After the passing of her father a year ago, Kelly Kelly spoke with Lilian Garcia on her podcast Chasing Glory about her relationship with her dad and how the two bonded through their love of pro wrestling.
“When I was in my early teenage years, I loved watching wrestling and he loved it too,” Kelly said. “We would watch it together. That was what we would do together, it was our thing. I remember my mom would walk in and be like ‘Ugh, don’t watch that, it’s too violent.’ Whenever she wasn’t around, we’d watch it.”
Kelly adds that her father was extremely excited when she got the call from the WWE to join their roster at the age of 19.
“It’s so crazy how it all happened too [about being asked to join the WWE],” Kelly began. “When I got the phone call about them being interested in hiring me, my dad was like ‘Yes! You have to do it.’ I mean all of my family was proud, but I thought it was cool since that was our thing.”
Kelly was officially hired on to the WWE in 2006. Prior to being a valet, referee, ring announcer then wrestler, she was a full-time model and was discovered from her bikini shoots in a catalog.
“John Laurinaitis was friends with the guy who was running the catalog,” Kelly stated. “He (Laurinaitis) said I need some beautiful models, but we want them to be athletic as well. So, he (the owner of the catalog) said I’ll send you some of the pictures of the girls that I manage. He sent over pictures of me and Alicia Fox and we both got hired. They [WWE] liked us and we moved to Louisville.”
During her time with the WWE, Kelly never thought about changing her personal appearance with cosmetic surgery. Though others found her to be just another blond in the wrestling business, she was happy with her appearance and instead focused on trying to bring body positivity to those she worked with and the female fans who watched her.
“I feel like for me coming into the WWE at such a young age, I never felt the need to get breast implants or change my body,” Kelly addressed. “I’ve always been very comfortable with my body…You either like my look or you don’t. I’m not going to change it for anyone. I remember some would say ‘Oh, you’re just a blond, you look like the all-American,’ and I’m like that’s my look.
“I’m very lucky and blessed that I haven’t taken the whole social media with body influences seriously. So many girls get impacted, especially with the body image stuff and it’s so sad. I think we’re definitely coming up [with celebrating body differences and feeling comfortable about it].”
At the age of 25, Kelly retired from in-ring action, but participated in a few promotions here and there throughout the years. Kelly says the hardest thing for her retiring at such a young age was trying to find what other activities she could join in on and keeping a successful career going.
“I never got to grow up really,” Kelly stated. “When I retired, I was 25. I was in a relationship and he was on the road, since he played hockey, and I was like what do I do with my life? What do I want to do? I became like a housewife. I was cooking and I was taking care of his two daughters. It was fulfilling, but I needed something for me. Luckily WAGS (the television shown on E!) came, and that really helped me transition. I wouldn’t have known what to do if it wasn’t for that show, because I was so bored.”
Kelly was very happy to be part of WAGS and thought that being on the show was an entertaining experience, even though, the show focused on housewives and the drama that can unfold.
“I enjoyed it,” Kelly exclaimed. “It let me get out that entertainment bug that I had in wrestling. I was able to channel that into WAGS. I had a lot of fun with it.”
Garcia followed it up by discussing the downside of being on a reality television show. Kelly mentioned that it was hard when she was going through her separation and how the cameras were constantly rolling.
“When I was going through my separation, the cameras were still rolling,” Kelly answered. “I wish that hadn’t been on the cameras, but, it was my real life and it was going on. They’re filming stuff and we’re in the midst of arguing and I can’t shut that off. I was like I’m just going to have to let it roll. I tried for a good 45 minutes as they were shooting a scene and I was like I can’t do it. I was like sorry guys because they were seeing what was really going on.”
You can watch Kelly Kelly’s full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.