Doudrop did an interview with Sports Illustrated to promote Saturday’s WWE Royal Rumble PPV event where she will challenge Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Title. Here are the highlights:
Embracing the qualities that make her unique:
“For the longest time, I thought I was an anomaly,” the 30-year-old Benson says. “I spent so much of my teenage years wishing I was someone else. I hated so much of myself—I hated my hair; I hated being big. No matter how I tried, I couldn’t get any smaller. I didn’t want to be the big girl.
“But wrestling changed everything for me. Wrestling taught me what makes me different is what makes me special. It took a long time to learn that, but I’m lucky to have had wrestling. People should love themselves, and I want to be here to share that message.”
Her time in Stardom:
“I loved Japan, but it was hard,” Benson says. “I looked so different and sounded so different. I was so young at the time, so it was a lot to deal with, but it 100% set me up for life now. It made me strong and resilient and proud.
“A lot of the girls had a preconceived idea about me. But I won them over. I went training every week with Io. I had everything the class did, including the springboards. They were bottom-rope springboards, but they were still springboards, damnit.”
WWE changing her name from Piper Niven to Doudrop:
“I personally don’t mind the name,” Benson says. “But I love when people doubt me. I love to prove people wrong. So when the name came about, people thought we blew a tire before we came out of the gate. But it’s not the circumstance you’re put in; it’s what you do with it. It is a harder obstacle, but it’s going to make for an even sweeter reward.”
Her personality being replaced with an edgier identity:
“That was my actual first in-ring live promo,” Benson says. “I’d never done one in front of the crowd before. I’m so glad it got to be with Becky. We came from the same type of place. She wrestled and was trained way back in Ireland. She’s now one of the biggest stars in the company, but we share so much in common and walked the same path.”
“I’m as agile as they come,” she says. “The other only wrestler my size that can move better than me is Keith Lee. My style is going to work particularly well with Becky’s style. This is my chance to let out my full potential, and I’m excited to make the most of this opportunity.”