Professional wrestling has been built by talented, athletic men and women with colorful personalities. One such woman is Leilani Kai. Leilani’s passion for the sport has earned her a place in wrestling’s history that will never be erased. A student of the Fabulous Moolah, Leilani has stepped into the ring with the top women wrestlers of her era. The accomplishments that she has achieved and the dedication that she has demonstrated inside the squared circle may never be duplicated. We had a chance to talk to her about her career, some of the people that she worked with, and her milestones.
Q: What made you want to get into professional wrestling?
A: I lived in Fort Myers, Florida. My Uncle was the manager of an armory that held professional wrestling. I saw Bonnie Watson and Sherry Lee wrestle at one of the events and I knew that was what I wanted to do.
Q: What was it like to train Under the Fabulous Moolah?
A: I came to Moolah’s school in 1975. She had a stable of about 18 girls. and we all trained together. Moolah wasn’t in the gym very much, so we all trained each other. Since it was her school, it was a big deal to me because Moolah was so well known in the business.
Q: What were some of the challenges that women had to deal with back when you made your debut back in 1975?
A: The most challenging thing was piling in a car with 4 or 5 girls, all sharing a room, sleeping on box springs, and traveling long, grueling hours to go from one city to another. For me, it was worth it to get in a ring and do what I loved doing.
Q: At what point did you know that you could make it as a professional wrestler?
A: When I took my first bump in Moolah’s school. It came easy to me. I was determined.
Q: What does it mean for you to be a part of Wrestlemania 1?
A: It’s something that I’m extremely proud of. It’s something that my family and friends still watch and talk to me about. Fans and people in the sport still celebrate WrestleMania today and I’m proud to have had my own Wrestlemania moment.
Q: Did you have any idea that WrestleMania would become as big as it has?
A: No, I don’t think any of us could have imagined it would become a worldwide, annual mega event.
Q: What was it like to work alongside someone such as Judy Martin?
A: Judy is my best friend and it’s always been a complete pleasure. We always looked out for each other and she was a great teammate.
Q: With all of the women that you have stepped in the ring with, who did you like to wrestle the most and why?
A: Any time I ever stepped in the ring it was a pleasure. I don’t want to sell anyone short and every match was special to me.
Q: Is there anyone other than the Fabulous Moolah, man or woman, who has had an influence on your career, and if so, who and how?
A: I think everyone whom I stepped in the ring with taught me something. I’m not being vague, but every match and opponent had an influence on me.
Q: What does it mean for you to have held the NWA and the WWF Women’s World titles?
A: The NWA title meant so much to me. It represented victory on a very hard road. It was a title that represented many companies. The WWF title, while being nationally recognized, it was only for one company.
Q: What would you like your wrestling fans to remember the most about you and your career?
A: I would like them to remember and know that I loved what I did and I loved the fan’s appreciation for my hard work. I always wanted them to get their monies worth and I would have been nowhere in the business without them.
If you are a promoter and put on wrestling shows, whether they are wrestling matches or meet and greets, Leilani can help you. She is part owner and operates http://www.bookprowrestlers.com/ Leilani actively books nearly 200 wrestlers for such events.