By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Insight With Chris Van Vliet with guest Summer Rae
Host: Chris Van Vliet
Podcast available via Podcasts.Apple.com
On wanting to be involved with wrestling again: “So I miss wrestling. I personally wouldn’t, I have a bone spur on a vertebra in my neck and I have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. So I’m doing good, but at the end of my injury, I kind of have the tingling in my hands where I couldn’t really open doors and that was a little scary to me. So for me, I miss storytelling. I constantly write ideas and pitches down and like, submit them to certain promotions. And I have all these ideas that I miss and I do want to be a part of it again, I do think I have a lot more to give. And especially from like, I was telling you a standpoint of being present in the moment, how I would do things so differently, so much more confident and have fun with it, so much more fun. I don’t think I could wrestle every week and be in that role. And I don’t think that’s my purpose either. I think, you know, being able to highlight talents, and pull the best out of them and being able to make them the main thing and being able to showcase new younger talent and bring them up with what I know from the business. I would love to do something like that.”
On being announced for the Royal Rumble ahead of time: “You know, I was bummed that they announced me before because I felt like no one thought I was going to come back ever. And I’m so good at hiding stuff like pretending that I’m somewhere else and I’m like, I’m going to pretend I’m in Dubai or something like that. I travel so much that I can put that on a boat somewhere and I don’t even have to put that it’s St. Barts or you know whatever it is. I hid my hair color change. I wanted it to be when I was in Maxim Hot 100, I wanted to debut on the red carpet. So I think I posted me with blonde hair for like a week and then I just showed up one day. So I remember when they said they were gonna announce me, they literally called me the day of and I was doing cardio.
“And it was Smackdown and they were like, Hey, we need to sell tickets. We’re gonna announce the twins, you, Mickie James. And I was like, Mickey? I’m like, don’t announce Mickey. She’s the champ like no, like, ah, and which is I mean. Oh my gosh, that’s like such a no, no, with WWE and like, the forbidden door and everything like that. So I wasn’t gonna fight with him on me. But I’m like, I really think that’s a mistake for Mickey, but well, what company I’m in to be announced, you know, with the twins and Mickey. I’m like, okay, cool. And then I’m like, I haven’t told any of my friends. I was fabing everyone. And so I was like okay, now I have to call my best friend. So I like stopped doing cardio. And I called two or three people. Guess what, I’m going back. Like, how long have you known three weeks? So when it came out that night, I will say that was cool. The internet was super excited. You know, even the haters were like, well, at least she is not back for good. Like, they’re like, cool, I’ll have one night you know, or whatever. But people, most people were excited. And it’s crazy. Because you just don’t know, if you’re gonna have a five-minute thing or a two-minute or whatever.
“So for me, I was like, I don’t need to train. I’m fine, you know, it’s like riding a bike spin kicks, spin kicks, cover, like, it’ll be fine, you know. And so when we showed up, it’s just so many moving parts. And I can’t imagine having the job of the producers to do that. And as my first rumble, you know, I’ll show up, do what you want. But I’m gonna get my stuff over character-wise online, and I’m gonna get myself over. So yeah, and everyone says that too like, Oh, you’re only in it for a little bit. And then like, we all get paid the same? Well, not really. But like, I’m like, we’re all getting paid. And what a moment. And I actually was so so so so nervous backstage, so I’m like, Oh, God, I only have like a little bit to get it out. And it makes the fans want more, you know, you don’t go in there and mess up a ten-minute thing and then they never want to see you again.”
On the Rusev and Lana storyline: “The Rusev, Lana, Dolph storyline was cool because it actually seems really organic like bringing in Dolph, you know, like having us do that we all really enjoyed working with each other when it first like started happening, me Single White Femaling her like pretending to be her and stuff like that was good. But yeah, when it definitely broke down Lana got injured. I can’t remember what and she was still learning how to wrestle at the time. Like she hadn’t wrestled much on the main roster so I was trying to teach her things as well as we’re going along. Yeah, when the TMZ storyline got mysteriously leaked to TMZ, no one cares, we aren’t Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, you know. That really set Vince off and like everyone, because I don’t know why, but we were like the favorite storyline of him. It was crazy.
“I think at the time, Cena had had a storyline for four months, and we were going on three, so just wasn’t something you were seeing like how they do nowadays, like amazing, long storylines. The storytelling in WWE right now is just really coming around so differently. But it was interesting that we were like, we were getting crossover position, like great, you know, positions. And so when I went there, he was really upset. I think the head writers at the time were really upset too, because they had just been so invested in it. And I think the fans aren’t dumb like to know that there was never a payoff like we never had a payoff match. Lana and I never went back and forth. We never had the doubles match even like, so clearly something went wrong in the storyline. And so thank God, we were in Chicago, the best wrestling crowd, in my opinion in the nation, because Europe is great, as well.”
On the sudden conclusion to the storyline: “So when the Rusev Lana storyline blew up in our faces. We’re in Chicago, just happened to be, and I lived in Chicago for seven years big Bears fan. So like people knew that. And usually, I would get pretty solid reactions even if I was on Main Event or something. I was like, Oh, that’s weird I’m over. And we found out that day, I think they called me into the office. I don’t even think it was Vince. I think the head writers called me and they were like, hey, it’s on TMZ, no one’s bigger than WWE. That’s a big thing for Vince was like, and Cena would always talk about that, like, no one’s bigger than WWE. And they don’t want you to think that either. So like, Oh, you want to go to TMZ and say you guys are married? Well, and that kind of ruins our storyline, which in my opinion, I don’t think it did ruin it, it’s kayfabe, it’s day one. But yeah, like you want to do that? Well, watch this. It’s over. You’re breaking up with him today. Do you want to write your own promo? And I’m like, what? And yeah, and they’re like, Okay, great. We’re gonna put you together with a writer. You guys can go out and like write it.
“Because I was pissed, like, I was so mad. I was like, God, we just did all this. There’s no payoff. Like, what do I do? I’m on the European tour with them. Like, now am I kicked off the European tour like that’s $15-20,000. Like, I’m just not going on tour. So the whole thing I was like so mad. And so Jimmy Jacobs and I sat in at the United States are in the arena. And Jimmy Jacobs was like, not obviously new to wrestling, but I think he was like, newer at WWE. And so he was like, Okay, we got to write this. And I just sat there. And I really told him everything. I love writing promos. I love it. Like, I want to write things for other people. I have this whole idea of watching Jungle Boy Turn the other day, and I was like, Oh, I’m gonna DM him and tell him this idea. Like, I have these ideas pouring out of me.
“And so we wrote the promo. And I think he went and got it approved. And right before and I was hot, like I was pissed and right before we went out Rusev came up to me and he was like, I don’t like this line, I don’t think we should do this line. And I said, Okay, well, I don’t like that this just happens. So this is what’s happening. [what was the line?] I think it was about him not having balls or something like or being I don’t remember if I said that you’re a little bitch, but he says, I’m like, This doesn’t make sense. But then I also described what I said to him, I said I put you over, like Dusty’s thing was always like, if you trash someone, then who cares if you beat them? So if you don’t put them over first, and then say like, Oh, that was the hardest match. You know, like people in the NBA will be like, Oh, it was a hard game, blah, blah, blah. But here we are. Yeah, if you just start like, oh, so easy. I beat him this and that. And it’s like, well, then, why should we care?”