Emma sets the record straight on her new attitude
In recent weeks, the NXT Universe has played witness to an attitude adjustment. No, not the maneuver made famous by the WWE United States Champion John Cena, but rather a change in attitude from WWE Diva Emma. Once known as awkward yet loveable, Emma has undergone a personality transformation in NXT. From targeting Bayley’s gullibility to teaming up with newcomer Dana Brooke, Emma’s self-serving ways have rubbed many folks the wrong way. This week, WWE.com sits down with the Australian-born Diva to get her take on her newly formed career outlook and aspirations for tomorrow.
WWE.COM: You’ve clearly changed your way of thinking these days. What gives?
EMMA: I've had my fun here in the WWE. After a while, though, I realized having fun wasn't going to get me where I need to be. Coming to NXT helped me find myself, and the real Emma has been able to shine through now.
WWE.COM: For those not familiar with your path, how did you make it to WWE?
EMMA: I have been a fan of wrestling since I was about 8 years old. In 2012, I went to my first WWE show in Melbourne, Australia, and knew that my already existing desire to be a wrestler wasn’t going away anytime soon. I became involved in the Australian independent wrestling scene between the ages of 13 and 19. When I was 19, I left home on my own and moved to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to train with my mentor and friend Lance Storm.
After this, I spent years living between Australia and Canada, where I traveled on my own dime to wrestle for independent promotions. I was able to meet people, make new connections and improve my skills in the ring. Through my ventures in Australia, I wrestled current NXT Assistant Head Coach Sara Amato, who helped connect me with companies in the USA, where I also wrestled on the independent circuit. After wrestling around three countries, I applied for a tryout at the WWE developmental school, and I paid my way there. My flights, my accommodations and the application fee were all paid out of pocket, and it was all the money I had. It was a five-day tryout with 50 people, working on every aspect involved in this business, and at the end of the week, one person received a contract. That person was me.
I first started in the WWE developmental school on July 16, 2012. I moved to the WWE main roster after a year and a half, in January 2013. I am now approaching my three-year anniversary with the company.
WWE.COM: That’s quite an amazing road you traveled.
EMMA: My path to the WWE was long, it was hard, and it was challenging. I wouldn't change a thing. Everything I've been through has made me who I am today. Setting up seats and rings at shows, selling merchandise and driving 12 hours and losing money to wrestle was all part of the ride. My experiences have kept me grounded and hungry, and they’ve made me never take anything for granted. I would much rather experience the satisfaction of hard work, then having something handed to me. It's so much more rewarding. Now that I see how far I've come, I can look back and say anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
WWE.COM: Considering how motivational your journey has been, it’s a little surprising that you would aggressively target NXT Diva Bayley, who embraces the same dream that you’ve had.
EMMA: Unfortunately, people change. For too long, I let the people and fans sway me and deter me from what was really important. The fans fooled me into thinking that being liked was important, but I am quite OK on my own. I tried to be a friend to Bayley and tell her that she was letting the same thing happen. Sometimes, unfortunately for her, you have to learn things the hard way. She's changed, and I guess I was just the person to teach her a lesson or two.
WWE.COM: Describe your partnership with Dana Brooke.
EMMA: Dana Brooke is an acquaintance that I have taken under my wing. She is still learning this world of wrestling and seeking guidance from the best there is, obviously.
WWE.COM: What do you see in Dana Brooke?
EMMA: She is strong and powerful. Brooke is someone who will have my back, not that I need that. She is eager to learn and take my guidance. Because of her willingness to learn, I'm happy to direct her to the top and get rid of the other opponents along the way.
WWE.COM: Do you feel that you've been misunderstood over the last year?
EMMA: I've certainly been misunderstood and taken for granted. The fans seem to have forgotten that the first live special on the WWE Network consisted of a match between Paige and me for the NXT Women's Championship. We went head-to-head again on the following special. Everyone seems to have forgotten that I am the most skilled Diva we have here at the WWE, and they've forgotten how much of a threat I really am. So I am taking my time to remind them again.
WWE.COM: How do you respond to people who still don't take you seriously?
EMMA: Bayley is a perfect example. I tried to give her advice and warn her not to go down the path I did, but she didn't want to listen and she didn't take me seriously so I made her my example. In fact, every singles match since, I have made my opponents examples of exactly why everyone needs to take notice and take me seriously.
WWE.COM: Speaking of taking notice, you were recently featured in “Muscle & Fitness” magazine. How did that come about?
EMMA: I've spent the last few years improving my health and fitness. I've researched products, trainers, techniques and foods. I've traveled to fitness expos and met people and I continue to seek knowledge from others to improve myself. The article came from hard work and from me making a commitment to improve myself and to do what it takes to get noticed. This is just the beginning.
WWE.COM: At this point in your life and your career, who is Emma?
EMMA: Who am I? I'm the same hardworking, passionate person I've always been, but now there is a new drive and a new goal to get the recognition I deserve and show the world I'm not to be messed with. While people think I was joking around and they weren't taking me seriously, I've been studying my opponents and continuing to develop my own skills. I’ve been not only developing in the ring but as an athlete and a person.
WWE.COM: What do you want to accomplish in NXT and in WWE?
EMMA: NXT is a friendly reminder of where Emma began. NXT is the only place fans began to understand Emma as a competitor and a threat. Since then, that's obviously been forgotten, so I'm using NXT as my stepping stone and a refresher. It's about time everyone realized it wasn't just Paige that made history; it takes two, and I was right there with her. I have many things to accomplish in this world that I love and have devoted over half of my life to. The only thing I've ever wanted to do is wrestle. It's time to do what it takes to get the attention I deserve, to become a top contender, and show the world that the real Emma deserves to be, and will be, the Divas Champion.
Follow Emma on Twitter @EmmaWWE.