Marina Shafir is ready to show the world what — or who — “The Problem” is.
Marina Shafir recently spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard ahead of her appearance at Bloodsport 7 this weekend. Shafir, who was released by WWE in June, shared her excitement for the chance to not only get back in the ring but also about having a unique opportunity like the one she has at Bloodsport.
“I’m preparing like a motherf-cker for Friday and I’m very excited about that matchup,” Shafir said. “I am excited, I’m just excited to be in front of that crowd with her across the canvas from me.”
Marina Shafir worked the Championship Wrestling From Atlanta tapings on October 7, but Bloodsport marks her first chance to show what she’s been working on for her on-air persona. Shafir came into WWE with a noted background in MMA and said that while this event is a chance to lean into that, she’s really looking forward to any chance to highlight how she’s grown as a performer.
“Any opportunity that I get is an opportunity to get closer to who I am as a performer. The more I get put into these situations where I get to learn who I am as a performer would act and be like. It all very closely resonates to who I am, how I was raised, where I come from and what my morals are about. These opportunities — [Championship Wrestling From Atlanta] was a lot of fun, maybe a little too much fun — I’m just trying to be a sponge. I have ideas,” Shafir explained, “but I really just want to get to know my environments and see how I can also add to the environment, without being pushy about it. I don’t want to force anything that isn’t natural and I don’t want to force people to care. I don’t feel like anybody should have to force people to care, but I am really starting to get in tune with who I am when I’m in there and it’s becoming a lot more fun for me.”
And fight we shall. https://t.co/FNk9BYMTzo
— Marina Shafir (@MarinaShafir) October 5, 2021
In July, Fightful reported Marina Shafir and Arturo Ruas were supposed to be included in NXT’s Diamond Mine stable, which had teased some MMA influences, before they were released by WWE this summer. Asked if the original vision for her role in the group and her current persona built on those plans, and she said it’s more about a shift in perspective and learning to share what she’s about without saying a word at all.
“Going into that and when it became official that week that I was going to be part of it, I think even before Roddy said anything,” she noted, “what I pictured for myself was I was finally able to bring to the table what I had been preparing in the kitchen for so long. It’s a collective idea in this household. Roddy was very much a part of my growth as a professional wrestler and because he knew me so well, we worked on the things that I wanted to bring forward.
“Once the coaching changed a little bit at the PC it was cool because I got to work with Brian Kendrick, and he’s just a f-cking genius. I don’t if I can swear, but I’m swearing, he’s just a f-cking brilliant genius,” she stated. “And the way he made me — not even made me, the way he encouraged me to just change my perspective a little bit about how I do things alongside with my husband tailoring the small stuff, it started to become this beautiful storm for myself.
“Everything’s crazy and unpredictable and you never know what’s going to be thrown at you, literally, like [I] didn’t know what would be right around the corner, but it didn’t change the course of the storm if that makes any sense. All of that was just too perfect, all of that felt too good, and the culmination of all the ideas and the inspiration of what could be started to fuel me in the creative sense. I’ve felt a bit of responsibility, I felt more pride in the stuff that I was learning about myself,” Shafir added, “just understanding the magic of professional wrestling and being able to get something across without having to say a f-cking word. I love that and I think that is something that is lost, and I just wanted to bring something and share my opinion without saying a f-cking word.”
— Marina Shafir (@MarinaShafir) October 16, 2021
A similar point of view about commanding a crowd’s attention was also communicated on Table Talk by Karrion Kross and D-Von Dudley, the latter of which opened his wrestling school open to Shafir to train. She said something else she’s focused on is proving people’s misconceptions about her wrong, and it’s also a chance to prove to herself that she’s worth her mettle.
“I just wanted to really — from what people who are casual fans know about me compared to what they don’t, the scales are askew because out of everything, I was never in the UFC. Everybody thinks I was in the UFC, I was never [there]. I’m like the black sheep of the Four Horsewomen, but I’ve always been that black sheep. People think they know so much about me, but really, they didn’t. I was really getting excited to educate people because it’s always fun when people have assumptions and they put their money on what they believe about you, and then you give them something completely different and I wanted to see how that process unfolded. I feel like I still am [getting that experience], I’m just going about it a different way,” Shafir said.
“You’ve got to know who you are to really make an impact, and that’s why I’m really excited about my upcoming [appearances]. I just want to see what the f-ck I’m made of. I mean, I still train on a regular basis, but it’s different when you’re preparing for something specific and it’s different when there’s circumstances that you can’t control. Any performing athlete, anybody, if they haven’t competed in a while, I bet if you sit with them for more than ten minutes and talk with them, they will eventually talk about how they miss competing and they miss being in that environment. And that’s pretty much what it is,” Shafir stated. “I just have this dire need to test myself while I still can.”
Marina Shafir faces off with Masha Slamovich at Bloodsport 7 on October 22; you can watch the full event on FITE. Shafir can also be seen in a new long-form feature from EC3’s Control Your Narrative channel; our full interview can be seen at the top of this post.