Tales of Two X-treme Champions
On the surface, you wouldn't think that multiple X Games medal winner Bucky Lasek would have a lot in common with former Women's Champion Victoria. One of the most consistent professional skateboarders in the world, he would tell anybody that skateboarding is about more than performing tricks.
And Victoria would tell anyone that being a top WWE Diva isn't just about looking good, having glamorous photo shoots and wearing sexy outfits. The sometimes-unstable SmackDown Diva has never been just eye candy; her multiple championship reigns have proven that. Lasek took time before the beginning of this year's X Games, which take place Aug. 2 to Aug. 5 in Los Angeles, to talk to Victoria and the two shared war stories about their careers and injuries:
Victoria: I hear that you started skateboarding after your bike was stolen. Tell me about that.
Bucky Lasek: I was playing badminton at my cousin's house and my bike got stolen. We chased the guy down for a good 20 minutes looking for him.
Victoria: Did you get your bike back?
Lasek: No, what happened was we were chasing the guy in our car, and there was a guy mowing his lawn that said that he just saw him riding by, and we were seriously like a minute or two behind him. So, that guy must have ducked, or had just gotten to his house. He got to the bat cave before I did.
Victoria: Oh man, that's terrible. I left my bike out one time, and I had a Diamondback. I'm sure you know how expensive those are.
Lasek: Yeah, those are nice.
Victoria: Well, that got stolen, and I was pretty ticked off. Of course, I got in trouble for leaving it outside. [Laughs]
Lasek: Have you ever heard of P.K. Rippers?
Victoria: No, what's that?
Lasek: That's a company that just started back up. They're like the Mercedes-Benz of bikes.
Victoria: Awesome. I've heard that you started your own restaurant.
Lasek: We did. We closed it down just around three months ago.
Lasek: It was just too much to deal with.
Victoria: Did you sell it off, or is it still running?
Lasek: We just stopped. We were breaking even, and it wasn't enough.
Victoria: I hear ya. That's a hard business to deal with. I just recently sold my pizza place. To wrestle and do that at the same time is freakin' hard. It's good money, but you have to babysit it.
Lasek: We actually didn't have to babysit it. We had investors, and they were cool about it, but my main business partner didn't know what he was doing. The one thing that he thought he knew but really didn't was how much to pay himself. He was paying himself too much money, and that's pretty much what killed it.
Victoria: Oh, man. Yeah, that's pretty common.
Victoria: What is your favorite trick to do during major competition?
Lasek: At the moment, I would say a Nollie-flip Madonna.
Victoria: A what? [Laughs] Explain that one to me.
Lasek: A Madonna is where you take your one foot off, and you smash the tail on the way in. It was named after Madonna by Tony Hawk, who invented the trick.
Victoria: Sweet. …
Lasek: And I added a Nollie-flip to it, where you go up and flip your board.
Victoria: Gotcha. Cool, man. That's awesome. So, you're the two-time defending Dew [Action Sports ]Tour Champion, [and you're] going for a third. Do you think your competition gets harder each year?
Lasek: Well, this year I've been battling injuries. I had my left knee scoped about a month ago.
Victoria: Ouch…yeah, I have a torn ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) myself.
Lasek: I've had that, too.
Victoria: You have?
Lasek: I had that about 10 years ago.
Victoria: Did you have to have surgery on that?
Lasek: Yeah, I had surgery on that. And then I had some cartilage floating around, which was taken out about a month ago. And I just fell on my good knee recently, and stretched my PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament). So, it's always a constant battle. If I was healthy, it would be a no-brainer. I just got done filming for an Element [Skateboard] video where I learned all of these tricks, but now I'm so inconsistent with the injury.
Victoria: Yeah, I know what you mean. It [having an injury] just gives you this fear in the back of your mind [about] doing more risqué moves.
Lasek: Well, yeah because it hurts to fall, and you don't have the power that you want to have, you know?
Victoria: I hear you're also involved with charities. Which ones are you involved with?
Lasek: We're involved with ICT, which is the International Campaign for Taubate. We've done the Children's Hospital and a few others, but we're primarily concentrating on the ICT one right now.
Victoria: Oh, okay cool. I've got another question. I've recently watched a show about injuries on TV. I saw this guy do a trick on his board going down the ramp, and he completely twisted his ankle backwards. Do you avoid watching stuff like that? Is it disturbing for you to watch that?
Lasek: Well, that would be like watching one of the WWE Superstars hit their heads or badly injure themselves. It's kinda like the same thing. It happens. You know how body and muscle memory works. … I mean, you don't want to see that because then it's like …
Victoria: A fear in your head.
Lasek: It just puts it in your head, and then it's there, and you don't want that.
Victoria: Yeah, because I saw that and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.' I wrestle with a [knee] brace, and every time I see someone wrestle with a knee injury, it freaks me out.
Lasek: What kind of brace do you wear?
Victoria: I don't know the brand name that I wear. If you name it, maybe I'll know it.
Lasek: Is it a CTi or a DonJoy?
Victoria: No, it isn't. Oh man, now I want to get my brace so I can tell you what it is. That's terrible that I don't even know the brand name. All of us here [at WWE] have doctors and trainers that come to our show, and they just give it [the brace] to you. I don't get to pick my brace or anything. And you know what? Even if I end up getting surgery on my knee, I'll still be wearing a knee brace.
Lasek: Yeah, I did for a while too.
Victoria: Okay, so last question. What do you think hurts more -- doing a backflip off a ladder onto a wrestler lying on a wooden table or falling off of a vertical ramp?
Lasek: Well, falling off of a vert ramp doesn't really hurt, so I'm going to have to go with doing a backflip off of a ladder onto a wrestler lying on a table.
Victoria: Well, I've never done a backflip on a table, either. I've been thrown through a table though, which hurts. [Laughs] But I didn't like that so much. Well, Bucky, thank you so much for your time. Good luck with everything.
Lasek: Thanks, you too, Victoria. Take care of yourself.