Over the weekend, Nerds & Beyond was on-site for SummerSlam media coverage. At the press junket on Friday, Zoey Stark chatted with Nerds & Beyond Editor Haley. Stark talked about being mentored by Trish Stratus, she shared her opinion on pineapple pizza and being injured.
Note: This interview has been edited for clarity.
Nerds & Beyond: It’s SummerSlam weekend, the biggest event of the summer. How are you doing?
Zoey Stark: I’m great! I’m having a blast here this week so far, WWE has had me doing a lot and I’m enjoying every second of it.
Nerds & Beyond: So, I’m a big fan of Trish Stratus, obviously you’re paired with her. How has it been to learn from such an incredible Hall of Famer or someone who has really broken down doors and barriers for women in wrestling?
Zoey Stark: It’s absolutely amazing. Trish has been so sweet helping me inside the ring but also outside. Showing me the ropes of how Monday Night Raw really works. To work with a legend like that, I’m just going to sit back and just kind of watch her do her thing and take notes going along, you know?
Nerds & Beyond: Has she imparted any advice on you that you’ve really taken to heart? Something you think about every time you step in the ring?
Zoey Stark: She’s given me a lot of advice. A lot. Any time that we’re about to go out there, she gives me the little tidbits of like, “Hey, this is how I want you to react to this.” She really thinks through every single step of the way, and not only that it’s also the why in what we are doing. So that is one thing I’m definitely going to take once this program’s done, when she wants to go back home and when she’s satisfied with what we have done. It’s the “why” in everything. Why are we telling this story? Why are we doing what we’re doing? She’s absolutely amazing. She’s so smart at this. She’s brilliant when it comes to wrestling.
Nerds & Beyond: I feel like everybody could use a Trish Stratus as their hype woman, you know?
Zoey Stark: Oh, yeah. If you have her as your hype man, you’re good. You’re set, right? Like, it’s all good to go!
Nerds & Beyond: We are in Detroit so I wanted to ask you: are you team Detroit style pizza or a Coney Island [hot dog]? Do you know what a Coney Island is?
Zoey Stark: I don’t, no!
Nerds & Beyond: It’s like their version of a chili dog!
Zoey Stark: So, I haven’t had either of those! So, what’s a Detroit style pizza? What is that exactly?
Nerds & Beyond: It’s like Detroit’s version of like a deep dish but It’s crispier and not as thick.
Zoey Stark: Well, then that kind of loses my interest already because I’m not a big deep dish fan.
Nerds & Beyond: It’s got like crispy crust though. It’s pretty good.
Zoey Stark: I mean, I’ll give it a shot. I’ll try it. I’m always down for some good pizza!
Nerds & Beyond: Are you team pineapple on pizza or no?
Zoey Stark: Pineapple all the way! Yeah, every single time I get a pizza, it must have pineapple and pepperoni on it. I’m good. For those who don’t like pineapple on it, like, what’s the problem?
Nerds & Beyond: It’s good. It’s sweet and salty.
Zoey Stark: Exactly. It’s the perfect flavor. Right? It’s a great combination.
Nerds & Beyond: It’s a good flavor combination. I know I’m going to upset a bunch of Italians by saying that.
Zoey Stark: I don’t care. I’ll upset you! I love pineapple on pizza. Who cares!
Nerds & Beyond: I wanted to ask you, it’s the summertime, what have you been loving? Like a song, or a show, or a movie. What have you been into?
Zoey Stark: What was the last movie I just saw? Well, it must have not been that great if I can’t remember the name of it, huh? (editors note: it was Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.)
Nerds & Beyond: Have you had the chance to see Barbie or Oppenheimer yet?
Zoey Stark: I have not, I really want to see Oppenheimer! Is that really good?
Nerds & Beyond: Yeah, it’s really good.
Zoey Stark: Yeah? I really, really want to go see it. The shows I’m watching right now … I was just watching Gaslit on STARZ. I thought that was really interesting, actually, to kind of figure out the little details.
Nerds & Beyond: Finally, what is a SummerSlam moment that sticks out to you? What’s your favorite? If you have one.
Zoey Stark: You’re making me go back in my head! What’s one of your favorites?
Nerds & Beyond: Well, I don’t know, now you’re putting me on the spot! I really liked Bianca [Belair] and Becky [Lynch]’s match last year.
Zoey Stark: Oh yeah, that’s where Becky got her shoulder torn, huh? Yeah. I forgot all about that.
Nerds & Beyond: [laughs] I didn’t enjoy that!
Zoey Stark: No, no, no! [Laughs]. But it shows how tough Becky Lynch really is, you know? Have you ever separated a shoulder or had like any injury?
Nerds & Beyond: No, thankfully.
Zoey Stark: When you separate a shoulder, it hurts. I separated my shoulder a long, long time ago, and I had to pop it back in. It’s like the weirdest sensation ever, and it’s hard to move your arm or anything. So for her to go back in and do that, that’s crazy.
Nerds & Beyond: Have you ever been mid match and something like that happens, and you have to do it? Because I know a lot of wrestlers sometimes their arm will pop or whatever, and they just …
Zoey Stark: So, the shoulder injury that I had was on the indies. And I went for … what was it? It was something off the top turnbuckle when I landed. Like, I did like a face bump. I felt it pop. And then next thing I know I come up and I just kind of yanked my shoulder back in and it like kind of connects back. So I definitely had that. I’ve broken my hands in the wrestling ring, torn ACL, yeah, several injuries. They suck.
Nerds & Beyond: But you come back stronger than before, you know?
Zoey Stark: Exactly. You get to watch yourself and be like, “Okay, I don’t want to do that anymore, but I want to grow in this.”
Nerds & Beyond: Yeah, you adapt!
Zoey Stark: Yeah, you adapt! You figure it out, and you become a better person.