Diva Dirt’s own Gerry Strauss sat down recently for an exclusive interview with La Sicaria herself, Ivelisse Velez for the first Curtain Call.

Ivelisse is widely known for wrestling on the independent scene most notably from SHINE Wrestling. She has also spent years in the Lucha Underground promotion.

Fans of WWE may recall her time on the show Tough Enough where she may not have won but was signed to a developmental deal with the company. Although this is where a lot of fans first recognized her, this is far from the start of her journey.

Strauss first dives into her past from growing up in Puerto Rico, to her love of wrestling, and the moment she almost quit and went a different way. Tough Enough came at the right time for Ivelisse as she was about to turn to MMA instead. Ivelisse was unable to complete her time on the reality show due to injury.

Strauss mentions how certain talent have been handled after coming off of the competition show. Some are either in developmental for a long period of time or some are pushed to the main roster, perhaps a little too early.

She started in Florida Championship Wrestling which was developmental to WWE at the time. It since evolved into NXT. Ivelisse explains her thoughts on how she wanted things to go once she was signed.

“Of course I would have rather just gone straight to the main roster. But, I mean again, yes I was going into that (Tough Enough) with no connections, no networking whatsoever.”

She mentions that the only people she knew in the company were from Puerto Rico and that was the Colons. From there she further explains in detail the concept of politicking.

“They were technically the only ones I knew and politics-wise that I knew, everything else was me going from scratch trying to prove myself to them and build who I am within whether outside or inside of the company. I felt like I had to prove myself to them in a different way aside from just skills.”

She continues, “When I went there, I quickly showed who I am and what I bring to the table skills-wise, but obviously, as always the politics side is where I lack. I don’t have a lot of networking, people that I know, the politic pool is usually where I end up lacking. It is very important, no matter what. Especially as a female as a well. At that time going in we were still in that transition in getting changes for the way they viewed the Divas. Hence that’s how the whole Anti-Diva thing came up.”

The Anti-Diva persona was one that both Ivelisse and Paige shared. Right about the time that this ideology started to take off is when she was, unfortunately, let go from the company. She gives a lot of credit to a WWE Hall of Famer for his backing of the idea.

“The Anti-Diva thing went well. I really feel like at that time the only reason why the whole Anti-Diva thing that me and Paige did was because of the support that we were having from Dusty (Rhodes). He was all for it. He loved it. He was the one who was pushing with us for that Anti-Diva thing and that was pretty awesome. So I thank him for that.”

After she was let go from WWE, she explains the obvious feelings of her dreams being crushed. Once she went through that state of mind she was running full force to the indies. She was determined to get all of her hard work showcased.

She took the Anti-Diva character to Family Wrestling Entertainment (FWE) and then subsequently to SHINE Wrestling.

“I just went forward from that. Being completely myself, Feeling free to be completely myself and doing everything that I couldn’t do. No holds barred, or anything like that. Eventually after a little time in the indies and moving forward with that type of momentum, I landed in SHINE and forever grateful to them always because they gave me that chance. Somewhere steady, that I could steadily show that.”

Ivelisse took part recently in a WWE tryout trying to make her way back to a place where she credited a lot of her learning happened.

At the time that she was with WWE the clear shift of change from the Diva’s era to the current era was imminent. She was able to do just that through her time with SHINE and other indie promotions.

She had the following to say about her hope of one day being in WWE again:

“So now I’m hoping that I can come back to WWE and get that chance to be part of it, and do the same thing. Do what I love, and have passion, and hopefully on a grander scale and that all of that was for a reason and there’s a payoff.”

Treat yourself to the full interview with Ivelisse above where you can hear how much wrestling means to her. Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section.

Check back in with Diva Dirt for future interviews on the Curtain Call.


  1. She always had something that intrigued me. I’d love to see her come back to WWE but unfortunately the roster is already packed and they don’t know what to do with 95% of their talent. Maybe AEW!

  2. Would love to see her come back. But with the state of things on the main roster right now, it would be best if she stayed on the indies, or if she signed stayed with NXT for a long as possible.

  3. The only “saving grace” this chick has of making it in WWE, let alone onto WWE television. Is the fact that they are in need of meeting the mark of an Hispanic quota, due to Smackdown moving to Fox this fall.

    And even if she does make it that far. She’ll still most likely won’t be seen/used much or if at all so……….?

  4. WWE has been wanting to do a LWO type faction for a while with Andrade, Mysterio and a few others when they move to FOX she would be perfect for it or as a partner for Zelina Vega i could also see Paige turning on Asuka & Kari debuting Ivelisse and pairing her with Ruby the true anti divas or even if Zelina break off with Andrade i can see Ivelisse in her role as a more bad ass aggressive mouth piece for him those two feuding with Zelina and Aleister would be ?

  5. Ivelisse is a very good wrestler that deserves to be featured on a bigger platform. She’s made a tremendous name for herself on the indies. Anybody that knows anything about wrestling outside of WWE knows she’s one of best female wrestlers in the game today. Personally, I think she’s far too talented to wrestle for small indie promotions. I would love to see her wrestle for WWE one day.

  6. Not with her stanky attitude. Didn’t she just shade Mia Yim??? Called her a copycat because of Mia’s gimmick now.

    She also had an affair w/ Mia’s ex while they were together and he was abusing Mia. She’s fine where she is.

    From what I read she also shaded Impact bc they wouldn’t pick her out of her LU contract even though she was hating on Tessa too.

    She’s problematic AF. I guarantee she’ll find drama in the WWE if she were to come back.

    • Real sad how people lose themselves and basically give these assholes a pass because of their skills *eyerolls* thankfully I’m not one of those and don’t care how much people hate on me calling out their favorites on their bullshit, I can be a fan but I’m also a person first and foremost and WON’T go against my personal morals just because someone I like is being a dick

    • No dude some us just don’t read dirtsheets and really have no clue.

      Im not defending Ivelisse or anything I just look up her name on Youtube to check out her matches or read results thats all.

      I followed her on IG and before her recent wwe try out she did post Shine wrestling battles between her and Mia Yim and then she did posted something about calling fans to stop comparing her to Mia’s new gimmick on a IG story.
      So IDK and Im confused why NXT invited her for a try-out if she indeed has a bad temper.

      She mostly bitches about how that fat turd of a trainer Bill Demot was treating the wrestlers.

  7. I personally never thought much of her, not that I think she is a bad worker or wrestler, I just never found her extraordinary. She always screamed plain Jane to me and someone that didn’t really stick out of the bunch.

    Plus, I’ve always found her to be salty all the time about being her treatment and how things turned out for her. A lot of people have been down wrong by the WWE and the business as a whole, but she seems to bask in it and it makes her look unattractive as a prospect. WWE is probably the last place for her to be, especially right now.

    I think it would be a failure for her, specially with how WWE have struggled to book or give their new signee’s anything to do at all besides touring Florida in NXT house shows.