Kristal Marshall on the lack of diversity in WWE, frustration in the locker room during the Divas Era, being released by WWE, the possibility of returning to pro wrestling, the death of Ashley Massaro

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Ring The Belle interview with Kristal Marshall
Interview available at Ring The Belle Youtube Page (or below)

Lack of diversity in WWE: I’ve been in the entertainment business for a long time in different facets of it, and this is not a WWE thing. Across the board, in entertainment for a very long time, there has not been a representation of attractive, powerful, smart, beautiful women of color. There just hasn’t been. So to sit here and say that “oh it’s just WWE,” it’s not. It’s not. But the thing is the world now is diverse. The world now looks like you, it looks like me. It looks like many other people who are multi-ethnic and I think that this is the first time that I can say I think that they are doing a great job. It is diverse. It is changing. You don’t see a bunch of people with perfect bodies. There are all kinds of different body types, shapes, and I’m for it.

Frustration in the women’s locker room during the Divas Era: The woman in the locker room, myself included, felt very stifled. Because for the women that were true legit wrestlers, they had to dumb themselves down to fill the role at the time. Everybody has to bring an ingredient to the potluck to make the meal work. And at that time, we’re in a different era, and we were serving a different menu than what’s being served now. So when you have a group of people that want to showcase their talent in a different arena, and they can’t, a lot of times, their frustration can be misconstrued as not being appreciative or being defiant or being that nasty f-word – feminist. But that wasn’t necessarily the case. What the women wanted at that time was the ability to be their very best version of themselves, and I think that that fire that was lit by those women before is completely burning hard and bright right now.

On the passing of Ashley Massaro: You know, Ashley and I have always been pretty close, especially through the Diva Search experience and rolling that into our time on Smackdown. We still kept in contact through the years. I shared a hotel room with her last January before she passed. [Her passing] still affects me. It’s really really hard. A lot of things don’t make sense but I think with suicide in general it’s just one of those things that no matter how hard you try to think about it and explain it away and dissect it, it’s never going makes sense why.

Why she was fired from WWE after the Wedding Segment with Teddy Long: I wanted to get more information on [the Teddy Long storyline]. I couldn’t for whatever reason. I didn’t know anything about the Edge storyline. They were keeping a lot under wraps from me. I inquired about what was going on, and I think sometimes what I’ve learned through life is when you’re a woman and you’re outspoken, and you’re an advocate for yourself, you get labeled as difficult. You get labeled as hard to work with and people don’t like that. Unfortunately, I am not a fall-in-line kind of person. I’m gonna speak my mind, and I feel like the problem with up is that I was just starting to get to know the higher-ups on a more personal level and It was bad timing on my part. I should have probably gone more with the flow and just waited until I built more of a relationship to voice some of my concerns. And ultimately that worked against me. Sometimes you do have to shut the f— up, and just wait until you can get to the next position to where you can speak it up for yourself.

On the potential return to pro wrestling: I know for a fact if I had the opportunity to train more and to have bigger matches and to have what the women in NXT have, which is a forum to grow and develop as a character and as an athlete, the sky was absolutely the limit for me. You know if the opportunity ever comes again that I’m given those same opportunities to do that.


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