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Candice Michelle credits karma at Vengeance
HOUSTON -- Winning the Women's Championship from Melina at Vengeance: Night of Champions was not solely a victory over one her most hated rivals for Candice Michelle. Taking nothing away from how it felt to strip the title from someone she's had a public quarrel with for months on WWE.com, a teary-eyed, choked-up new champion said that aspect of the victory was merely a piece of a larger puzzle.
"It's taken about three years for me to prove that I'm more than just some actress, some pretty face from Wisconsin," said Candice, between pauses to dry her eyes with tissues.
After a small break to regain her composure, she continued to elaborate on what perceptions she shed with her latest victory.
"I finally proved to all the people who doubted me, the people who said I'd never make it, that I'm more than just an actress; I'm more than just pretty eye candy," she said.
During preparations for the match with Melina, Candice used her days off to trek two hours into the suburbs of Los Angeles for three-hour long, in-ring workouts. And it's not some Hollywood venue where she competes in front of sold-out crowds with flashbulbs popping, either. Her training grounds were an area with broken, burned out TV sets that had stacks of chicken coops piled in the corner. The ring also wasn't top-notch WWE quality either: a compilation of planks with a film covering the boards to give the faux impression that it was safe to train on.
"I'll work on my days off when I'm home; I'll work in a dirty ring; I'll drive however many hours it takes… I would have done whatever I had to do in order to walk out of the Night of Champions on top," she said.
Candice's relentless dedication to her craft shouldn't be surprising to anyone. That's what it takes to be a champion in WWE. What is surprising, however, was her declining to harangue the woman she so openly despised — the same person who attempted to label the new Women's Champion as the owner of a "spare tire." Instead of adding fuel to the fire, Candice simply brushed off her chance to berate her rival.
"I believe in karma -- what goes around comes around, and I also believe in hard work," she said as tears once again began pouring down her cheeks. "To beat someone who isn't always kind, it just felt really good. But Melina is a great wrestler, and I respect her in the ring. For me to compete at that level is a victory in itself."