If you train under well-respected veterans such as Devon Dudley, “Dark Angel” Sarah Stock, and Jay Lethal, it is expected that you are going to have many tools to make it in wrestling. This is what Devlyn Macabre has been set to do. Despite her young age and relatively fresh career, Devlyn has already worked many shows in the USA and also got the opportunity to appear at AEW Dark against Diamante and Emi Sakura.
Now, she has made a daring leap, crossing over to Europe for a learning expedition. Having worked two jobs to build up the funds, she did what many wrestlers hesitate to do and never looked back again.
A while back, I caught up with her during the first leg of her European tour, after she debuted for German Wrestling Federation (GWF) and before her Pro Wrestling Holland (PWH) appearance, and tried to learn more about her drive, dreams and morbid style but also about the challenges women’s wrestling has to overcome. She has since wrestled a ton in Germany.
What got you into the wrestling business?
Μy step-mom had two sons who liked wrestling a lot. I didn’t like it initially because I wanted to watch other things. However, when I saw them playing WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2007, I noticed that there are also female wrestlers in the game and that hooked me in.
You obviously started at quite a young age. What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome until you turned pro?
Well, I thought I started kind of old. I was 19 when I got into the ring for the first time while others start when they are around 14. A lot of people were older than me and there was an authority-type of thing. I had been watching wrestling for more than half of my life so it was funny when some guys thought I had no clue about it. That, and also all the drama and gossip that goes in the business. I am pretty good at staying out of it but it is always a thing.
Ηοw is the indy scene in the States for women’s wrestling?
I think we have a lot to do. We have a lot of great women but there are also men who pray for our downfall. I’ve been around many locker rooms and some of them are very supportive of women’s wrestling while some of them aren’t. I had been to the main event of a card and was given very little time, whereas all the men had 15 to 20 minutes. Men say “Oh, you women have it so easy.” Well, we don’t. We are being disrespected, short-paid, sexually harassed. It’s not as easy as they think. We deserve more time, opportunities and exposure.
Are there many promotions in the States focused exclusively on women’s wrestling or are things more mixed nowadays?
I think it is getting a little bit better. I’ve started with SHINE, which I loved, and also did Capital Championship Wrestling. I would just like to work somewhere that has an actual women’s locker room led by women. You have, for example, Women’s Wrestling Army, which is run by Maria Kanellis, or Thunder Rosa’s Mission Pro Wrestling, and that is very good because they are women who have been in the business and know the trials and tribulations.
More fans got to know you through your AEW appearances. How would you describe this experience?
I learned a lot there, especially about behind-the-scenes stuff: production, camerawork, and more. I heard about those at school, but it was different seeing them in person. Also, everybody was chill and nice to talk to. It was a very beneficial and good experience.
A big difference between younger wrestlers and wrestlers from previous eras is the use of social media. How have those shaped your identity?
I actually hate social media. The only one I like is TikTok. Instagram, Facebook, and X are about how many followers or likes you have. In a perfect world, I would not have to use social media but I need to get my name out there. For some of us it is beneficial because you can get bookings and build a fan base. So, I hate them but I need them (laughs).
Your name and appearance allude to themes of classical horror. Is this where you draw your inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from a lot of things. I get ideas for my gear from superheroes and comic books. As for my imagery, I get ideas from horror movies, specifically the Evil Dead series. The Deadites were very interesting to me. The demon character I have now is nowhere near completed so it is constantly evolving. I like to tell the story that this character comes from my real-life trauma. I want to portray it as a scenario of what happens if you let the trauma consume you. I feel a lot of wrestlers just play themselves and there is nothing wrong with that at all but I love playing an out-of-this-world character.
Is, then, this character a way for you to cope with trauma?
Oh, no. I have therapy for that. But I think it’s an interesting thing and over time I will give more information on how this character formed. It’s like the Grudge film series: when the woman gets killed by her husband, this powerful rage consumes her and is turned into a different person. I feel this is something we need to see more in wrestling characters, especially in the indies. Back in the day you would see The Undertaker, and you knew he was not a real “dead man,” but for a minute you thought he was. I am trying to bring that back.
How does the Devlyn Macabre character relate to you? Are you drawing from personal experience?
I am totally drawing from my personal experience. My dad was a drug addict and very abusive. It took years of therapy to get over that stuff. I had really bad PTSD, nightmares, flashbacks and it ruined a lot of relationships and opportunities for me. So, I want to portray this character: everybody has inner demons, and if you let them consume you, you become a bad person. The demon character is not necessarily a good person: it is dark and twisted and can cause pain and torment. I think it is important to talk about it and bring awareness to it, because many people are hiding behind a façade and not asking for help when they should.
Is it easy for an American wrestler to make the jump to Europe?
I think so. The cost of living is relatively cheaper over here and the quality of living is so much better. Everyone has been so nice to me. I love it here. I have only been wrestling for a year and a half, so to come over to Europe so soon is insane, and many people told me I wasn’t ready. However, the only way to get better is by learning from other people. I believe many American wrestlers are hesitant to do the jump but if you want to wrestle for the big companies, you need to wrestle against people from all over the world. I wrestled in Germany where people had different ideas about match structure and sometimes different ideas are also great ideas. I think it is vital for wrestlers to get out of their bubble.
How do you see the European scene so far?
I like it better than the American scene. Everyone I’ve met is about passion. From wrestlers to promoters, everyone I’ve met is professional, accommodating, and have great ideas. I wrestled for GWF in Germany, and their production was of very high level; my jaw dropped. They had screens, music, backstage producers, photographers, catering, even a Gorilla position. I literally thought I was back in AEW. Also, the women had their own locker room. This time I didn’t have to change in a small bathroom. In American promotions, there needs to be a women’s locker room. We shouldn’t have to sit in a men’s locker room and see them change. No, thank you.
How do you see the contemporary wrestling scene in general? Are there enough opportunities for wrestlers to make a name for themselves?
I would say there is need for more bigger promotions. We need another Tony Khan to open one additional big promotion. We have so many wrestlers, but I feel there are not enough opportunities for everybody.
What are your aspirations for the future? Any dream matches?
My next plan would be to go to Mexico, Japan and also Australia. I feel like Australia is basically Florida (laughs).
Wow, I think you are the first wrestler I met who expressed a wish to wrestle there.
I would love to! It’s all about learning. Plus, Shazza McKenzie is originally from there and she is a really nice human being. Moreover, I want to keep coming back to Europe, but, ultimately, it is WWE for me.
Why is violence the answer, according to your motto? Is it always so?
My style is violent and hard-hitting. I take inspiration from one of my biggest idols: Jon Moxley. In terms of professional wrestling I think violence is always the answer.