Review: “Girl Talk with Shelly Martinez” Shoot Interview

While Highspots.com has long been one of the leaders in the beloved wrestling “shoot interview,” I personally feel that their best interviews have been with the women of professional wrestling. The “Diva Diaries” Maria Kanellis interview still makes me gasp and laugh out loud, even after multiple viewings. Perhaps, hearing the great feedback they have received on this shoot, Highspots has launched a new series of DVDs entitled “Girl Talk”, with the first of the line starring the controversial Shelly Martinez.

For fans seeking a long interview, they definitely get it with this purchase. The interview, which likely spans three hours when the bonus features are accounted for, is lengthy enough to require two discs, leaving customers with a feeling of getting a good “bang for one’s buck”. As an extra bonus, Diva Dirt audio contributor Amber Gertner (Untitled Allison Danger Show) delivers as host, utilizing a conversational and friendly approach that comes off as more of a conversation between friends rather than the traditional hotseat interrogation approach.

As the interview begins, it becomes clear that Shelly has had many ups and downs in not only her professional wrestling career, but in her personal life as well. Shelly handles extremely sensitive personal topics with candor and confidence, showing that she has come to terms with her life experiences. This results in a more positive vibe than many other shoot interviews have. Even when offering criticism of her peers, Shelly is quick to point out positive qualities (where present) of these individuals and own up to her own shortcomings, which is quite refreshing.

As with any shoot interview, the lovely Ms. Gertner begins in chronological order, asking the basic questions related to Shelley breaking into the wrestling business. While most of the women currently involved with the wrestling business either got into it via modeling or by finding a local wrestling school, Shelly used a little of both to get her start, as she would use her acting and modeling auditions and go sees as an opportunity to discover a way to break into the business. Eventually, an audition paid off as she was able to discover a local wrestling school. This factoid impressed me and added a little pizazz to a portion of all shoot interviews which is usually dull.

Equally interesting, is a disclosure that prior to entering WWE, Shelly auditioned for and made the semifinals of Tough Enough 2, until Hardcore Holly told her that she was “too thick in the waist”. (Shelly reports receiving a similar criticism from Johnny Ace during her first WWE tryout). Particularly unfortunate is that this criticism came at a time when Shelly was recovering from an eating disorder and just beginning to put weight back on. While it is well known that the big two companies have very strict requirements for the female talent, it does provoke the viewer to reflect on the repercussions these demands may have on the women who have to hear them.

This wasn’t the only occasion in which Shelly’s experiences and insight brings about questions on whether there is any shred of morality in major professional wrestling companies. While locker room etiquette can be confusing, and at times, ridiculous, Shelly’s disclosure that she once drank because tradition dictates that new talent must drink if a veteran tells you to is utterly reprehensible. As Shelly says in the interview, “What if somebody is a recovering alcoholic?”

And then there is Batista… Long time Diva Dirt interview listeners have heard nearly all the details regarding the top WWE star’s treatment of Shelly, but many may have forgotten that Batista’s vendetta against Shelly (which ultimately led to her release from WWE) started because Shelly stood up for a friend whom Batista was dating and verbally abusing in front of the other talent. The fact that a talent can get away with such actions because of his spot is extremely shady, and honestly rather depressing.

Thankfully, the DVD offers plenty of fun moments and enough juice to remain a “shoot.” While it was previously mentioned that Shelly tried her best to remain positive and she is quick to offer praise to those who helped support her in the business (Sharmell, ODB, So Cal Val, Terry Taylor and Kelly Kelly are but a few praised), she does offer criticism where appropriate. Shelly reveals that one misunderstanding between herself and Angelina Love while Love was in developmental created a rift between the two that lasted all throughout their tenures in WWE and TNA and was only recently repaired. Shelly also shares similarly negative experiences with Paul Heyman and The Sandman. However, it is a current WWE Diva and her betrayal against Shelly that resulted in Shelly stiffing her in the ring (to the delight of the entire locker room) that inspired the “No she didn’t!” head bob from me and will likely be the secret most viewers will be taking to Facebook and Twitter to share.

Unfortunately, Shelly’s desire to become a more positive person (unfortunate for us, not for her) resulted in her offering minimal details when reporting on the most shocking/horrendous stories involving talent. While Shelly is willing to report on these incidents, which include a love triangle between herself and two TNA talents as well as a particularly gruesome story involving a WWE wrestler attempting to sexually assault her (and then her getting heat when it was discovered that she had shared the story with Melina); she is unwilling to name the individuals involved. While this is understandable, it may turn off viewers who purchased the disc for two hours of trash talking and secret telling.

However, if the viewer is satisfied with hearing some fascinating albeit non-gossipy stories about Shelly’s experience in the business (her beginnings in TNA and comments on how Salinas oddly strengthened her Mexican American identity are fascinating) as well as a lot of disclosure regarding Shelly’s perseverance from a victim of childhood physical and sexual abuse to that of a strong and inspirational human being than this purchase is well worth it.

As a whole, this DVD meets expectations. While the “shoot” aspect lacks a lot of the secrets that one normally finds in such a DVD, Shelly’s experiences in life and in the wrestling business are interesting enough to keep one’s attentions for over two hours. This is largely due to Highspots’ decision to utilize the interviewer, Amber Gertner in an on screen role, and allow her to offer her opinions and insight. This keeps the viewer feeling like they are in the midst of a conversation and keeps the DVD from becoming monotonous, which it could have easily become considering the length of the DVD. An overall solid first showing from an experienced veteran in women’s wrestling and I very much look forward to future releases in the “Girl Talk” series.

Note: The DVD also includes bonus matches from the Dangerous Divas release featuring Shelly, as well as a 2005 interview with Pro Wrestling Dreams. Even more bang for your buck!

Rating: 3/5

You can purchase “Girl Talk with Shelly Martinez” at Highspots.

Watch the trailer below:

  • NY32986

    Plus a Gizmo Pillow, FTW

  • adifferentsame

    Sounds gory.

  • SherriShepherdWWE

    I wonder what current diva it is????
    “However, it is a current WWE Diva and her betrayal against Shelly that resulted in Shelly stiffing her in the ring (to the delight of the entire locker room)”

    • adifferentsame

      I may as well say what most are probably thinking: Melina?

      Not that I pay heed to the numerous scathing reports surrounding Melina, but the word choice of “current” and “betrayal” is somewhat indicative of a friendship. If not Melina, maybe someone she was in development with?

      • drayme

        It isnt Melina.

        • adifferentsame

          If so, then great.

        • soju81

          Who was it? I can only guess it might have been Gail Kim, Kharma, Rosa or Layla since Shelley had interaction with those girls at some point in her career.

          Does Shelley talk about Kong/Gail in TNA?

      • http://twitter.com/#!/kaledrina_x Kaledrina

        i remember watching a webcam interview thing with shelly (think it’s on her youtube?) and she said something along the lines of how melina and beth were the only divas who bothered to really stay in contact with her, so yeah likely it’s not melina

        • drayme

          Again it WASNT Melina.

        • adifferentsame

          In any event it must have been a scornful thing for Shelly to stiff someone in the ring. :/

    • http://twitter.com/art1e art1e

      @SherriShepherdWWE

      im thinking KELLY since she dated Batista & was the one being abused in front of people..so i think its her..besides the only ring time ariel had was against kelly…

      • drayme

        Kelly wasnt in developmental

        Anyway it wasnt Kelly.

    • shokko22

      Well the only other current diva that was in ovw besides melina and beth with shelly was maryse and kelly kelly so take your pick.

      • drayme

        It was none of those.

  • The Kharmic Heel

    Sherri, it could be the Notorious Diva that has a reputation for being dramatic and, ahem….nevermind.

    So, does she talk about Lita and Trish?

    • drayme

      Not that I remember.

    • The Kharmic Heel

      Thanks Drayme

  • http://twitter.com/#!/kaledrina_x Kaledrina

    really like shelly. she has a way of being bluntly honest but without coming across as snide or bitchy, i like that. people seem to get on her case for not being the best wrestler ever but her passion for the business is undeniable, it’s kinda sad that a business she loves so much has been rather cruel to her at times. anyway, look forward to purchasing and seeing it all for myself !

  • RedHotVixen

    *sigh* I see this discussion turning ugly real quick. I will never understand people’s fascination with other people’s lives. Life is far too short.

    Anyway, I cant say that I am all that familiar with Shelley’s WWE work. She was with the company at a time when I had lost all interest in WWE. (I feel its time that I revisit that time) She seems like a nice lady, though.

  • drayme

    I think Eric’s review nailed it to be honest.

    Fun watch but not essential or anything.

    • adifferentsame

      Yeah, I really like Shelly, but I’m hard pressed to buy shoot DVDs. Unless Ivory does another one. Haha.

      • drayme

        You can watch it on Hightspots.tv for the cost of a DVD.

  • http://twitter.com/art1e art1e

    i think shes honest & i like that about her..in wwe i loved her character because it she so different & so was everything about her,,i dont get how wwe didnt handle the matter better with shelly & batista or let him go for awhile but still under contract..its against the law what he & other males get away with..but thats wwe.

  • TheBeautifulPeople.

    Shelly sounds down to earth. I really liked that Pillow talk video. I’ve never knew you could have so much Beef in a lockeroom like that, So much tension.

  • seasons-of-love

    I love Shelly. :P She always seems so sweet in her interviews.

    Batista sounds like a prick. And aside from Melina and K2, he dated (an experience these girls would like to forget, I’m assuming) that Rebecca girl from the third Diva Search, right? She was in ECW with Shelly as well, irrc.

    And Shelly keeps in contact with Jillian too, right?

  • http://twitter.com/BroskiRomano Wesley Romano

    Shelly is f****ken HOT!! Man Love this chick!! The Sexy voice hot ass body!!
    Love Curvy Women!! She could use a lil more booty but her big um…girls make up for that.
    Wish I had Shellys number…id have good pillow talk with her

    Never was a fan of Batista, and IDK While its great to give Shelly that comfort level with a Lady interviewing her, if shes anything like Maria, she will be able to handle a douchebag interviewer like Maria did that guy threw curveballs and even did some lame jokes abut her wrestling, put her on the spot but Maria totally keeps cool and in a way proffesional Maria is one smart chick LOVE HER!!
    Im sure Ivory took Total Control of the Interview hahaha…she was suppose to just talk about 2001 but went on to go back in time and even rolled into 2005 Ivory rocks!!
    Will I buy Shellys or anyone elses DVD?? Naaaa…Im trying to buy this sexy new phone. I might get a bootleg later

    Poor Shelly had back problems and fell into the Somas
    Not everyone is as Lucky as Trish Stratus to take time off and remain Champion to heal their backs…specially not the divas.
    And not for nothing Im sure Shelly wouldnt go up to Lita or Trish to pop her in the mouth. Lita and Trish are one of the two most aggressive chicks in wrestling lol those two would of creamed poor little Shelly =(

    Shelly is sexy but shes sweet as hell too. Never met her, I follow her on Twitter she is like Christian good to see pple like her =)

    • TheBeautifulPeople.

      I’m not trying to be mean or anything, But does it really matter what phone or how ”hot” she is. With all do respect, I do respect you. But I sorta think you comment is not really respectful for this video. NO hard feelings though. Its just that the comment doesn’t relate to most of the video.

      • http://twitter.com/BroskiRomano Wesley Romano

        Phone? She has a sexy Voice Shelly is sexy shes sweet she doesnt take crap from a dude. I mean..whats not appropriate? So when pple start talking about the dude wrestlers and say they are hot thats cool? Wow kind of backwards on somethings dont ya think? ;)
        Like Shelly said No Beef and Im not bringing no attention to this

        • TheBeautifulPeople.

          You were talking about your phone..

  • mahsitti

    Highspots also has a subscription service at Highspots.tv where for a flat fee you can watch as many of their videos online as you want for a specific period of time. I haven’t tried it yet, but you can watch the Shelly and Maria interviews among many others for less than the cost of buying the individual dvd’s.