TV tougher than ring for mending Lita

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
August 10, 2002

Pro wrestler Lita has fought some of wrestling’s toughest women. But it was a stunt double who put her out of commission for at least another year.

While filming a fight scene on the series finale of “Dark Angel,” Lita (born Amy Dumas) landed head first on the ground.

Lita, 27, said star Jessica Alba’s stunt double “wasn’t familiar with wrestling, and I didn’t think I’d need a stunt double to handle my fights. I was in pain, but I finished shooting. I didn’t realize how serious my injury was until later. I cracked three vertebrae and had to have surgery.”

Still recovering, Lita won’t be with World Wrestling Entertainment’s “Tour of Defiance” when it hits the Allstate Arena on Sept. 1. But the auburn-haired beauty will be signing autographs from 2 to 4 p.m. today at OzzFest at the Tweeter Center in Tinley Park.

“It’s hard for me to sit back and watch everyone else get out there in the ring,” she said. “It’s hard for me to not be able to work out the way I used to and to see my body changing.”

Lita may not be as cut as she used to be, but she still caught the attention of passersby as she walked around downtown Friday. Dressed casually in camouflage pants (with a matching cell phone case) and a red sleeveless T-shirt that showed off a dragon tattoo–which, she admits, hurt like heck to have done–Lita is a head turner.

The men’s magazines have taken note as well. While she has been asked to do nude layouts, a la Chyna, Lita said, “That’s not for me.”

After graduating from high school, the North Carolina native enrolled at Georgia State University. She wanted to become a teacher. Instead, she ended up traveling, playing in a rock ‘n’ roll band and focusing on martial arts.

“Being in the WWE is like being in a rock band,” she said, laughing. “The lifestyle is very similar, and I like that.”

Until she heals, Lita plans to continue volunteering at animal shelters. She also hopes to try her hand at wrestling play-by-play.

“I love wrestling and would miss it if I could never do it again,” she said. “But I also know there are a lot of things out there to try.”

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