SmackDown Live Women’s Champion Carmella has quite the history as a performer. While she began training in the WWE with no previous wrestling experience, she’s been a quick study and become one of the more successful female Superstars in the company. Some of that success can be attributed to her performing experience as a dancer for the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Lakers.
Carmella is a former fitness instructor and personal trainer who also spent time as a dancer/cheerleader for two professional sports franchises. During an interview with Sports Illustrated, Carmella tried to explain the comparison between the two forms of entertainment. Understanding that getting to the level she reached as a dancer took hard work and dedication, it makes sense to know that Carmella was viewed as one of the hardest workers by Triple H in NXT and was given an opportunity to shine.
The work has paid off and Carmella says there’s a much bigger difference being a WWE star. Being a Patriots' cheerleader for three seasons and as a Los Angeles Lakers Girl for one year doesn’t hold a candle to her solo experiences in WWE. She said, “This is a lot more meaningful. I was a part of the team for three years with the Patriots and one year with the Lakers, and I had a great time. Both of those organizations are at the top of their industry as the best sports teams ever. Obviously I’m used to being part of the best, but it was time for me to step out onto my own. I was a manager for a lot of my time in NXT, I was the very last draft pick in the draft in 2016, but now I am the SmackDown women’s champ. And I beat Charlotte Flair twice.”
Carmella dodged questions when it came to talking about comparing working with Vince McMahon and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, but like a true WWE Superstar, she did redirect the question to talking about her upcoming matches. “I’m focusing on keeping my title nice and shiny and focusing on my next opponent. Charlotte is not my next opponent. I beat her twice. She’s done, see ya later,” she said.
There is no doubt Carmella has embraced her role as a heel character in WWE which is a far cry from making sure everyone loves you as a professional sports cheerleader.