Kira Renée Hennigan (née Forster) (born October 22, 1983) is a Canadian professional wrestler and former model currently signed to Impact Wrestling under the ring name Taya Valkyrie, where she is a former Impact Knockouts Champion and Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide in Mexico, where she is the current AAA Reina de Reinas Champion in her third reign. She is also the inaugural winner of the Women's Lucha Capital.

Taya Valkyrie
Taya Valkyrie 2018.jpg
Valkyrie in September 2018
Birth nameKira Renée Forster[1]
Born (1983-10-22) October 22, 1983 (age 36)
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada[1]
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, United States[2]
Spouse(s)
John Morrison (m. 2018)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Kira Forster
Taya[3]
Taya Mundo[3]
Taya Valkyrie[3]
Billed height1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)[1]
Billed weight145 lb (66 kg)[1]
Billed fromVictoria, British Columbia
Trained byLance Storm[1]
Debut2010[1]

Early lifeEdit

Forster was a classically trained ballerina. She had trained in gymnastics and studied dance since age four and went on to study at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. In 2005, began competing in fitness competitions and doing fitness modeling. Placing 1st in CBBF Canadian Championships 2010, 2nd in the Arnold Amateur in 2011 and featured in several fitness magazines and calendars over her fitness career.

Professional wrestling careerEdit

Training and early career (2010–2011)Edit

In 2010, Forster began training with Lance Storm at Storm Wrestling Academy and graduated from it in September 2010. She was a part of Lance's Canadian reality series World of Hurt and also season two of the show with Roddy Piper. From there, Forster would then go on to compete at various Canadian promotions under the ring name Taya Valkyrie, most notably Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (ECCW).

WWE (2011)Edit

In October 2011, she was signed to a developmental contract with WWE after a tryout with them. After not making any officially recorded debut in WWE or its other programs, Forster returned to wrestling on the independent circuit and continued wrestling in Canada for the rest of 2011.[citation needed]

Mexican independent circuit (2012–present)Edit

Forster moved to Mexico and began wrestling for various promotions within the country. She was originally supposed to stay in the country only for six weeks, but was convinced to stay by El Hijo del Perro Aguayo, who offered her a spot in his Los Perros del Mal stable.[1] On April 1, Forster debuted in Perros del Mal. She wrestled for PDM for most of the year before moving on to work for other promotions including Legend Promociones, Universal Wrestling Entertainment, Invasion RCH and International Wrestling League.

Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (2012–2017)Edit

 
Valkyrie (second from left) posing with the other competitors before the tournament final at Rey de Reyes

Forster made her in ring debut for the Mexican promotion Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide under the ring name Taya Valkyrie on November 3, 2012, competing in a six–person mixed tag team match, teaming with Gran Apache and Mari Apache in a winning effort against Cuervo, Faby Apache and Lolita. Throughout 2012 and the beginning of 2013, Valkyrie competed in several tag team matches ending up in both winning and losing sides. On March 3, 2013, Valkyrie defeated Jennifer Blake to advance in the finals of a tournament for the vacant AAA Reina de Reinas Championship. Two weeks later, on March 17, at Rey de Reyes, Valkyrie competed in a four–way elimination match against Faby Apache, LuFisto and Mari Apache but was unsuccessful in winning the vacant Reina de Reinas Championship.[4]

On June 4, 2014, Valkyrie defeated Cynthia Moreno, La Jarochita, La Magnifica, Mari Apache, Sexy Lady and Sexy Star in a seven–woman elimination match to become the number one contender to Faby Apache's Reina de Reinas Championship.[5] Month later, on August 17, at Triplemanía XXII, Valkyrie defeated Faby Apache to win the Reina de Reinas Championship, winning her first championship.[6] On September 12, in her first title defense, at an Independent Total event, Taya defeated Cachorra Flores, Faby Apache, Karina Duval, Muneca Sarcasmo and Princesa Metallica in a six–way elimination match.[7] In her first televised title defense, at the Héroes Inmortales IX event, Forster, now billed as simply Taya, defeated Goya Kong, Lady Shani, La Hiedra and Maravilla (whom she pinned) in a five–way match.[8] She lost the title to Ayako Hamada on March 19, 2017, ending her reign at 945 days, the longest in the title's history.[9] In a rematch between the two, contested in a no disqualification match, Taya defeated Hamada on April 21 to win the Reina de Reinas Championship for a second time.[10]

On July 1, AAA's Director of Talent Vampiro declared the Reina de Reinas Championship vacant.[11] On July 16, after Sexy Star returned to AAA to win the vacant title, Forster claimed on Twitter that she had been backstabbed by AAA and publicly quit the company.[12] According to the Wrestling Observer, AAA asked Johnny Mundo, Forster's fiancé, to turn in the Reina de Reinas Championship belt for a photo shoot and when he did, they declared the title vacant. Vampiro initially said that Forster was stripped of the title for using an illegal chokehold in her April 21 match with Hamada, despite it being a no disqualification match; he later claimed at a TV taping that Forster had no-showed the event, even though she was never scheduled to appear.[13]

Lucha Underground (2016–2018)Edit

Taya debuted in Lucha Underground on the February 24, 2016 episode, as the partner of Johnny Mundo.[14] She made her in-ring debut on the March 9 episode, losing to Cage in a no disqualification match.[15] Taya competed in Aztec Warfare II, on the April 12, 2016 Episode, her first Title match at Lucha Underground. She Entered at Number 9, and eliminated Cage, but was later pinned and eliminated by Fénix.[16][17]

Impact WrestlingEdit

First storylines (2017-2019)Edit

On the September 7, 2017 episode of Impact!, Taya Valkyrie made her debut for Impact Wrestling attacking Rosemary, establishing herself as a heel in the process.[18] A week later, Valkyrie competed in her first match where she defeated Amber Nova, after using a new finisher Road to Valhalla.[19] Throughout September and October, Valkyrie continued her rivalry with Rosemary,[20][21][22] which eventually led to a match between the two, where Valkyrie was victorious.[23] The two were supposed to face off again, in a first blood match at Bound for Glory, on November 5, but the match was eventually cancelled due to unforeseen personal circumstances regarding Valkyrie.[24][25] After a five month absence, Valkyrie made her return on the March 1, 2018, episode of Impact!, where she once again attacked Rosemary and renewed their rivalry.[26] The two competed once again on the April 12 episode of Impact! in a demon’s dance match, in which Valkyrie lost to Rosemary, ending their feud.[27]

In late-September after another five month absence, Valkyrie, now working as a face, made her return as she challenged Tessa Blanchard to a title match for her Impact Knockouts Championship.[28] At Bound for Glory, Blanchard retained the title by using the ring ropes.[29] Three weeks later, Valkyrie received a rematch, which was once again won by Blanchard who attacked the referee and got herself disqualified, retaining the title in the process.[30] The submission victory earned her another title match, which was announced for Homecoming.[31][32]

At Homecoming, which took place on January 6, 2019, Valkyrie won the Impact Knockouts Championship after the special guest referee Gail Kim (whom Blanchard had attacked during their match) performed her finishing move that allowed Valkyrie to execute her own finishing move before she pinned her.[33] On the March 15 episode of Impact Wrestling, Valkyrie turned heel once again by low blowing Brian Cage, which allowed her real-life husband Johnny Impact (who also turned heel) to attack Cage.[34] on the April 12 episode of Impact Wrestling, Valkyrie and Impact defeated Brian Cage and Jordynne Grace. Valkyrie would then successfully defend the Knockouts Championship against Jordynne Grace at Rebellion, and furthermore against Rosemary, Su Yung and Havok in a Monster's Ball match at Slammiversary XVII and then in against Tenille Dashwood at Bound for Glory.

Longest Reigning Knockouts Champion (2019–2020)Edit

Following on from her win at Slammiversary, Taya would have one more defence in Mexico which was easily won against a much smaller opponent. This meant Valkyrie would exceed the timeframe in which Tarryn Terrell held the championship and Impact confirmed Valkyrie as the new longest reigning champion. She defended the title against Tenille Dashwood at Bound for Glory 2019 and Jordynne Grace and ODB at Hard to Kill. She would lose the title during Impact Wrestling television tapings in Mexico City against Grace, ending her reign at 377 days.[35]

Return to AAA (2018–present)Edit

On October 31, AAA announced the return of Taya as an Impact representative through Facebook Watch called "Lucha Capital". On November 14, on her return, Taya was defeated by Australian Suicide in the first round. On December 5, Taya defeated La Hiedra in the semifinal. On December 19, Taya defeated Keyra and Vanilla by winning the Women's Lucha Capital tournament and that same night she got an opportunity for the AAA Reina de Reinas Championship of Lady Shani for a future match.

On September 15, 2019, Valkyrie wrestled in the Impact Wrestling and AAA event Lucha Invades NY, defeating Tessa Blanchard to become AAA Reina de Reinas Champion for the third time.[36]

Personal lifeEdit

On June 1, 2018, Forster married fellow wrestler John Hennigan, with whom she had been in a relationship for nearly two years.[37][38][39]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g López Escalona, Arturo. "Sexy canadiense". Estadio Deportes (in Spanish). Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  2. ^ Meltzer, Dave (August 1, 2016). "August 1, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Brand split week one, Brock Lesnar and the WWE Wellness Policy". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California: 45. ISSN 1083-9593. Fenix has moved to San Diego and is trying to mostly work in the U.S. and only go to Mexico for major shows, similar to Taya who has moved to Los Angeles.
  3. ^ a b c "Taya Valkyrie Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  4. ^ Beltrán, William (March 17, 2013). "¡Faby Apache vence a @LuFisto y se convierte en la nueva Reina de Reinas AAA! – #ReyDeReyes" (in Spanish). Super Luchas. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
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  23. ^ "COMPLETE IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT: DAN LAMBERT CUTS ONE OF THE BEST PROMOS IN YEARS, TREVOR LEE THINKS HE'S NEGAN, LOTS AND LOTS OF FOOTAGE FROM MEXICO, NOW I'VE SEEN IT ALL...A JOSEPH PARK HEEL TURN". Pro Wrestling Insider. October 19, 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
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External linksEdit