In the ring: student covers professional wrestling

By Adrianna Jaccoma

Imagine this: You’re walking into the biggest stadium in the country. Surrounding you are thousands of wrestling fans gathered for the biggest wrestling event of the year. You flew across the country to be here, and there are people from all over the world. You’re about to witness the Super Bowl of wrestling.

That’s what junior sports media major Kimmy Sokol experienced when she attended WrestleMania in Dallas, Texas, at the beginning of April.

Sokol first became interested in wrestling when she was 9 years old and recieved a flyer in the mail about a wrestling event happening in her area.

“I fell in love with it. I’ve loved everything from the storylines, the costumes … I don’t think I’ve ever smiled as much from the moment the bell rang to start the opening match, to the moment the bell rang to end the main event,” Sokol said.

Since the first event she went to, Sokol wanted to work somewhere in the wrestling industry.

“When I was in pre-K, they say ‘Oh what do you wanna be when you grow up’… so I said ‘Oh I just wanna be me, I just wanna be Kimmy,’ and it wasn’t because I didn’t understand that you had to have a job to make money and be successful; it was because I wanted to find something that fit me … but when I got into wrestling, I was like ‘Oh here’s the thing, I get to be me by doing this,’” Sokol said.

Sokol works for Warriors of Wrestling, an independent wrestling promoter, where she does public relations. Sokol also critiques the women’s wrestlers’ matches and is asked to watch matches and discusses them with her manager.

“I got into working conventions because I went to them so often. A promoter I had grown close to asked me about possibly working with him in the future, and I jumped at the opportunity. I worked with him for 3 1⁄2 years until I got other opportunities from other vendors. I became popular in the promotion industry from the virtual signings we did during COVID. They were broadcasted on Facebook Live and shown to hundreds of people,” said Sokol. “ More people saw I was a good worker and wanted to work with me. This gave me the opportunity to start traveling and realizing my dream.”

Kevin Nasta, Sokol’s supervisor, described what it’s like to work around Sokol.

“You need a lot of energy to work around and keep up with Kimmy, that’s for sure. I admire that energy and drive [she has] to learn about the industry. Like any student, she will learn with repetition and experience,” Nasta said.

Over the pandemic, Sokol started a podcast called “Kimmy Talks Wrestling.” She also is a regular on podcaster Rob Williams’ show “The Bob Culture Podcast.”

“We had a lot of virtual stuff over Zoom. One of the signings I was at, this guy Rob [Williams], he was watching one of the virtual signings, and [he] knew I had a podcast. He DMed[direct messaged] me on Facebook and was like,‘Hey I’m running a podcast, I would love to have you on as a guest one day,’ and I’ve been a regular on that podcast ever since,” Sokol said.

“It was larger than life. I think wrestling is the greatest form of art because every match tells a story. There’s always a good guy and a bad guy; the good guy always wants to win the crowds over, the crowd always hates the bad guy… It’s the classic story of superheroes,” Sokol said. “Sports is the greatest drama out there because you never know what’s gonna happen, and although it’s scripted, there are shockers that happen every single day.”

Sokol’s editor and friend, Bill Bodkin, spoke about her determination and drive to work in the wrestling field.

“Kimmy has an undeniable charisma that you just can’t help but admire and it’s no surprise why you see some of the biggest names in pro wrestling requesting to work with her,” said Bodkin.

Sokol looks back at the 9-year-old girl that fell in love with the sport and marvels at her personal growth.

“To that 9-year-old kid who’s always dreamed of this job. To that 10-year-old kid that would just look to see how much tickets were to travel to wrestle mania. To that 13-year-old kid that dreamed of working with wrestlers, I am so freaking proud of you, because you did that,” Sokol recently said in an Instagram caption.

“No dream is ever too big. If the Staten Island kid can make it, you can too,” Sokol added.

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