Current NXT announcer Beth Phoenix recently made an appearance on Prime Time with Sean Mooney. During the interview, the former WWE Women's Champion spoke about when she tried out for Tough Enough III back in 2003.
"I had an opportunity to work for the US Department of Probation in Buffalo," Phoenix said. "I had a great job lined up, and I kind of came to this crossroads. I had entered a tape into Tough Enough III, and I kept making it through the rounds, I kept making the cut.
"I kept thinking to myself 'I'm working this job 40 hours a week with this career I could have for the rest of my life with a great paying job, a federal job.' Meanwhile, I start making the cut in my side job of being a wrestler, and then I finally made it to the Top 25. MTV called me and said they wanted me to come all the way to Hollywood, to be on their show and I was like 'oh my god'. I went to my boss and I said I had an opportunity, a kind of a once in a lifetime thing. I asked for a couple of days off to go out there and my boss said no.
"He said 'you haven't accrued the time, and if you do take the time, not only do we have to fire you, but we can't give you a good recommendation.' I was like 'oh snap! okay!' I had this crossroads where I had to choose.
"Do I keep going on this real-life job, or do I forego everything and drown myself in student debt and just go off basically as a starving artist and try this Tough Enough thing?' I chose to go to Hollywood."
One female WWE Superstar who was a trailblazer was Chyna, the former WWE Women's Champion was also a former WWE Intercontinental Champion - the first and only time a female has won the title. Phoenix looks back at Chyna and the influence she had on her.
"Chyna was such a huge influence on me," Phoenix said." And being that mould-breaking female, that was just like nothing I'd ever seen before, and such an inspiration to get into the gym. Getting that opportunity to walk in the road she paved for me, I was on cloud nine."
In 2010 Phoenix walked one of the roads that WWE Hall of Famer Chyna paved when she entered the Royal Rumble. Phoenix explained just what that moment meant to her.
"There are so many moments in my career that were meaningful to me personally," Phoenix recalled. "But I'll never forget, I sprinted to the ring for my moment, when my number hit, and then after I was eliminated and went to the back.
"I ran into The Undertaker, and he said 'You might have broke a world record with that sprint'. We had a little chuckle because it wasn't on purpose, I wasn't trying to get to the ring fast, I was just so amped up, my head could explode.
"It was one of those surreal moments, and you could have blinked and missed it. For me, it was such a vindication for everything I had wanted to do, to be recognized, not as she's good, for a girl, she's a good wrestler as a girl. I wanted it to be you're a good wrestler. You were great at what you did.
"For me, that was like winning the Olympics."