Exclusive: Ivelisse Velez (Sofia Cortez) Talks WWE Release, Attitude Rumors, Plans for the Future & More

Fans were shocked last month when Ivelisse Velez, aka Sofia Cortez, announced that she had been released by WWE.

The WWE developmental talent, who had been considered one of the standout stars in FCW and its successor, NXT, after being signed by the company following her stint on the USA Network revival of Tough Enough hosted by Stone Cold Steve Austin, and featuring Trish Stratus as a trainer.

Speaking exclusively to Diva Dirt, Ivelisse joins us to discuss the developments in her career since our previous interview, including her WWE release, her time in FCW, and rumors regarding her having “attitude problems” following her release.

We talk to Ivelisse about her stint with the company, the training regime in FCW, her fellow Divas, the “Anti Diva” gimmick, wrestling on the new NXT and her plans for the future.

Ivelisse also addresses her fellow Tough Enough cast mates one year on from the show’s finale, including her thoughts on Ariane Andrew, now Cameron in WWE, and her recent troubles, as well as Christina Crawford‘s release (Christina was released at the same time as Ivelisse).

Listen to the interview below:

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Follow Ivelisse on Twitter: @RealIvelisse.

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  • shokko22

    I still cant believe they released her!

    • shokko22

      This reminds me of the situation with Serena. I think its such BS that wwe always releases the divas who give up so much to for the company.

  • Raekon

    It was more than obvious that she were holding back a lot and couldn’t answer most of the questions because she is really passionate about to go back to WWE one day.

    I really wonder about the one signing she couldn’t talk about and I really hope that it’s for SHINE cause I would really love to see her in the great roster they already have.

    Totally understand what she meant about people not understanding her confidence because they just want to see her in a different light.

    Experienced that in my life a lot.
    It happens mostly when you are a very nice person that people think they can do whatever they please with you and that they also have to right aswell.

    When you stand up for yourself then it’s not well received.

    There are also people sometimes that they put you into certain “spot” in their mind the first time they see you and if you turn out to be different than that they don’t accept it aswell.

    The Anti-Diva gimmick was really over because most people want a real Anti-Diva gimmick and what I meant by that has definately nothing to do with the DoD Joke they created on the main roster, making Beth and Nattie look ridicoulos 24/7.

    I really wish her all the best in the world and that the WWE will indeed see the light for once and get her back.

  • eyecon

    She sounds like she’s afraid to answer any of the questions because she hopes that she’ll get her job back. It must hard for the host to try and conduct an interview when all the answers you get are “It is what it is”. She wasn’t my favorite Diva but I did enjoy her matches so its sad about her release.

    In my opinion Cameron kept her job because she is paired with Brodus. They’ve been a huge gimmick around those 3 and if they fired Cameron it would ruin the Gimmick of Brodus so she got a pass on that one

    • Mikas

      You are probably right about Cameron. But WWE doesnt forget easily. If Brodus Clay’s gimmick ends eventually, she might still be released.

    • Marshy

      I hope that she gets her job back, cause there were Women Wrestlers before and after the term Divas has took place who had the passion for this business that were let go,while some that were under contract with WWE, while others that were they are under contract with WWE but were release before they got a chance to show their craft on TV mostly from their developmental terrorities,and lately that some are getting release from the left to the middle to the right.Sofia (Ivelisse) has shown the passion on Tough Enough.

  • Jordan

    Whether it was holding back or what have you, Ivelisse came across really poorly spoken here. “Uhh…”, “You know…”, “Um…”, “It is what it is.” – I almost felt irritated after listening to this.

    By far one of Diva Dirt’s worst interviews, if not the worst I’ve heard yet, to no fault of Melanie though.

    I’d like to see the record set-straight with Christina Crawford AKA Caylee Turner’s release. We know she was let go but I heard amongst the fans at the NXT taping set before the most recent one, that she had requested to be released.

    • Jake

      Glad I’m not the only one who thought this. She repeated herself a lot and answered a lot of questions without really answering them. It might of been nerves but it left us with nothing. Not trying to be harsh, just my opinion.

    • http://www.diva-dirt.com Melanie

      Bear in mind, English is not Ivelisse’s first language, so she speaks it very well considering.

  • kreece

    Does anyone know what she said about Caylee’s release? And also if anything was said about an NXT divas championship? (I read it was mentioned) It’s just that I can’t access the clip as I’m on mobile and it won’t work

    • Raekon

      She said that she was surprised about Caylees release. Most of all since Caylee was released at the time she was the womens champion in FCW.

      She said that after the males became a belt the women would had been probably next to get one.

      Couldn’t really tell since she didn’t knew any future plans and because the males belt was introduced at the time of her release.

      • kreece

        Ah thank you! I’m glad I’m not the only one who found it strange that they released the champion lol! And hopefully we will see the belt soon, it’ll more than likely go on Paige or Raquel

  • AndieMcPhee

    I’m guessing she comes across as a bit hesitant because English isn’t her first language.

  • Marlon Eric

    This interview was pretty bad. Don’t remember her coming across Tough Enough like this. But all in all, pretty excited to see her in TNA (duh!) in the future.

  • French.One

    Melanie I wished you would have challenged her a little more on why she was released and what was her thoughts on the others girl, she seemed to be very careful with what she was saying and at the end she didn’t say much.

    What I found very odd is that she didn’t talk much about the others as if she wasn’t close to them or connect with anyone (which seems to be her issue).

    • Jinzo

      Sounded like she said she was released because of a comment she made about AW on twitter and standing up for herself against politics or something.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/dsanchez96?feature=mhum sanchezdiego96

    Such a shame that she was released. I’m really looking forward to her revealing what she had planned! Maybe a little offer from another company..?

  • Like Mike

    I learned nothing from this interview, she was beating around the bush the entire time. I suppose it’s to be expected, I’m sure she doesn’t want to rub anyone the wrong way. What I found interesting, was she hardly said anything nice about her fellow FCW/NXT divas. Even when asked about Paige, she didn’t say much.

    I can understand where people would take her attitude the wrong way, because the way she handles herself can come off very arrogant. However, I do feel bad for her because she deserved a chance and she put fourth the effort and got fired. Dunno what the reasoning was, but I wish her good luck in her career.

  • YouCanLookButYouCan’tTouch

    This wasn’t my favorite DD interview,but I did enjoy it.For those of you talking about her poor speech,English isn’t her first language, and she’s not trained when it comes to interviews.So you all need to keep that in mind.I really do wish WWE never got rid of her because she was one of the most talented in my opinion.I do hope that WWE will want to hire her back in the near future.I like how she handles things in a professional manner.Not many people do that nowadays.If people think of her professional as her having an attitude problem,then they’re honestly dumb for thinking that.I know that everyone on here wanted her to reveal more,but I feel that not everything’s our business and there are some things that just can’t be revealed to us.

    • YouCanLookButYouCan’tTouch

      Btw,I like the sound of her voice.It’s so chill,yet sexy ; ) lol I’m such a perv

  • miickeyzreal

    Its sad that she was released and you see how she is as a person hear this interview! It make me more sad to know with details how much she is suffering this, she was so excited about being in WWE, with 8 years in the indies as a background. She worked hard to be there and they just toss her out like trash! Wrestling today is so wrong, she was the most talented female in FCW and NXT. WWE & TNA are too much about looks and not about talent, this girl deserves to have a great career. Even when she is pretty they just don’t like girls like Mickie James or her, women that can stand by theirselves! Its sad I hope TNA contact you like now! Even when TNA cares about looks they still give them time and they still have talented girls.

  • Lily

    Aww she seems so sweet. It sucks that WWE let her go. I really hope she gets re-signed down the road.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/dynamicglow Ali

    Ivelisse comes across really bland. I felt bad for Melanie because had to carry this interview whilst Ivelisse didn’t really care.