Ivelisse Velez was recently interviewed by Wrestling Smash Radio. Here are some highlights with audio below.
Ivelisse was quick to address her release from the WWE:
“The release … the rumors, they’re just rumors … no matter what I say, I could say it 100 times: no I don’t have a bad attitude … I know for sure that since day one since I started my career I always seek to approach my work as professional as possible. I’ve heard it all. … People close to me, people that work with me can testify to that … my work is everything to me, it’s all I know. I gave up scholarships from school and I was an honor student and I gave up all of it to go on this voyage with complete odds against me … Of course I’m going to approach it with all my heart.”
She expanded upon her character traits:
“I am a very assertive person … in a man’s world they’re not very used to that. … A woman being assertive and not being walked over. … Maybe it came from that, I don’t know.”
On her portrayal on Tough Enough:
“It was a very hard experience in the sense that a lot of the things that were on TV or things that didn’t make TV that probably should have. … I’m very grateful that opportunity, but I feel, honestly, that it could have portrayed in a little bit more realistic way of how things really happened. … they never showed the diagnosis of my leg, then I ended up looking like a wimp. … Nobody ended up knowing the gravity of the injury to my leg. … I was going to continue … Doctor [had to tell me] that I can’t continue or they have to tear my leg off. … You tell them because I am not going to, because I’ll rip my leg off and then I can’t have a career.”
On her FCW/NXT experience:
“It’s really frustrating to hear that [that you’re ready to be on television] and then you don’t [get used on television]. … That was mostly the hardest part. … You feel so ready but it’s a whole different ballgame—it’s not just having the skills or the talent or the look. You can have I all but there’s so much more to it there. … We’re all human and sometimes people make mistakes, and people sometimes mix personal with business and you get the backlash of that. It took me a long time to register what happened. … It’s tough.”
On her TNA Gut Check tryout:
“Definitely it was a surprise to me as well. … In my head I thought there was no reason for me not to. I felt that Lei D’Tapa was great, too, and she has a lot of potential. At least I thought I was ready now. … They would have benefited from signing us both. … I’m happy for Lei D’Tapa, she’s a great girl, she’s humble. … I’m sure everyone felt like TNA could’ve benefited from both of us. … The whole thing, they were really good at that—at all moments, we never knew. … I had no clue what was going to happen at any moment. … Everyone knows both of these girls should be here. … That was my real reaction, I was just speechless. … When I heard that crowd…I feel like, equally, we both created that with our hard work into the match. … It wasn’t just her! … And then I didn’t even make it to the ring. … I was like “damn, really?” … From wrestlers and fans, it was a big reaction. A lot of people agreed that both of us had a lot to bring to the table. The only difference is I could bring it now. … I’m ready now.”
Ivelisse also talks about her return to TNA, going back home to Puerto Rico to win a championship for WWL, being a member of Shine Wrestling’s Valkyrie & her upcoming match for Shine Wrestling at Shine 10 and the origin of her “Huntress” persona.