KIMBERLY BENSON is a professional wrestler from Ayrshire known by the stage name of Viper.
She’s the reigning Stardom SWA champion, fighting both here and abroad, and she has reached superstar status in Japan.
She even has her own signature move called The Viper bomb.
Her story will feature on BBC One this evening at 7.30pm.
Why do the documentary?
When they offered it I said: ‘Whoa. I’m not sure I want to do this.’ I was worried my life wouldn’t seem interesting, but they convinced me that the drama of wrestling is enough.
What’s your ultimate goal?
To make enough money to go full time in the ring. Just now it fits in around the family business. I’ve just recorded a series for ITV called World Of Sport, and that paid well, so I’m on my way.
What is the family business?
It’s a coach company. I do everything from answering phones to getting the overalls on and cleaning the buses when they come back from something like T In The Park.
What are the bonds like among female wrestlers?
Great. In Japan we share a flat during the day then knock seven bells out of each other at night. But after a fight we’ll go for a drink together.
Is wrestling “fixed”?
Let’s just say it’s soap opera. It’s showbiz that tells stories. Sometimes matches have a big finish to further the storyline. I’ll leave it at that.
Have you always wanted to be a performer then?
Yes, ever since I was little. But you can get hurt doing this. I’ve been lucky as some friends have had serious injuries. People don’t understand how dangerous it is. Accidents can happen at any time.
Are you hooked on an adrenaline?
I’ve not thought about that before, but I think you’ve maybe hit on something. I must be. I get sick with nerves before a fight but then I come alive in the ring. It’s the best place to be.
How did the character of Viper come about?
I started wrestling at 17, and I didn’t even know myself then, so Viper has developed as I’ve grown up and evolved as a person. She’ll grow again in the future.
How do you keep fit for wrestling?
It’s not about lots of gym work. That gets you looking toned, but it makes you stiff rather than supple. I train at a wrestling school to keep my body in shape. Looks are an important part of the wrestling story.
You have 24 hours left to live. How do you spend it?
I’d take my family and friends to a warm beach, play in the water, have a barbecue, then put up a wrestling ring and have one last show. I’ll call it Bash on the Beach.