like getting signed to Impact and Kiera’s lifelong passion for wrestling:
Honestly, a dream! I watched TNA back when I was in middle school and high school. So even being in Knockout is crazy to me. To be a part of the division and to be on TV is still crazy to me. I even can’t believe even when people come up to me, or like my pictures or tell me they watch me, it’s crazy. Because, it’s just like, I’ve only been wrestling for three years, I’ve been in the business almost four or five years -- announcing, interviewing -- so, to even be in my position is still like, not real...I knew at some point when I was like 14 or 15 that I wanted to be a wrestler. Like, that’s all I ever wanted to do. I wanted to go to college to play soccer, just so I could go to wrestling school in Florida. I wanted that to be my plan to tell my parents so that I could be a wrestler on the side! [laughs]. But I ended up staying in Atlanta and training in a WWE, and four or five years later here I am in this position! [laughs again]
Was she ever worried about being a small (4’11”) pro wrestler?:
I don’t think I ever thought of it as being an issue, because I always looked up to girls that were smaller -- Mickie James, and Melina, and AJ Lee, and Trish [Stratus] were all billed at under what, like 5’3”, 5’4”? So I just assume that I was gonna fit right in and even wrestling the tallest girls -- I wrestled Madison Eagles, she’s 6’1”, and even to wrestle her is crazy for me because she’s almost exactly like two feet taller than me! I never, ever thought that being short would be an issue especially because like, Zelina Vega, wrestling her, she’s my height and I used to Tweet at her saying, “Thank you so much for being your size, because you make me feel like I can do this and I can be normal too!” So, I never thought my size would affect it.
How did you come up with the concept of The Girl on Fire?
You know what’s funny, my boyfriend actually gave me the idea. He was the one who told me, like at the point I had my first match, I had this big chip on my shoulder -- I didn’t have to come to training, I didn’t have to go work out, I didn’t have to do all these things, because I thought I was the “big dog” because I had my first wrestling match. And I was like, “Oh, I can this without the training.” And I kinda felt lost at some point, I kind of got really beside myself and got off track. And my boyfriend, Owen Knight, was like, “You need to find your ‘fire.’ You need to have that determination and that strength and that dedication to this because you’re gonna have to be committed to it.” And for some reason that just instantly clicked with me, and I was like, “I can be the girl on fire! I can be that determination, because, this is, again, all I’ve ever wanted to do. So I knew if anybody was gonna be on fire, it was gonna be me.