Let’s be honest. At the beginning of her WWE career, the bulk of Eva Marie’s in-ring skill consisted of climbing the steel steps without stumbling. In two years, however, that’s all changed. Anyone who’s watched videos of her training with former WWE Tag Team Champion Brian Kendrick realizes the hard work — and hard knocks — she’s put in to level up her game. Although there’s inarguably room to grow, Eva has proven she’s determined to earn her spot. And with matches against the likes of NXT Women’s Champion Bayley already under her belt, Eva is sure to have the WWE Universe seeing red in 2016. — GREG ADKINS
“My family wouldn’t ever decorate or get our Christmas tree until after Dec. 10, because my oldest brother’s birthday is on the ninth and we never wanted his birthday to pass like it wasn’t special. I was always responsible for putting Santa’s cookies and the reindeer food out on Christmas Eve.
“Once we did get to the celebration, one of my favorite memories was watching all the Christmas movies that came on. One of our favorite quotes was always from ‘A Christmas Story’: ‘You’ll shoot your eye out!’ Honorable mention also goes out to ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ and ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’! As a kid I just always remember Christmas as a time of all of us being together! It’s all about love, family and enjoying amazing food.”
For the third year in a row, WWE.com takes a haunted trip down memory lane as we reveal the childhood costumes of some of your favorite NXT Superstars and Divas. Which costumes were a trick-or-treating hit? You be the judge. The flashback starts now!
Eva Marie as a cowgirl
The resident “Queen of Red” and “Total Divas” star sported a quite different look in her younger years. Will we one day see Eva Marie the Cowgirl in NXT? Probably not, but it’s fun to imagine.
“Growing up with three older brothers, I was destined to be a tomboy,” Eva Marie said. “I was 2 years old and this red cowgirl costume was my mom’s favorite, and my dad’s cowboy hat was mine at the time. My parents actually still have both items. I guess you could say I started #AllRedEverything at a young age.” [Laughs.]
IGN.com today confirmed that Eva will be a part of the WWE 2K16 video game. This marks Eva’s video game debut. Be sure to check out her character art in the attached link.
WWE 2K16 is available on a variety of platforms on October 27th in the USA and October 30th internationally.
This week on NXT, Eva Marie made her highly anticipated return to the ring. A common target of both praise and criticism from the WWE Universe, the red-haired Diva claims she will do whatever it takes to ascend to the top of WWE. On the heels of her return, Eva speaks on her passion for sports-entertainment, addresses the words of her critics and explains why she plans on being one of the greatest Divas in WWE history.
WWE.COM: Eva, how did it feel to finally make your return to the ring?
EVA: It felt amazing! The crowd was awesome. The NXT fans are highly passionate and highly vocal. They let you know exactly how they feel about your performance. When I first came out, it was to a roar of boos, “you can’t wrestle” chants and a few cheers. However, as my match progressed, the crowd began to cheer for me and eventually the cheers were drowning out the boos. That was such a surreal moment for me. The crowd made my return an absolutely incredible experience and one I will always remember.
WWE.COM: Why did you take time away to re-train and work on your craft?
EVA: What most people forget is that I originally tried out to be a WWE Diva. I wanted to wrestle so that’s why I joined WWE. However, I was placed on “Total Divas” immediately after I signed my NXT contract and while that was incredible and a huge blessing, the filming and travel schedule all but eradicated my ability to train in wrestling. That never sat well with me because wrestling was why I joined WWE. But I was new and given an incredible opportunity with being on “Total Divas.” I didn’t want to seem like I was complaining or taking it for granted. When my health issues occurred, I promised myself that after my surgery I was going to make the time to work on my craft no matter what. I asked Triple H and Vince if they would be ok with me spending the next few months after my surgery training full time and they supported me 100 percent. So with their support, I stepped away from TV (RAW, SmackDown), scaled back on filming “Total Divas” and made the decision to train full time in Los Angeles and at the WWE Performance Center.
WWE.COM: Let’s backtrack for a minute. Why did you decide to attempt to become a WWE Diva in the first place?
EVA: I grew up watching WWF/WWE and have always been a fan of wrestling. When the opportunity to enter the WWE Diva Search was presented to me, I jumped at the chance! “Total Divas” wasn’t on my radar or even anything that I had heard of. Immediately after my tryout with the WWE Developmental system, I was asked to interview for a WWE project but I had no idea what it was for. I interviewed on a Friday, got a call on that Saturday saying I got the project. Next thing you know, I was on a plane to WrestleMania in New York and would begin filming that Monday.
WWE.COM: You mentioned growing up a WWE fan. Who were some of your favorites as a child?
EVA: I am the youngest of three older brothers, so I grew up not only watching WWE, but also jumping off the top of my bunk bed to crossbody my brothers while we pretended to be our favorite wrestlers. I was a huge Ultimate Warrior fan as well as Razor Ramon.
WWE.COM: Fast forward two years after you first came to WWE and your mere presence seems to incite an incredible amount of passionate opinions both positive and negative. How do you feel about that?
EVA: I absolutely love it! As long as people are talking about me, it’s a good thing. The moment people stop caring enough about you to discuss you, you are dead in this industry. I came here to make a statement and the amount of discourse surrounding me is proof positive that I am accomplishing my goal.
WWE.COM: What goes through your mind when you hear some of the negative comments, especially those which have been downright scathing?
EVA: At the end of the day, as long as you are giving 100 percent in all aspects of your life, you aren’t going to take it to heart when people are negative toward you because you know you are giving your all. Knowing you are doing all you can do gives you a sense of confidence that is hard to describe. In life, all you have to do is your best and then let God handle the rest. It’s that simple. When the fans make negative comments about my wrestling ability, I listen to it and respect it. The opinions help drive my desire to train and get better so I can perform at my very best for them. When I hear the girls speaking negatively about me on TV, it makes me smile huge because let’s be honest, it means that I’m on their minds.
WWE.COM: You’ve said in the past that you plan to be one of the greatest Divas Champions of all time. Do you honestly believe you can accomplish that feat?
EVA: Yes, I will accomplish this goal. Everyone who achieves greatness began with the dream to be great. That dream permeates into every aspect of their life and becomes a part of them. Being a great Diva doesn’t just mean being great in the ring, it means having a positive impact on the lives of others and being active in the community. My dream is to be one of the greatest Divas of all time both inside and outside of the ring and I will accomplish this.
WWE.COM: In your own words, how can we best describe you?
EVA: Confident. There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who is confident and comfortable in her own skin. That is the beauty of beauty and it comes in all forms of age, shape, height, color and culture. Confidence radiates from within and then manifests on the outside and it transcends any myopic cookie cutter definitions of physical beauty set by media or culture. Every single woman is beautiful and the more confident they are in themselves, the more their beauty is reflected outwardly to those they encounter. The goal of Eva Marie is to help empower women to be confident in who they are and radiate that confidence to all aspects of their life.
WWE.COM: Before we let you go, do you have a final message for the WWE Universe?
EVA: I will always give it 100 percent. I respect the fact that they are spending their hard earned money to come and see us perform. Every time I step in the ring, my No. 1 priority is to give them an awesome performance and show. I may not be the fastest, I may not be the strongest, but I promise I will always be working my hardest. It’s about to get a whole lot hotter up in this Universe so get ready. #AllRedEverything #RedStormRising