Michelle, who retired in May of this year, discusses her entire run in the company from Diva Search to her retirement at Extreme Rules.
The former Diva, who has been subject to much controversy, doesn’t shy away from the big questions and addresses rumors of preferential treatment backstage during her time in WWE.
People can say what they want to say, but I can honestly look at myself in the mirror and know that I fought for every single thing I got. I never once asked anybody for help or used anybody for help, that’s not in my character. I fought that my whole entire life growing up with both my parents being pretty big public figures where we were at. Everybody always thought I got special treatment because my last name was McCool. […] I learned from a very young age that as long as I know and that I can look myself in the mirror and know what’s going on, I don’t really care what people say.
People constantly said that it wasn’t deserved, that it was handed to me, it was this, it was that… People think they know me. They think I haven’t ‘earned’ anything. They have no idea. They love to hate me and I think they put a lot of my personal life into that which it is what it is. People don’t know me, they don’t know the other girls, they don’t know what goes on backstage, so bottom line, it always comes down to Vince. He always has the final say in everything and I think he respected the fact that Layla, Vickie and I would go knock on his door and pitch ideas right and left. He liked that, he respected that and that’s why we were on TV.
On hate getting leveled at her and LayCool teammate, Layla, for constantly being on TV, Michelle responds:
I remember several times [on] pay per views when Layla and I weren’t on it but were getting the call saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to use you on the pay per view’ and we were like, ‘But I thought this was Gail and Maryse’s match?’ or ‘I thought this was so-and-so’s match?’ […] Then we would get hated on for that, and it’s like, we didn’t even know what we were doing half the time. The perfect example is, we pitched when we were going back and forth from Raw to SmackDown, we were like ‘Why aren’t they using these other girls? Why aren’t they using the girls on Raw?’, so we pitched an idea to get kicked off of Raw and that’s when we did the pre-tape with Nattie that we didn’t get let into the building. We joke because two weeks later, we got called to go back to Raw and it was like, ‘We just got kicked off Raw, what are we gonna do?’ and they were like, ‘We need to use you for this or that’, which is a complete honor. That said a lot to our characters that they enjoyed writing stuff for us and Vince liked what we were doing so they used us. I find that very flattering.
People have no idea. They can say what they want to say. Because of the situation, they’re going to continue to talk. They’ll never want to believe that I take pride in the fact that I was a completely hard worker from the day I signed on to be in this business. Never stopped working hard, never stopped trying to learn, never stopped asking questions, never stopped pitching ideas, so think what you want to think, but there’s definitely no preferential treatment backstage. It’s just a bunch of hard work that paid off.
On people, including fans and those backstage, wanting to see her fail as she rose through the WWE ranks, Michelle says:
I could care less. All that does is light a fire under me and want to prove people wrong even more. When you start climbing to the top and you start getting higher and higher on TV more, storylines being more and more intriguing — whether it’s backstage, in the audience, in an airport — it doesn’t matter, people are gonna start to talk and nine times out of 10, they’re gonna start to talk negatively about you.
Michelle also discusses becoming the first ever Divas Champion, saying:
I actually had been pitching to get [a championship] on SmackDown for probably close to two years to give the girls something to fight for. I pitched it to Steph and I pitched it to Michael Hayes and all the other writers for literally about two years. […] Sure enough they decided that they were going to do it, and we obviously didn’t know who was going to get it or compete for it, and then they decided that Natalya and I would. Then obviously I became the first ever Divas Champion which I know that was probably very controversial. […] It’s just such a huge honor to know that I’d been fighting to bring this to SmackDown forever and to actually be the first one to hold it was a really cool moment.
[It’s] sad that the Women’s Championship is gone today. That’s so much prestige, honor and integrity in it. To have this Divas Championship represents the girls more today. Did I like the butterfly look of it? Not particularly, but it is what it is. It’s an honor to have it around your waist and I wore it with pride every single time I had it, I cherished it.
The first part of Michelle’s audio memoir, which is a fantastic listen, is available here at MichelleMcCool.net. A second part is due to be released next week.