Former WWE Women’s Champion Candice Michelle recently sat down with Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman on a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily where she gave details about her absence from RAW Legends Night. She also talked about her crossover into Hollywood and the work she had to put in when it came to being a better professional wrestler.
“One of the biggest lessons I ever learned from Vince McMahon was, ‘I give you a platform.’ I remember sitting in this meeting with all the Superstars,” Michelle recalled. “He’s like, ‘I give you a platform. It’s up to you what you do with it,’ and I was hired as eye candy. We all know that. I came from Hollywood. Everybody there was saying they’re trying to pretty up the business, and in my eyes, I’m an athlete. I was going to college for basketball. I was a kickboxer. I did all this stuff, and I was acting. This is my dream job, not to mention I grew up on wrestling.
“I was like, ‘How did this come full circle for me to actually have this audition,’ and when I got this contract, I knew that I was going to be the next Women’s Champion. They had no idea. They were like, ‘Put on some lingerie, do all the pillow fights and all that stuff,’ but what people didn’t see is I would show up to every house show two hours early. I would watch them put the ring up. I would get in the ring with them. I didn’t have the opportunity to go to wrestling school and learn wrestling moves. I had to learn everything on the road, and so the only way I thought that I could learn was if I show up early. And then people started to see that I was really putting in the work. I’d come home to LA.
“I rented this wrestling ring, cost me $3 a day. There’s broken down chicken coops over here, a weird barking dog over there and the owner says, ‘Just don’t bump in this area. You might fall through.’ I was like, ‘Okay. Alright. I got it.’ We got in that ring, and we hit the ropes over and over and over again. And then when I would show up, they’re like, ‘Wait, she’s improving a little, and then slowly, I remember Big Show getting in the ring with me one time and taking a bump. Umaga got in there to take the bump, and then it slowly progressed. And they started to see, okay, she’s serious about this, and then they started to put some energy into me. And then with GoDaddy launching, that gave me the notoriety to say, ‘Alright, let’s put her center stage.”
Hausman asked Michelle if she need WWE’s permission to pursue opportunities like GoDaddy. She revealed a unique clause in her contract that allowed her to do outside projects without asking for WWE’s approval.
“So I had a clause in my contract which allowed me to do that. Because I was coming from Hollywood, I just had a different type of contract from the average wrestler who comes from the indie scene or comes from the wrestling school,” Michelle revealed. “My website was off-limits and certain things on there were off limits that they weren’t allowed to take away from me or have control over, and GoDaddy just happened to be one of those.”
Michelle admitted that she did receive heat when entering the business. However, she noted that heat mostly came from her not coming from a traditional wrestling background, and she talked about the reaction from WWE after her GoDaddy Super Bowl ad was pulled.
“I definitely took heat coming into the business, but that was mostly because I didn’t come up in the indie scene, or the wrestling school or do the work that way,” Michelle noted. “My work was coming up in Hollywood and doing it a different way, and that was kind of frowned on by other people. However, the work is the work. I remember this conversation. I mean, I didn’t know my GoDaddy commercial would be the biggest hit of the Super Bowl.
“I didn’t know they would take it down, and I woke up the next morning. I think I had 96 voicemails, and I was so worried. I thought somebody in my family died, and I started listening to them and it was just interview request after interview request. And I was like, ‘what happened?’ I didn’t even know what happened. Then I later find out they pulled it, and it was all the controversy over the commercial.
“And then I show up to RAW, and they’re like, ‘You gotta tell us about this stuff.’ And I’m like, ‘I didn’t know. I didn’t know I’d be the headline of the Super Bowl.’ I was happy I got a national commercial, and so they kind of sat me down, let us know a little bit more, which obviously, I would have if I had a clue.”
Michelle confirmed that the news of her Super Bowl ad being pulled did nothing but help her standing in WWE. She said that along with the work she had been putting to get better led to her eventually winning the Women’s Championship.
“Absolutely, and so from there, because I was already doing the work behind the scenes on learning how to wrestle, learning how to take a bump [and] slowly growing through that process, they saw two and two,” Michelle said. “And then the timing met, and then that was what launched me to win the WWE Women’s Championship.”
Find out more about Candice’s latest endeavor CHAMP at CandiceMichelle.com. Candice’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.