Published on January 27th, 2018 | by Landon Buford0
The Hype Magazine Chats With WWE Superstar Naomi About The First Ever Women’s Royal Rumble Match And More
Naomi is a former two-time smackdown Women’s Champion since signing with the WWE nine years ago. In 2009, Naomi joined the WWE and was assigned to its affiliate Florida Championship Wrestling where she won the inaugural FCW Divas Champion. She would go on to compete in the 2010 season of NXT, where Naomi would finish at the runner-up. Two years later she would get her opportunity make her main roster debut with her ‘The Funkadactyls’ partner Cameron.
In early 2017, Naomi made history by becoming the first African-American woman to win the Smackdown Women’s Championship against Alexa Bliss. She would have to later relinquish the title due to an injury suffered during competition. Before her pursuing her career as a WWE Superstar Naomi, she was an Orlando Magic Cheerleader for almost two years before deciding to make a career change.
The Hype Magazine recently had the opportunity to speak with the two time Smackdown Women’s Champion about being a part of the first annual Women’s Royal Rumble this Sunday, January 27th, 2018, in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center. Also, she shares her thoughts about UFC legend Ronda Rousey possibly joining the women’s division in the WWE.
Can you tell us how you decided to make the transition from cheering on the sidelines in an Orlando Magic Uniform to training in professional wrestling?
When I was dancing with the Orlando Magic, I had the opportunity to see my first live wrestling show when they came to the area. I was blown away by the production, presentation, and what caught my eye was the women. There was a tag match, and I knew right away this was something that I was interested in and wanted to try. From that point on a went home and started to do my research and landed a tryout.
You were the first woman to declare entry into the first ever Women’s, Royal Rumble. Can you tell us what this opportunity means to you as a professional in your sport?
It is fascinating, and it is something that women have been fighting for decades to get to this point. It is just not the women who have been a part of the business for the last five years. It is a combination of all the fantastic women performers who have given their dedication, blood, sweat, tears for our division to get this tremendous opportunity. So, I very excited and it is gratifying to see we are starting to receive the recognition I feel we deserve. We work as hard if not harder as our counterparts, and now everyone is starting to give us the proper dues to inspire other young women everywhere.
You have a recurring role on Total Divas which airs every Wednesday 9 PM on the E Network. It seems like you are always the voice of reasoning is this the type of role you play in the SmackDown Live Women’s Locker room as well?
That is just apart of my personality being the voice of reasoning, and it is kind of annoying being that person all the time, but pretty much what you see on “Total Divas” is who we are as individuals. There are so many personalities and characters in the ring and outside, but I think we as performers do a good job respecting each other overall. We as individuals have good and bad days, but we are all passionate, career driven, and competitive. As a collective, the whole locker room has excellent heads on our shoulders, and you have to remember it is a sisterhood. We see each other more than we know our families performing 365 days a year and as a group, if we get into arguments, but at the end of the day we can put our difference aside to go out and perform for the fans. It is all love at the end of the day.
Who is someone that you would like to work with that you haven’t had a storyline around?
Natalya is someone that I would like to work with because we have great chemistry. We have not had the opportunity to be a significant storyline. There was our Summer Slam Match, but it was a quick encounter, and then our roles changed. I think she and I could have great matches together and Nattie is one of my closet friends along with Tamina. Tamina is someone else that I would love to have a storyline around on the roster. We have worked together for about a year during the “Team Bad” storyline, as she was a partner of mine, but we have not had the opportunity to be opponents in the ring. I think that both of us could have different matches because she is such a powerhouse. Some others I would like to work with are Lana, and Charlette Flair. Charlette and I have been in a lot of tag team matches, and it takes away from our storylines, but there are a lot of women on Raw and Smackdown that I would like to have an angle with for a couple of months.
There have been a lot of rumors about Ronda Rousey joining the WWE Women’s division. In your own opinion if she were to join the company want dynamic will she offer the current roster?
Ronda is the toughest woman on the planet, and I see it as a positive if she were to join the company. She would defiantly be a force to be reckoned with, and if she does become part of the Company, the whole division will need to bring our ‘A’ game. Ronda is not someone that you should take lightly, but we have been here holding it down and been doing this for years. I think it will be more of confident and she will bring a lot of attention the company and division. We all know Ronda is a “Bad ass” and if there is any truth to the reports, I look forward to the opportunity to compete, but if that doesn’t happen, we will continue to break barriers in our division with or without Ronda. I hope there is some truth to the rumors from my standpoint.
You come from a dancing background have you thought about opening your studio following your career in professional wrestling?
I have had a variety of ideas, and I have thought about opening a dance studio. I am very passionate about dance. There are not many dance studios where I live. This topic is something that has crossed my mind on several occasions.
When can we expect the follow-up single to “Dance All Night”?
Honesty, that was a passionate project, and I released it because it was something on my to-do list. It was more like a hobby to me. I decided to release it, and it received a great response from the fans. The fans have been requesting another single, and when I get the time to release another song, I will put it out. I think you can expect something in 2018. I am contemplating doing a Youtube video behind the scenes because it is a process to put the footage together and this is why there has not been a release of another song. The process was draining for me because of the busy schedule of being on the road and having to do the production by myself. I can see myself releasing more material but having a better plan of action.
Are there any artists that you would like to work in the studio?
Missy Elliot and Timbaland. Missy is one of the most original and Iconic artists ever, and I just love her style and creativity.