It goes without saying that WWE has evolved in regards to women's wrestling. Gone are lingerie shows, bra and panties matches and lack of television time. Michelle McCool spoke with Lilian Garcia on her Chasing Glory podcast about those changes and how she became apart of the infamous Diva search.
"I grew up watching it (pro wrestling) with my dad and my 'pap pap' (grandfather)," McCool recalled "It was the only weeknight I could stay up late. When I went off to college my dad would call and be like, 'hey did you watch RAW?' It was a nice bonding thing with those two. Always was a fan. One night I was watching, at the time was a seventh-grade science teacher, and a commercial came on for the Diva search. My friend said, 'Here is your chance but you won't do it'. I don't like to be told I can't do it, and, I don't like to be told I won't do it. So, I was like hmm, okay."
Despite taking the chance primarily on a dare, McCool was confident. But, she had to overcome stigmas from her small hometown.
"I knew I could do it. But coming from a small town we are not supposed to do this type of thing," McCool stated. "Normally, you just come back to the town and teach. Years before Tough Enough came out and I still have the papers. I filled out the entire application but never sent it in. I was like this is perfect, it's sports, I'm competitive, I could do that. The athletic part I never struggled with. It was the promos, the talking and, being uncomfortable in front of the crowd. Especially being a 'bad guy,' having people call me names, that was hard getting used to."
McCool did accomplish a great deal during her time in WWE, including becoming the first-ever Divas Champion. However, she does have a hard time recollecting those achievements due to the internal struggles she faced in the company.
"I'm the worst at remembering those things. And, it was time where the business was very stressful and not as kumbaya as it is now," said McCool. "We fought and clawed our way onto tv screens. And it wasn't cool to date they guys. So, I had to struggle with the heat of being with Mark [Callaway] and people thinking I was only on TV because of him. It was hard to enjoy those moments because of the stress and what felt like was taking place 100 percent of the time."
You can listen to the full interview below. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.