Impact Wrestling’s Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz, aka ‘Fire ‘N Flava,’ on Defending Their Title
It’s a new era for the Impact Wrestling Knockouts (women’s) tag team titles. It dawned at the company’s Hard to Kill pay-per-view event on January 16, when Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz won the tournament, and the charismatic duo, also known as “Fire ‘N Flava,” have been burning up the division ever since.
TVInsider chatted with Hogan and Steelz to talk about their bond, defending their title against Nevaeh and Havok at No Surrender later this month, and more.
Who had the initial idea to make you a team when Tasha came to Impact last year?
Kiera Hogan: I did. I was like, “Tasha, you need to be here.”…We have always talked about teaming and the things we could do. We never knew we’d be thrown together so quickly. But to see how far we’ve come is great. Ultimately, it led to us getting gold together. The bar is set, and we’re at the top.
When was the moment you felt you clicked?
Tasha Steelz: We met at a tournament years ago and clicked instantly. We share the same goals and passion. We saw each other a lot. That’s how the friendship started. We have a lot in common, things outside of wrestling, too.
Hogan: [Like Oxygen’s ]Bad Girls Club. We love stupid reality shows. We’re into that reality petty humor. We like being petty. We poke at people and get them riled up.
How much creative freedom do you have?
Steelz: I’d say we bring the most entertainment on Impact every week. It all started [with] the way they see us backstage, the way we interact. [Management] sees we’re entertaining backstage — why not put that on TV? We just act our natural selves. They give us creative freedom because they know we are going to 100 percent deliver.
We’re in the middle of Black History Month. Kiera, you also came out in 2019 and have advocated strongly for the LGBTQ+ community. How does it feel to hold these titles during a time where representation is as important as ever?
Hogan: It’s for the culture. That’s what we do it for. We’re breaking down barriers for our culture. We know what we bring to the table. It’s about damn time somebody saw it. It’s about time we got some recognition. Before Tasha came in, I was going with the flow. I wasn’t being my authentic self.
We’re trying to promote if you are yourself authentically and truthfully and honestly, you can achieve anything. It’s amazing to be in this position this month, and this year starting off on such a high note. We’re going to keep hustling and grinding…[Impact] never made me feel like I’m different for being who I am. They made me feel comfortable enough to be my authentic self. I had positive reinforcement from my surroundings.
You’ve been the victim of social media trolling. You’ve been very transparent on Twitter as a result. What gets you through the dark periods?
Hogan: Social media is a minefield that can tear you down. I feel like fans don’t truly understand what social media has done to entertainment and sports and performance art. Everybody’s voice is very powerful whether you type it or say it. I don’t think people know the power they have in what they say. I just feel we give so much to the negative. Social media can be very dark sometimes and pulls you into being negative and feel like you have to lash out to protect yourself. I want people to know it’s okay to have moments and be vulnerable and show we are human and all have feelings. Sometimes you get hurt. I’ve learned you have to keep breathing and keep going no matter what. Take things one day at a time.
There is so much excitement with AEW and Impact collaborating. Do you see yourselves mixing it up with the women of AEW?
Steelz: It could happen. Never say never. I don’t mind bringing some Fire ‘N Flava to AEW. They need it. We don’t mind bringing some fire to Dynamite. We don’t mind coming through and showing the women of AEW what the women of Impact can do. With these weekly ads [AEW head] Tony Khan likes to do, [insulting Impact]. We have our response ready to go. Once I bring out more petty Steelz, it will be on their turf of AEW. And they will see what we’re truly about.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 28, 2021
You have another match with Nevaeh and Havok coming up. Do you feel any added pressure now that you’re holding the gold?
Steelz: I work great under pressure. The greats work under pressure. Look at Tom Brady. Havok and Neveah weren’t easy to beat. I think they kept trying to bring a different game plan, but we found our ways around it. That’s what made us dominant and successful against them. Havok herself is very tough. She is the biggest and strongest and hard-hitting. Just trying to break her down was very difficult. Then you have Neveah. At the end of the day the better women will win.
Impact Wrestling, Tuesdays, 8/7c, AXS TV
Impact Wrestling presentsNo Surrender, February 13, 8/7c, Streaming on Impact Plus