Though they’re friends now, Candice Michelle admits her on-screen rivalry with Melina translated into real life as well.
At Vengeance Day 2007, Candice Michelle made WWE history. Defeating Melina to win the WWE Women’s Championship, Candice became the first ever Diva Search contestant to capture a women’s title. Of course, other former contestants such as Michelle McCool and Layla went on to clutch gold in the years following, but at the time, Candice’s win caused a rift with some of her co-workers in the locker room.
In a recent interview with WrestlingNewsCo’s Steve Fall, Candice Michelle revealed that the woman she defeated to claim the title — Melina — was not a fan of the booking decision.
“She did not want this to happen, and she did not want to drop that title to me. I came from Hollywood and I understood it. She came up from wrestling and wrestling schools and doing Indie shows. To her, she put the work in more so than me in her mind. But, she didn’t see the work that I put in leaving Wisconsin and going to Hollywood and the auditions I did every day. It’s the same thing, just from a different standpoint, right? So, her hating that so much was very difficult, yet it pushed me to be extra great,” she said.
Candice continued, admitting that heading into the match at 2007’s Vengeance: Night Of Champions that she “legit didn’t know if that was going to be a shoot match or we’re going to have a [regular scripted] match.”
“I had no idea what we’re going to do, and I didn’t train in wrestling so I was like, ‘I don’t know, we’re going out there to fight.’ I just know I’m going out there. I have an opportunity to go out there, so we’ll see what happens. We get out there and we put on one hell of a show. The next one would come, I’d be like, ‘What are we gonna do?’ She wouldn’t even talk to me, and I was so frustrated. I want to give it my all and be my best and I can’t work with this girl.”
Years later, Candice realized that those initial frustrations had fueled her to become an even better performer. “Later on, what I just learned is that hate in that moment made me respect her because it pushed me,” she recalled. “So, after the fact years later, I just shook her hand, and we’re friends now, and I just said ‘You know what? Thank you for that because I’m not so sure I would have become the champion if you were nice to me back then.'”
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