|By Daniel Pena | December 26, 2012 | Comments|
In General: "I don't have one bad thing to say about her -- she's great! All the years that we were there together, which was pretty much both our entire careers on the road, not one altercation. Not one difference. We just got along. That all started through the Diva Search. Obviously, neither one of us won, but I remember watching RAW a few weeks after the Diva Search ended, and King was on commentary. He mentioned that one of the cast offs was going to be making their debut on RAW, then they opened up a magazine -- and it was Maria! I got so excited for her, because her dream was coming true. She was one of the few [contestants] that actually followed wrestling, and she made no qualms about wanting to be an announcer. I just thought that was awesome."
Life's A Ditz: "She ended up with the ditzy gimmick for a while, but people don't realize that she's not ditzy -- she's actually extremely smart. Business-wise: she's very savvy, and I admire that about her."
Working with Maria: "She was on RAW for most of the time when I was on SmackDown, but there were several cross-over shows where we did get to work together -- before she eventually moved to SmackDown when she got drafted. She was a fun babyface to work against; she can sell like crazy and the fans always got behind her. She was that underdog, and she was cool. She was all about business. She got it: she was willing to make sacrifices. She understood what some people can't always understand; she understood that as a babyface, she was going to get beat up. She'd end up being able to return the favor, but she was never one to be like: "All I'm doing is getting beat up!" So, she was fun to work. I really enjoyed working her."
Maria The Wrestler: "Everyone always said that she wasn't a wrestler, and that she shouldn't do this or that. I think it's all about working together and working on people's strengths -- instead of trying to expose their weaknesses. I think that's just what you have to do." [...] "We didn't have a long stint together, but she was really cool. She was a good worker, a hard worker... she was committed, and I was sad to see her go. I don't know that we've seen the last of her, and I hope to see her again. I miss her -- I think she's going to do big things."
Making The Transition: "I turned heel on Maria, and when I turned, I gave her a pretty good beating. She took it like a champ, an absolute champ! I remember Arn Anderson always used to say: "You can't be a heel! I don't want it, why are they turning you; I don't want you as a heel!" Then, he ended up coming back to me and saying: "Why were you ever a babyface -- you should have always been a heel!" Maria helped in that. You always want that one person that if you're gonna make a turn, you're gonna want to make the biggest impact possible -- which, at the time, beating down Maria was making the biggest impact possible."
Diva Search And Beyond: "I knew I liked her in the Diva Search, but then I remember watching her in the DVD, I don't remember which one it was, but anyway, she ended up giving me a shout out. She was saying something about my body, and how cool she thought I was, and I was like: "Alright, I knew I liked this girl." The friendship formed and the friendship hasn't ended. I don't think that it ever will."
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