Lisa Marie Varon On When The Undertaker Gimmick “Crumbled” For Her
Lisa Marie Varon On When The Undertaker Gimmick “Crumbled” For Her
On a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast, former WWE Women’s Champion and Impact Knockouts Champion Lisa Marie Varon was on to chat with Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman. Hausman, a Chicago native, brought up Varon’s The Squared Circle restaurant that she used to run in Chicago. Varon recalled her favorite memories from The Squared Circle and expressed how much she misses it.
“I hear that so much. I do miss it too,” Varon said. It was such like a family. My ex-husband was a chef. That’s why people ask me, ‘Are you opening another restaurant?’ I can’t cook like him. He’s an amazing cook. I went to the Comic-Cons and Wizard World’s and passed out flyers at C2E2. ‘Can I take a picture with you?’ I will at the restaurant. If you come to the restaurant to get a burger, I’ll take a picture with you Part of it was at nighttime, we showed wrestling every single night, so I’d go table to table, eat with everybody and the PPVs were wild. We had to have security out there because to the watch the PPV, Sport Circle was the spot.
“And I took pride in if someone came in by themselves, you know wrestling fans, a little socially awkward, a little quiet, and if they came in by themselves, I go, ‘Hey, are you here for wrestling, or are you here just to eat or for both?’ I’m a wrestling fan, and I heard you’re here. And I was like, ‘Oh, how many people are with you?’ He goes, ‘I’m just by myself.’ I would sit them with a table for free. It was like ‘Cheers.’ It was so common to see the same customers all the time, and it was my hangout and what we all have in common was being a wrestling fan.
“It was exciting, and people, I think, tripped out most to how much I mark out when I was watching wrestling on TV. I didn’t know Undertaker was going to lose. They all looked at me like, ‘Was that supposed to happen?’ I go, ‘I don’t know. I don’t like it. Oh my God. What the hell.’ Everybody in the restaurant was like looking at me. They think that we know the behind the scenes. We don’t really know what’s going on. Once you’re out, you’re out. You don’t know what’s going on. But I do miss it too. I do. I really do. We have awesome food and freaking amazing people there.”
Varon also recalled meeting The Undertaker for the first time. She said that attending The Undertaker’s wedding and seeing him emotional caused his gimmick to fade in front of her eyes. She also recalled joking around with The Undertaker backstage where she asked if she could do Undertaker’s Old School move.
“Of course, when you’re new, you’re always on tiptoes, and you’re like, ‘Can I joke around with this legend?’ You’re working with all these legends, and I was there long enough where I can make jokes and stuff like that,” Varon stated. “I went to their wedding, him to Michelle’s [McCool] wedding. It was very small, maybe 30-40 people, and he got emotional.
“And I was like, ‘Your whole gimmick now, with The Undertaker, has crumbled in front of my eyes,’ but I used to say, I think people were shocked backstage because we would watch by Gorilla, not live, but there’s a screen, the monitor, we can watch the show. And so back in our day, we’re not allowed to leave the building. You watch every match. Even if you already wrestled, you don’t leave. It’s disrespectful to them, people that are working hard for the main event. So you should be supporting your co-workers.
“Right before a match, I go, ‘Hey Taker, you’re not doing the Old School spot are you, or should I take it out of my match?’ And he would go, ‘You’d probably get a bigger pop.’ We got to know each other very well. He’s actually a funny guy. It’s just you’re intimidated because of this whole character, and he’s a big man. He’s a great guy. Perfect for Michelle. They make a great couple. So happy for her.”
The Undertaker’s “Final Farewell” is set for Survivor Series. The belief for many is this will be The Undertaker formally retiring from in-ring action, and Varon gave her thoughts on whether she wants to see The Undertaker retire on the podcast.
“Of course, I don’t want to see him retire, and wrestlers should not say retire because you never know when you’re gonna see our ugly faces back,” Varon jokingly pointed out. “But his body, you got to take care of your body, and your family and start thinking, ‘I got to be able to walk and take care of myself.’ He’s been doing it forever. My personal opinion — I know nothing. I’m so out of the loop. I really don’t know anything.
“I had to find out about Thea [Trinidad / Zelina Vega) from Melina… I just want him to do what [makes him] happy. Of course, I want to see him still wrestle because no one is Undertaker. There’s no one that could compare and draw that much of a crowd and still get the biggest pop of the night, and he’s old school. It’s people’s childhood watching him do this for so long, but you got to think about ‘how how long can I do this for? I got to really listen to my body,’ and a lot of us don’t listen to our body.
“We still work through injuries and not be able to turn your neck and stuff like that. And it’s sad when you see some of the legends like backstage, and they’re walking like this (Varon shows an example to Hausman). You’re like, ‘Ooh, how do they turn it on so quick when they go out there?’ I did not know they’re so beat up.”
Varon is currently one of the hosts of GAW TV along with WWE Superstar Micke James and SoCal Val. James was open about how she was disappointed in how her RAW return was booked. Varon have her thoughts on the topic noting that the talent are not in charge of what they do. She also talked about getting involved with James and Val for GAW.
“We’re not in charge with the storylines and stuff like that,” Varon noted. “People are like, ‘Why did you do that?’ I’m like, ‘Because that’s what I was told to do.’ You don’t go into a movie and go, ‘I don’t want to die at the end.’ It’s not your choice. You’re an actress. We’re bad actresses that do our own stunts, but working with Mickie and Val, a good thing that came out of COVID was us having this GAW TV show, and it’s been so much fun. Mickie came up with the idea. It was originally supposed to be with Alicia Fox, but Foxy, she’s doing other businesses right now.
“She was talking to SoCal Val, and… they reached out to me. ‘Hey, would you be part of the show?’ I didn’t even ask, ‘What’s the show about?’ I was like, ‘Heck yeah, let’s do it.’ We’re learning as we go, and the good problem is — I feel bad for interviewers that are going, ‘Oh my God, I just emailed them four times to be a guest on my show, and she hasn’t responded.’ And since we’re all very tight with everybody in the community of wrestling, people are calling us. ‘Hey, when you going to have me on GAW,’ which is a great problem. I told you I’m so old school. I have a paper calendar. (Varon shows her calendar to Hausman). We have to write things down now, but we’re having so much fun.
Lisa’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.