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The Career of Chelsea Green

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In sports history, there were times that talented athletes had “too much too soon” and couldn’t handle the pressure of fame. Mike Tyson saw a meteoric rise on his way to become the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history before he crumbled in front of the public. Within sports entertainment, Tony Atlas, one half of the tag team champions, admitted himself that he wasn’t ready for the obligations of a popular competitor at the time.

However, there are also those that rise to the occasion and can professionally handle the responsibility of notoriety within their chosen industry. For example, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 27, is arguably the top draw in boxing and is on track to be one of the highest-paid athletes in all of sports. The legendary Chris Jericho was just 26 years old when he debuted on national television for WCW and then became one of the greatest of all time. The argument could be made that athletes must be more careful today than any other time in history because of cell phones that can record everything and the power of social media. One comment at the wrong place at the wrong time can alter a career.

One of the prime examples of an aspiring athlete that took all the right steps to make a name for herself is Chelsea Green, the Canadian grappler that portrays the role of the eccentric Laurel Van Ness on Impact Wrestling. In contrast to her on-screen persona, Chelsea made a series of very wise decisions that saw her transition from a college student to a sports entertainer on national television.

Similar to many from her generation, Chelsea first discovered professional wrestling during the Attitude Era when she was in elementary school. Over a decade later, while studying at the University of Calgary, she found Raw again and saw women’s wrestling on the screen.

“That was the moment I fell in love with wrestling all over again. I contacted Lance Storm the next day,” she explained.

The underrated Lance Storm opened the Storm Wrestling Academy in Alberta in 2005, the same year that he retired from full-time competition. The former ECW and WWE tag team champion built his program into one of the most well-respected training centers in the world, and students from around the globe travel to learn from him, with reservations for sessions booked almost a year in advance. The no-nonsense approach to an education in professional wrestling consist of a full-time regime of lessons. The three-month course is five days a week and includes everything from in-ring technique to match psychology and etiquette. Aside from Green, Tyler Breeze, Emma, and numerous independent wrestlers are graduations of the Storm Academy. Chelsea considers her time there to be extremely valuable and one of the keys to her success so far.

“I don’t know why anyone trying to get into this business wouldn’t contact Lance Storm. He is the best coach in the world, next to the WWE performance center coaches. I absolutely loved it. The lessons I learned in those 3 months, I carry with me every single day in and out of the ring,” she said.

Chelsea debuted in the ring in mid-2014 and worked the Canadian independent circuit, where she quickly made a name for herself for the poise she showed in the squared circle during her rookie year. In just over a year in the business, she was on the WWE radar as a contestant on a season of Tough Enough, placing fourth among the female competitors. Similar to Storm’s lessons, Chelsea considers the experience an important part of the development of her skills.

“Being asked to be on Tough Enough was a very proud moment for me. It felt like everything I was working for, had finally paid off. All of the missed family gatherings, the birthdays, the money spent, and the time in the gym was worth it! I spent every single day on Tough Enough working my hardest to show the WWE that I belonged there. There truly is no better place to nurture your dream of becoming a wrestler like the performance center. Being surrounded by some of the top wrestlers in the world was a dream”

Her profile continued to grow and the following year, Chelsea was invited to train and wrestle on a tour of Stardom in Japan. Stardom, the premiere women’s promotion in Japan, is known for its very physical style. Green took the chance to learn a more diverse style and evolved as a performer. But, she also experienced the Japanese style, and a video clip of her getting hit with a brutal drop kick garnered millions of views on social media. During the tour in late-2016, she challenged Kairi Hojo, who won the Mae Young Classic earlier this year as Kairi Sane, for the Stardom championship.

“Japan is a tough place to make waves. There are some amazing females that work for Stardom. When I went on my first tour of Japan, I wasn’t ready. I was thrown in after only a year of wrestling. But, like many other situations I had been thrown into before, it was sink or swim. I chose to swim. I made the best of my time there, I trained hard, and I made sure I posted about it on social media. My moveset grew, and I grew as a wrestler,” she recalled.

The same year she made waves in Japan, a suggestion from a friend led to another chapter in the career of the future Laurel Van Ness. In 2016, she debuted for Impact Wrestling and the progress of her character saw Van Ness become one of the most recognizable personas on the show in 2017. Impact gave her the opportunity to develop a persona, similar to the way Japan allowed her to evolve her in-ring skills. Stumbling around with smeared make up and an array of accessories, the villainous Van Ness became a highlight during the transition period for the promotion earlier this year.

“I met Madison Rayne at Wrestlecade a few years back. She suggested I come in for a tryout with Impact. The rest is history! I have absolutely loved being a part of the Knockout division. They teach me so much, and they treat me with respect,” she said.

Within just three years in the sport, the 26-year-old Calgary native learned from one of the best trainers in the world, worked for the WWE, toured Japan, and landed a contract to appear on national television for Impact Wrestling. More than anything, the story of Chelsea Green is an example of how professionalism, hard work, and dedication can lead to success. Despite all the early success in a relatively short period of time, it seems like the best is yet to come for the motivated athlete. Undoubtedly, Chelsea Green will continue to add to her resume and achieve more goals in her career.

For more information about Chelsea, you can follow her on Twitter @ImChelseaGreen

What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts, opinions, feedback and anything else that was raised.

Until next week
-Jim LaMotta

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