Cora Jade Talks WWE NXT Feud With Roxanne Perez, Main Roster Ambitions, WarGames Advice, Relationship With Bron Breakker & More - Exclusive

Cora Jade officially joined WWE in January 2020, and it's been an out-of-control, tiny skateboard ride ever since.

Jade first made an impression on WWE fans as a carefree babyface just happy to have a contract and looking for new adventure. Initially, she was paired with Gigi Dolin as part of the "WWE NXT" Dusty Rhodes Tag Team classic, but the team never made it off the ground — they were unceremoniously defeated by Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell and quickly went their separate ways. Dolin has, of course, found success alongside Jacy Jane and Mandy Rose in the trio known as Toxic Attraction. Jade's path, however, has been less straightforward.


Jade went on to prove herself in a brutal WarGames last year, picking up the win for Raquel Gonzalez's team, and by going toe-to-toe with future WWE Hall of Famer Natalya. When the time came earlier this year for Roxanne Perez to join the "NXT" universe, it was her long-time friend, Jade, who welcomed her with open arms. "NXT" fans rejoiced as the two young stars chased their dreams and ultimately captured the "NXT" Women's Tag Team Championships, but that moment of bliss was short lived, as Jade turned her back on Perez by beating her down with her skateboard and immediately establishing herself as one of "NXT's" top heels. The two will face off this Saturday night in a Weapons Wild match at "NXT" Halloween Havoc.


In this exclusive interview with Wrestling Inc. Senior News Editor Nick Hausman, Jade opens up about feuding with Perez, transitioning from the indies to WWE, working with Shawn Michaels, main roster ambitions, her relationship with "NXT" Champion Bron Breakker, and more!

Started On The Indies, Now I'm Here

Thank you for having me.

My pleasure. I actually had the privilege of calling some of your action at Warrior Wrestling when you were Elayna Black.

Oh, did you really?


Oh, that's amazing.

You were so in and out, I didn't even ever have a chance to introduce myself. You were a flicker on the indies before becoming super famous.


Yeah, I feel like when I started working Warrior was in the summer of 2020-ish, and that's when I started picking up steam on the indies. I think that last September, October of 2020, I was home maybe once, twice. Those few months before I got signed were very all over the place. It was crazy.

So I guess if we could start there real quick. Like you say, you spent a little bit of time on the indies before WWE. Did that experience prepare you for WWE? Or do you feel having an indie background made it harder for you once you got into the system?

No, I feel like it definitely helped me, and I'm so grateful for all my time on the indies. I feel like I got to work with a lot of people and a lot of people helped me get here. And I feel I wanted the indie experience. Obviously WWE was always my goal, my end goal, but I grew up watching CM Punk, Jon Moxley, Daniel Bryan, all these people who came up through the indies. So I always wanted that indie experience and I wanted to work my way up, work through all these different companies. So I think it did help me a lot. And there's a lot of things I still take with me to this day that I learned on the indies. So I'm very grateful for that.


And now that there's a lot more younger people coming in who didn't have any wrestling experience, and they're coming in more of the college athlete route, I feel I have the advantage of being able to help some of the newer girls and tell them, not that I've been wrestling a super long time, but I was on the indies, coming up on four years of wrestling. So to be able to just learn how to be a leader and try to work with some of these new girls is really good. So I'm grateful for all that.

A vet at 21, giving out advice like that. Well, I know you were trained well, because I think you trained at Freelance and I know Mustafa Ali worked around there. I don't know if he had any influence on your training when you were coming up at all.

Yeah, I trained with him a lot. I actually just saw him again at "Raw" a few days ago when I was up there, which I haven't seen him in a while. So it was cool because when I started training, he had just got here, so he would always come and he helped me a lot. He's a very selfless person and no matter what his position, no matter how busy he is, he was always there to help. And getting to see him at "Raw" after we both came from Freelance is a cool full circle moment. Two little Chicago kids on "Raw" together was pretty cool.


I agree. And what a night, right? He closed the show, very cool.

He's great. I'm very happy for him. He puts his heart and soul into everything. So to see someone who has so much passion and deserves it to get their moment is pretty cool.

Working With WWE's Main Roster Stars

Well, you bring up how you were at "Raw," you asked Rhea Ripley to go over there and beat up poor Roxanne Perez, who we'll talk about here in just a second. How was that experience getting to be backstage at "Raw?" How different is the feel, I guess, when you go to a main roster show as opposed to the "NXT" locker room?


It was great. The first time I was backstage of that environment, was when I did a "SmackDown" dark match last year with Dakota [Kai], which, she's one of my favorite people, in and outside of the ring, she's incredible. So that was my first experience, but this was my first time being actually on the show, part of the show, having a storyline that related inside the show. So that was really cool. Like I said, I got to see Mustafa Ali, which was great.

And then just being able to be backstage and see how it works there and see the process of it all and all these people who now, everyone up there pretty much has been wrestling longer than me. So to see how they think about things, how they work through things is very cool. And it's a motivation, set something on fire under you, a little bit of motivation and inspiration of where you're headed to or what I dream of or where to be next. So it's very inspiring to see that and reminds you what you work for.


And you didn't just get Rhea that came to "NXT," all of Judgment Day came to "NXT," you had The OC there, you had Kevin Owens there on Tuesday night. How was the vibe backstage having all these main roster talents come to you all and want to be a part of your show this time?

It was incredible. I feel like lately they've been doing a lot more mix-ins of all three brands, which I think is incredible for not only the fans, I still watch as a fan, even though I work here, I love this and I watch it as a fan. So to see it myself, and thinking back to a few years ago, even when I was watching as a fan, I would've loved to see all this, it's so exciting to see as a fan.

But also as a young performer, to be able to work with the people who are older than me and been doing this longer is very exciting, but also helpful. And I think people like myself are learning a lot from that. And I hope to see it more in the future because it's definitely a great learning experience for all of us to have that.

How is it learning from Shawn Michaels? Is that surreal? What is that like?

Yeah, it's definitely nuts, because I started watching wrestling in 2009, so I was about eight years old. And the first match I remember seeing that set me into wanting to do this is Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker, WrestleMania 25. So I feel like when I think about when I started wrestling, or when I started watching, that was the match I think of. So he was always one of my favorites growing up. And to now have him as my boss, and he was the one who got me into wrestling, it just blows my mind. I feel like every day I still come into work and I'm like, "I cannot believe Shawn Michaels is my boss."


Turning Her Back On A Friend

Now you find yourself here, Halloween Havoc, this iconic pay-per-view, you're going to be going up against Roxanne Perez. You guys have so much history — I say 'so much history,' I mean, she debuted back in April. You two have been pretty much connected at the hip in some way ever since. How has it been for you getting to spend that much time telling a story with one person? What advice are you getting about stretching something out like this?


Yeah, I feel like Roxanne and I have a long history, even before we both got to WWE. We both became friends on the indies, because we had one indie match together. It was a four on four, just some random match. But we became friends because we had such a similar backstory and we had very similar passion for this. She's so passionate about this, and you know, you can feel that. And I think that's why we both got along so well, and we laughed when she first got here because, for probably a year before she got here, before even I got here, we would always talk about how we wanted to be here together and we're, "One day we're going to be women's tag champs together."

And we thought about all this, and we did it together, and to see it manifest before our eyes what we wanted to happen ... and we're very inspired by Sasha and Bayley, and we were, "We want to be the next generation of that." Because those Takeover matches between them, that was before I started training, and is a big reason why I even got started training, because seeing them Sasha and Bayley have those Takeover matches, it was just absolutely incredible. So I think Roxanne and I take inspiration from that, and she's incredible to work with.


So when it came time to lay out your friend here, was this something you wanted to do? Was this something that you were being pushed to do backstage? How did you feel about the decision to bring that beautiful dream of these tag champions to a close?

I feel like everything happens for a reason. I think I came into WWE as... I had the one match in the Dusty Classic. But once I started my "2.0" run, I came in as this young babyface character. And prior, on the indies, when I was on the indies for about two years, I had never been a babyface. I was a heel the whole time. So to transition to a completely different role in the WWE was very difficult.

And I think also, because that version of me is so much closer to the real me. I'm happy to be here. I'm a fan, I love it. And I think sometimes it's easier to be something you're not, because I feel like all wrestling fans are similar in the fact that we're all introverted and we all have similar interests, and I think a lot of people would agree with that.

When you have to go on TV and be a bigger version of yourself, not having to be back to my original heel origin, and dig deeper into myself and different layers of myself personally, to project those feelings onto the screen, I think I'm having a lot of fun with it. I think it's more of a challenge, and I'm very happy with how things are right now. I think working with Roxanne, she's an incredible person to challenge that heel energy of mine, and being able to just figure out what works and what doesn't, and finding different aspects of myself to pull forward and be this character — it's definitely different, but it's very fun and it's challenging.


WWE Main Roster Ambitions

It sounds like you're a more natural heel, sounds like you're more comfortable in that space, but a lot of people saw you alongside The Judgment Day there. Do you think you'd fit in with a group like that? Where do you see yourself moving as you go forward?


I feel like there's many different options for the future. I feel like obviously there's a lot of goals that I have. I would love to be on the main roster, obviously one day. I think The Judgment Day is great. I loved being able to go to "Raw" and do that little segment with them. I think they have a great look. I'm big fan of them, so any opportunity given to me I would love. But just being able to work with all these people is really helpful. And maybe one day I'll be either with Rhea or against her, we'll have to see.

You're so young, you seem like a veteran, and you are a veteran. You're a veteran of WarGames now, it's been announced that WarGames is going to be coming back here later this year at Survivor Series. Do you have advice for these main roster stars that have maybe never competed in a WarGames match about what they could be getting into here?


WarGames is definitely one of the craziest matches I've ever been in. I had a death match on the indies. That was probably the only other thing that was crazy, I think, that I could have even slightly compared it to. But yeah, I watched WarGames. I was an extra, actually, in 2019 when they came to Chicago for the Survivor Series weekend. And I was an extra for that "NXT" aspect of it, too. So to go from that, to WarGames, to now being able to see main roster do WarGames, it's definitely been a fun little ride.

I don't know, WarGames is a different animal. My advice, I guess, is just to take your moments and make the best of it. I feel like when I jumped off the top of the cage, I was ... As soon as I heard that I was in WarGames, I was like, "Okay, I'm jumping off the cage, I'm going to make my moment." So I think you just got to make the best of it, and make your moments, and make them count.

Death match Queen

Why'd you do a death match? It seems foolhardy.

I did it two months before my tryout. So this was in that 2020 summer era, where I was picking up steam and really working a lot on the indies. But I guess the biggest thing was I grew up a really big Jon Moxley fan, before he became Dean Ambrose, his original indie run. And he was doing so many death matches.


And I had this Jon Moxley five-disc set, and I grew up watching it, and he was an idol of mine, and I loved death match wrestling, I loved watching it, hardcore wrestling, loved all of it. So I was like, "One day, it's a bucket list thing. I'm going to do a death match. I'm going to do it once to say that I did it." Which is what I did. I did it. I got it out of the way. Never wanted to do it again, but I did it, and I could say that I did it.

Well, what a set-up here, because this Saturday night, you're going to have all kinds of weapons at your disposal. You're going to have a Weapons Wild match with Roxanne Perez. Do you see this as the end of you all's feud for the moment? Do you hope this is the end of the feud for the moment, or no?


I love working with Roxanne Perez. So whether it's the end or whether it's not, I'm not sure. But I feel, like you said, that we mentioned before, we're both very similar in age, very similar backstory. So I feel like no matter what happens this Saturday, we are going to cross paths again in one way or another, probably sooner rather than later. I'm excited for the future, whether it's now or later, or I love working with Roxanne, I'll do it any day.

Dating Bron Breakker

Last question, dumb question, but something that's been hugely popular on our website regarding you is, I guess you're in a relationship with Bron Breakker. How has that been, and have you met the Steiner family? What is it like dating a Steiner?


He's great. We were just friends for a while here at the PC, just as friends. And then we started dating sometime in the summer a few months ago. But he's great. He obviously has family in wrestling like you just mentioned, but he himself didn't come from wrestling, he was in the NFL. So it's cool to be able to see his progression as well, because I always joke with him all the time and I tell him that he's going to learn from me, because I've been wrestling longer than him. So I always joke with him about that. But just to pick on him.

But he's been picking up things incredibly. I feel like that's the one thing, he just can do everything perfectly. It doesn't matter what it is. He picks up things so quickly, he's a professional, he's always willing to learn. He loves this, he has passion for it, which I think is where we relate. We're both very hard working and we have the same goals and morals and work ethic. Which you've got to have somebody that brings you up and wants to keep pushing you, which I think we both do a good job of pushing each other.


But I have met the Steiner family, they're a great group of people. Great family ... He's great. I love him.