In our biggest interview yet, former WWE Diva legend, Torrie Wilson takes the Diva Dirthot seat. In this interview, Torrie discusses her run on NBC’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! as well as her thoughts on WrestleMania, the Divas and Women’s Championships, Playboy and much more!
It’s been two months since you left the jungle, how has your life changed?
Torrie: Still the same life. Just being recognized more, that’s it!
There was some competition between you and Lou in the challenges, you beat him in a few and he beat you in a few. If you had to come second to anyone, are you glad it was him?
Torrie: Lou and I were close in a lot of the challenges but Sanjaya, John Salley and Patti [Blagojevich] were good competitors as well and I would have been okay with getting second to any of them.
Speidi were the big camp villains. In the very first episode, you clashed with them over the dry shampoo & Spencer said some pretty nasty things. What was it like being in the camp with them and did you ever feel the urge to use some wrestling moves on Spencer?
Torrie: They were a handful to say the least but they are okay people. I see good in them. Thankfully, I didn’t really care what they thought of me so Spencer’s harsh words didn’t mean much. It would’ve hurt more coming from someone I respected more on a personal level. And yes! I almost hip tossed him into the river but kept my calm!
Have you seen any of the footage back and been shocked? Janice lying about the Granola bar comes to mind!
Torrie: I haven’t seen much of the footage but did see the first or second episode where Heidi questioned my faith and it did bother me. I knew Janice took the granola bar but seeing it will make me wanna hunt her down!
You noted that you’ve become a vegetarian since leaving the jungle, how did that come about?
Torrie: I have become semi-vegetarian. I cut out most meat but do still eat a small amount of turkey and chicken here and there. John Salley taught me a lot about the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle and I took lots of mental notes! I also felt great after not eating meat for 30 days, so I figured something must be right!
Since the show, I’m sure you’ve received a lot of offers. What are you doing next? We know you’ve got the fitness DVDs coming up!
Torrie:I am working on a few things but never like to talk about it until it’s actually happening! Things in Hollywood can change at the drop of a hat, I will keep you posted though!
In April, WrestleMania was in your home turf of Houston and well, we all know what happened there. The main criticism is that returning Divas like yourself, Victoria, Sunny and Molly Holly didn’t even get an entrance and fans couldn’t tell you were in the match. What was the atmosphere like for you and the other girls on the night, after you essentially got a raw deal?
Torrie: I just kinda went with the flow. WrestleMania is such a huge show and it is always cool to be a part of it. In hindsight, I wouldn’t have agreed to do what I did if I had known what it was truly going to be.
You had some fantastic moments during your career, but WWE never really pushed you to the next level as a serious wrestler or a title contender despite being one of the most popular Divas on the roster. Do you think you were pigeonholed into a T&A role?
Torrie: I wouldn’t say pigeonholed but I definitely think I had much more to offer than I was able to give at times. Believe it or not, I was never really comfortable in the all the bikinis and fluff matches.
You had some great matches with Victoria, Trish, Mickie and Lita when they gave you the opportunity. I feel that we were only beginning to scratch the surface on your wrestling ability that is often overlooked. Do you feel you had more to offer in the ring than WWE allowed you to show?
Torrie: I definitely was not Rob Van Dam, nor did I ever intend to be. I did have much more to offer in the ring than I was give the opportunity to show. I do feel like my wrestling ability was overlooked and it was very upsetting at times when I was in yet another ‘fluff’ match and not able to show my athletic ability. I am much more than ‘fluff’ and unfortunately, I didn’t get to show that too often.
WWE introduced the Divas Championship mere months after you left. There was talk that you were meant to be the first champion. What did you know about? You were such a huge part of SmackDown during your career and they go and introduce a title for the Divas after you leave – I know I was annoyed, were you?
Torrie: Honestly, I would have loved to be a part of the Divas Championship while I was still there, but after I left it was pretty much a door that I had closed and didn’t think much about. I was so loving being at home and focusing on family and friends that it wasn’t something I thought too much about. It’s their loss that I wasn’t part of the championship!
If you had to choose between being the first ever Divas Champion or being the Women’s Champion, which would have meant more to you?
Torrie: Not really sure, they are both meaningful in their own way. I guess it would all boil down to who I won it from and how good the match was!
The first ever Divas Champion ended up being your friend, Michelle McCool and now she’s the current Women’s Champion. You must be proud of her, rising to the top of the Divas roster?
Torrie: Very proud! She is a good person and a hard worker and didn’t claw her way to where she is by being horrible. I respect that more than anything.
On the subject of friends; Gail Kim is back in the WWE and you got to work with her very briefly at WrestleMania. Were you surprised to see her go back?
Torrie: I am never surprised to see anyone back!
And also Victoria, who you had some great matches with, is now with TNA and has already held their Knockouts Championship. The move has rejuvenated her career, as she noted that she wasn’t happy with the way she was used in WWE. Are you happy to see her finally getting some recognition?
Torrie: As long as she’s happy and fulfilled, I am happy for her.
There was some talk of Jeff Jarrett approaching you to join TNA. Any truth to those rumours?
Torrie: I have never talked to them.
TNA is now doing a similar deal with Playboy that WWE did and obviously, there’ll be comparisons to your spreads as well as o ther past Divas too. When you first posed, it hadn’t been done since 1999 and was a big deal that received a lot of attention. The Playboy-wrestling connection seems to have lost it’s luster since then, do you agree?
Torrie: I don’t know, I think that wrestling fans will always purchase a Playboy mag with their favorite girl in it! It’s definitely more expected now, I guess.
In your shoot interview, you mentioned an angle that you proposed to Vince in which you’d win the Women’s Championship and he originally greenlit it. What were your plans and were there any other storylines that you proposed that you can tell us about?
Torrie: I just really wanted to have the championship at least once and felt I deserved it. He liked the idea when I proposed it but I also knew that the Divas were never at the forefront of many storylines so didn’t hold my breath! There were quite a few times that I would pitch a storyline to the writers and nothing came of it, so eventually, I just stopped giving ideas. It felt like a waste of everyone’s time sometimes!
You didn’t have any major injuries during your career until your back started playing up. It seems as though it had taken it’s toll over the years. How is it feeling now?
Torrie: I feel good. I will never be 100% but I feel close and am able to run again, something I really worried about not being able to resume. I can do anything I want physically at this point but will not put myself in the ring and risk further injury.
When you left WWE in May 2008, you got the standard ‘future endeavors’ message rather than “Torrie has retired,” as with the likes of Trish, Lita and Victoria. Was that ‘just business’ for you or do you wish you’d gotten a better chance to say goodbye?
Torrie: I called WWE and told them I did not want to come back. I was getting tired of all the travel and knew I wouldn’t want to go back as an interviewer or something. They were willing to work with me and find something for me but it was time for me to go. My heart wasn’t in it. Do I think it was lame that I got the “future endeavors” message instead of even a “Torrie has retired” message? Yes. But a week later I was over it.
SmackDown celebrates it’s 10th anniversary this fall and you were such a huge part of that show, the Diva most recognisable with SmackDown. What was your favourite moment on or off screen as part of that brand?
Torrie: I really don’t know if I can pinpoint a moment. I have so many great memories on and off the screen. Most of them probably being off screen and with my friends on our many journeys.
Just to round up, which of your former colleagues do you think would be able to do as well as you on “I’m a Celebrity?”
Torrie: Well wrestlers are tough so I think many of my former colleagues would probably do pretty well but not quite as well as me though! [Laughs]
You’re going to be part of our first ever ‘Diva Dirt Gives Back’ charity drive and we’re look forward to your donation for auction. How important is it for you to give to charity and why should our readers bid & get involved too?
Torrie: As far as I am concerned, charity is a must. If I can do something for others in need there is no better feeling. I have been so blessed in many ways and it is the least I can do to give back.
Torrie, thank you so much! Any last words for fans that are reading?
Torrie: Well I would like to thank everyone for all of the support you have given me for so long! I truly know and understand that I wouldn’t be doing anything in the entertainment industry without my fans’ support and will never forget that. Most of you have been along for a crazy ride with me and hopefully, the craziness is just going to continue along! I love you all!