Candice LeRae recently spoke with Phillip Martinez of Newsweek to promote tonight’s WWE NXT episode and her match with Mia Yim.
LeRae and husband Johnny Gargano are currently feuding with another real-life NXT couple – Yim and NXT North American Champion Keith Lee, which will see Gargano challenge for the title at “Takeover: In Your House” on Sunday. The feud has centered around recent segments from the home of LeRae and Gargano, where they have vented some of their frustrations with the NXT brand, especially the first one. LeRae was asked if they used some of their real-life frustrations in the segments and she admitted that there were a lot of real-life feelings coming across, at least towards the fans.
“There were a lot of real-life feelings,” LeRae revealed. “There were a few times that Johnny and I were noticing that fans were turning their backs on us. In Io [Shirai’s] cage match with Shayna [Baszler] where she lost, and I was out there to help Io. [The crowd] were like 50/50 and even after the match they were like, ‘Io is alright I guess’ and then when she turned her back on me and started beating me up some people were cheering.
“I was just laying there thinking, ‘How are you cheering for this? This is bad. You shouldn’t be supporting somebody doing something bad.’ I didn’t cost her the match, but they were booing me and cheering her and it was just so weird. And I just realized the shift in fans and how they were just, like, being little rebels. And Johnny was experiencing some of the same things and we both started to get frustrated. And a little bit of it was what was bottled up inside of us and we used that to fuel everything that we’re doing now.”
Several WWE talents have talked about issues with working on the closed set during the coronavirus pandemic, but LeRae said she’s had no issue with performing without a crowd. She did say the only thing that’s been awkward for her is the entrance. Other than the entrance, she said it’s been about the same for her because she loves to just wrestle and feel the physicality of it.
“I’m a cheerleader for myself when I go out for my entrance, and the crowd and me are there together,” she said when asked why the entrances have been awkward. “It’s like if you go to a sporting event and they announce the team and they get that initial rush. Having nobody there and you’re walking out, the weight is so heavy. ‘Yup, there’s the ring and I’m going to wrestle now.’
“All the showmanship type stuff, there’s nobody in the arena to do it for. You can do it for the people at home, but how am I supposed to hype these people up so that I can get pumped up? There’s no one there to help pump me up.”
LeRae recently introduced her Wicked Stepsister finishing move when she made the heel turn several weeks back. It was noted that the finisher is a callback to LeRae’s pre-NXT career. She was asked what it was like bringing the move out.
“I was trying to find something that would have my opponent feel the way that I’ve always felt,” LeRae said. “I was suffering internally and had to think back to what I have experienced through my career that could compare to all the anger and hate and the negative feelings that were inside of me and that was the first thing I thought of. So it seemed like the best fit for the new me.”
? WWE (@WWE) April 30, 2020