LA Taylor & Skye Smitson Interview: “The fans have been trying to send us a message for some time – don’t trust Lana.”

In the wake of Lana Austin‘s shocking betrayal at Chapter 167, we sit down with LA Taylor and Skye Smitson to explore the profound impact on their personal and professional lives. The sting of betrayal from someone they once considered an ally has left a deep mark, leading them to question their judgment and trust.

As they gear up for their upcoming match against Lana and Rob Drake on Sunday July 28th at Chapter 169, they reflect on their strategies, mental preparation, and the evolution of their partnership. With emotions running high, LA and Skye are determined to overcome the challenges ahead and prove to PROGRESS fans and management they belong without Lana and Rob.

How has Lana Austin’s betrayal at Chapter 167 impacted you personally and professionally?

LA: Betrayal to this extent wasn’t ever something I thought possible. When you’re as tight a unit as we are – sorry, were – you don’t question anything, you don’t second guess it, you’re focussed on you all against the world together. I’m led to question my own judgement. That’s extremely unpleasant.

Skye: Professionally it’s not affected me much. Personally it makes you question everything, I let her in and opened up to her, told her my deepest secrets, my deepest thoughts and she chooses to stab us in the back because she thinks we want to steal her spotlight. This has never been about anything other than being her friend and clearly she didn’t feel the same.

Given your familiarity with Lana Austin’s tactics, what adjustments are you making in your strategy for the upcoming match to counter her and Rob Drake?

Skye: We’re gonna play the game we’ve been playing this whole time, the game doesn’t change just instead of helping her, we are gonna do everything in our power to stop her getting what she wants. She was never the mastermind in those situations we were!! We got involved in those matches at the moments we knew were right. Not her. She just experienced the benefits of our actions.

LA: Although we know Lana and have an idea of her tactics, Rob is the anomaly here. He is ruthless by name and nature, that alone means it’s very difficult to anticipate what might be in store for us.

How are you preparing mentally to face Rob Drake in the ring officially for the first time?

LA: Acceptance. Sometimes there are mountains and challenges in life that you have to face, no avoidance. I believe he will do everything in his power to dominate, and I have a wary respect of him for that. He’s not to be underestimated.

Skye: I’ll be honest, I don’t give a f*ck about Rob Drake, now that being said I don’t underestimate him. I know he’s ruthless and unhinged, that he’ll go to great lengths to cause pain…..but I’ve spent years taking punishment, and I’ve never backed down from anyone, man woman or beast. I don’t fear ANYBODY! I don’t care what he thinks or feels, and if I have to go through him to get to Lana then that’s what I’ll do!

Can you share how your partnership has evolved since the dissolution of the Lana Austin Experience?

Skye: If anything it’s made our friendship and partnership stronger. We’re best friends, sometimes we hate each other, sometimes we annoy each other to death. But we’re adults and we discuss it as such. Lana turning on us only made us realise how lucky we are to have each other. Because no matter what – we have each others back and we want eachother to succeed!

LA: Skye and I have always been close, we’ve always made a great team. It’s because it’s based on trust, respect and true friendship. That’s always been there, it’s just more obvious to everyone else now.

With so much at stake, including a personal vendetta, how are you ensuring that your focus remains sharp and your emotions don’t get the better of you in the ring?

LA: That’s the challenge summed up. You can’t always avoid emotion, better to harness that energy and use it. Feelings can move mountains.

Skye: It’s gonna be hard. But I’m seeing this match as what it is – the chance to get my hands on Lana and show her exactly how stupid she was to turn her back on the only two people who had her back over the last two years.

Do you have a message for Lana Austin and Rob Drake ahead of the match at Chapter 169? What should they be prepared for when facing you two in the ring?

Skye: You’ve forgotten exactly who we are, and at Chapter 169 we’re gonna remind you exactly what we’re capable of.

LA: I’m not sure they’re reachable as the people I used to know. It’s difficult to put the emotions and thoughts into words. They used to know who I am, they used to know how I operate, what they don’t know is how their actions have changed me, how they’ve strengthened the partnership between me and Skye. Familiarity won’t be something to rely upon.

This match carries a lot of emotional weight. How are you managing the pressure and expectations, both from yourselves and the fans, going into Chapter 169?

LA: The fans have been trying to send us a message for some time – don’t trust Lana. I didn’t want to believe it, no one ever wants to believe that of their friends, but the fans were ultimately proven right. I’ve carried some hideous, life changing things on my way to becoming a pro wrestler – this, although very visceral and emotional, pales in comparison. We’ll face this the way we always face things – together, willing to leave it all out there.

Skye: Expectations of fans is something beyond our control. This match is a chance for us to prove that we aren’t where we are because of Lana. That we deserve to be in that ring with some of the best wrestlers in the world. That’s a lot of pressure, but just like we proved against Sunshine Machine we thrive under pressure

Looking beyond this match, what are your aspirations in PROGRESS Wrestling, and how do you see this match influencing your trajectory in both the women’s and tag divisions?

LA: I truly believe that we both haven’t even begun to explore our potential in PROGRESS. There are so many match ups – singles, tag and otherwise – that have never happened. So many opportunities that we’ve yet to seize. That excites me. It focusses me. It makes me realise what life beyond the LAE could hold for us. I believe we have so much to give as a team, and as friends supporting each other. We’re driven, hungry and ready to fully realise our potential on the PROGRESS roster like never before.

Skye: Personally, I want GOLD!! Simple as that! That tag division is filled with amazing teams and we are one of them. It doesn’t matter who is holding the Tag Team or the Women’s World Championship, our aim is to get that gold and hold it in our hands. Would I love to see my best friend as Women’s World Champion? HELL YES! Because over everything else we have each others back 100% and if one of us wins so does the other – because if she wins, I win!

PROGRESS Wrestling tickets are available for all future shows via the dice app, including this July’s event, THE DEVIL ON MY SHOULDER featuring LA Taylor & Skye Smitson vs Lana Austin & Rob Drake. See you on Sunday, July 28th!

You can see LA Taylor & Skye Smitson matches in PROGRESS Wrestling, including their match against Sunshine Machine by subscribing to DEMAND PROGRESS PLUS.

LA Taylor & Skye Smitson Interview: “The fans have been trying to send us a message for some time – don’t trust Lana.”