When Rene Dupree invited Lisa Marie Varon (aka “Tara”) to appear on this week’s edition of “Cafe De Rene,” she discussed her tarantula character in TNA and her role in helping Christy Hemme get her start in the ring. The Legendary Undertaker came up with the idea of using it as an emblem.
“Undertaker pulls me aside and he says, ‘hey, come here’. And of course, he’s in the bleachers, you know, he waved like, ‘hey, come here,’ and you’re like, ‘oh, yes sir, yes sir’. He’s like, ‘you know who you remind me of? That cold player is called Black Widow’. And I go, ‘I’m going with it, I’m going with it’. So I started putting the Black Widow symbol on all my gear even though they hesitated every time about calling me Black Widow.”
“And when I went to TNA, they were like, ‘you’re the spider girl’. And I’m like, ‘oh yeah, I’m the Black Widow’. And they’re like, ‘we have these boxes’, and there were three boxes. And they’re like, ‘you’re Tara’. My name, I thought they were going to give me Lisa. It wasn’t in my contract about changing my name. I open the box and I go, ‘what is this for?’ It’s tarantulas, three in three boxes. So I’m like, ‘what is this?’ They go, ‘after you do your finisher, you’re going to put this on their bodies. Are you afraid of spiders?’ And I go, ‘I don’t know’.”
Varon confesses that when she first started using actual spiders in TNA/Impact Wrestling, she was a nervous wreck. Despite her anxiety, she did her best to gather information and produce the best possible section.
“I was like, ‘so the venom is out, right?’ And they’re like, ‘no, it’s still venomous’. And I go, what happens if I get bit?’ And they go, ‘are you allergic to bees?’ I go, ‘I never got stung’. I went to the locker room there, I go, ‘guys, please help me Google tarantula.’ They were like, ‘why did you bring three?’ They were like, ‘we want to see which one’s temperament is best’.
“They were from Gatorland, okay? The tarantulas were from Gatorland, they were always around people, putting in their shoulders and being helped. But they wanted to know — Rose Tarantulas, something Rose. It was pinkish on the top, so anytime I would have, on the first episode, you can see my hands like this, shaking. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing here, I don’t know. I didn’t get very much information on the spider. And it kept on going like this, like this on the back, and I would come back itching. So I would look at the ref and go, ‘the spider’s gonna bite me’. He goes, ‘what are you going to do?’ I go, ‘I’m going to no-sell it. I can’t drop the spider.’ I just googled it, they explode like lightbulbs if you drop it. I don’t need PETA after me.”
The production of an independent program asked her to add a spider into a match she was about to perform. This spider, on the other hand, came from a different place than the TNA spiders, and Lisa was too uncomfortable to put the location into action.
“I went to an indie show. They have a spider in an aquarium and they go, ‘I want you to push this for your finish’. And I go, ‘well, where did you get the spider? Did you go to the zoo?’ They go, ‘no, we got it at the, what’s it called, the pet store’. I go, ‘no, the spiders I used are from Gatorland, they’re used to being around people all the time. You can’t buy one from the pet store’. It was at a pet store where you get dogs, fish, goldfish, snakes, and all that kind of stuff. And I go, ‘I’m not touching that spider. I am not touching that spider. Are you kidding me?’ And in TNA, the guy from Gatorland had to be on-site because in Universal Studios, if you have an animal, you have to have an animal professional on-site. So the guy was making more than some of the mid-carders.”