WWE Superstar Chelsea Green Ready to Build Brand on 'NXT'
Chelsea Green got her first taste of WWE in 2014, thrown right into a high profile segment involving Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon. Not long after, she failed to secure a contract on the company’s reality competition Tough Enough, leaving the Canadian wondering if that was the last time she would step foot in a WWE ring.
Those doubts washed away a few years later, as she put in the work and landed a deal in 2018. In a full circle moment, Green appeared on Raw in December against Charlotte Flair. She found out the Saturday morning before that she would be flown in for Monday’s event.
“It’s hard to describe how I felt because that really is an ultimate goal for any wrestler to be on Raw or SmackDown — for your family to be able to watch you on TV. It was so crazy, but it was also such a whirlwind,” Green said.
“...When I was sitting in catering and was told I would be in that match, I can’t even express to you. I was so nervous but excited. There was such fulfillment that I made it. I was going to wrestle the 10-time women’s champion. Who gets to say on their Raw debut they were able to do that? It is a moment I can not wait to tell my kids and grandkids about.”
The superstar marked another milestone just days into the new year, standing tall on NXT. Green made a strong impression with viewers alongside fellow new face Robert Stone. As she gears up for the battle royale to decide Rhea Ripley’s next challenger, we caught up with the former free agent.
Your road back to WWE wasn’t easy. Looking back, do you feel like it’s a case of everything happens for a reason because not immediately getting signed gave you a chance to further hone your skills and now truly be ready for the opportunities coming your way?
Chelsea Green: I think in those moments you’re always like, ‘Why didn’t I get chosen? Why didn’t I get hired? Poor me.’ Looking back at all of those moments, that’s the reason why I’m here. There is a reason why people support me and coaches want me to succeed, the reason why Triple H and I have a great relationship and was so excited to have this debut finally in NXT. Even to get hired by NXT, it’s taken a long time. [It's been] a really bumpy road, but it’s all so worth it now that it’s happening. I’m in the best possible position to debut and be successful on this unbelievable stacked roster.
Your trainer Lance Storm recently came on board working behind the scenes as a producer in WWE. What is it like to have him there?
I always stayed in touch with Lance. He has been like a dad to a lot of the people who came out of the Storm Wrestling Academy. He knew right away when I was given the opportunity to be on Raw. He knew the minute I got hired for NXT. It is really cool to have him there and for him to watch these moments happen. It’s really cool for both of us. He has seen me the minute I stepped in the ring the very, very first day. He has been able to watch this progression.
You’re engaged to Zack Ryder, someone who has been with the company for so long. What kind of resource has he been through this journey? Has it eased the transition for you in WWE and the ups and downs you can experience? He seems so proud of you when you debuted on TV.
He has been amazing. He knew I really struggled to get to NXT and to be part of this WWE family. He was with me a year and a half before I was even considered a part of NXT. It has been really great to have him there to support me. On the other hand it’s a lot of pressure to be with someone who has been with WWE for 13 years and in such a different place than me. I’m very happy to have him. It’s also very nerve-wracking to go out there and have my debut match and perform in front of all these people and also know that my fiancé is backstage watching. I want to do him proud as well. He is always so supportive of me. There is nothing I’m going through that he hasn’t been through. That’s really, really a great tool for me to keep calm and be patient and stay strong. He has really good feedback for me.
Have you and Zack talked about what type of wedding you guys want? Is there a timeline on that? I feel like you two would have a really fun type of wedding, especially with Zack being a lifelong WWE and diehard Ghostbusters and Ninja Turtles and all those interests he has.
Of course, with his crazy toy podcast and love of toys and things like that, we’ve got some fun things planned — a little wedding pin we are going to give out to everybody at our wedding, fun stuff like that. I think we are going to do a New Year’s Eve wedding. We’re in the midst of trying to plan, but life on the road is crazy. It’s hard to plan a wedding when you’re on Raw, NXT, on the road. We’re both kind of taking it day-to-day.
Speaking of NXT, you made your big appearance last week in a new persona, aligned with Robert Stone, someone who has been to similar places as yourself. What can we expect from you two together?
Like you said, Robbie and I come from the same background. It’s great we are working together. We have the same mindset. We both just want to put our heads down and grind and get to the top. I think that is what you can expect from us. We are going to work extremely hard to make sure every person in the WWE Universe knows who Chelsea Green and Robert Stone are.
It wasn’t too long ago that you were on WWE Tough Enough. There are so many who came from that reality show and didn’t win, yet are finding such success. Do you think the concept for this competition would fit in today’s environment? Should they bring it back?
I’m a big reality TV fan. Aside from that, I love every opportunity for people to get into this industry that wouldn’t necessarily think to get into it. I knew right when I saw Mandy Rose that she was going to be a superstar. From the day we got into the ring together, I knew she was perfect for this business. That’s why it’s so awesome to have opportunities like Tough Enough or like the Diva Search where especially women who would never have thought to step into the ring and try to lock-up are doing this, trying something new. We’re seeing athletes from all across the globe doing this. That’s really amazing. I’m totally for a Tough Enough reboot, Diva Search reboot, whatever it is. I’d love to be a part of it and help women succeed in this industry.
One of the parts of being successful in this industry right now is having the connection with the fans through social media and providing content for them. You’re very active on platforms like Instagram and Twitter in being able to share your voice. You were very outspoken just this past weekend with a tweet you sent. How do you approach social media knowing every tweet or anything you say will be analyzed or taken maybe even a way you didn’t even intend?
I think with social media you have to be very careful. People have to realize the tweets you put up, the photos you put up on Instagram, the content you put up will be up for life whether you like it or not. I am a really big believer in staying true to who you are on social media. But before you post, you have to think about what you are putting out there. Knock on wood, I’ve never said anything that I take back or regret. Nothing like that. I want to keep it positive and light as possible, but again, I have to stay true to who I am and kind of support people who maybe don’t have a voice. Coming from the independent scene, you kind of have a smaller voice. Now that I’m on a grander stage I’m in a place to share my opinions and speak out and I’m very proud of that. At the same time we have to watch what we say.
One of the innovative additions to the WWE Performance Center in developmental is the Content Innovation Lab that you have. What are some of the tips or parameters you are given in regard to social media?
It’s not that WWE gives anyone parameters, but I think it’s just common sense. We’ve got large followings. We’re representing a global brand here. You’ve got to be smart about the way you brand yourself because the way you brand yourself is directly reflected on WWE. The Content Innovation Lab is amazing. We have so many people willing to help and tools to help us build a YouTube channel, build our following, build a brand. That’s something no company in the world has.
You have the battle royale coming up on NXT. It’s a great showcase of the depth of the women’s division. What are your thoughts on the landscape of the brand and in the women’s locker room? Where do you see yourself within this exponential growth in women’s wrestling now that you are becoming a regular face on television?
I can’t even tell you the change women’s wrestling made from 2014 until now. It is unbelievable. NXT alone I think has one of the most stacked rosters. We have the best powerlifters, best ex-NFL or basketball players, wrestlers and independent wrestlers from all over the world. It is unbelievable, the depth of our roster. Women’s wrestling is at an all-time high. In NXT, we have such amazing talent.
Talent fans haven’t even seen yet is still developing at the PC. It’s so cool to be a part of that, to be on this journey with all these women coming up and main eventing WrestleMania and headlining and going on to do such amazing things in this world. I can’t wait to see what happens six years from now and where we all are. I’m excited to be part of this unreal roster. Now I just have to figure out how to stand out in a really amazing pool of talent. What am I going to do to prove to the WWE Universe that I am worthy of this NXT women’s championship?
WWE NXT, Wednesdays, 8/7c, USA Network