A week removed from her exit-stage-left moment with WWE, Eva Marie was interviewed by RollingStone. Here are the highlights:
Is it fair to say that when you’ve remarked in recent months about possibly returning to WWE and going after the title, you were just being coy?
“I have such a great relationship with Vince [McMahon], Paul [“Triple H” Levesque] and Stephanie [McMahon]. They gave me an opportunity to step away and film these two films I have done already, and you never know when that relationship will come back. So I might appear at a SummerSlam or WrestleMania. It just so happens that the wrestling craft, you have to be able to give yourself 110 percent to that. And then with acting, you have to do the same, so we decided together that with the films going back to back. I’m going to put my efforts into acting and growing that way. And then you never know: All Red Everything could come back and snatch that title.”
The McMahons have rarely been ones to close the door on surprise returns.
“Exactly, and I think that’s where it was at. The WWE fanbase is so fantastic. They’re so die-hard, and in the last 10 months, they have been asking, “Where is All Red Everything?” So both our teams came together and decided we need to definitely let the fans know what’s going on.”
You have a degree in Business Management. Maybe taking a break from WWE happened quicker than expected, but did you always have an eye toward focusing on growing your overall brand?
“Absolutely. Especially in this day and age, as a woman it’s very smart to be able to expand your brand in multiple facets. My manager, Dany Garcia, is a prime example of somebody I look up to because she not only owns her own business but she’s doing multiple different things. She’s an athlete herself. Going into WWE after I graduated college, it’s just in me to do the same. Sky’s the limit.”
And you never had the same legacy attached to wrestling as, say, Charlotte or Natalya. Did that make it easier to reconcile seizing outside opportunities?
“Yes, sure. But my ultimate goal too is to be with WWE for the next 20-plus years. So, just like the Rock does, the name of the game is to be able to take your brand and strategically plan it. And that’s why I’m grateful that WWE allowed me to step away and pursue this acting career.”
In retrospect, were you put in front of the cameras on Total Divas too soon, at the expense of developing under the radar?
“You know what? Yes. For sure, the inner athlete and perfectionist in me wishes I was able to train the multiple years these wrestlers are able to before they get on TV. However, if that opportunity never came up, then I would not have been put in front of the WWE universe, dyed my hair, been put in front of my management team. Everything happens for a reason. For me, it all played out pretty damn good. “