WWE tag team legends The Hart Foundation
Courtesy of MichelleMcCool.net:
So, we’ve all survived the Mayan apocalypse. Now what? Celebrate, of course! And what better way than with another MichelleMcCool.Net exclusive? So, let’s see: since 2005, MichelleMcCool.Net has done over 50 exclusive projects with Michelle — including interviews, vlogs, blogs, live chats, fan giveaways, and more. What could we possibly have up our sleeve this time? Well, brace yourselves: this one will get them talking!
Michelle’s going on the record to talk about her former counterparts — yes, the WWE Divas! From stories on the road, in the locker room, from backstage, to in-your-face encounters as told by the Pride of Palatka herself!
We call it: “12 Days of Divas”. Every day, for twelve days, we’ll post a new interview clip that features Michelle McCool sharing personal stories regarding her old colleagues.
Kicking things off, we have Michelle talking about the Queen of Harts, Natalya!
First Meeting:” We kind of got off on a rough start (and i laugh about it now, we tease each other now). I remember we had a production meeting, and it was her first day there. I don’t talk during production meetings, people don’t generally say anything. She raises her hand and says she just wants to give everyone a tip on how to keep self-tanner on longer. At the time, I’m like, are you kidding me right now? She’s got nerve! I wish I had some of that, just an ounce of it in me to just be like: “Yeah, I’ve got something to say!” That was my very first encounter with her.”
Teaching Nattie how to “Wrestle”: “Apparently, something got all over the Internet about me trying to teach her how to ‘wrestle’ and all of this other stuff — which was completely false, as many things on the Internet are. But word got around, and there was nobody around the ring at the time, so it was just one of those things where ‘who felt the need to go to the Internet and start this stuff?’ It was just kind of shady. It was just kind of unspoken… there was a little bit of tension there. I don’t know if she thought I did it, or if she did it. A couple weeks went by, we sat down and talked about it and actually became really good friends.”
Polar Opposites: “We have two very, very different personalities. I’m more reserved, soft-spoken, and I have to get warmed up to people before I open up to them — and she’s completely opposite.”
Working with Nattie: “Obviously, she’s a great worker. That’s beyond words. She’s constantly showing up to the ring– you know when Nattie’s in the building, because she comes running down the ramp, slides in the ring and tries to leg-pick or take them down in some form or fashion. Which is awesome!”
Storyline with Nattie: “So, it was pretty late in my career, right before LayCool broke up. She was definitely fun to work with, a total team player. She would come up with stuff she’d want us to use. She’d be like: “Hey! Why don’t you say this about me?!” And we’d be like… really? We did her dad’s goatee thing, and she showed us all of that. She gave us other way on how to impersonate her dad, her or Bret. She was the one feeding us material, just showing us the type of business she’s willing to do. She knows what’s good for the business and knows that it’s just a character on TV.”
Trusting Nattie: “We could trust that the ideas we were pitching off one another weren’t going to be automatically shut down because she was going to end up saying something else. We really worked together, coming up with storylines, how to keep things going, fighting for every pay-per-view, fighting to get on TV. She was always willing to do something above and beyond. She just got it.”
Tables Match: “Our program ended at TLC. Fit Finley came up to us and told us we had a table’s match, and we told him to shut up — we didn’t believe it. We were always told that WWE didn’t want the girls to wrestle like the guys, your punches can’t look too good, and you can’t do punches or kicks, all of these guidelines, so we definitely didn’t think we were going to get a Tables match.”
Rehearsal for TLC/Near-death experience: “We had rehearsal the night before the pay-per-view, put some ideas together, go through some stuff — and oh, my gosh! You can ask Nattie: I’ve never had a near-death experience in my life until that night. It was so super-scary. I remember I was going to pull Nattie up in the corner for my Faith Breaker, off the top turnbuckle. Somehow, I go to pull her up, and we both tumble over the outside. All I’m thinking about is protecting her, but I’m looking down and my head is about to land on the apron and I’m about to break my neck, literally. My toes are curled over the top rope, just so that I can hold onto the both of us… I can see in slow-motion, Randy Orton, who was at ringside, is running over to help. Fit is across the ring and can’t help, and Arn Anderson was there — literally, we almost died. It was absolutely terrifying. But did it stop us from doing it? No. We figured it possibly couldn’t happen twice… right?”
Fighting for Nattie: “I remember fighting like crazy for Nattie to get the spotlight in that match, because not everybody was fighting for that. I thought: she’s the one that helped us; she’s the one that we were picking on during this whole storyline. She should be the one that pushes us through the table, she should be the one that gets her hand raised — she should be the one that puts LayCool to shame. She deserves this. And it was like, this hard, hard battle. That was her moment and I don’t think it would have been fair for anybody else to take that away from her or for anyone to try and take that away from her.”
Traveling Sisters: “I rode with her a lot — me, Torrie and Lisa. We definitely have stories: from going to the wrong town, hot dogs at the gas station, accidentally leaving my hotel door open in a very creepy, creepy hotel, to people coming into the locker room and… Nevermind! I can’t even tell that one!”
Bananas and Male Genitalia: “My favorite story: You know, we always have one of those silly Halloween costumes, we always know we’re gonna end up in some type of costume for Halloween. It never fails and they never tell us until the week before, so we’re normally out buying costumes on the road. I think it was during the year she was the Sumo Wrestler — everybody remembers that! But, I was at the mall and I saw this costume and it was a… giant… male… genitalia. It was huge. It blew up: from head-to-toe, and all I can think about is Lisa. I remember sending her a text saying: “I dare you to wear this!” She said: “OMG, I’ll totally do it!” So I bought it, brought it to TV and we had a rehearsal that afternoon. No, wait! It was the year she was a banana! So, we go through rehearsal without telling anybody, and right before we come out, she puts on the male genitalia costume and… I literally about wet myself. It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. The boss’s face, the boys’ faces. Needless to say, we shouldn’t have even had a rehearsal, because it was pointless after she came out in that. And she was also told that she better not come out in that later. So, she ended up coming out in a banana suit — which is just as great. She just lives to make people laugh.”
Wrestling Lisa’s Last WWE Match: “People always ask me what I whispered to her at the end of the match, and I’m always surprised that I didn’t get in trouble if apparently everybody saw me whispering in her ear — which is not a good thing. But, I just remember saying: “Sis, I love you so much and I can’t thank you enough.” That was just truly an honor. She’s definitely a legend in the wrestling business — and in her own mind, and she’ll tell you that! Just totally joking, I say that with love. We had a production meeting that day and I just remember getting up and saying: “In the business, you’re lucky, at best, to have a couple of true, good friends. But, for everybody else to like you… that’s unheard of.” That was the case for Lisa: she was friends with everybody. And I’m not just talking about Superstars and Divas, from crew, ring to catering, she knew everybody by name and she was friends with them. That’s just a testimony to her character.”
Friends Forever: “Just yesterday, I got a text from Lisa and she just cracks me up. She always makes me laugh. She’s incredible and you know you’ve found a gem when you can find somebody like that. She makes the best out of life, she lives life to the fullest, she’s always smiling, always being goofy — she lightens up the room and lightens up the mood. Obviously, she’s a great wrestler, but more than that, her personality just shines through. She is crazy in the best, most awesome way… ever.”
Formation of LayCool: “It all just kind of happened. They randomly put Layla and I together in some match, and we were pretty good friends at this point, but we weren’t near as close as how we ended up before I left. When we went out there on camera, Vince just saw something that he liked. He liked the dynamic of us together and that literally was it. As far as coming up with the name, it was just during the time the media was joining everybody’s names together, like Brangelina. So we thought: why not? We’re just as cool as these other celebrities, or so we thought in our own minds of course, so we said “let’s come up with something!” We spit them in half, came up with a bunch of different combinations and ultimately ended up with LayCool.”
LayCool Chemistry: “So, they kept putting us on camera together and somehow I guess you just have a connection with certain people; we just fed off of one another. We couldn’t be completely different: she was this cute little petite fireball, full of energy, funny as can be — and then you have me: this amazon, this more serious, more athletic character. It was where opposites attract. I can’t tell you how happy I am for them putting us together; to not only build this character, but to build this bond — this friendship.”
Growing Together: “When we got together, she had just come off dancing on ECW with Kelly and Brooke, and didn’t really do much in the ring. You all know how much she’s grown as an in-ring competitor. She grew, as we both did. I give her all the glory in the world for helping me with my character and mic skills, and all of our promos. I’m just so thankful for her.”
Backstage Animosity: “It can be a pretty stressful environment backstage, there is a lot of drama that goes on when it comes to the girls working together, especially fighting for storylines. With our character, it was already controversial to begin with, so that was a touchy subject. You never knew what they were going to give us, feelings would get hurt — obviously, we didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings, but that was our character on TV.”
Art Imitates Life: “I can’t tell you how many times we’d be sitting around backstage doing something stupid, and then we’d make a storyline out of it. We’d be like: “Oh! We could use this!” We just bounced off each other, and that’s where our best work came from. We were given bullet points not scripts, per se, and we could just do whatever we wanted.”
LayCool vs. Piggie James: “We were always trying to think of something where it could backfire on us and make us look foolish. You know we’d sit here and dish out all of this stuff — but somebody’s got to stick it to us! I think what put us on the map was, sadly enough, the Piggie James storyline. I’ve said it a gazillion times: I give all the credit in the world to Mickie James. True professional. She was a true professional in the ring, in the pre-tapes… so many times we’d get the script and I’d get a pit in my stomach. We didn’t want to say the stuff, so we’d apologize beforehand. But, she always sucked it up — and I know it was hard. Even though those things aren’t true, obviously, she’s beautiful and not overweight by any stretch of the imagination. But despite all of those things: we all still have feelings. That was really tough, but Vince loved it, the writers loved it — and that was all because of her. I don’t think anybody else could have pulled that off. All the credit in the world to her.”
Last Match: “My last match; going out against her in the loser leaves. I wouldn’t want to do it, at that time, with anybody else. It was hard! You’re sitting here trying to be serious, but you have all of these emotions inside that are just ready to out. I was thinking: “Man, this is my last match. Here I am with my best friend.” It was tough. But that is definitely a day I’ll never forget.”
A Lifetime of Layla: “She’s just funny. She’s always chipper, she’s crazy — she’d be the first to tell you that I’d be the first to tell her that she is legitimately nutso half the time. But that’s why I love her. She was always who she was, I was always who I am. We just clicked. There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do for that girl. We’re still dear friends to this day, and that is a friendship that I can honestly say will last a lifetime. I wish her nothing but the best. Y’all keep cheering her on because she deserves every ounce of it.”
Read more of the interview at MichelleMcCool.net (and thanks to LordsofPain.net writer Daniel Pena and others for the transcript of her interview…)