From recent interviews to a late cancelled appearance on RAW: Legends Night, Candice Michelle has resurfaced in the pro wrestling world.
In an interview with Voc Nation, Michelle described her journey from her hometown to Hollywood.
“I was just kind of figuring out myself,” Michelle said. “Weeks of auditioning, auditioning, waitressing, waitressing – I was really a professional waitress at the time – but that’s how you pave your way in this industry and that’s exactly what I was doing.”
Before WWE, Michelle was trying to make it big as a model. The former Women’s Champion noted that she dealt with a lot of rejection in her early days in the entertainment industry.
“It’s probably worse than you think actually,” Michelle said. ” You probably think it’s a little less because you see it in the movies and you downplay it a little bit. It’s cut throat; it’s a really cut throat industry. It takes a special kind of determination. You really have to get used to being ok with rejection; you get rejected day in and day out. It’s a brutal business. Even my waitressing job – I had to give them a headshot and a resume… you have to really really love it and really want it.”
Michelle eventually found herself auditioning to be apart of the WWE Divas Search, a reality competition structured to find the next women’s superstar. Michelle noted that the day she got the call was a day she’ll never forget.
“I had a very popular agency out here for my modeling gig. I’ll never forget this day either, it’s one of those turning points,” Michelle said. “I watched that as a kid – like religiously watched it – I grew up on it, it was what I did with my stepdad every Monday night. My mom would be yelling at us, I had the Hulk Hogan doll, not the Barbie doll. To think that that could come full circle, for me they were really superstars; this wasn’t a job you could train for. I had never heard of an indy scene or wrestling school. I was so into really like the dreamland and the characters and how they made you believe in your dreams, I was like heck yeah I’m interested!”
As a model turned wrestler, Michelle learned wrestling after getting signed. While the moves were a big part of the educating process, the unspoken locker room etiquette also had to be learned.
“There’s so much learning,” Michelle said. “When you go to a wrestling school, you learn that you should walk in and shake everyone’s hand. For me, coming from Hollywood, interrupting a Shawn Michaels eating his meal, that doesn’t seem respectful to me, it was always those hard moments of learning everything, every aspect of this business. When you’re new, and you’re not told those things, you can feel like a real (bad person) sometimes.”
As of WrestleMania 32 in 2016, WWE retired the name “Divas” and moved forward with rebranding the title and division as “women’s.” The “Diva” debate has sparked much chatter online, especially from former stars. Michelle noted she’s apart of the crowd that doesn’t see the butterfly title as lesser than.
“I don’t look at the Divas championship as diminishing people,” Michelle said. “I think it really comes into, ‘Are these women athletes or are they just really beautiful women?’ And I think what WWE was trying to say is ‘Hey, they’re both.’ And that’s what we were fighting for. You can be pretty and you can be athletic. You can do both of these things.”