Former WWE star Candice Michelle in September did a TED TALK at Youngstown, Ohio. The video of the event was just posted a few days ago on the TED TALKS YouTube Channel. Michelle talked about how wrestling is real from taking real bumps and risks like when she shattered her collarbone. Here are a few highlights from the TED TALK:
Wrestlers do get hurt:
"They think it's fake because wrestlers don't get hurt. The truth is we learned a bump. A bump is when you attack the mat, you land flat on your back, and smack on the back of both of your arms simultaneously. Don't forget to tuck your neck. Scientific studies have proven that every single bump a professional takes it's equivalent to getting into a car accident at 30 miles per hour. Can you just imagine how we feel after one match?
"When I first started, I would rent this wrestling ring It cost me $3 a day. It was half inside this garage and half out and there were these broken-down chicken coops over here and a weird barking dog over there. The owner says to me, 'Be careful for that part of the ring because that boards are broken and I don't want you to fall through.' I got into that ring and I bumped over and over and over again and when I would drive home after that session, I cried all the way home. I could barely turn my neck even an inch and if you would have seen the rope burns of my back, you would think that someone could have beaten me. These are the things a professional wrestler will tell you and they will never show you."
How she decided to use the wand as her sledgehammer:
"Traveling on the road we would frequent stripper stores a lot in search of ring gear. It was Halloween time, there was a lot of costumes. This costume had a flimsy star stripped wand. I decided at that moment I'm going to use this star wand the way the legendary Triple H uses his sledgehammer to defeat his opponents. I show up to the arena that day and I go find my agent Fit Finlay with my flimsy stripper wand and I tell him and the other superstars in my match what I plan to use it for. That wand did turn into a steel weapon and it did defeat many of my opponents. A few years later backstage, Fit secretly asked me for an autographed wand for his daughter."
Her career-ending injury:
"I was making history in the women's division, I went from doing pudding and lingerie matches to a semi-main event. I was trying everything in my repertoire to keep her down (Beth Phoenix), clotheslines, dropkicks, and spinning heel kicks. I climbed up on the second rope but nothing would keep her down for a 3 count. She was a bigger, stronger opponent over me and I knew I needed to go to the top. I sauntered so tiredly to that turnbuckle. I remember putting my first boot on the second rope and I swung my other leg over. My legs felt like cement and my arms started to shake but I pushed right through it up to the top. Next thing I remember is barely being able to see Stephanie McMahon leaning over me saying, 'Don't worry your husband is being flown in.' I knew this was real because they never fly your husband in. The diagnosis that night was a concussion and I shattered my collarbone and it shattered my dreams of every wrestling again."
Michelle also discussed how taking risks are worth it and being a mother is her best title. You can watch the whole TED TALK above.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit TEDx Talks with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription