I recently spoke with WWE Divas Champion Eve Torres, who discussed her wrestling career and her involvement with The COMBOS Files web series. You can check out the full interview below.
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WrestlingINC: You've been with WWE over five years now. How did you first find out about the Diva Search?
Eve Torres: Well, the Diva Search was broadcast on WWE every year for the past four years before I had started. So, it was something that I knew about and I knew it was a way for women that were kind of out of the wrestling world per se to have an opportunity to work with the WWE. I just thought it would be kind of right up my alley since I was very competitive.
WrestlingINC: Were you a wrestling fan growing up?
Eve: I would consider myself a casual fan growing up because obviously wrestling was such a huge part of pop culture, and still is. I was a fan as much as it was a part of pop culture. The huge names, I was obviously very familiar with. But, I didn't really watch much TV growing up to be honest.
WrestlingINC: You're the only diva to win the title three times. Do you have a favorite title reign?
Eve: I'd probably have to say that it was this current title reign right now, for sure. I think every time you win the title, it means more. You think that the first time that it means the most, but it really doesn't. I think the first time that you win the title -- you just don't know how to make the most out of your title reign until you've had one and then you've lost it. Once you lose something, you know how much more it means to you.
So, third times a charm for me. Obviously, I've taken a bit of a turn in terms of my character and I've had a lot of fun with that with this title reign.
WrestlingINC: Yeah, I think a lot of people feel that you've been the best female heel in a long time. Are there people that you watched in the past that have modeled your character after, or is it just something you've come up with?
Eve: I'm having a lot of fun with it. I draw from personal experiences, I think I've known real terrible people in my life. [Laughs.] I hate to say it, but everyone has experiences with people that you just can't stand or have certain characteristics that just irk you, and it really serves for good ammunition with these kind of characters.
You have to create your own character and you can base it off of either people you know or previous characters that have done similar things. But, it also has to feel real to you. It has to feel like something that is believable in your own mind in terms of the character you would play. So, I've really had a fun time finding out who she is with the help of obviously Vince, Hunter and some of the other divas as well.
WrestlingINC: You won the final Diva Search and the competition did bring in a lot of talent. Do you think that the Diva Search is something that could work in today's environment?
Eve: Absolutely. I think the Diva Search was a great way to find women who might have been intimidated to get into the WWE world on their own. It's kind of a way to say 'Oh, let's just try it out,' without too much commitment in the beginning and just feeling it out and seeing if WWE likes them. As somebody that has the look or the marketability or whatever that they're looking for, that sparkle that they're trying to find in the divas.
It's a great way to do that, I think it's great. We've had a lot of really great talent come in through the Diva Search and I hope to see us doing another one very soon. Word on the street is that there is one going on, but it's always kind of confusing. We never really know what's going on. [Laughs.] So, hopefully, there will be another influx of a great group of women.
WrestlingINC: Yeah. You're also the head instructor for the Gracie Women Empowered Self-Defense Program. How is that going?
Eve: It's amazing. This program started in January and we had our first group receive what we call their pink belts. Basically, they've gone through the entire program, they've mastered the entire program and they've developed these incredible reflexes. They've really put in time and effort and energy and they just earned their pink belts that go along with the program.
This is a program that we're continuing to refine and develop and offer everywhere in the world. So, right now I teach and the Gracie Academy. But, I've taught at the Air Force, I've taught corporate women before. It's kind of going to be a program that moves. In my opinion, I think every woman in the world needs to learn this stuff because it's such an effective program.
It's all-encompassing, it's not just a few aggressive tactics. It's the entire picture. What happens if someone takes you to the ground. It's also what happens if the attacker is actually somebody that you actually know. Because, you'll have different tactics and different strategies if the sexual assault is a date-rape situation which is actually the most common. About 78% of the sexual assaults are by people you know.
So, it's important to be mentally prepared for how to react for those situations and not always think that sexual assault is going to be somebody that jumps out from an alley or is in a dark parking lot and is somebody that you may not know.
WrestlingINC: Have you been teaching these techniques to anyone at WWE?
Eve: I actually have. There's been a few times that we've been in the ring and I'll just show them a few little techniques here and there. But, it's so important. That's why I started learning. I'm on the road five days a week in a different city every day. Some times, I have to check out at a hotel at 4 AM in the morning in a city that I don't live in by myself. And I have to go to my car and there's no other way to go about that. There really isn't.
All of us have to do that and it's really important for me to feel like I knew how to handle those situations in the very best way and reduce my risk as much as possible if I have to be in a dangerous situation like that.
WrestlingINC: You and C.M. Punk recently did The COMBOS Files: The Haba-Sabi Challenge (watch the video). What was that experience like?
Eve: It was so much fun. The COMBOS Files is basically like an interactive web series that COMBOS created involving other celebrities including myself and C.M. Punk. We basically went to their test kitchen and we had celebrity chef Graham Elliot and he basically creates these flavors that fans have submitted on the COMBOS Facebook page. And also flavors that myself and C.M. Punk came up with.
So, we got to taste some of the flavors that some of the fans came up with and submitted and graded them. And they also created our flavors like I said. So, we had a face-off in terms of who's flavor was better at the test kitchen. It was a lot of fun.
But, I think the most popular video now is the Haba-Sabi Challenge which is a COMBOS flavor that is combining habanero and wasabi. So, it's really hot and spicy. So, the challenge was me and C.M. Punk and we both had to eat the COMBOS and see which one could take as much of the heat as possible. The first person to break and have to drink milk loses. So, if you want to see that video, you can log onto their Facebook. I won't give away any spoilers. [Laughs.]
WrestlingINC: How can fans submit their flavors and recipes?
Eve: Well, the COMBOS Facebook page is really their interactive site where fans come up with their own crazy flavors, see these videos and then also see where they have coupons available some times. So, that's where everybody would go and kind of put their own ideas out there and see if they continue to do The COMBOS Files, who's flavor would they choose.
WrestlingINC: Just a couple of final questions before you have to go. If you could wrestle anyone past or present, who would that be?
Eve: I always had this fantasy about facing Lita. Right now, I'd love to wrestle Natalya Neidhart. I've pretty much beat everybody in the divas division right now except her. I haven't wrestled her in probably about four years. So, in the current divas division, I'd love to face here. I actually think fans would want to see that.
WrestlingINC: Finally, congratulations for getting engaged to Rener Gracie. Any updates on when you might be tying the knot?
Eve: Absolutely not. [Laughs.] It's like, 'OK, cool. We're getting married. Some day we will.' We haven't even decided a year yet, let alone a day. But, the good news it that we knows it's going to happen. So, we just feel that we can really take our time with it and just enjoy engagement.