Episode 59 with Ivelisse Velez
This Friday, SHINE Wrestling crowns its first ever champion on iPPV – and if you ask our guest on this show, she’ll be the one holding up the title belt at the end of the night. It’s Ivelisse Velez, everybody! We talk SHINE, and her standout matches with the likes of LuFisto & Athena, experiences in SHINE so far, rule confusion in Mexico for PdM, starting her career as “Sexy Juliette” in Puerto Rico, alternate life plans, moving to Chicago and eventually entering the WWE Tough Enough process. We talk auditioning, the editing process, struggling with injury, the Steve Austin elimination speeches and working with Trish Stratus on the show. Post Tough Enough, we discuss how Ivelisse worked hard at getting her shot in FCW/NXT and her experiences when she got there, an aborted name idea before she was re-christened Sofia Cortez, working with Paige, promo classes, seemingly conflicting advice and some interesting circumstances surrounding her WWE release. We also talk her TNA Gutcheck experiences, her mentality coming in, her on-camera reaction when it was decided she wasn’t going through to the final assessment, and coming back for a couple of taped PPVs that are still to air. We also talk her twice aborted MMA debut and whether that’s still coming. A refreshingly fun and interesting interview. Check it out. (Plus we’ve changed up our Podcast theme for the first time ever!!)
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When Sofia Cortez (Ivelisse Velez) informed the world yesterday that she had been released from her WWE developmental contract, we decided to pause for a moment before making any sort of comment. We wanted to know if there was any specific reason, be it down to budget, creative ideas or whatever. About 24 hours on, we have some sort of explanation.
The word is that while she was solid in the ring and getting good reviews, Ivelisse had an “attitude problem”. F4W Online reports that sources say she thought she was better than what the trainers thought of her and had apparently made noise about how she should be working on WWE’s main roster.
This is the first we had heard of any sort of supposed arrogance from the 24-year old Puerto Rican. Fair enough, we’re not on the inside, but given her progression from Florida Championship Wrestling to the rebooted NXT, winning the first Divas match of the new season isn’t something you do to a wrestler who you are unhappy with. (more…)
I was due to write the review of the Beth vs Layla match at No Way Out last week, but due to other priorities, I had to leave it to Lee. It’s probably just as well that I’ve had a week to think about it, because for what it’s worth, I hated the match. Well, maybe “hated” is too strong a word, but I really didn’t like the comedy of Layla stealing Beth’s headband and dancing with it. The finish of Beth losing again also irritated me a bit, mostly because it’s patently clear that WWE have absolutely nothing in mind for Layla, and with Beth losing again, it securely slots her below Layla on the pecking order and kills another level of anticipation (whatever there is left of it anyway) for the Beth Phoenix vs Kharma feud that we’ve been waiting/hoping for ever since Kharma signed up with the company.
Let’s make it clear here – my major downer on the Divas division at the minute is not the usual “wrestlers vs models” debate (I’ve learned for the most part to turn off my brain and find a way to enjoy the Divas for what they are rather than what they aren’t)… no… my big problem is the fact that at the minute, the future of the Divas division is just deathly dull. (more…)
The last week has seen the continued downfall of two women who were among the most popular females in the wrestling in the mid-to-late 1990s.
Starting with wrestler-turned-porn star Chyna, who collapsed three times between Thursday and Saturday while in Miami Beach, FL for the 2012 Exxxotica Expo, where she was promoting her latest appearance in a skin flick, playing She Hulk in a porn parody of The Avengers. The first incident happened on Thursday when she passed out in the Catalina hotel’s pool at the Expo’s launch party and was asked to return to her hotel room to sleep it off. But all Chyna did was recover for another assault on the bar the following day.
The following morning, the former WWE Intercontinental and Women’s Champion passed out at the convention itself, right in front of the main stage. After being checked out by paramedics, the 41-year old was helped back to her hotel room for more rest and relaxation – and she needed that help, as video footage posted on TMZ showed that she was in no condition to walk unaided. One day later, she was back, and was seen slumped in the lobby. She was taken to Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach after the third incident, and did not return to the event.
Now, I’m not writing this to poke fun at or mock Chyna. On the contrary, this is a plea for her to reassess her life.
Before her one-off in-ring comeback at TNA Sacrifice a year ago, word had gone around that she was planning to move to Japan and teach English as a foreign language – something that I fully supported. It would be a good career for her to be part of, would make a positive difference in people’s lives and could see her slip away from the spotlight that was eating her alive. After all, she had taken part in a very public rehabilitation on Celebrity Rehab in 2008 which she took part in after admitting that drugs had seen her life spiral out of control – she claimed she was in the middle of her drug use when her sex tape, later released as One Night In Chyna was filmed. Before Celebrity Rehab, she had undergone private rehab after a revealing interview with Howard Stern where she said she didn’t want to do drugs anymore, but if a line of cocaine was put in front of her, she would have to have it. (more…)
It was only a matter of time, really…
Paige and Sofia Cortez made their debut on WWE’s NXT show as part of its first evening of tapings at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL last night. They appear in the third taping, but for those of you who don’t want to know what happens, we won’t tell you.
We welcome this advancement for the self-titled Anti Diva Army, as both the former Britani Knight and Juliet the Huntress are the best female wrestlers on Florida Championship Wrestling‘s roster. 24-year old Cortez was the first of the pair to arrive in FCW, having been on last year’s revival of Tough Enough under her real name of Ivelisse Velez, but was cut from the competition on the May 10 episode after injuring her leg. Despite being the most talented of the female contestants, she was the last of the TE women to be offered a WWE developmental deal following Ariane Andrew (now Cameron Lynn, one of Brodus Clay‘s dancers) and Christina Crawford (now Caylee Turner, who had a developmental contract before auditioning for TE anyway). Debuting as Sofia Cortez on November 11 last year and first appearing on TV on the Christmas Day episode, things ambled along, with Sofia forming a partnership with Raquel Diaz – but then Paige rocked up. (more…)