Break The Walls Down: Interviewing A WWE Newbie – Part One

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Interviewing A WWE Newbie – Part One

As a dedicated wrestling fan, it is my life goal and prerogative to convert the general plebeians of the world to the Church of Sports Entertainment. Every one of us should be a missionary, a proselytiser sent on behalf of the business we cherish so dearly to prove to non-believers that wrestling really is the ultimate entertainment experience. I’ve always found that when you can convince a non-believer to attend a live show, their opinions of wrestling are dramatically altered, and they can appreciate first-hand the phenomenal skill involved in the art form and the resulting entertainment. The theatrics, the athleticism, the storytelling both in ring and out… but sometimes it’s not possible to drag the frankly alarming amount of people who aren’t interested in wrestling to a live event. In recent years it’s been easier to convert the masses thanks to the advent of the WWE Network, which effectively gives us wrestling on demand. One fascinating tool that has been invaluable during my routine conversions has been Total Divas. On the whole, girls are tougher to convince, yet Total Divas taps into that demographic that WWE haven’t really catered to in the past.

My flatmate is a girl of twentysomething who has been forced to endure my addiction on a regular basis, with no real interest in jumping on board. However, having persuaded her to watch Total Divas, she’s had a taste for the WWE product. I thought it’d be interesting to interview her and get the thoughts of the average female who isn’t as clued up on the sport as the rest of us. The results were fascinating, insightful and hilarious in equal measure.

Hello Lottie. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to grant me this interview.
That’s ok. I’d like to point out I’m doing this in my Brie Mode t-shirt. I haven’t been to the gym today like Brie would’ve. I’ve only eaten pizza. When I first wore this shirt I was on the train and a guy in a Wrestlemania t-shirt saw me, and nodded at me because we were both in the cool gang.

Welcome to the cool gang! So tell me. Why did you start watching Total Divas?
You told me it was like ‘Made In Chelsea’ and ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’. But with wrestling. You made it sound like it would be the same as America’s Next Top Model with all the bitching, and then it just happened to be interspersed with footage of them kicking each other’s asses.

So you like Total Divas?
I LOVE Total Divas! It’s my new favourite thing. It’s addictive. The characters are mental. They’re just completely different to everyone I know and some of the stuff they fight about really makes me laugh. I can’t believe somebody would throw someone else out of a car on the side of the freeway. (Nattie throwing Summer Rae out of her car) That was amazing.

Do you not find it contrived?
Yeh, but I love that. That’s why everybody watches reality TV shows. What they say isn’t scripted. They might be told to talk about something but you can’t script the answers. Like the stuff Arianne (Cameron) says for example.

Who is your favourite personality on Total Divas and why?
They’ve all got their plus points. I like Paige because when she comes to the ring someone goes “FROM NORWICH, ENGLAND,”  as if it’s a really cool place. No offence, but I’ve been to Norwich. It makes her sound like she’s a rock star and she comes from Norwich so that’s quite funny. I like the Bella Twins. They’re my faves because they’re the most over the top and ridiculous. Nikki lives in this playboy mansion with John Cena who’s a superhero. He looks like a superhero. He is a superhero. And Brie because of her dog. Their dog makes me laugh. They’re obsessed with that dog. I love Brie Mode! Because we’ve all drunkenly fallen off a sofa before. That’s why I have the t-shirt. Girls like shopping and clothes, so I had to have it. I like The Bella Twins entrance music. It’s lodged itself into my brain as my new earworm. And Arianne, I love her because everything that comes out of her mouth is ridiculous. She’s an adorable cartoon character come to life. “TheBomb.com, Girl Bye, Noodles, GLITTY.” I love her catchphrases. They’re (The Divas) all ridiculous. But they’re brilliant. And they’re fun as well. I think it’s the same reason I like Victoria’s Secret models because they’re doing a job where they have to look perfect. Basically, they’re all cool girls with serious skills and such a range of personalities. I want to be their friend. And be as badass as them in the gym. Who doesn’t want to be a Diva?

Would you watch Total Divas if it wasn’t attached to wrestling?
Yeh. The wrestling part is the cool part as well though, because it makes them a more positive role model for girls my age and younger. You watch Made In Chelsea and there’s fun personalities on a programme like that but they don’t have the skills these girls do, that they’ve trained for years to have. On the Kardashians the girls might just suddenly decide to run a fashion line, but it’s through the programme that they’re able to do things like that. But the Divas … every now and then you’re reminded – “WO!” – these girls are athletes and they work really, really hard. That’s cool. As well as being glamorous and crazy and argumentative sometimes, they also have something they are really good at.

Do you think that gives more value to them and the show over something like the Kardashians?
Yeh. It’s clear to see. They’re better roles models. Of course.

Who is your least favourite wrestling personality?
Summer Rae! I don’t know why. She hasn’t done anything to me personally. I’m sure she’s nice in real life but the way her character and persona comes across on the show is just really bitchy. And I’m team Nattie all the way. You can’t turn up to her doorstep and punch her on the nose. That’s just not on.

What do you think about Eva Marie?
I love Eva Marie. She’s an Instagram queen. I really like her hair and her ability to contour. She’s really good at it. She looks great. Apart from that, I like her because I don’t understand this hate coming for the other girls. This hate about her never bothering to train or not wanting to train but now she is training and they’re still going “But you can’t wrestle and you never bothered before so why are you bothering now?” What do you want her to do? Either quit now or just put your head down and learn. You can’t just magic it. I think they’re just jealous of the push she’s getting.

You just used the term ‘push’. What does ‘push’ mean?
That they get more time on the television? You told me that word. I learnt it from you. Because I have to listen to you talk about wrestling.

Has your experience watching Total Divas made you want to watch other WWE products?
It’s made me want to watch the girls and their associated people. Like Daniel Bryan and John Cena. And some of my other favourites. Like Titus O’Neil, who’s a legend. He just swans in in the background. The girls will ask him about make-up or something and he’ll make a smart remark and disappear again. He’s great. And TJ. Ah poor TJ.

So you’d watch WWE products specifically to watch the girls matches?
YEH! That’s what I’m interested in. That’s what I’ll check up on on Instagram or Twitter or whatever after the Monday night shows, if something big happens. Now I understand what the pay-per-views are, like if a belt changes hands, I’m interested to know that but I don’t follow the ins and outs like you do. I’m more interested in the girls because it’s more relevant to me.

Now that you’re invested in the girls, do you think that investment could, by association, get you invested in the full programme and the rest of the characters?
Maybe. If it wasn’t on at 1am in the morning! I’m more likely now to watch a full programme with all the guys. I’m just more interested in the girl’s storylines. I’ve learnt about their lives so I care about them.

Would you recommend anyone to watch Total Divas or any other wrestling products in general?
I think I’ve told every single one of my girlfriends to watch Total Divas. Because they’d love it. I find it hard to watch the longer shows because they go on for hours. Unless you follow every tiny thing with the men it’s just a bit too much of the same thing. I like some outstanding moments. Every Monday there’ll be one or two things that happen that make it to social media reporting and the rest of it is an hour and a half where I don’t know if it would keep my attention for that long. Just the fighting. Because I’m not a massive fan of just fighting. I like all the things that surround it. I like the production, I like the characters, I like the storylines. If it kept concentrating on that I think I’d get into it more. If there was another programme like Total Divas for the men I think that would probably make me more interested in the male matches. For me, it’s too long.

So would you watch NXT which is an hour, or the highlight package of Raw?
Probably an hour I’d watch. Then it’s like an episode of something rather than a movies length. Girls like the celebrity side of things. This is me stereotyping here. I like following characters in the media so that’s why Total Divas appeals to me because it tells me more about their personal life, or what they present as their personal life. I enjoy seeing them perform more because I know more about them.

Join me next week for Part Two of ‘Break The Walls Down: Interviewing A WWE Newbie’, where Lottie will be grilled about specific Superstars, attempt to explain wrestling terminology and accuse me of being un-PC about El Torito…

If you’d like to grill Lottie yourself, you can, on Twitter @Liberty_Sweet.

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