Chelsea Green: What’s next after WWE release, her fiancé Matt Cardona, Tough Enough, Vince McMahon, AEW

Chelsea Green is an actor and professional wrestler known for her work in WWE, NXT, Impact Wrestling and Lucha Underground. She sits down with Chris Van Vliet after being released from her WWE contract on April 15, 2021 and opens up about what’s next for her career. She also talks about how she fell in love with wrestling, training with Lance Storm, being on Season 5 of Tough Enough, signing with WWE, working for Impact Wrestling, winning the Knockouts Championship, leaving Impact for Lucha Underground, how Cody and Brandi Rhodes set her up with her fiancé Matt Cardona, his love for figure collecting, The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast, her plans to launch her own podcast and much more!

On her recent WWE Release:

“At first I was kind of emotionless and I guess confused. My way of handling that has always been to go into overdrive with what’s next? That’s always the way my brain has worked with everything. So even when I became the IMPACT Champion, literally that night, what’s next? What am I going to do next? I’ve always been that way, but it’s kind of not been a good thing for me also. I do feel like it’s been good for me this time around. It’s been good, I’ve just focused on what is next, how am I going to get my name out there? What do I need to do to kickstart my career back into the wrestling world and everything. I feel really good now. It’s crazy, it’s only been a couple of days but it feels normal now.”

On how her Partner Matt Cardona helped her through the process:

“He has been so, so great. First of all he warned me that this was coming. Not necessarily to me, that I was going to get fired. But he did call me and give me a 10 minute gap between the time he told me people are letting go and me getting let go. He gave me that warning then I texted him and said ‘OK, I’ve been released.’ I’m not joking he was home within 30 minutes. My Pro-Wrestling Tees store was up, he’s all go go go! Even harder than I was. I think that’s kind of the same way I felt when he was released. I was like what do we need to do? It’s nice to have someone on the other side of things keeping my head clear. But he’s so positive it’s been really nice. I’m able to bounce my ideas off of him.”

Image credit: Instagram

On if she thought the releases would not affect her:

“Yes that’s exactly what I thought. I’m not gonna lie though, hearing that Billie Kay was released, that was a shocker. That did make me question like whoa OK. So Billie Kay was just on WrestleMania last week, it hasn’t even been a week. And now she has been released, what does that mean for the rest of us? But I never thought I would be released before I had a chance to prove myself. That’s where the shock factor came from. It’s like but wait, I never got to show you guys how good I am.”

On why the release surprised her:

“That’s the weird thing. In my wrestling career, I’ve always been so lucky where everything has been my decision. I decided to go to these companies and I decided to push myself up the ranks. I decided to go all in on my Hot Mess character, I decided to go to Lucha Underground. All of these amazing opportunities, I was so naïve to think that’s the way wrestling is. I had just been spoilt. I didn’t realize until I got to the real world, which is NXT and WWE, that things don’t always work out the way that you planned. Your vision board isn’t always going to come to light on the year that you want it to. So yeah, it’s been eye opening.”

On future projects:

“In the immediate future, I’m working on starting a podcast. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, because I am such a talker. Anyone that knows me knows that. I get myself into a lot of trouble just by talking. The podcast may start in the next week. I’m just going to jump right in. I would like to get back to stunt doubling and a little bit of acting. Anything that allows me to talk. Wrestling too.”

On needing to find work:

“When I was released, a lot of people were like ‘Hey you’re ok, you’re a good hustler.’ But I’m like, yeah but I’m Canadian. I have to get a Visa and a Green Card. I have to figure out a way to live here. [Chris mentions getting a Green Card via marriage]. Oh trust me, I’ve already talked to Matt [Cardona]. I was released on Thursday night, and on Friday morning, Matt is on his way to Wisconsin. I texted him saying ‘We need to get married so you need to think about when that’s happening.'”

On constantly trying to get on WWE TV:

“No, and here’s the funny thing, I am ruthless. I show up non stop when I’m not booked, on the off chance. Lance Storm taught me always show up ready. I would always show up with my gear in the car, have my spray tan and make up on. There have been times where people have been needed last minute. I would send emails saying I would be there Friday, so if you need anyone. I would be the perfect post Mania debut, I’m your girl. I want them to hear me and see me, I haven’t stopped thinking about this. I was in their ear every week.”

On how she got a job at IMPACT Wrestling:

“I flew myself to NXT taping before I even got a job at IMPACT, I think it was 2015. I showed up, I emailed NXT and they let me be an extra. I think all of my girlfriends that week were used. There was Deonna [Purrazzo], Tessa [Blanchard] and me. They were used for those 2 days of tapings, and I wasn’t. I was so upset that I had flown myself from Canada and got new gear. I thought if they see me, they will love me. They didn’t book me, totally fine, they have a reason for booking extras the way that they do. I was sitting in Full Sail, and I thought if they [NXT] don’t want me, maybe IMPACT does. I called up IMPACT, got a try-out the next day, that’s how I got hired.”

On competition with the locker room:

“Yeah that’s the thing, you have to be really smart. It’s so much easier said than done. It’s kind of a Rockstar lifestyle. You get in so deep and you are competing for those top spots like in any company. You want to look your best, have the best gear, the best ideas. You’re constantly trying to keep up with the Joneses, and that’s tough.”

On WWE and NXT locker rooms:

“The locker room is so good at NXT. There is so much competition. But not direct competition. Everyone is so different, so how can I make myself different. Shotzi has got this great personality and green hair. Tegan Nox has all The Avengers stuff, Dakota has crazy kicks, how do you compete with that? Finally when you get up there, you are moved to the main roster. Then you have a whole new set of girls who you are looking at. I’m not Sasha Banks, I’m not Charlotte Flair, I’m not Becky Lynch, I’m not Bayley. How can I be the best me? In WWE you can never plateau. You can’t stay the same, that will be the demise of your career.”

Image credit: Instagram

On her various ideas for her character:

“I can’t tell you how many ideas I came up with. If I think about it, they all led back to The Hot Mess. But with that being said, it wasn’t The Hot Mess like you saw at IMPACT. I tried to pitch a darker, creepier Hot Mess that you could relate to. Not just like the girl at the bar, more so any psychotic person you’ve had in your life. It could be anyone. I was always working on ideas that led me turning into The Hot Mess. It’s what I love, I just want to do character work. I don’t need to wrestle. I’m totally cool with not wrestling, I want to tell a story.

On the audience crossover with IMPACT and NXT:

“That was another thing that I was naïve to. I didn’t realize that those worlds don’t necessarily 100% cross over. More people don’t watch IMPACT than do when it comes to WWE fans. I felt the crossover on Twitter. It helped me when I was nervous for those 10 debuts that I had. But it opened my eyes coming to NXT. I’m going to have to work hard and I’m going to have to reinvent. That’s something I was thankful to have NXT for. There’s so many eyes and brains that are there to dissect it and make it your own. I had a lot of people trying to make it work in a way we could see for WWE TV.”

On learning from breaking her arm:

“I really think that just over the past 2 years I’ve learned that hard work doesn’t always get you what you want. You have to realize that you have to be the right place at the right time and have a little bit of luck. I did realize you get other things. You might not get what you want, but something else great is going to come from this. Breaking my arm twice, I was so mad at myself, especially the second time. I couldn’t have been more angry. But what came from that? So many vacations, fitting in time for myself. I wouldn’t have done that if I had that time off.”

On plans post Survivor Series 2020:

“I don’t even know. I wasn’t told the direction I was going in, but it was a positive direction. I spoke with Vince, how many people can say they got a one on one with him. I had 2 sit-downs with Vince McMahon. After that conversation and debuting 2 weeks later for SmackDown, the world was my oyster. I was showing people I could wrestle and we would go from there. I wanted to show people my promo skills.”

On a meeting with Vince McMahon:

“I have no idea how he is with everybody else, but he was so open to listening to me. I think that’s the key, he lets you speak, and then he makes a decision. I have taken every opportunity I’ve had as a pitch. Whether it’s with writers, Triple H or Vince. I have so many ideas in my head, and I’ll give him any idea. I would say to Vince ‘What do you want and I will give it to you.’ Vince would say ‘OK what are these ideas?’ He let me list off 15 ideas, he wrote them all down. I had pitched them all and I typed them out. I write a good full title, a brief synopsis, all the things that could happen. I pitched them all and after that he wanted to know about me. Things like my family and whose career I wanted to emulate. I said The Miz, because I want to entertain and build an empire off of self deprecation. I don’t care if I lose, if people are laughing or cheering, I’m good. Miz will always have a career, because he is so entertaining, and that’s what I want. I want to be here the next 20 years entertaining people. I said to Vince ‘you know what? I’m not a great wrestler and I’m not trying to be.’ He laughed and said ‘No, I’ve seen you wrestle and you’re a good wrestler.”

On her character pitches:

“The pitches were always something I could see on the main roster. I’m not the girl who will put on gloves and spar with people. I’m not going to pretend to be someone I’m not, because that’s where the fans turn off. That’s why they connected so well with The Hot Mess. You have no ideas how many times people have said they saw something that reminded them of that. The things I did came from fan suggestions and co-worker suggestions. It was something people could relate to.”

On her time in Tough Enough:

“I do think my downfall in Tough Enough was that I was so tunnel vison on getting the contract, that I forgot about entertaining people. That show, we needed to entertain. I wasn’t going to be involved in drama or get involved in a silly storyline. If I could re-do it, I would go in all guns blazing. That was why Mandy [Rose] was so perfect for that show. She entertained us and came out with a contract.”

On her proudest moment as a wrestler:

“I would love for them to look up All In. Because I was so proud of the way I felt during that match. It was such a bonding moment between everyone in the background, all of the indie wrestlers, and the fans. The fans have been so die hard and want us to succeed. Going from wrestling in front of 100 to wrestling on PPV and TV and filling an arena. All in was the best moment of my career. I think All In was the biggest crowd I had wrestled in front of to that point.”

On how Cody and Brandi Rhodes set up herself and Matt Cardona:

“Cody and Brandi set us up. Who knows what Cody did but Brandi definitely planted all of the seeds. I will never forget when they came to IMPACT and every day for 3 days in a row, Brandi said something about Zack Ryder. At the end of the tapings I was like, what’s going on? I remember I was already following Matt on Twitter, so I went and unfollowed him. Then when he looked, I wasn’t following him and didn’t look like a fangirl. I did not want to date a wrestler. I told all the girls that I would never date a wrestler. First wrestler I date, we fell madly in love. I was pretty standoffish after our first date, because I didn’t want to date a wrestler. But he was pretty persistent, he did message me every day until our second date. After our second date, I’m like I love him, this is it. We had our first date at a sushi restaurant and I had to go to Canada for a month, because I had stunt work.”

On missed opportunities in WWE:

“I think not being able to see me talk and not being able to see the character side of me. If people didn’t watch IMPACT, they didn’t know that side of me. I’m excited to show people that, which is I’m not that person on social media. I’m not just that girl in a bikini I’m a completely different person.”

On what she is grateful for:

“For Matt and his positive outlook, for the connections I have from the indie scene, and that I ticked WWE off my bucket list and focus on whatever comes next.”

Chelsea Green can be found on Twitter here and Instagram here.

More podcast recaps can be found here.

Featured image credit: Instagram

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