Six-foot-10, 350-pound Babatunde Aiyegbusi used to smash skulls on the football field. Now, the Polish powerhouse is ready to bruise opponents on a new stage, the wrestling ring.03/22/2017 - 14:45
The New Face of Fear makes his way to the ring flanked by The Wyatt Family for his match against John Cena.03/16/2017 - 17:15
Fearless Nikki offers a first-look at her custom kicks for The Ultimate Thrill Ride.03/22/2017 - 01:00
Things turn volatile between Shane-O-Mac and "The Face That Runs the Place" en route to their clash at The Ultimate Thrill Ride.03/21/2017 - 23:00
Diva Dish: Celebrate SummerFest
In this week's Diva Dish, celebrate SummerFest with Lena Yada, Candice Michelle, Maryse, Eve and Lilian Garcia; make front-page news with Victoria; visit wounded soldiers with Mickie James; and read Maryse's rebuttal to Maria.
Just days before SummerSlam, several of the Divas had a blast with our fans at SummerFest in Venice Beach, Calif. Lena Yada, Candice Michelle, Maryse, Eve and Lilian Garcia thrilled the crowd of thousands who came out for a day of fun in the sun with the Superstars and Divas.
"I live in L.A., so Venice Beach was very close to me and I am very familiar with the area. I walked into it not knowing what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised. I was actually amazed at our fans' reaction," Lena said of her first SummerFest experience.
"I got to see some Divas I haven't seen in a while. I was paired up with Candice Michelle. We did some Diva photo shoots together, which was great," the ECW Diva said.
Candice Michelle, who is still recovering from a broken clavicle injury she suffered in the ring, also made dreams come true for one former Make-A-Wish kid at SummerFest. John, 16, of Los Angeles, had his original Wish granted in spring 2007 when he and his family traveled to New York to see WWE live. His original Wish was to meet Candice Michelle, but he wanted to include his family, which is why they went to New York. John was pleasantly surprised and very appreciative to meet his favorite Diva this past weekend at SummerFest.
The highlight of Maryse's day was spending the day outside and in the ring.
"I really loved it. I really loved working on the beach. The beach and I are two things that get along really well," she said. "The fans loved me. There were so many people out there waiting to see me. There were 31,000 people there -- all my fans, obviously."
But the Diva's day took a turn for the worse after SummerFest when she was attacked by paparazzi at her hotel. Maryse had to stop signing autographs for our fans and flee in her limousine, as the persistent photographers chased her.
"They seriously gave me a hard time. When I got in my limo, guys were jumping on the car, trying to get a picture of me. I don't like that, because pictures of me are really exclusive, when I decide to take pictures," the SmackDown Diva said. "That was really annoying. But when you're a celebrity like me, that's the kind of thing you have to deal with."
Eve stepped into the competition ring for the first time in front of our fans at SummerFest. It was an extra-special day for the SmackDown Diva because she picked up a tag team win over Maryse in front of her hometown crowd.
"L.A. is my hometown, so Venice Beach is very close to where I live, so it's also fun because my friends and family attended the event. It was just an absolute blast," Eve said. "It was the very first time my friends and family had seen me in the ring. They absolutely loved it. They had so much fun."
At Lilian's second SummerFest, the Raw ring announcer wowed the crowd by singing "America the Beautiful."
"Being on the beach, with the palm trees swaying in the wind, and the surf -- it was pretty awesome," she said. "There was a great turnout -- bigger than last year. What's great is that this is an event for families. There's no admission fee. It's all about enjoying the day."
Victoria is once again being honored in her hometown, Louisville. The SmackDown Diva is on the cover of the latest edition of Hoy, a local Spanish language newspaper.
"It was awesome. I went to the customs shop and it was a pleasant surprise when they contacted me to do the interview. I didn't realize what it was for -- I thought it was just because I'm a new business owner because Black Widow Customs opened in Louisville," Victoria explained.
"I didn't realize the impact I've made in the Hispanic community. It was so flattering. I feel like having Puerto Rican roots, I made my dad proud, representing boricua."
Victoria said Hoy featured her on the issue's cover because she's an inspirational, positive role model in the Louisville Latino community, to adults and children.
"It's about how I juggle being a business woman, being involved with Smackdown Your Vote, wrestling, being on the road, juggling a family life at home, and having an education under my belt -- how do I do it all?" she said. "I think it's just my personality, my upbringing, being a go-getter -- that's just me."
On a recent day off, Women's Champion Mickie James accompanied Raw's Chuck Palumbo and WWE Legend "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
"It was an amazing experience. We were only seeing the lightest part of these injuries, and even still, they were heartbreaking. It was very sad, but they were so happy to have us," the Diva said.
Mickie recalled her first Tribute to the Troops trip to Iraq, calling it an "eye-opening experience." But her visit to Walter Reed was especially moving because there she saw wounded soldiers first-hand.
"It was a good experience. I think it was really great because I was able to give back to the military for all their valiant efforts and for putting their lives on the line on a daily basis," she said. "To actually see some of the repercussions of them putting their lives on the line really touched my heart and broke my heart at the same time. But it was a rewarding experience."
During last week's Summer Olympics tag team match on SmackDown, Maria delivered a brutal bulldog to Maryse, breaking the Diva's nose, and later chuckling about it on WWE.com. This week, Maryse spoke exclusively to WWE.com about the incident.
"Obviously she never planned to break my nose because she has no athleticism. I'm not scared of Maria at all. I think she's just a funny joke," Maryse said.
"And she says I'm not smart. Well, I'm not the one who showed up there in a winter outfit. Honestly, we don't ski in the summer. We play tennis, we don't ski."
Maryse also shared her views on Maria's fashion sense. Maria is a budding fashion designer who often totes her sewing machine to live events to work on her infamous hoodies and in-ring gear.
"The best designers are French -- we all know that. That's a fact, I'm not inventing anything. She talks about fashion all the time and that she's really good at it, but she has no clue what she's talking about. If you look at the way she dresses, it's unfortunately so cheesy," Maryse said.
"When I look at her, I see somebody who tries and thinks that she's got it, but she doesn't know. That's the funniest part for me. She thinks she's good, but she's not, actually. And us French people all know that. It makes me laugh every time!"