Raj Giri of WrestlingINC.com recently interviewed former ECW and WWE superstar Dawn Marie Psaltis. In the second and final part of our interview below, Dawn discussed how the Kamala controversy cost her organization a TV deal, the business today, if wrestlers are better taken care of now than in the past, female wrestling today and more.

Click here for part one of our interview with Dawn Marie, where she discussed starting the Wrestler’s Rescue charity, recent accusations from Kamala and The Blue Meanie, past controversies and more.

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WrestlingINC: This whole controversy with Kamala has cost you in other ways, as you told me last week that it killed a TV deal.

Dawn Marie: Yeah. We had a television deal on the table with contracts with William Morris and they winded up backing out because of it.

WrestlingINC: What reason did they give?

Dawn: They just said that they were hesitant because of the smear campaign with ‘Dr. Death’ and now this one. It was just too much bad press lingering around it. They already knew about the Dr Death situation and they were still going to do it. Then, when this came to, they said, ‘No, there’s just too much bad press.’ People might not watch the show because of it.

WrestlingINC: What was the show going to be about?

Dawn: It was basically going to be what Wrestler’s Rescue was about. Let’s take Jimmy Snuka for example. First, we would introduce the character, introduce who he is, this, that and the other thing. Then, we would describe his illness, his injuries and what he needs done. Then, we would show the campaign and the fund-raising. We’d do fund-raising stuff for him. Then, we would show him getting the surgery, pre-op, post-op, and getting better. A feel-good piece.

We would have done the same thing for Kamala, we would have done the same thing for Billy Graham. They were all on the list of people we wanted to do TV shows on.

WrestlingINC: how many episodes was it going to be?

Dawn: 13. They were actually shopping networks. They had a couple of networks that were interested. They were a production company.

WrestlingINC: With everything that you’ve been through and the charity’s been through, what do you see as the future of Wrestler’s Rescue? Are you going to continue to do it or have these reports been disheartening or discouraging?

Dawn: They’re very discouraging to me. I’m a single mother now. When I started the foundation, I wasn’t in that situation. I was able to dedicate a lot of time to it. Now, I’m a single mom, it takes a lot of time out of my day — or rather my week, I should say. I don’t mind, but if people are going to smash the work that I’m doing, for reasons that I don’t understand…

I could see if I did something wrong. You know? Then, I’d be like, ‘Hey, it’s my fault. I didn’t mail him out the check or whatever.’ And I did something. [Laughs.] Then I could say, ‘Hey, it’s my fault. I need to get on the ball. Pull myself together and get everything organized.’

I don’t know what the future is for Wrestler’s Rescue. There are days when I’m just like, ‘No, I’m fighting. I’m going to keep it open. I’m not doing any fundraisers at the moment, but work on the back part of it.’ But, then there are days when I’m just mentally exhausted and I get disgusted and I’m like, ‘I should just shut it down.’ It depends on the day you’re asking me.

WrestlingINC: Today, what are you leaning towards?

Dawn: [Sighs]. I’m leaning towards closing it. After 17 years of my career being crystal clean — I was never in the dirt sheets, I had a great reputation, great work ethic. I never did anything wrong, I was never difficult to work with. You never had reports like that on me out there. This is my legacy? That I’m a thief?

WrestlingINC: What do you think of the business today? Has it been making the appropriate steps to helping the guys out later, when their careers are over?

Dawn: They’re not helping them. They’re not helping them. That’s why I get so upset. Here, I’m trying to help them. You know what? Honestly, I understand why Vince doesn’t help anyone. I completely understand because no matter what you do, it’s never enough.

They’re always thinking that you should have done more, you have more and you should give more or whatever. I can only give what I have. Let’s say for example, Vince [McMahon] sends Kamala $5,000. So, let’s just say they send him $5,000. People would say, ‘You’re a multi-billionaire; you only going to send $5,000?’

So, unless Vince sends out money to make everyone financially independent, it’s never going to be enough. He can’t do that with everyone that’s walked through his doors.

WrestlingINC: So, with the stories you’ve seen, what advice can you give to younger wrestlers about how they can better adapt to a life away from the ring when the time comes?

Dawn: We were actually in the middle of working on an educational program. What the program was — let’s say, I’ll use someone as an example, Billy Gunn who has been off TV for a while. Or, let’s use Jerry Lynn, for example. He just announced his retirement because his back is in really bad shape. He says, ‘Dawn, I gotta retire. I need to get my act together and not make money wrestling anymore.’

So, I would find a school for him in an hour radius of his home, like a trade school. I’d ask him what he wants to do. He could say, ‘I want to be an electrician or whatever. Then, I’d find a school within an hour radius of his home that would be willing to donate a fee. Because we’re 501(c)3. So, they could donate the fee in exchange for the press and exchange for a write-off. He would be responsible for his books or anything like that because accountability is important also.

After his two-year program, we’d have a whole program put in place to help him build a resume, look for jobs. he’s have to report in that he went out on interviews. If he didn’t get the job, he’d have to call in and find out what he’s doing wrong to help him with his next interviews. That’s what our program was.

WrestlingINC: It seems like that would be very helpful. If you decide to keep the charity, is that something that you think you’ll move into?

Dawn: Yeah. If I decide to keep the charity open, I will work more on those programs that I have set in my mind that I’d love to set. Right now, we have a disability program that is complete. I just have to put it up on the site. We have retirement programs put together that we have to put up on the site. I even got my insurance license just so I could understand more about it.

I’m very dedicated to helping these guys but if I;m going to get treated this way, it’s kind of counter-productive. I’ll spend the time with my children.

WrestlingINC: You’ve probably had a lot more positive stories than the negative ones like Kamala. Do the negative ones outweigh all the positive ones?

Dawn: Of course it does and you know why? 1,000 people will hear something negative, one or two people will hear something positive. It didn’t go viral that I helped Sam Houston when he got hit with Hurricane Katrina. it didn’t go viral when I sent ‘Dr. Death’ money. It didn’t go viral when I helped Candy Divine help save her home. You understand what I’m saying? That stuff doesn’t go viral.

The point is that people think I’m trying to steal something from the foundation. The foundation is very dollar-poor. If you look at our bank statement, we have $575 in there — $500 of it was for Kamala. The foundation owes me, I stopped counting at $9,000. I just stopped counting how much money the foundation owes me. The foundation owes me money, I don’t have to steal it, I can take it because it owes it to me.

Not only that, we’re a 501(c)3 and we’re a for-profit. The for-profit is Wrestler’s Rescue, the non-profits Wrestling Relief. Legally, by law, I can take a paycheck from each if I wanted to. I don’t because the money is just not there. I don’t need to steal the money, I can take it. That’s what is so frustrating. You know what I mean?

WrestlingINC: Absolutely. I think a lot of wrestling fans go to a lot of these conventions and see a lot of their old favorites broken down and not making anything. I definitely think your charity is a step in the right direction to help those guys out.

Dawn: I really want to keep it open and just work on the programs that I have. We’ll see. I just started a new job, it depends on how much time my new job is going to take from me. There’s a lot of factors at this point. Being a newly-single mom, it’s a lot more burden is on my shoulders. For me to even say it’s worth my time, then being beaten up so bad.

WrestlingINC: Absolutely. To kind of switch topics; are you still following wrestling?

Dawn: No. I started to a couple of weeks ago. I tape it, I have all good intentions of watching it and I tape it. [Laughs.] But, I never do. I’m always stuck watching cartoons with my kids because they kind of dictate the television selections.

I do watch some of it. I did watch some of it. There are some very good young kids coming up. And girls are coming up, they try. I think that girl’s wrestling is very different now then from when I was there. But, who am I to judge? If that’s what they want, then that’s what they’re going to hire.

WrestlingINC: How do you think it’s different than from when you were there?

Dawn: Back when we were there, wrestling was the primary, most important thing that we had to do. When had to show up early to the building to train for an hour or two and then we’d work. I don’t mean that they would show us what we were doing, we would train. We would train and learn to become better athletes and better workers. I don’t know if they’re doing that still, but the matches don’t look like they are.

Back in my day, you were in the business five or six years before Vince even knew your name. now, they’re just hiring models and teaching them how to wrestle,. So, it’s a different mentality. When you’re doing it for five, six or seven years and it’s in your heart. This is what you want to do and this is where you want to be and you’re grateful. It’s a different mentality walking in to that ring than someone who just got a gig. To these models, this is like a gig.

WrestlingINC: Are there any of the current crop of female wrestlers that you’ve been impressed with?

Dawn: Beth Phoenix is great. I think she looks really good in there. If it wasn’t for her making those girls look like… She looks like she’s pretty solid. Mickie James. I think the world of her. I think she’s a great, little worker. Those are my two favorites for the two companies.

WrestlingINC: Thanks for taking the time to think with us. Do you have any final words for the readers of the website?

Dawn: Just visit WrestlersRescue.org. My other website is DawnMarieOnline.com. Keep in touch, keep your support letters coming. I really appreciate the letters I have been getting from guys and girls who support. My true, WWE, Dawn Marie, ECW fans. I appreciate all the support. Believe me, there are days when I’m really down. I’ll go on Twitter (@WWEDawnMarieECW) and I’ll just see some little vote of confidence and it makes me feel better. I want to say thank you to everyone and we’ll see what happens in the future.

Click here for part one of our interview with Dawn Marie, where she discussed starting the Wrestler’s Rescue charity, recent accusations from Kamala and The Blue Meanie, past controversies and more.