As noted, I recently interviewed former WWE Diva Ariane Andrew, i.e. Cameron. In the second and final part of the interview below, Andrew discussed her response to Ryback's post, how WWE creative can hurt a person's career, if there has really been a Women's revolution in WWE, if the releases would have happened if the brand split came earlier, her favorite opponents, favorite matches and more.
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You've been appearing on NXT since last November and working a lot more in the ring. Was that a decision that you had made? You know, on Total Divas, you had talked about wanting to go down to NXT and then you did for this November.
"So lets backtrack a little bit with what I talked about a little bit on 'Stone Cold' [Steve Austin]'s podcast. For me it's not just about money. I didn't want to just sit there and be like, 'I'm collecting a check'. For me, I wanted to be an asset and I wanted to be valuable in WWE. And I pitched so many ideas and it wasn't just wrestling because, at the end of the day, I know what my pros are and I know what my cons are. Like, I knew I had a great character. I know I have charisma. I know that I needed to fine-tune my wrestling skills and I was okay with that because I can embrace things about be like, 'you know what? I can do this really well, but I'm not so great at this'. And I was like, 'you know what? I want to do something about this. Like, put me down to NXT and I know that means I may lose my job behind it. I know that I may never come back [to the main roster], but at the same time, at the end of the day, it's something that I wanted to do because I want to make sure that I, me as a person, did everything I possible could at the end of the day. And it takes a lot of courage. It takes a lot for someone to do that because people were going to be like, 'you know what? I don't want to lose my place because in the WWE it's kind of like you can get forgotten about and I kind of what to touch onů
"It kind of brings me back to the whole Ryback situation. So what I meant by everything 'amen brother' was kind of like him standing up for himself and having the guts to do so. It takes a lot to be really feel passionate about something and stand up for it because sometimes there [are] repercussions behind it. And I feel like a lot of times people are scared to say something because it's kind of like, 'if I say this, what does that mean?' And do I agree with everything he was saying? No, I'm not saying that I agreed with [everything he said]. I'm just saying I'm happy he was able to speak up on something he was passionate about. Do you know what I mean? Like, if you don't believe in yourself, who the hell else will? And I just kind of wanted to touch upon that because I got a lot of heat behind the whole [situation], why I spoke up. Sorry, I'm like stumbling all over my words. When I get really passionate about stuff, I stumble all over myself! I got a lot of heat behind that. People are like saying, 'stay in your lane', but it's like I wasn't agreeing with what he was saying. I was just saying I was happy he was able to speak up for himself. Sometimes you get left in the dark and I think WWE is a great company, but if you're forgotten about or misused, you have to be the person to speak up for yourself.
I've talked about Ryback's comments on our podcast and I said, well, I don't agree with the part that everyone should make the same [money]. I do agree that it's a scripted environment and you look at someone like Damien Sandow who got himself over and because creative didn't have anything for him, he got pushed down the card and it hurt his pocketbook because of creative's failings. And then, ultimately, he was released. And so really through no fault of his own, he got released and that's kind of a lot of what Ryback was saying about the creative and kind of being in their hands. And when [creative is bad] for somebody, it affects them directly because it affects them financially and their career trajectory.
"Yeah, some people have families and even children. And you know it is unfortunate that you can see yourself a certain way and if they see you in a different light, you have no control over that. So I just definitely wanted to touch on that, just to say I didn't agree with everything that he was saying. Not at all. I was just agreeing with him speaking up for himself because it takes a lot of courage just to step out and say how you feel because there are repercussions. And people are treated differently. One person makes one thing and it's like, 'okay', but another person can't say something else and it's like, 'ooh, you've overstepped your boundaries'. Just different strokes for different folks."
Kind of on that same level, kind of the same topic as far as the creative for the women in WWE, it looked like WWE was making some changes where they dropped the term 'divas', but now it kind of seems, at least to me, that they're back to where it [has] been over the last couple of years except they're not using the word, 'divas'. What are your thoughts on that?
"I do agree. I was really excited for the Divas Revolution. That was a time when I wasn't on the road. I remember turning on the TV and I was like, 'wow, this is so awesome! Women are getting more time.' Because at the end of the day, even though we are in a male dominated world, the girls put in just as much work as the guys, work their asses off just as hard, and I was just like, 'this is such an amazing opportunity and I'm so excited that now it's the Women's Championship'. But I feel like you're not seeing all the girls up now. It's like this storyline and the matches aren't as long. It's kind of a backtrack, but maybe, hopefully, it's a backtrack before the brand split and to create more opportunities, so everything's a roller coaster ride. So maybe at the moment it seems like things aren't as they should be, but once the brand split happens, maybe that means that more opportunities will come up for everybody, not just the women. The men as well."
It seems like a lot of the releases before the brand split was announced, do you think the releases would have happened if they came up with the brand split a month earlier?
"You know what? I don't know, but I do look at life, my favorite thing to say is 'everything in life happens for a reason' and sometimes we don't know what that reason is. Sometimes it's like, 'why the hell this way?' But that I can't say. I don't know if that was something that had already been determined a long time ago. You just never know how things work and just because I feel like a door closes, I think Damien Sandow is the sweetest guy and so, so sweet and so talented. This doesn't mean that this is the end for him. You never know. He may get a phone call saying 'we want you back', so it may just be the time. At that moment, what happened. Down the line, who knows? They may come back and we may see him on the TV screen or anybody else who was released. He was just really one of the ones who was shocking because he was such as sweet person and very, very talented. And he was so over. He could be off TV for ages and then come out. He'd still get like a standing ovation. So you don't know. Maybe the future holds something very bright for him."
As for yourself, with the brand split, if you were contacted now, are you ready to go back right away because it sounds like you have other things in the pipeline?
"It's so funny. When I've been hearing all the news, I get people like, 'yes, queen, you're about to come back' and it's so funny. I really love [professional] wrestling fans. I love them. I don't know. If I got a phone call, there is still something deep down inside of me that is not 100% done with [professional] wrestling. I feel like I still have so much to prove and I was improving down in NXT. I was feeling like 'I got this' and the whole package was coming together. And I definitely felt like there was something to show everybody if I got the opportunity to do so, but who knows what the future holds? I'm just going to leave it open-ended."
Are you open to other companies right now, like ROH or New Japan, TNA?
"I know some people got a little upset when I had said that WWE is like the big daddy. The thing is I think sometimes when I say things, it gets misconstrued. I respect all the other promotions out there. What I was saying is like, it's kind of hard, like anything in life. Imagine I gave you an example of you go to a restaurant and you have your favorite dessert and it's amazing and when you go back, it's kind of like, 'we have this one instead'. But, no, it's like you have your head set on your favorite dessert that you're like, 'no, that one's so good. It has sprinkles, little cherries, caramel drizzle.' Okay, that's what I had my mind set on. I'm not disrespecting by any means any of the other promotions or anything like that. I just feel like if I were to go back, I would like to be with WWE because that's where I started and that's where I want to leave my, I guess you could say, footprint.
"There [are] some very great promotions out there that kick ass, but obviously they're different from WWE, of course. So it is a little harder. It's kind of like, 'well, I was used to this, but now I have to change to this', so I don't want to come off like I'm disrespecting by any means. It's just kind of like, for me, I'm the kind of person if I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it big. And, of course, you have to crawl before you walk. Of course, of course, of course. Nobody just starts off walking. Some people, but you have to wait for things, and be respectful, and work your way up. That's just kind of where I stand with that. I'm entitled to my opinion, but I don't want to come off as disrespectful in any way because I do respect all the people who are out there in the [professional wrestling] industry and all the other promotional companies out there."
Back with your time with WWE, who were some of your favorite opponents there?
"On the main roster, who would I have to say? You sometimes you can be really close with someone, but [wonder] 'why is our chemistry off?' I did like working with Naomi, I think, just because we had our history. I will say at the beginning things are kind of erratic. I would have expected things to be like when we'd go out there, we'd kill it, but at the time, I really enjoyed working with her. I liked working with Emma. We had some great chemistry together. I mean, it's great to work with everybody. Everybody has their own different style and if the chemistry wasn't that great, it was just something to look forward to, to be like, 'oh, we're going to go out there and do this and switch things up', so I mean, I enjoyed working with everybody. Did I get along with everybody? No, but at the end of the day, you have to leave all the baggage at the door and go out there and put a smile on everyone's face. I won't speak for everybody. Not everybody leaves their baggage at the door. It's unfortunate, but we won't get into that."
What would you say so far if your all-time favorite match that you have been in?
"I actually enjoyed having my live event match with Adrienne down in NXT, yeah. I mean, I enjoyed the triple threat with Natalya and Fox. Was it the best technical wrestling? I mean, [were] there some botches and stuff. Yeah, of course, but we had so much fun out there. That was my first superplex off the top rope. I was ready to s--t my pants, but I was so excited at the same time. I'm like a daredevil. I mean, that was a cool moment. Was it the best match technically speaking? No. I can be honest. There [were] some botches in there. It was sloppy. I think that the fun that we had out there and some of the cool things we did, I think that was exciting. Let me think. If I could sit here and thinků to have the championship match with AJ [Lee] obviously that's the best match too. I was so, so green then. I was thinking, like, 'oh my gosh. Woo! Breathe girl, breathe!' Just because I got to have a shot at the title. It wasn't anything crazy or anything spectacular. I mean, for me, it was just like, 'let me get out there and have fun and really absorb the moment.' Is it going to be the best match that people will say, 'oh damn, that was a match to remember'? No. It's just I had fun doing it."
What was it like being at WrestleMania 30? The Undertaker's streak ending, you're wrestling on the event, that whole experience.
"That experience was terrifying because my top ripped and I was just thinking, 'I'm going to show what I'm working with to the whole entire world! They're going to know what my boobs look like!' And I don't know how I was able to pull that off and keep my top, especially when I was going into Emma's move. I was just thinking, 'like, oh my gosh, like, my hands are locked in [and] my top is literally going to fall off'. But somehow, by the grace of God, I was able to keep together. So that was exciting to be a part of it. I didn't really get to enjoy it because I was freaking out that my top had literally just split in half and there was nothing anybody could do about it. And, I mean, but it was crappy that The Undertaker's streak ended. I mean, I was happy to be there in that moment and to absorb that and be like, 'oh my gosh, this is insane.' But I was happy to be a part of that in a sense. I mean, I wasn't part of the match. To be a part of the whole experience."
You've been teasing some good news on social media. What do you have in the pipeline? What do you have coming up?
"It's outside of [professional] wrestling. I will not disclose that right now. Maybe I'm not even able to. Maybe when I'm able to, you guys can be the first to know. I can give you guys the [exclusive]. Give you something to look forward to and I'm really excited though. Like I said, everything in life happens for a reason. Sometimes we question 'why do things happen?' I am such a hustler, you could say, and I grind, and, like, I don't take 'no' for an answer. It's like, 'oh, you're telling me no? Okay, that's good. I'm just pushing you.'
"Just like the [professional] wrestling fans. I mean, I know I was never the fan favorite and there were so many things that got under the fans' skin, but I try to do everything that I can. I know everyone's not going to love me. That's just life. Everyone's not going to love me. Speaking of that, I want to address the whole thing with the statements that I made to the whole fans with the whole 'laugh' line and how that really threw people off. It was partially [that] I was expressing my true feelings and it was also to create like a buzz that [could be turned] into a gimmick. Give WWE something because, like I said before, I feel like I can say that I can breathe and be like, 'you know what? I did everything'.
"I'm sorry, I'm going off on a little tangent. I did everything I possible could. I pitched so many things from being a valet to being the general manger to doing a gossip show. So many things that I went back to NXT. I was doing everything. I was like, 'I'm willing to start from scratch. I'm willing to do whatever.' And I mean, obviously, it didn't pan out, but I can walk away and say, 'you know what? I did everything I possible could and I'm okay with that.' Because as long as I can walk away saying, 'I gave it my all - I gave all my blood, sweat, and tears', then I'm okay with what the outcome is. But getting back, I totally kind of got off topic, I'm kind of spastic, so I kind of just go all over the place. But that was my whole reason with the whole statement and it was supposed to be like a sarcastic jab, kind of a mic drop and it was supposed to be kind of a joke. But because of that, people kind of missed the whole message behind everything. The IWC, they are thick-skinned, but I thought that a joke would be funny since they are able to criticize and be able to make judgments, so I was like, 'they'll get this - it'll be funny' and it was just like, 'damn, that is not what I was expecting'. So I just want to say if I offended anybody, if I pissed people off, I want to apologize for that because I don't have a problem with people who live with their parents and I love the [professional] wrestling community no matter whatever bashing that I get. It pushes me to be a better person and keep striving to do what I can to turn negativity into something positive. I mean, that's life.
"Like I said, everyone's not going to love me. I wasn't the fan favorite, but it's like, at the end of the day, like, if I can put smiles on people's [faces], if you do rock with me, that's all that really matters. And I take the negative and I take it in. I take the constructive criticism, I listen to it, and I'm like, 'oh, okay'. I may not agree with everything, but I take it in and I still love all the fans regardless if they love me or hate me. Without them, I wouldn't be who I am today and I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for them. So I just wanted to clarify that as well."
Absolutely, and thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. I know that you have a lot of fans out there who [will] definitely be watching your next move and we definitely look forward to seeing what you'll be doing next.
"Yes! I'm super excited. At least for the [professional] wrestling community, I do want to say that I will be doing the autograph signings. That's still going to be a part of me no matter what. Like, that's how I started my journey even though it unfortunately ended how it did, it doesn't mean that I'm going away and saying 'forget that'. It's sometimes hard to still watch RAW or SmackDown because I want to be a part of that or I want to be a part of that, but I wish I had the opportunity to make my mark before walking away, but I still want to stay involved and be able to do things and stay in touch with my [professional] wrestling community because I want them to come along on my journey and you never know. Who knows? Maybe a year from now or a few months from now, maybe you may see me back in the ring. I think for now it's not 'goodbye', it's 'I'll see you later'."
How can fans follow you on social media?
"They can follow me. I changed my Twitter handle, so now it's @ArianeAndrew for Twitter, Periscope, Instagram, all that good stuff. I have my website. I have a PO Box where fans can send me fan mail. I respond not always the quickest. I'm looking at a stack right now and I'm like, 'I need to get this popping and just sit down here for a few hours and open it [and] read it. I read emails. You can also do digital email where on my website you can send me an email and I respond back to that the quickest because, like, through email, I can get right back to it. But yeah, I love the fans and so whatever I can do to give back, I always do, so I have a PO Box. It's PO Box 6109, North Hollywood, California, 91603. You can send whatever there. And just for the [professional] wrestling autograph signings that will be coming up very soon, that way I can still connect with my [professional] wrestling community and as soon as I can reveal my good news, I will. It's definitely exciting. It's outside of [professional] wrestling, but it's definitely going to be fun. Lets put it this way. You will get to see me on TV again."
Part one of the Ariane Andrew interview is here, where she discussed getting her start in WWE, receiving no notice before her first WWE match, her comment about Melina vs. Alicia Fox being her favorite match, Vince McMahon, Total Divas, Triple H and more.