Carmella Explains Her WWE Absence, Injury Update, Becoming A Mom, Corey Graves As A Dad, MITB

Carmella (@carmellawwe) is a professional wrestler with WWE. She sits down with Chris Van Vliet in Philadelphia to talk about recently becoming a mom, being in labor for 60 hours, what Corey Graves is like as a dad, when she plans to return to the ring, being a Lakers girl when Kobe Bryant was on the team and cheering for the New England Patriots when Tom Brady was there, winning in Money In The Bank and cashing it in to become the Smackdown Women’s Champion, being paired with Enzo and Cass, her favorite memories of NXT and much more!

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On being in labour for 60 hours:

“It was just such a long, long experience and it was honestly just very defeating because I spent my entire pregnancy preparing for labour and delivery. I feel like as a WWE superstar I’m used to being in pain, I feel like I have a pretty high pain tolerance. So I just could not wait to get into labour and deliver this baby and call it a day. I did all the preparations and took the classes, I exercised every single day in my pregnancy. And then when it came time to have the baby it just didn’t go the way I planned and it just took so long and it felt like it was never-ending. And but ultimately, at the end of the day, everyone was healthy. So that’s all that matters.”

On what Corey Graves is like as a dad:

“He is the best dad. I’m so impressed. I mean, he has three kids I have through stepkids. So obviously I know of him as a great father to them. But I’ve never seen him as a father to a baby and to a newborn and it’ll melt your heart. If I told you the things I see him do with this. You would never believe it because Corey Graves, we all know Corey Graves. But as a dad, he’s just the sweetest. Oh my gosh. I mean, so our son is obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and there’s this little dance called the hot dog dance and Goofy does this move and he will be in our living room Cory does this move with as the as Goofy doing the hot dog dance and it is the funniest thing you would never in your life picture this but it is so funny and it’s so cute.”

On a WWE return:

“I would love to return. I mean, obviously, I’m so immersed in this motherhood world right now. But honestly, I actually have an injury from delivery. So I have a lot of nerve damage that happened and my foot is kind of non-functional right now. So it’s something that I never knew could happen during labour and delivery. But I have two herniated discs in my back and that is correlated to my foot. So I haven’t even been able to work out. I haven’t been able to do anything that will get me back to the ring quite yet. Hopefully, eventually, I’ll get there. But right now I’m just kind of working. I’m going to be in physical therapy and things like that, too. I mean, I’ve been wrestling for 11 years, I’ve never been injured knock on wood. And now here I have a baby and I’m going to physical therapy. So I don’t know how that works out. But here we go.”

On the Money in the Bank cash-in:

“I guess that was all part of the plan and I knew that he [the referee] was gonna give me a hard time with it. But I didn’t know he was gonna give me that hard of a time. I was like, Okay, how many more times am I gonna tell you to cash this damn thing in? Let’s go. But I’m watching it back. It’s hilarious. I just love him so much. He’s so awesome. So it’s funny to have that memory. I just sprinted down the ramp, and of course, my adrenaline and everything. I’m so excited because I know I’m about to cash in and hopefully win this title. So I mean, I was just like, how much longer can I sit here and scream? I was so it was ridiculous.”

On the unlikely path of following in her father’s footsteps:

“Never ever in my life that I think I would be here. I love performing, I was a dancer in my old life I cheered in the NFL, NBA and then when this opportunity presented itself, I just felt like, sure let me try it. I don’t know if I can do it, I’ve always been a small girl. So I never thought it was something that I could do. And then I went to the tryout and I just fell in love with it. And of course, with my history of watching it, I knew what it was all about. So it’s just kind of cool that it all came full circle especially with my dad’s history, my love of performing and, you know, led me to where I’m at.”

On choosing between Lakers Girl and WWE:

“I was a Laker girl and I had found out about an opportunity to try out for Tough Enough. I just kind of did like a video submission, I think or something like that, was emailing with somebody. They had said what the commitment would be for Tough Enough and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it because I’d already committed to Laker Girls, I couldn’t do both. So I thought well, I moved to LA to be a Laker girl. I’m here on this squad, I need to finish my commitment with this. And then I just never thought again about WWE until this opportunity came about. And you know, it’s great. It ended up working out.”

On not being called up to the main roster with Enzo and Cass:

“We were at WrestleMania 32. I guess Triple H had talked to Enzo and Cass separately and told them they’re debuting the next night on Raw. And they were talking about it because we had done tours together. We had done loops, and I was with them. So I thought okay, well when they go up, of course I’m going up with them. So when I found out that Triple H had talked to them, and someone came and pulled me off the bus we were about to leave. It was TakeOver, I think or I don’t even remember what we’re doing. But I was pulled off the bus. We’re about to head back to the hotel, Triple H wants to talk to you. I’m like, oh yeah, we’re debuting tomorrow! I was so excited. And he pulled me and he’s like, Enzo and Cass are debuting tomorrow. And I’m like, yeah, he’s like, you’re not going to debut with them. My world just came crashing down. I was devastated in the moment. But now I look back and he had told me no, this is a good opportunity for you to prove who you are on your own. You’re going to be a strong character. You don’t need to be with them. You’re going to be strong on your own. And at the time, of course, it was devastating to hear but it all worked out I think the way it’s supposed to. And here I am 11 years later still here and killing it. I mean, not right now. But soon.”

On the 24/7 Championship:

“I just loved being paired with R-Truth. He is such a treasure and he’s such a good person and so fun to be around. It was just full-on shenanigans all the time whether the cameras were rolling or they weren’t. We just always had fun ideas. We would adlib things that weren’t in the script. And it was just fun to play off each other in that aspect. And I just think you just never knew what to expect. And people were looking forward to seeing what we were going to do. You know, we’re in costumes and disguises and just getting into the most ridiculous situations. And I just loved being that entertainment part of the show, rather than going out, I had already at that point been Women’s Champion, I show what I can do in the ring. Let me show what I can do with my character and be fun and be silly and have comedic timing and play off somebody. I think to be able to have that range is so important. Not everyone can do that and I’m so grateful I was afforded the opportunity to show that side of my character, especially alongside R-Truth.”

What is Carmella grateful for?

“Family, my health and wine.”

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