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Sonny Kiss
Born (1993-12-11) December 11, 1993 (age 28)[1]
Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
Alma materBryan University (A.A./B.S.)[2]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Sonny Kiss
Exolicious
XO Lishus
DebutSeptember 2013

Sonny Kiss (born December 11, 1993) is an American professional wrestler, dancer, and professional wrestling manager currently signed to All Elite Wrestling. She[a] began her career in 2011 as a manager and became a pro wrestler two years later. Her first national exposure took place in 2018, when she began to work with the television show Lucha Underground as XO Lishus. When Lucha Underground ended, she signed with All Elite Wrestling in 2019.

Early life

Sonny Kiss was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on December 11, 1993.[3][4]

Dancing and cheerleading

Kiss attended a performing arts high school where she studied dance. In 2011, Kiss attended New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)'s Summer Youth Performance Workshop (SYPW) modern dance program, which she successfully auditioned for.[5] Later that year, Sonny won first place in Dance at the Hudson County Teen Arts Festival. In 2014, she attended an audition for the NY Jets Flight Crew. [6] Prior to becoming a professional wrestler, Kiss worked as a background dancer and choreographer for indie artists during her teen years.[7]

Professional wrestling career

Independent circuit and Lucha Underground (2011–2019)

Kiss after a match with Effy
Kiss after a match with Effy

Sonny Kiss initially debuted as a manager/valet in November 2011 at the age of 17.[8] In September 2013, Kiss made her in-ring debut at East Coast Pro Wrestling in New Jersey. Sonny later appeared on several wrestling promotions on the independent circuit such as Full Impact Pro and Evolve.

On June 27, 2018, she made her debut on Lucha Underground as XO Lishus by defeating Jack Evans. On August 8, 2018, she teamed up with Ivelisse in a losing effort to Joey Ryan and Jack Evans. Sonny later won the rematch against Jack Evans in a No Mas Match on August 29 of that year. On September 29, Kiss had her first title match teaming up with Ivelisse and Joey Ryan for the Trios Title, losing to the Reptile Tribe (Luchasaurus, Daga and Kobra Moon). The trio went on to lose to the Rabbit Tribe (Paul London, El Bunny and The White Rabbit) two weeks later. Kiss and Ivelisse competed for the Trios Title at Ultima Lucha Cuatro with Sammy Guevara as their third partner. The trio lost to the Reptile Tribe on October 10, 2018.

All Elite Wrestling (2019–present)

It was announced in February 2019 that Sonny Kiss had signed with All Elite Wrestling (AEW).[9] At AEW's inaugural pay-per-view event Double or Nothing on May 25, Kiss competed in the 21-man Casino Battle Royale, but was eliminated by Tommy Dreamer.[10] At Fight for the Fallen on July 13, Kiss defeated Peter Avalon, earning her first win in AEW.[11]

Kiss then went on a six match losing streak between November 2019 and March 2020 on AEW Dark, both in single and tag team matches.[12] On 24 March 2020, Kiss formed a tag team with Joey Janela when they beat Corey Hollis and Mike Reed.[13] After a two months absent, the pair returned to the ring on the May 26 edition of AEW Dark, when they defeated Brady Pierce and John Skyler.[14] On the May 27, 2020 episode of Dynamite, Kiss participated in a battle royal match to determine the number one contender for the TNT Championship but was eliminated by Wardlow.[15] The pairing of Sonny Kiss and Janela led to a vignette on AEW Dynamite, in which the pair beat up of wrestlers at the gas station.[16] On the June 24 edition of AEW Dynamite, Kiss and Janela made their tag team debut against The Dark Order's Brodie Lee and Colt Cabana, where they lost after Cabana pinned Janela.[17]

At Fight for the Fallen on July 15, Kiss challenged Cody for the AEW TNT Championship, but lost.[18] At the All Out event on September 5, Kiss participated in the Casino Battle Royale, where she eliminated Jake Hager (following their encounter three days before to the event) before was eliminated by Brian Cage.[19] This led to Kiss and Janela facing Chris Jericho and Hager on the September 9 edition of AEW Dynamite in a No Disqualification Tag Team match, which they lost after Hager pinned Kiss, following a distraction from Jericho.[20] On the 21 October edition of AEW Dynamite, Kiss was named as a replacement for Janela, who withdrew in a tournament to determine the number one contender for the AEW World Championship, but was eliminated in the first round by Kenny Omega.[21] Throughout 2020 and 2021, Kiss often managed Joey Janela on AEW Dynamite against opponents Lance Archer, “Hangman” Adam Page, Chris Jericho, and Kenny Omega, to which Janela was unsuccessful.[22]

In the beginning of 2021, there growing dissension between Kiss and Janela when they embarked on losing streaks on AEW Dark matches, leading Janela to abandon Kiss.[23] This led to the pair appearing in the Waiting Room with Britt Baker to settle the issues and they made amends.[24] However, in the 9 August 2021 edition of AEW Dark: Elevation, Janela attacked Kiss prior to their tag team match, disbanding the team.[25] Kiss then made his return on the 7 September 2021 edition of AEW Dark, where she attacked Janela following his match.[26] Throughout the rest of 2021, both Kiss and Janela faced each other, where they each won once in two of their matches on AEW Dark: Elevation and AEW Dark to end their feud.[27]

Personal life

In 2013, Kiss became a certified yoga instructor.[28]

Kiss is genderfluid[29] and identifies with both male and female pronouns.[30] In February 2021, Kiss stated on Table Talk with Mo and D-Von Dudley: "Half the roster calls me ‘she’ and the other half calls me ‘he’; sometimes even in the same sentence, and I love it."[31] Kiss uses the AEW women's locker room and also trains with the women's wrestlers while wrestling in the men's division.[32] As of 2022, Kiss stated on Sessions with Renee Paquette that she much preferred the "she" and "her" pronouns outside of the ring and in real life, respectively, as it feels more natural. She stated, "When I get married, I'd want the guy to call me his 'wife'" and revealed an identity as transfeminine.[33][34]

In November 2020, Kiss earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise physiology.[35][36]

On the podcast AEW Unrestricted, Kiss described herself as a "nostalgia junkie" and is a fan of various pop culture fads from the 1990s and early 2000s relating to fashion, gaming, television, and teen films along with boy bands, girl groups, and various forms of popular music. Kiss is an avid fan of rap metal band Limp Bizkit.[37]

Kiss cites Rob Van Dam, Rey Mysterio, Trish Stratus, Lita, The Hardy Boyz, Jazz,[38] Sharmell,[39] Molly Holly, Victoria, Alicia Fox and Jacqueline along with mentors Dustin Rhodes, Chris Jericho, and Billy Gunn as major influences.[40][41]

Kiss is straight edge and is a vegetarian.[42][43]

Championships and accomplishments

Notes

  1. ^ Kiss is genderfluid and uses both he/him and she/her pronouns. This article uses she/her pronouns for consistency.

References

  1. ^ @SonnyKissXO (December 11, 2020). "December 11, 1993. 27 years ago. Jersey City, NJ Christ Hospital approx. 7:50am I was born... I am so grateful & blessed to see another year. 2020 has been a year of reflection & accountability. I've learned & grown so much.Thx you guys for the bday wishes! #imwithaew" (Tweet). Retrieved December 13, 2020 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ "Sonny Kiss - Zimbio".
  3. ^ "Sonny Kiss". Wrestling Inc. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  4. ^ Kiss, Sonny [@SonnyKissXO] (January 24, 2020). "@jaime_corretjer @thejamiesenegal @AEWrestling @AEWonTNT Yep! Born and raised in Jersey City!" (Tweet). Archived from the original on May 4, 2021. Retrieved June 14, 2021 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ "AEW Unrestricted on Podimo".
  6. ^ "Sonny Kiss on wanting to be an NFL cheerleader, feeling pressure when he signed with AEW, her time in Lucha Underground". July 14, 2020.
  7. ^ Professional Wrestler (All Elite Wrestling), Dancer & Advocate Sonny Kiss.
  8. ^ Ryder, James (July 22, 2020). "Talk Is Jericho: Sonny Kiss Will Kick Your Ass". Talk is Jericho (Podcast). Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  9. ^ All Elite Wrestling [@AEWrestling] (February 7, 2019). ".@SonnyKissXO is #ALLELITE and will be at #DOUBLEorNOTHING" (Tweet). Retrieved May 27, 2019 – via Twitter.
  10. ^ Powell, Jason (May 25, 2019). "AEW The Buy In pre-show results: Powell's live review of the Casino Battle Royale, Kip Sabian vs. Sammy Guevara". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
  11. ^ Powell, Jason (July 13, 2019). "7/13 AEW Fight For The Fallen results: Powell's live review of Cody and Dustin Rhodes vs. The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega vs. Cima, Chris Jericho promo, Hangman Page vs. Kip Sabian, Pentagon Jr. and Fenix vs. Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  12. ^ "AEW Dark Results (12/3) Proud N Powerful vs Jurassic Express". E Wrestling. December 3, 2019. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
    "AEW Dark Episode 17 Stream, Results, And Discussion (1/28)". Fightful. January 28, 2020. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
    "2/4 AEW Dark results: Starr's review of Kenny Omega and Riho vs. Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford, Nightmare Collective developments, Shawn Spears and Colin Delaney vs. Best Friends, Mel vs. Hikaru Shida, Jurassic Express vs. Brandon Cutler and Sonny Kiss". Pro Wrestling.net. February 5, 2020. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
    "2/11 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Dark Order vs. Jurassic Express, Jimmy Havoc vs. Sonny Kiss, Riho vs. Nakajima, Golden vs. Shida". PW Torch. February 11, 2020. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
    "AEW Dark results: Private Party vs. Sonny Kiss & Brandon Cutler". FW4 Online. March 11, 2020. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  13. ^ Tedesco, Mike (March 24, 2020). "AEW Dark Results – 3/24/20 (Natural Nightmares, Jake Hager, Colt Cabana all in action)". WrestleView. Retrieved March 26, 2020.
  14. ^ "5/26 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Natural Nightmares vs. Dark Order, Nakazawa vs. Brandon Cutler, Jungle Boy vs. Peter Avalon, plus Janela, Kiss, Havoc, Sabian Wardlow, Cabana, Best Friends, Penelope". PW Torch. May 27, 2020. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  15. ^ "AEW Dynamite results, live blog (May 27, 2020): Double or Nothing fallout". Cageside Seats. May 27, 2020. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  16. ^ "Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela beat dudes up in SloMo at a gas station". Cageside Seats. June 24, 2020. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  17. ^ "6/24 AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT: Keller's report on Orange Cassidy-Chris Jericho confrontation, FTR vs. SCU, Luchasaurus vs. Wardlow, Brian Cage in action". PW Torch. June 24, 2020. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  18. ^ Powell, Jason (July 15, 2020). "7/15 AEW Dynamite results: Powell's live review of Fight For The Fallen featuring Jon Moxley vs. Brian Cage for the AEW Championship, Cody vs. Sonny Kiss for the TNT Championship, FTR vs. Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix, Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks vs. Jurassic Express". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  19. ^ Powell, Jason (September 5, 2020). "AEW All Out "The Buy In" Pre-Show results: Powell's review of Private Party vs. Alex Reynolds and John Silver of The Dark Order, Joey Janela vs. Serpentico". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
    "AEW Dynamite results, live blog (Sept. 2, 2020): All Out go home". Cageside Seats. September 2, 2020. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  20. ^ "9/9 AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT: Keller's report on All Out fallout, Brodie Lee defending against Dustin Rhodes, Moxley speaks, MJF complains, Lucha Bros. vs. Juruassic". PW Torch. September 9, 2020. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  21. ^ Powell, Jason (October 21, 2020). "10/21 AEW Dynamite results: Powell's live review of Penta El Zero M vs. Rey Fenix, Kenny Omega vs. Sonny Kiss, Colt Cabana vs. Hangman Page, and Wardlow vs. Jungle Boy in AEW Title Eliminator first-round tournament matches". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  22. ^ "7/1 AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT (UPDATED ANALYSIS): Keller's report on Fyter Fest Week 1 special edition including Cody vs. Jake Hager for TNT Title, Page & Omega vs. Best Friends for AEW Tag Titles, Shida vs. Ford for Women's Title". PW Torch. July 1, 2020. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
    "AEW announces Kenny Omega vs. Joey Janela for Dynamite". December 11, 2020.
    "AEW: Dynamite Results - May 28, 2021". May 29, 2021.
  23. ^ "AEW Dark recap (May 25, 2021): Joey Janela abandons Sonny Kiss". Cageside Seats. May 25, 2021. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
    "6/8 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Dante Martin vs. Matt Sydal, Lance Archer vs. Zicky Dice, Tay Conti in action, more". PW Torch. June 8, 2021. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
    "6/29 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Wardlow vs. Baron Black, Johnson vs. Morales, Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Marko Stunt, more". PW Torch. June 29, 2021. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  24. ^ "7/6 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Eddie Kingston & Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Chaos Project, Archer vs. Mantell, Conti vs. King, more". PW Torch. July 6, 2021. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  25. ^ "Joey Janela Turns On Sonny Kiss On 8/9 AEW Dark: Elevation, Kiss Reacts". Fightful. August 9, 2021. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  26. ^ "9/7 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Diamante vs. Big Swole, Joey Janela vs. Lee Moriarty, Dark Order in action, more". PW Torch. September 7, 2021. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
    "AEW News: Sonny Kiss Sends Message to Joey Janela Following Return, Note on Tonight's Meet & Greet, Dark Highlights". PW Torch. September 7, 2021. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  27. ^ "AEW Dark Elevation results: Kiss vs. Janela, Shida vs. Slamovich". FW4 Online. September 20, 2021. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
    "AEW Dark results: Joey Janela vs. Sonny Kiss no rules match". FW4 Online. December 28, 2021. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  28. ^ "Sonny Kiss – the Vegas Staycation Show".
  29. ^ @SonnyKissXO (June 10, 2020). "#GenderFluidLife 🤷🏽‍♀️" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  30. ^ "AEW Unrestricted - Sonny Kiss on Stitcher". Stitcher. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  31. ^ "WrestlingAudio.com - Table Talk". wrestlingaudio.com. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  32. ^ "Sonny Kiss Uses AEW Women's Roster's Locker Room". December 28, 2021.
  33. ^ "The Sessions with Renée Paquette: The Sessions - Sonny Kiss on Apple Podcasts".
  34. ^ "Sonny Kiss Talks LGBTQ Representation in AEW".
  35. ^ "AEW Star Sonny Kiss Graduates College, Joey Janela, Big Swole, & More Send Congratulations". Wrestling Inc. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
  36. ^ TNT (August 4, 2020). Sonny Kiss | AEW Unrestricted Podcast (YouTube). Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  37. ^ "AEW star Sonny Kiss on his "Fight for the Fallen" match against Cody, working with Joey Janela & loving Limp Bizkit (Exclusive)". July 15, 2020.
  38. ^ @SonnyKissXO (March 25, 2019). "(The Queen) @Phenom_Jazz and I 👸🏽🙌🏾😍 one of the reasons that Sonny Kiss exists. Thank you for representing! 🤘🏾🤘🏽🤘🏿…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  39. ^ @SonnyKissXO (March 20, 2020). "@KK_Burn @AEWrestling @RealSharmell She's honestly a huge inspiration to me. 🥰" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  40. ^ "Sonny Kiss on stereotypes, AEW, being engaged, inspirations, Nyla Rose and goals by Insight with Chris van Vliet".
  41. ^ "Sonny Kiss Comments on Being Trained by Dustin Rhodes, Developing His Persona, Chris Jericho".
  42. ^ @stellakae (January 22, 2020). "Really really proud of how many people at AEW are clean/sober/straight-edge/etc, it's a whole big gang of us! Me, D…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  43. ^ "A Shot of Brandi Episode 36 w/ Special Guest Sonny Kiss". YouTube.
  44. ^ "ACE Fight or Flight Championship History". Cagematch.net. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
  45. ^ Roster - East Coast Professional Wrestling
  46. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2020". The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  47. ^ "WOW No Limits Championship History". Cagematch.net. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
  48. ^ Warriors of Wrestling Title History
  49. ^ "Tier 1 Championship History". Cagematch.net. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
  50. ^ "Catalyst Wrestling Championship History".