By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
It’s not everybody who can do something they love for a living.
Taryn Terrell is one of those lucky ones.
“I love wrestling,” Terrell said. “It’s a cool business. I always say it’s like when you had recess in school. My job is like recess because it’s so much fun.”
Fans of TNA will no doubt recognize this beauty as the Knockouts referee, appointed to the role by Brooke Hogan, to maintain order in what can be a chaotic division. Before that, she was known as “Tiffany” during her tenure in World Wrestling Entertainment, where she served as, among other things, general manager of the ECW brand.
“I’ve always been athletic,” Terrell said. “I was a cheerleader and powerlifter in high school and college. I went to a couple of wrestling shows and saw some girls’ matches. That’s when I decided that’s what I wanted to do.”
In 2007, Terrell competed in the WWE’s Diva Search competition, making it to the final eight before eventually being eliminated fourth. She signed a development contract and reported to Florida Championship Wrestling for training.
“I’m still pretty brand spanking new to the business,” Terrell said. “I’m amazed at people who have stayed in the business for many years. But I have a huge passion for it, and I would never give it up.”
While in Florida, Terrell was trained by the likes of Dr. Tom Prichard, Steve Keirn and Dusty Rhodes. From there she made her ECW debut in 2008 using the ring name “Tiffany” and was introduced as the on-screen assistant general manager under Theodore Long. She eventually was named general manager before the brand folded and moved onto Smackdown, where she battled Michelle McCool for the Diva’s title and also formed a tag team with Kelly Kelly. She was released by the WWE on Nov. 19, 2010, and kept a low profile (in the wrestling business) until August 16 of this year, when she made her TNA debut. She has also appeared in movies (both as an actress and stunt double) and as a model in several national publications. She had a part in the recent Will Ferrell/Zach Galifianakis comedy, “The Campaign,” where she played the role of “Janette.”
Terrell said she loves the atmosphere in TNA.
“I love the locker room here in TNA,” Terrell said. “Everybody gets along.”
Now she splits her time between TNA and Ohio Valley Wrestling, and will be in London Saturday night to wrestle an unknown opponent as of this time.
“I don’t know who I’ll be wrestling,” Terrell said. “I recently had a run-in with Taeler Hendrix, so I would love to get a hold of her. Whoever it is I will be kicking butt.”
Terrell has yet to wrestle in TNA as she has had her hands full being the Knockouts referee.
“I love wrestling and I am glad to be involved in anyway possible,” Terrell said. “At the same time as a referee I get to be involved in every match. I have so much respect for referees. Brian and Earl Hebner have helped me tremendously. I had no idea how much work goes into being a referee.”
But she does look forward to the day she wrestles in TNA.
“I think by being a referee it will help me be a little bit better prepared once I do start wrestling again,” Terrell said. “I’ve never been champion. My goal is to work hard everyday and to progress. I talk to people who have been in wrestling 20 or 30 years and they say they still learn something every time they wrestle. I want to grow and be the best I can be, work hard and hold the title.”
When she first stepped into a ring to train, she wasn’t sure what to expect. She quickly found out that it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park.
“Al Snow got me in the ring and made me do like 100 bumps,” Terrell said. “Oh my God that was painful. I knew it was going to be hard, but not that hard.”
But she refused to give up.
“I’ve always been athletic,” Terrell said. “I work out every day, and I love being pushed beyond my limit.”
While wrestling is a hard business, there are some perks, such as traveling the world.
“Tokyo is my favorite place,” Terrell said. “It’s so cool. I could see myself living there. France and Germany are also nice. As a wrestler, you live in your own little bubble and you don’t realize you have fans all over the world. I was walking down a street in France when someone ran up and recognized me. That was cool.”
While London might not be Tokyo, Terrell is still excited about coming here Saturday night.
“I look forward to meeting everybody,” Terrell said.