Despite the universality of fighting and violence, pro wrestling uses characters and storylines as triggers for the fights. However, much as in classical Greek theatre, there must be someone to help guide the audience through the events occurring.
Samira, a 22-year-old wrestling broadcaster and correspondent, is a modern-day chorus character. In companies like Major League Wrestling and the National Wrestling Alliance, her role in showing and furthering storylines is vital, and she continues to be amazed by it.
“Oh my god, I love that feeling,” she said. “It’s just so cool to see [the wrestlers] transform into their character.”
Getting performers into the moment, Samira, who has been working across America’s independent scene since 2018, praised the process of watching performers analyzing their work to see if they got their message across to audiences.
When her uncle first exposed her to pro wrestling as a child, the sport immediately stood out as something special. “It was just different,” she remembered. “Not a lot of people, when you’re growing up, especially as a girl, like it.”
This affinity with performers like Randy Orton, who is still one of her dream interviewees, lasted throughout her childhood.
Through Twitter, she became involved in the IWC, and an encounter with WrestlingNews.co on the platform unintentionally launched her career in professional wrestling as a broadcaster.
“I was working on my own YouTube channel, making wrestling videos and stuff,” Samira said. “I remember them saying, ‘Hey, we’re looking to like amp up our YouTube and to do interviews,’ and I told them I was a communication major and they were like, ‘okay, let’s do a test interview and see how it goes.’”
After interviewing Kelly Kelly, a former WWE wrestler, Samira realized that this was her calling
She quit WrestlingNews.co in 2018 to finish her studies. However, by 2021, she was working for SEScoops, another wrestling news website. And she also returned to WrestlingNews.co. She was able to collaborate with Major League Wrestling and National Wrestling Alliance because of these networking possibilities.
Recently, she covered the Revolution pay-per-view for All Elite Wrestling, America’s second-largest wrestling company. Despite seeing the inner workings of what goes into professional wrestling, her love for the sport has failed to diminish.
“Even though you know how everything works behind the scenes, you get to really know actual wrestlers themselves — the person behind the character,” Samira said. “So that’s actually also another really cool part.”
As an Arabic woman in pro wrestling, she says that her presence in the sport shows a changing and more inclusive American landscape that has long been controlled by white men. Yet, she is cautious when working.
“You have to watch your back, especially as a woman in the business,” she said. “You just need to make sure you watch who you trust. I know I don’t really travel alone; I make sure to take somebody or know somebody that will keep me safe.”
Samira brought others on board. She encouraged Ella Jay, another woman content creator and founder of the A Wrestling Gal podcast, to join the industry, and they both refer to one another as best friends.
“I went to college for psychology and minored in creative writing. I ironically took a couple of journalism and communication courses with my free electives,” Jay said. “So maybe I should have taken that as a sign. But I don’t have any degree in it.”
In November 2021, Jay, who was representing SEScoops, made headlines after being cut off during a conference call by AEW owner and billionaire Tony Khan when suggesting the possibility of the company putting on an all-women event.
Despite Khan’s subsequent apology to Jay, the incident ignited a bigger discussion about women’s roles in professional wrestling. Jay emphasized how making a mistake as a woman might lead to greater scrutiny, citing increased pressure.
“If you screw up or if you don’t know something and you’re not knowledgeable about this, I feel you will be more downplayed,” she said. “And more judged than your word versus maybe identifying as a man. It’s always been a male-dominated industry.”
Rather than abandoning the industry, Jay has found inspiration in moments of aggression towards her. However, witnessing so many people rush to her help and defend her, especially some with a larger platform, emphasized the importance of having a voice.
Through research, interviews and conversations, A Wrestling Gal delves further into the female perspective both inside and beyond the ring. Despite the show’s gendered focus, Jay is more intent on having fun.
“If I happen to break this stigma or make a change or make a difference in the process, that’s just an added bonus,” she said. “Honestly, I just love the work I’m doing and getting to network and share stories of people within the progress and community.”
As a result, she’s established friendships with a wide range of performers, including Mickie James, one of her childhood heroes and a generational talent having worked in WWE for over a decade.
Both Samira and Jay hope to turn their lifelong passion into a career.
Samira wants to do her current work for WWE or AEW, while Jay wants to continue sharing tales and be able to take advantage of all the opportunities she’s previously had to pass up because of money.
For Samira, the message to herself and others fighting for their dreams remains consistent: don’t give up.
“Some days are bad days, they really are, but you just have to keep going forward,” she said. “You’ve already made it this far. Don’t stop now. And it’s okay to have bad days. It really is. But the better days will come.”