In the current era of social media, fans are granted access to their celebrity heroes of all fields including professional wrestling. With Chasing Glory, former WWE ring announcer and musician Lilian Garcia goes one step further, giving the talent a kind of voice that shines inspirational light going above and beyond their ring personas. Some of Garcia's recent guests include Braun Strowman, who's gone through far more than his rough exterior would indicate experiencing his share of childhood trauma and how it helped mold him to the person he is today. She's also talked to longtime ring veteran Rey Mysterio and his son, Dominik, who he's also bringing into the business. Currently announcing for mixed martial arts for the Professional Fighters League, I spoke to Garcia about how the idea of Chasing Glory came about, the show's themes, subjects, and her singing career.
"I had this idea back in 2004 to do a human interest story on the superstars especially the women, because I was working with them and the locker room, really opening up to each other," Garcia said. "I thought it would be incredible for fans to really be hearing this. I think it would really inspire them. Having the platform that we have, I think it would change people's lives and it was a little bit too early for its time. So in 2015 once I left WWE, I was taking care of my dad. He really wanted to see what is next. He loved the idea show launched in November 2016 so it's been four years."
When it came to Garcia's post-WWE career, she didn't want to deviate much from what she was already doing. "Music's always been a part of my life," the host said. "I have always been involved in music one way or another. I incorporated music in my time in WWE. I was actually performing outside of WWE as well. Since that day, I'm still recording here and there as well as acting and hosting. I'm always incorporating everything else as well." When the pandemic struck, Garcia didn't have to do much to adjust since she already had her own studio. It did bring its own fortune since a familiar presence came calling.
"I still function week after week," Garcia recalled. "I decided to take a break after my 'Black Lives Matter' episode and really take a listen out there in the world. It was also for my own mental health. We had some time away from everything. I think that was important. If 2020 has shown us anything, it's sometimes, it's important to pause when needed. The show needed it because it was running so hard for so long that when we decided to come back in the fall, WWE reached out to us. It made sense and it was perfect timing to come back and be on [WWE] Network." Chasing Glory has had no shortage of guests in the WWE realm. Garcia's also reached out to others she's worked with in the past like one show where she had WWE Hall of Famer Amy Dumas (aka Lita), Impact Hall of Famer Gail Kim, and Christy Hemme. She also talked to WWE HOF Diamond Dallas Page about his return tag match in AEW. Some of her non-WWE past guests include MMA legend Randy Couture, musician Lindsey Stirling, and the women of PFL.
When it comes to guests Garcia wants in the future, she's always looking for new opportunities. As far as those gone too soon, she wished she talked to Eddie Guerrero and Ashley Massaro. "[November 13] is the anniversary of Eddie Guerrero's passing," she said. "I wish I could have someone like Eddie on the show. There are many who have passed I wished could have gotten their story out there like Ashley. I was already planning to reach out to her for the series when she ended up passing. Those people I wished I could have had. Week after week, we're going to have these amazing stories."
Garcia said she doesn't have anyone who particularly stands out as far as interviews because they all offer a complete picture their own way. "Everyone has a unique story," she said. "It's not about comparing one person's journey to another. There's so much you can apply to your life if you listen to any show to the end. You'll be so glad you gave it a listen." Someone I hope Garcia brings back is wrestler Thea Megan Trinidad Budgen aka Zelina Vega, who was recently "future-endeavored" by WWE. She previously appeared twice on her show, the latest two weeks ago. You can catch Chasing Glory on the WWE Network and on YouTube.