As seen above, former WWE on-air talent Cathy Kelley recently appeared on the “Better Together” podcast with WWE celebrity friend Maria Menounos.
Regarding her career in pro wrestling, Cathy said it was a hard decision to leave WWE as the company and the business in general means so much to her. Cathy said she found pro wrestling after moving to Los Angeles a few years back and getting the job with AfterBuzz. She said she moved to Los Angeles with nothing but a dream, not knowing a soul. She recalled how she first met some people in LA who didn’t have her best interest in mind, but then she got the AfterBuzz job, discovered wresting, and met people who became friends and then like family.
Cathy said she’s done a lot of reflecting in the week she’s been gone from WWE, and she’s thought about how she’s had so many pivotal moments in her career & life that felt like a setback or where she felt stagnant, but then she moved forward when she removed herself from those situations or they removed themselves. The decision to leave WWE was about timing and trusting her gut, trusting her intuition – something she feels like she’s really good at.
There’s no word yet on what Cathy will be doing in her post-WWE career but she said she genuinely feels like her career and her journey is just beginning, and that this is not the height of where she’s going to be. She mentioned being able to move forward after learning what she did in her early years in Los Angeles, to the vast amount of information and skills she picked up while with WWE.
Menounos asked Kelley about the decision to leave a high-profile job without another job waiting.
Cathy confirmed that she does not have another job waiting, and admitted there’s always a fear of leaving but she had more confidence about what she could accomplish in moving to her next chapter. She said she just knew it was the right time to leave WWE, and she felt like she had really planted a lot of seeds to help her grow with. Cathy said there are so many things she’s always wanted to do in her career – get into acting, executive produce a show, create content, write a book, write a screenplay, continue to grow as a host, and more.
Cathy also talked about the grueling WWE schedule, something every current and former WWE talent agrees on. She was facing a problem where WWE took up all of her time and prevented her from working on other projects, and from doing non-work things.
“It’s so time consuming because you are traveling so much,” Cathy said. “Me being me, I wanted to do everything, so I wanted to work as much as possible, which also meant being away from Los Angeles, which I just moved to, and that would not have allowed me to continue to do the other things, or work on the other things that I wanted to do.”
Cathy said she would be on the road with WWE from Tuesday – Saturday, leaving out on the road on Tuesday and getting back home on Saturdays. She said she would spend Mondays taking other meetings or sleeping, or catching up with the few friends she could still make time for. She said her brain felt overloaded because she was on a weird sleep schedule, then she was constantly changing things at work for WWE, and memorizing whatever she had to for WWE, that she hit her mental overload limit. Cathy agreed with Maria that the tough schedule may have started to tax her health, comparing everything to a matchbook that was slowly burning out.
Cathy said she’s excited for her next chapter. She also said she hadn’t taken a proper weekend or even a show off since starting with WWE, and if she did it was to work on another project. She realizes you have to pick or choose with your time if working in the entertainment industry, and that it takes a lot of discipline. She recalled how she had to stay in Orlando this past November and miss the Thanksgiving holiday with her family due to her WWE obligations and schedule. She revealed that her mother advised her not to quit WWE, and said one of the first people she told was WWE Hall of Famer Sean Waltman, another AfterBuzz alumni. Cathy said Waltman said he didn’t want to see her go because he felt like she was just hitting her stride.
Cathy was also asked about social media and she said she recently realized how toxic social media can be, Instagram more than Twitter. She said she’s limiting her time on social media apps, and she believes social media is at its best when people are being authentic. Cathy also mentioned that she started seeing a therapist about a month ago, and it was one of the best decisions she’s made in her life.
Cathy was a host and on-air personality for pro wrestling recap shows on Maria’s AfterBuzz TV network before WWE signed her in February 2016. She decided to finish up with WWE this month, her final night being last Sunday’s WWE NXT “Takeover: Portland” event. Stay tuned for updates on what’s next for Cathy.
For those who missed it, below is Cathy’s original Instagram announcement on her departure, along with a post-Takeover post with Triple H and The Undisputed Era:
View this post on Instagram
?I’ve typed out and deleted this about 20 times over the past few days, still unsure what to write… I have come to the decision to leave WWE, with Sunday’s NXT Takeover being my last day. If you know me, you know this was more than a job, you know how much I loved it and how difficult this decision was. But sometimes in order to have room for growth, you have to step away. ?I am so thankful for getting to live out a crazy dream the past four years. Thank you to the WWE digital team for being a platform that never stifled creativity. Thank you to Stephanie McMahon for being a mentor and inspiration in every way. Thank you to Triple H for heading up the best wrestling show ?currently on tv and letting me be a part of it. And thank you to everyone who has supported me, whether it’s watching a video I’ve done or sending a tweet of encouragement. Words cannot begin to express how much it means. I’m not sure yet where my next chapter will take me, but I am damn excited for it. And I promise this isn’t a goodbye, it’s just a see you later ?? – CK