Melina was the latest guest on Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia and in the first part of the interview the first multi-time WWE Women’s and Divas Champion talks about how the dynamic between today’s modern era of women’s wrestling is so team-oriented. She also discusses about why women wrestling in her era of WWE didn’t necessarily allow that and why some of her colleagues may have thought she was “fake” when in all actuality it was just her familial roots that made her so nice.
Melina on wrestling in today’s independent scene:
“I had this one girl, she’s so sweet. She had me meet her parents and everything and her parents told me about the impact that I had on her and I just started crying cause that’s the stuff that means a lot to me. If a person looks up to me and I’m able to teach them something or fulfill something like they got to wrestle for someone that they looked up to, lke that means a lot to me. That’s my way of saying, ‘I love you, and thank you for everything.’
“But then you’ll meet the people, they’re still people and they’re human, they have disrespect and it’s like, that hurts my heart. Where I’m like, ‘Wow, well, I’m sorry you feel that way but I wish you could see that I want nothing but the best for you.'”
On why other talent may hold hostility towards her:
“I think it’s a multitude of things, like it’s them being insecure because as still as much as we are all women supporting women, it still hasn’t reached a certain level yet that I would like to see, in my lifetime before. Like I would love to see it, I guess for me, because I haven’t felt that and I feel like we learned all these lessons after the fact. So now our era, our group we’re like unified and we’re great, but at the same time in an environment that kind of didn’t let us be that or maybe that we felt that we couldn’t be that, the newer generation has that now. You can be friends with each other, you can support each other, it’s not about one person in wrestling, it’s about each other. ‘I can’t do something without you. I need you and you need me and we need each other.’ And it’s a great sisterhood.
“Cause back in the day there weren’t a lot of women. You were one person, one female in a locker room of men so it was hard to kind of support each other, but now everybody’s in it together. I guess what they see with me, they’re still a little bit threatened because, I don’t know, maybe it’s this certain presence that I have. Some people say I’m intimidating by the way I look or the way I carry myself or because I was in the WWE, so I’m intimidating. I do nothing but I try to give hugs, I try to make people feel welcome, but sometimes it’s just something within them that they can’t let go of. Sometimes they see that maybe I’m my character and in their mind they see me as Melina the character and that there’s nothing else. They can’t see the actual person that’s in front of them.
On giving her colleagues that first impression that she’s “fake”:
“Well somebody’s told me that. I went through a long time where I didn’t understand why people were weird with me, but somebody told me, like blatantly said, ‘You know what, you’re so nice, it can’t be real.’ And I was just like, ‘What?’ And then they told me, ‘Yeah, it comes off as fake.’ And I was like, ‘Wait, what?’ Cause I’ve seen fake, I understand what fake is…cause I get it, I get it when it comes to them, what they went through. So what they’ve seen. So they probably trusted somebody and opened up their heart to somebody or befriended somebody and they were nice and they thought they were nice and then all of a sudden it was abused. The way I grew up was we were all family. So I just grew up from being with my family to going to what I thought was my wrestling family and being just as open as I ever was, but like in my quiet way cause I was shy. I know the reason why people thought I was the way I was because I didn’t talk a lot, so I get that because I didn’t open up that they questioned that, but I opened up in ways where I’m just like, I hug people and I just want to be helpful. To serve a purpose by being helpful but I never really said much because I just watch, but I get people got closed off by that.”
(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo for Wrestlezone.com)