We noted back in mid-August that WWE had announced a new WWE Performance Center Class with 9 recruits, including EVOLVE Champion Austin Theory, Santana Garrett and Briana Brandy.

Brandy, a former aspiring hip-hop artist and high school athlete with years of ninjutsu and “extreme Crossfit” training, recently spoke with The Canton Repository to discuss her signing.

Brandy noted how she grew up as “the biggest wrestling fan” and was a big fan of WWE Hall of Famers Chyna, Triple H and Steve Austin, and The Rock. Brandy was especially inspired by Chyna, who caught her attention.

“Chyna reminded me of myself. Her wrestling with the boys while being the only girl resonated with me,” she said. She continued, “I didn’t think I could ever do it. Seeing Chyna, she was really big. I wasn’t large and muscular or built like that. But later on, seeing people like Lita and Trish Stratus and Sasha Banks let me know I could actually do it. The bodies and styles of women in wrestling changed, and they were more athletic looking like me. That’s when I thought, ‘This is something I could really do.'”

It was noted that Brandy did shows with names like Jadakiss, Soulja Boy and The Ying Yang Twins while she was pursuing a hip-hop career in Los Angeles. She believes her hip-hop background will help her in WWE.

“Having the hip-hop background is going to help me dramatically,” she said. “One of the biggest things that people have difficulty with, in wrestling or really anywhere, is being able to talk in front of a crowd. That’s a big fear people have. But through hip-hop, I know how to draw emotions from a crowd. That’s pretty much what wrestling is. It’s trying to get that emotion, love or hate, for whatever your character is. It will help me be able to do different things that someone without that experience may not be able to do.”

Brandy revealed some words of advice she received from Triple H after arriving in Orlando earlier this summer to begin working for the company.

“I asked him, ‘What’s something you wish someone would have told you when you started wrestling?” Brandy said. “He just told me, ‘Bank on yourself. Believe in you. Believe your intuition, and go with what makes you happy. Be you, but just turn yourself up.”