As Paige prepares to join WWE Tough Enough’s star-studded panel of judges, the two-time Divas Champion explains what qualities she’ll look for in contestants, and addresses the pains and aches awaiting them once TV’s most interactive reality series returns to USA Network on Tuesday, June 23.
Q: What excites you most about being a panelist on the new season of WWE Tough Enough?
A: I grew up watching WWE Tough Enough, so it’s so exciting to actually be a part of it. It’s a massive opportunity. How awesome is it that Daniel Bryan and Hulk Hogan are there, and that I get to work with Lita, who’s a trainer? I’m so excited! Plus, I get to meet one-on-one with people who want to be here, who are passionate about WWE — who want to be a Diva, who want to be a Superstar — so I’m thrilled about that.
Q: What are the qualities you look for?
A: I like people who are completely passionate about wrestling and not just there for the fame and fortune. They genuinely love the craft and love wrestling. People with great attitudes, because if you’re humble and sweet, you’re easier to work with and people want to work with you. Just being humble and hungry—constantly wanting to achieve more and do more and reach more goals. That’d be the all-around full package.
Q: What are the challengers of breaking into sports-entertainment via WWE Tough Enough, versus the more traditional paths?
A: Going from the indies, you have to work very hard but there’s less chance of being noticed. WWE Tough Enough is a good platform to go to first just because you’re instantly in people’s faces, which is great, and then you still have to be put through the paces, put through the training, just to see if you truly are tough enough. The show is perfectly named. It’s a lot harder to be in the public eye and in front of people the likes of Hulk Hogan and Lita. It’s going to be really tough for those guys, and I hope they get through it.
Q: What aspects of training to become a Superstar or Diva are most often overlooked by novices?
A: The biggest part is they just don’t realize how hard it is. If you watch it on TV, obviously it looks easier than it is. You have to get used to being hurt. This job does come with injuries. It’s not dance, it’s not ballet — it’s wrestling. They just have to overcome that obstacle. They’re going to feel aches, they’re going to feel pains and they’re going to be tired. If they become a Diva or Superstar, they’re going to be on the road constantly. You have to make a lot of sacrifices, but if you love the job, then it’s OK and you can get over it.