Carmella recently spoke with WWE.com about her career from NXT to becoming the Women’s Champion where she reflected on everything that has happened so far.
Feuding with Nikki Bella:
“I was nervous, but I knew I had to take the opportunity and run with it. The fans loved her, so it was easy for me to get the WWE Universe to hate me. I learned a lot, but I wouldn’t have changed anything about it. We had a great rivalry, and it gave me the opportunity to get on the microphone, which was so much fun. It was awesome to be able to work with her.”
Adjusting to life on the main roster:
“When I was in NXT, I never wrestled on a TakeOver. I didn’t have too many high-profile matches, I probably wrestled about 10 matches in total on NXT TV, including the one championship match against Bayley, which was so much fun and my favorite match in NXT.
“But, aside from that, I didn’t have much experience. I spent most of my time being a manager. To get up to SmackDown LIVE and have my first match on live TV, I was so nervous. I think the way my first year on SmackDown went was perfect for me. I eased my way into things slowly. I didn’t get these crazy opportunities right away. I wanted to continue to work and improve on live events and figure myself out. I had to make some changes when I split from the boys, but I didn’t let it get me down. I used it as fuel for the fire to get better and reinvent myself, which is how I got to be the moonwalkin’, trash-talking Carmella you see on SmackDown LIVE every week.”
Working with James Ellsworth:
“He was in the main event picture, wrestling AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose. I knew no one would ever see that coming, me using him to get where I wanted to be. That made it fun because no one expected it, and because none of the women have a male manager. It presented a lot of cool opportunities, like wrestling John Cena & Nikki Bella, and my victory in the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match, which had everyone up in arms.”