When Kelly Kelly debuted in the WWE, she never thought the first promotion she would work for was ECW. While on the road and being the youngest person on the roster (at just 19 years old), Kelly mentioned how ECW legend Tommy Dreamer took her under his wing when she first started with the company.
“I had to grow up very fast,” Kelly stated on Chasing Glory. “Especially with traveling and having to drive 300 miles a night. I wasn’t even old enough to rent a car. I would travel with Sandman, Dreamer and Sabu. Dreamer took me under his wing and was like ‘Alright, you’ll travel with us.’ I felt like they were throwing me to the wolves by saying ‘You’re not going to RAW, you’re going to ECW, where it’s real hardcore and the fans call you obscene names. You just had to grow thick skin.”
Kelly recalls the first time she ever had to walk out in front of an ECW crowd and how intimidating it was.
“I remember the first night I had to walk out,” Kelly began. “We were doing a bikini contest. It was me, two of the other girls in ECW and the originals like Francine. We were in Philly. People were screaming at me ‘You’re a crack whore.’ This was what ECW was about, this is what it was. I remember Paul Heyman and Dreamer were trying to warn me by saying ‘Look, try and block the crowd out and just do your thing.’ They were booing me and saying ‘You suck.’ And I was like I hadn’t done anything. I’m just in a bikini.”
After that said incident, Kelly became a more likable character to the fans, especially with her exhibitionist role. While Kelly was not a big fan of the storylines she was given at times, she never wanted to play politics with the creative writers and cause a scene. Kelly mentions how she always remained quiet backstage and never complained to the head writers about her storylines.
“I kept my mouth shut and my eyes open,” Kelly said. “I was never involved with the politics. I was just like whatever the writers are going to write for me, I’m just going to go with it. When it’s my time, it’s my time.”
Once she officially became a trained wrestler, Kelly was sent over to Monday Night RAW. While working there, she said that Vince McMahon had some encouraging words for her before she made her debut in the ring.
“Vince would tell me to just go out there and be me,” Kelly mentioned. ‘[He also went on to say] You have what fans want. You’re the underdog and you know how to make them cheer for you. Just go be you.'”
Even though Kelly went on to the main roster, she always remained close with Heyman. Back at the RAW Reunion in July, Heyman called Kelly and asked her if she wanted to be the first female 24/7 champion during the reunion. Kelly was thrilled that he picked her.
“Paul Heyman called me and he was like ‘Hey, we have this idea for you. I hope you brought some gear with you,'” Kelly said. “I was like ‘Yeah, I did.’ Then he told me ‘We have this idea and you’re going to be the first-ever woman to win the 24/7 title. Do you know that is?’ I said ‘Kinda.’ He said ‘It’s like the hardcore title.’ I said ‘That’s amazing, but what’s the twist?’ He said ‘Well, you’re best friend Candice Michelle is going to challenge you for it.’ I was like this is going to be awesome, let’s do it. I loved how it all went down. It was great and so much fun!”
You can watch Kelly Kelly’s full interview by clicking here. 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.