Shelly Martinez is one of the many former wrestlers to work for both WWE and TNA/Impact. She spent a year as Ariel in WWE’s version of ECW and then spent a year as Salinas as part of LAX in TNA.
In both places she worked under female leaders in Stephanie McMahon and Dixie Carter. Martinez compared the two when she joined VOC Nation.
“Stephanie McMahon was always very straight-forward with me, and I liked it. When she was straight-forward with me, it was never to cut me down or hurt my feelings,” said Martinez.
“In fact, one time we were in the locker room for a girls meeting, and she was telling us how we can’t really have our butts hanging out – booty shorts – and she kept saying, ‘Like Ariel.’ I didn’t take any offense to it. She’s right. My butt, literally, is always out… Everyone, I could feel, was eyeing me, like, ‘Oooh. She’s picking on Ariel.’ Then, right before she broke the meeting, she goes, ‘I just want to say for the record, I’m not picking on Ariel. I just know that she can handle criticism.’ That, to me, meant so much. Not for one second did I think she was ganging up on me or trying to pick on me or anything.”
Shortly after leaving WWE in 2007, Martinez joined TNA where Carter was the promotion’s president. Martinez thought that she would have a similar direct relationship with Carter as she had with McMahon but that turned out not to be the case.
“Whereas in TNA, when I went there… I assumed that, with Dixie Carter, [it was going to be], ‘A woman in charge! Yay! This is so inspiring!'” stated Martinez. “…And the more and more I tried to connect with Dixie, the more and more she would just reject me. She was rude to me a couple times.”