Former SmackDown women’s champion Naomi recently spoke to TalkSport to discuss all things pro-wrestling, including giving a lengthy response to Hall of Famer Booker T’s comments. Highlights are below.
On Booker T’s comments:
I definitely agreed and took in the advice, of course. Someone like him who’s been there and done it all, I’d never disrespect advice from any wrestler who’s contributed to the business, been here and gone through it. I’d never disrespect any legend. I think that’s what bothered me the most was people thought I was being disrespectful, which I would never want to come across that way. But, some of the comments, I just wish we would have had a discussion about it instead of it happening on social media. We did speak briefly after everything and it’s all love, all love. It’s just a different time now. The social media is there and the whole give divas a chance and things starting to happen was because of people speaking out. Fans wanting more, fans supporting us. So to kind of say that stuff doesn’t matter, I don’t agree with. And to say there is no buddy system, get it on merit; stuff like that I just don’t agree with it. I think my journey, my story as a female and the time I came in, and not only as a black woman, but I think I have different experiences and I’ve gone through different things and not everyone knows my story and my journey. It was a lot to process and take in, but I wasn’t upset about it or mad, I just kind of took it for what it was. You don’t have to like it, but you do respect it and understand it and I definitely respect his opinion. I took what I needed to take from that.
on WWE’s talented women’s roster:
Yes, 100 percent [this is the most talented roster I’ve ever seen]. Man, there’s just so much. NXT is killing it. I’m a huge fan of those women and a huge supporter. Even the women we have on the roster right now. There’s so much from so many who have been on the roster for years. Like, Ruby Riott is phenomenal and god, she is killer on the mic. And we’re just starting to see that and her tap into that. Liv Morgan is a hell of an athlete. I would love to see her get more ring time and see her continue to grow and evolve. There’s just so much talent on the roster I’d love to see more from. I’m a big fan of Dakota [Kai]. Io [Shirai]. Rhea [Ripley], of course. Of course Bianca [Belair]. I can’t wait for Ember to come back. Like, Ember is a beast. Her intensity is unmatched and we never even got to see her unfold, her character development and watch her grow. And the fans were starting to get behind her too. There’s a lot.
On getting to face Bayley in Saudi Arabia:
That experience was just out of this world. Having the opportunity to do it with Bayley, who, to me is just the best of the best… I mean, I’m a huge supportive fan of all fo the Four Horsewomen. I think every opportunity that they’ve taken on and received they’ve just knocked it out of the park. To be able to experience that and be in the ring with her, it was just a great experience. A great learning experience, history making. It was definitely something that I never thought I’d get the opportunity to do. Experiencing that with her was awesome. Although, I really don’t like her right now [laughs].