Photo via Shars Photography
The path to a wrestler’s end destination is never a straight line; however, there may be no better example of that in Alberta’s wrestling scene than Kayla Jaye.
Since making her wrestling debut just over two years ago, Jaye has quickly ascended to the apex of the Alberta indies through her work with names like Zoë Sager, Kylie Morgan and former MYC competitor Nicole Matthews. An epic feud with Angelica cemented the pair as two of the foundations of the Prairies independent scene, with their battles a major reason for the resurrection of the RCW Women’s Championship. Not since the likes of Natalya, Taya Valkyrie and Rachael Ellering plied their trades in Alberta has the province seen such an influx of female talent. All three major Albertan promotions now prominently feature women’s titles, a statement in and of itself.
It’s a testament to not only the work that the women of the province have put in over the past three years but something Jaye takes great pride in being a part of.
“I feel like (the RCW Women’s Championship) is ours,” says Jaye when asked about the relationship between herself and Angelica. “Some people think it’s just a championship; they’re flat-out wrong. We’re proud to be part of the reason the title was revived.”
Now a former two-time RCW Women’s Champion, the former Envy is beginning to attract attention from promotions outside of Alberta, recently working for Thrash Wrestling in British Columbia. However, while the accolades are starting to pile up, the path to the top hasn’t exactly been linear for Jaye. While the talent has always been evident, today’s version of Kayla Jaye has been a work in progress since her fledgeling days with Monster Pro Wrestling. It’s certainly been a case of taking the path less travelled, but one that’s defined Jaye’s career thus far.
Jaye began her wrestling career in January 2017 as a trainee with Monster Pro Wrestling in Edmonton, Alberta. “In the beginning,” she admits, “I never knew what I really wanted to get out of this, and had no idea what I expected from the experience.”
“All I knew is I wanted to wrestle.”
While having no prior grappling experience, Jaye’s previous athletic experience proved essential to her early days in the ring. Within months, Jaye was set to make her professional wrestling debut under the name KJ Kash. Under the name, Kash would earn her a reputation as one of the top developing wrestlers in the province. Early matches against Phoenix and Sexy Sam in Monster Pro Wrestling and Kat Von Heez for the Prairie Wrestling Alliance had wrestling fans across the province speculating that Kash would quickly become one of the top females in Alberta. While that would eventually be true, KJ Kash left Kayla Jaye yearning for something more.
“My whole first year of wrestling, it felt like I was wrestling as someone who wasn’t me,” remarks Jaye. “It felt like I was going through the motions of a wrestler like a robot, and doing what I should do, rather than what I wanted to do.”
It was clear to Jaye that a change was needed. Unbeknownst to her, it would come sooner than expected.
“KJ Kash is Dead”
2018 was, as Jaye puts it, a year of pure growth. Finding herself at a career crossroads, an opportunity presented itself in a partnership with another rising star at the time, Pride. Like Jaye, Pride was experiencing a shift in character, and the duo’s undeniable chemistry made it a natural decision to align. However, the pairing wasn’t a fit for KJ Kash. A darker gimmick required a darker shift in character, and the bubbly KJ Kash was simply a square peg attempting to fit in a round hole. A decision was made: with Jaye already growing disenchanted with her initial gimmick, it was time to kill her off.
KJ Kash was dead, and in her place came one of the most recognizable names in Albertan wrestling: Envy.
The move proved to be immediately fruitful. Under the guise of Envy, Jaye’s development accelerated quickly. The pairing of Pride & Envy rapidly became one of the most dominant tandems in not only Alberta but beyond the province’s borders, with the duo pushing each other to not only develop, but excel.
“Having someone who consistently is watching my matches, and providing feedback was the most important thing in the world to me,” said Jaye in a recent article for Pro Wrestling Post. “We (Pride & Envy) worked more shows than I ever had and partnered in numerous different promotions. Along the way, I learned about the business and the numerous personalities associated with it.”
Angelica and the RCW Women’s Championship
Upon debuting, Jaye quickly set her sights on RCW’s resident top woman, “the Bombshell” Angelica. It was a rivalry that would establish both as two of the premier wrestlers in Alberta’s pro wrestling scene.
“(Angelica) pushes me every single time,” admits Jaye on her greatest rival. “Whether it’s a 6-man tag or a last woman standing match. I honestly wouldn’t be in RCW without her, or even half the wrestler I am now if it wasn’t for her. I wouldn’t have made it this far without Angelica, in or out of the ring.”
For the better part of a year, the two embarked on a bitter rivalry, with the duo at each other’s throats at every turn. The two were the perfect foils to each other; Angelica’s technical prowess meshed flawlessly with Envy’s in-ring savvy to not only put on a series of excellent matches but truly prove what makes the women’s wrestling scene in Alberta a standard-bearer in the industry. With Angelica and Jaye as the lynchpins of RCW’s women’s division, the decision was made in August 2018 to revive the defunct RCW Women’s Championship. It’s a title that Jaye’s claimed twice since the championship’s inception; however, despite the accolades, Jaye soon found herself in a familiar position. Not entirely satisfied with her direction, Jaye made another decision.
It was time for a change.
From the Ashes of Envy
In April, Pride & Envy finally dissipated following the joint RCW/CWC show in Red Deer, Alberta. The dissolution of one of Alberta’s most successful duos was a shock to many wrestling fans across Alberta. However, says Jaye, it was simply a natural progression.
“It was time for a change,” Jaye comments. “I was really enjoying what I was doing with Envy at the time, but honestly, I didn’t think she would be around that long. I don’t think she was ever really meant to take off the way she did, at least until RCW.”
For the first time since her fledgeling days, Jaye found herself on her own. However, unlike her initial transition from KJ Kash, there was a clear path to follow.
Where once stood Envy now stood Kayla Jaye.
In just over a month in her newfound role, Jaye has expanded her horizons, both in-and-out of the squared circle. Currently, Jaye is enjoying a run with Meniac and Chris Perish of tagSTRUGGLE, assisting the pair in their bitter feud with Dirty, Inc – and perpetual rival Angelica. Jaye also recently made her debut for Thrash Wrestling in British Columbia, with her new persona developing a reputation of her own.
It was a transition well worth making, says Jaye.
“Kayla Jaye represents finally being able to be what I want, along with everything I want to accomplish in wrestling,” states Jaye emphatically. “Kayla Jaye is the fresh pasture that I wanted myself to walk through but didn’t know I needed until I did.”
KJ Kash is dead. Kayla Jaye is here to stay.
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