Former multi-time women’s champion Melina recently spoke with WrestlePurists for a conversation about her time in WWE, where Melina discussed the trickle-down politics that have plagued the women’s division over the years, and how gimmick matches were used to punish talent. Highlights from the interview are below.
How the WWE women’s division has improved but still has some issues that have trickled down through the years:
“We’re blessed to have this contract, this opportunity, and it’s not to say that hey, let me bash the company, whatnot. There’s so many structures, like the top person has to delegate to this person and then these people. It’s like, it can’t be controlled unless it’s delegated. So I can’t blame the whole entire company, whatever, but this is the thing. There are things within the roster where things should change, but it hasn’t. It’s still kind of trickling from the years and the decades and the eras prior. Certain attitudes or maybe viewpoints, it’s still there. So whatever toxicity, it’s slowly getting flushed out, but not fast enough. So when it comes to a coalition or anything where it’s like, hey, girls, let’s get together, we’re lucky we have a job, but we don’t want to lose our job, and we’ve seen people come and go. It’s like, how do we go about where we keep our job but kinda like push this in [and not get heat]. We’d kind of come together, and then it’s like okay, pick your spots, and we’d get punished.”
How WWE would punish the divas with gimmick matches:
“Our punishment was, ‘Hey, here’s a lingerie match right after you did something extraordinary,’ or here’s like, I don’t know, a swimsuit match. They would do stuff like that to kind of see what we’d do. It’s like okay, what are they gonna throw at us at this point? I turned it into, in my kind, I turned it into like a game. Like okay, let’s see what they’re gonna have us do now. [Laughs]. Okay, they wanna see our reaction to this.”
(H/T and transcribed by Fightful)