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Carmella Talks Growing Up in Wrestling, Idolizing Miss Elizabeth & More

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NXT Diva Carmella recently appeared on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast, discussing her wrestling roots, choosing between wrestling and managing, her childhood wrestling idol and more.

Transcript courtesy of Wrestling Inc.

Carmella talked about growing up in wrestling, as her father Paul Van Dale worked as enhancement talent for the WWE:

“I grew up watching wrestling and in wrestling because my dad wrestled when I was younger. He wrestled independently and in the WWE in the ’90s, so it’s just bringing everything full circle being here in the WWE. When he does get a chance to see me, he’s so proud. And he watches NXT every single week and he’s always calling me [and] telling me what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong, so it’s really cool.”

On the choice between managing and wrestling, Carmella says she enjoys both, at it allows her to experience the “best of both worlds”:

“I feel so lucky because I get the best of both worlds. I get to go out and wrestle on my own, but I still get to be a part of Enzo and Cass, [which] as you said, is one of the biggest and most popular acts here in NXT, so I can’t just chose one. I really enjoy both, especially with my background cheering. I’m out there cheering on my boys! But I just love performing in front of the cameras, so when I’m out there and wrestling on my own too, it’s such a cool feeling, just all eyes are on me. I’m so grateful and I have so much fun either way, so when I’m with the boys, I feel like I’m a certain character, but when I’m by myself, I have to kind of amp it up because I’m just out there by myself.”

Carmella also discussed her friendship with NXT Women’s Champion Bayley, who shares her affinity for pulling pranks:

I don’t know if you know that, but we’re Baymella. And we’re just super silly and crazy and we mess with people, like, on our little road trips to our shows all the time and we’re just messing with people any opportunity we can get, pranking people. That’s just what we do!”

She counts legendary manager Miss Elizabeth as a big inspiration, dating back to her childhood:

“Watching [professional wrestling] when I was younger, I idolized Miss Elizabeth. For me, I was like, ‘okay, that is a Diva. That’s what I want to be.’ She’s classy and she always looked the part. She looked fabulous. And that to me, that is what I want to portray, so to be here now in this time with the Divas Revolution, it’s perfect for me.”

You can listen to the full interview on Stitcher.

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