Former WWE Women’s and Divas Champion Layla was on a recent episode of Excuse Me: The Vickie Guerrero Show. Layla discussed what she misses from WWE, and praised Vickie Guerrero for playing a big part of LayCool.
“I miss certain parts about working for WWE. There’s certain highlights that are great, and there’s certain things that I was like, I could never do that again,” Layla noted. “I would never be on the road driving five hours. All of that stuff, after a while, I don’t miss that, but I do miss some of the people, and I do miss some of the moments I had on TV. I was very privileged to work with you. I know you said that we let you come into LayCool. No, you were part of LayCool. You helped us so much, and I always looked up to you and admired you. It was such an honor. I look back now, and I’m just like, thank you.
“We had some really really great moments, and I remember we’re working with Mickie James, and I was in the room. Michelle McCool is going to be against Mickie. I’m in there, and all of a sudden, you come out and you’re just, ‘Excuse Me!’ I remember I was looking at Michelle. She was looking at me because it was going to be a handicap match, and you were going to make it LayCool vs. Mickie James. Michelle’s waiting. She’s like, ‘What’s she saying?’ I’m like, ‘I can’t hear a word’ because the crowd was roaring so loud. Not just for a split second. Your whole speech and Mickie’s like, ‘What is she saying?’ I don’t know.
“We’re all looking at each other. Michelle’s like, ‘Do I take my clothes off now?’ She was still in her street clothes, and we could never hear it. Finally, we heard the bell ring. Michelle jumped in or whatever. Every time I went out there with you, half the time I’m like, ‘I don’t know what she’s saying. I can’t hear her. What do I do?’ To be out there with you, somebody who’s so established and so over, you had to say one thing. You were the biggest heel in our company. You really were.”
After being part of the Diva Search, Layla was part of Extreme Exposé with Brooke and Kelly Kelly. Layla recalled her time there and why she felt she needed to be a perfectionist during that time.
“Extreme Exposé, if I about anybody else, they would have been like, ‘It was okay.’ You were straightforward with me, and you were honest and you would tell me straight away, ‘No, it’s horrible, or no, she’s kind of off’ because I have to be honest, I was a complete control freak during that Extreme Exposé,” Layla admitted. “I really am a perfectionist. It’s a fault, but it’s also a great asset too. I would have to check where’s Barbie. Oh, she’s over there. There’s three different personalities.
“We’re different, and I’m like, ‘Let’s go! Let’s go! Time to go,’ and just coming up with the routines, and the costumes and the music, you knew I had a hard time sometimes because it was just a lot of pressure because I didn’t want to fail, and I didn’t want the other girls to fail because I knew, at that time, I couldn’t wrestle. I had no clue how to wrestle. If we don’t make Extreme Exposé work, because Barbie and I didn’t know how to wrestle then. Brooke I think was training. I was like, if we don’t make this work, we’re gonna get out of a job. Being hated as a control freak, just get it done or do I keep a job, and that’s what I had to do because I didn’t want to lose my job.
“I know that they were worried to lose their job. Kelly probably would have been fine. Kelly Kelly probably would not have lost her job, but I have to say one day, Vince did pull me aside. It was after we did the routine. We dressed up like schoolgirls. It was The Pussycat Dolls. It was that routine, and Vince pulled me aside after the show and he’s like, ‘I really like you guys. This is going to work. I’m really happy with this. Keep it up’ and to even get that, like oh my God. It worked.”
Layla also discussed the backstage environment during that time. She talks about how the women during the Divas era were fighting for spots, and she addresses the notion that Michelle McCool benefitted from being in a relationship with The Undertaker.
“It was a lot of stress to be honest with you, and you’re always fighting. That was the thing about that area that we were in, the Divas era,” Layla said. “I’ve heard other wrestlers or Superstars, females in this generation that have said that the Divas didn’t have to fight for anything, and that things weren’t taken away from us and we weren’t given opportunities. No. This is the truth. There were two spots. This is it. There were two spots in our Diva era. Luckily, it used to be just on RAW. So then those two girls would come to SmackDown too. They were on RAW and SmackDown, and that was it. Everybody else was just whatever.
“Hopefully, you’ll find a guy you can be with or be on a pre-tape. That was it. So then finally, it became that it was two spots on RAW and two spots on SmackDown, and you got to remember, how many girls are in the locker room? There’s a lot of girls in the locker room. 10-15 in each locker room and all of us want to shine, and I get it. We all want the spot. We all want to shine. We all want to further ourselves. We’re not going to get any younger. We’re all getting older. So I totally understand that, but the fight in you sometimes, even the person who was fighting fighting fighting fighting, we still get no. And girls still came. Michelle and I got told no many a times. It wasn’t like we got what we wanted. We never did get what we wanted.
“It wasn’t like that, and I can promise you that. I was there, and I’m just going to be really honest about this, Michelle being married to Taker or his girlfriend at the time at the time, people were like, ‘Oh, she’s going to get whatever she wants.’ I was there to witness it. That was not the case. It had nothing to do with that. If anything, I feel like people were more shunning her than giving her what she wants, and she worked hard. She was the hardest worker always. It wasn’t like she was like lazy. And I still feel to this day that’s a stigma that Michelle’s going to have her whole life and carry with her, and it’s not fair. That’s not true. I was there. Not true whatsoever.”
Guerrero confirmed that during backstage meetings, Undertaker was nowhere seen with McCool. LayCool were known for their split Divas Title belt thus making them both Divas Champion. Layla admitted that the idea was neither hers or McCool’s, and she revealed the WWE Hall of Famer that pitched the idea to Vince McMahon.
“We never went together, like ‘Flawless.’ It just organically happened one day, and then after that, we just kept talking the same and just saying things together,” Layla recalled. “It’s true. I could look at Michelle and know if she was like, go over this way. Go that way. I could really read her like a book. I don’t know if she could read me, but I would follow her. She was definitely the leader.
“The actual title belts, it was not me and Michelle. One day we did the ‘Forever Friends’ necklaces. Batista, during rehearsals one day, he goes, ‘You know what, I just told Vince you guys should split the titles like you do the Forever Friends necklaces,’ and I was like, Really?’ He’s like, ‘I told Michelle, and she liked it.’ All of the sudden, that was it. It was done because it really was perfect. So Batista came up with that.”
Layla later took questions from fans who asked if she and McCool are still in touch. She also told a funny story about a mishap that happened backstage with an agent.
“Yes, I do have contact with Michelle. I think Michelle and I will always be in contact even just a happy birthday, happy holidays,” Layla revealed. “We will always be in contact with each other. I’ve never heard Michelle laugh so hard. So one day, we’re in the locker room. It was myself. It was Kelly Kelly, Rosa [Mendes] and Michelle. So there was a mirror in front of me here. Michelle was standing by the mirror. I was over here getting changed. Rosa and Barbie were over at the back, and one of the agents comes in.
“So the agents is like, ‘Can I come into your locker,’ and they’re like, ‘Yeah sure.’ So sat down by the door. It was a small locker room, and he was going over the spots with us. I was wearing the Snooki outfit. We were coming out, me and Michelle, making fun of Jersey Shore, so we were getting ready, and I turn around and I forget the agent’s there. I go, ‘I don’t like this top,’ and I take it off in front of the agent in front of the mirror.
“And Michelle goes, ‘Layla!’ I have nothing on. He just rolls out the door. Michelle and everyone were on the floor dying laughing sore. She never laughed so hard. I couldn’t like laugh because I was just mortified like, what have I done? Just totally forgot and she remembers that. That’s definitely a memory we both laugh about to this day.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Excuse Me: The Vickie Guerrero Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.