She once went on a reality show to lose weight to get a chance to become a professional wrestler. She also appeared on WWE’s Tough Enough and trained in Japan. She quickly became one of the most feared female wrestlers in the world. Today on the blog, we ask ‘Whatever Happened To‘ Kia Stevens?
Kia Stevens journey into professional wrestling started in 2002, when she appeared on a weight loss reality show called Discovery Health Body Challenge to lose enough weight to pursue a career in wrestling. She would appear as a contestant on season 2 of WWE’s reality/competition show ‘Tough Enough.’ She didn’t make the cut. To further her career, Stevens traveled to Japan and began intense training.
Starting her career in Japan, Stevens would be dubbed ‘Amazing Kong’ and she was paired with Japanese legend Aja Kong in a tag team known as W Kong. Kia admitted that when first approached with the name Kong, she felt insulted and thought it was a bit racist. She decided to embrace the name and turn a negative into a positive. Amazing Kong and Aja Kong went on to win tag team gold for All Japan Women’s Wrestling. Amazing Kong also won the top singles championship in her time overseas.
After five years spent in Japan, Kia Stevens was signed to TNA wrestling and was renamed ‘Awesome Kong.’She became one of the cornerstones in building the TNA Knockouts division. Kong would win the Knockouts title on two separate occasions and also teamed with Ayako Hamada to win the TNA women’s tag team titles. She also formed a faction with wrestlers Rhaka Khan, Raisha Saeed and Sojourner Bolt called ‘The Kongtourage.’
Kong would remain with TNA until 2010, when she was fired after having an unscripted backstage confrontation with Bubba the Love Sponge. Bubba was hired by TNA as a backstage interviewer and was good friends with Hulk Hogan who was now with the company. After Kong and Bubba had their blowout, Kong refused to travel with the company to England and was subsequently fired.
Kia would be signed by WWE and renamed ‘Kharma.’ A series of vignettes aired hyping her debut, however, she became unexpectedly pregnant and had to take time off. Unfortunately, she had a miscarriage and spent even more time on hiatus. The Kharma character never really took off the way everyone expected it to. She did re-debut at the 2012 Royal Rumble becoming one of only four women to compete in the men’s Rumble match (Chyna, Beth Phoenix and Nia Jax being the other three) After the Rumble, she took more time off and was eventually given her release from the WWE.
Kia would return to the independents and use her old name ‘Awesome Kong’ and win several titles along the way. Awesome Kong would return to TNA in 2015 and was almost immediately thrust back into the Knockouts championship title picture. She had failed to win the Knockouts belt for a third time and was fired a second time by TNA management after another backstage confrontation. This time, it was against Matt Hardy’s wife Reby Sky.
Kong would return for one last tour of Japan in 2016 before disappearing from the ring. So, whatever happened to Kia Stevens? Kia has lost weight and has now focused her attentions on a career in Hollywood. She landed a role in the Netflix series ‘GLOW’ based on the real life wrestling show in the 1980’s. She plays a woman wrestler named Tamme “The Welfare Queen” Dawson and she also has started script writing for several potential projects. Kia Stevens resides in the Los Angeles, California area.
You can read all previous ‘Whatever Happened to’ pieces here.