Steph De Lander Reveals Why She Got A Face Tattoo, Talks Not Wanting To Wrestle After WWE NXT, More

(Photo Credit: @stephdelander)

Former WWE star Steph De Lander recently appeared as a guest on INSIGHT with Chris Van Vliet for an in-depth interview covering all things pro wrestling. During the discussion, De Lander commented on the differences between her work in NXT and on the indies:

“I would say the biggest difference is just my confidence and knowing myself, knowing what I want, and what I want the people to see of me and think of me. I feel so much more connected to what I’m doing and my character and all of that than I did previously when I was in NXT. So I think you can just see, if you compare my performances in WWE and on the independents, I think the biggest thing is I look a lot more and I feel a lot more sure of myself.”

Not wanting to wrestle after NXT:

“I knew it got to a point where I wasn’t motivated, I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing, and I knew continuing to work through that and wrestle while I was in that mindset was actually going to be detrimental to my career because I didn’t want to start putting out work that I wasn’t proud of. I knew my mind wasn’t right. So I kind of took a tactical break of six months, take a step back, re-calibrated, and figured out what it is that you want out of this and also, I had to find my love for wrestling again.”

“Getting released was such a big shock to the system, and it did take quite a while to go through all of those emotions, and I didn’t feel like I could process that while I was wrestling. I had to really step back, miss it, and learn to love it. That’s kind of what happened over that period of time. I had the time and the clarity to sit down and really figure out who I wanted to be and I think that really helped kick start this amazing run that I’ve had.”

Getting a face tattoo:

“I knew I was never gonna have a corporate job anyway, but the mentality behind my face tattoo was, I didn’t have many other tattoos. I’ve got a couple of thin ones on my arms. Initially, I wanted to get a full sleeve or two full sleeves, but I was just thinking about it and I was like, tattoos are so common now. So many people have tattoos and it’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of money to get a full sleeve. Not that I really care about any of that kind of stuff, but it’s actually hard to take time off to heal a tattoo when you’re wrestling because you’ve got to have a couple of weeks without bumping it and stuff.”

“So I kind of thought, Alright, what’s even more dramatic than getting a full sleeve? A face tattoo. I was like, not many people have face tattoos. A lot of girls now do like the little look where they draw on a little something with a bit of eyeliner or something, and I was like, why not just do it? Just be dramatic as hell. Just get it. I didn’t tell anyone. I wasn’t even planning on doing it that day. I was going to get an ear piercing. She was like, ‘Do you want to do it today’ and I was like yeah, let’s do it.”

On building her partnership with Matt Cardona

“That’s something that we talk about all the time is, you know, we’ve been speaking about it the last few weeks. I think winding down the year and going into the next year, I think it’s common for everyone to get a little bit reflective. We’ve both kind of been sitting here going, ‘Wow. We had such an amazing year. What are we doing next year to top this’, because if you’re not going up, you start going down. So we’re already brainstorming certain places we want to go that we haven’t wrestled at yet, different countries we want to go to, and what can we add to our act? What can we maximize for our social media? What can we be doing more of? Him and I are always thinking of what’s next and what we can be doing more of and we’re never getting complacent and I think that’s why this pairing has worked so well because it’s not one person steering the ship and dragging the other person along. It is very equal. We are both super motivated and we’re also both motivating each other.”

On a possible return to WWE

“I think that’s definitely the end goal, but it’s not like I’m rushing to get there. When I had that mentality switch, that’s when things started coming together for me too. When I first got released, the first thing I did was I texted Matt Bloom, I said, ‘How do I get my job back?’ I got him on the phone and I said, ‘What do I need to do?’ I spent the next couple of weeks like, what’s going on? How do we undo this? I thought about it and I would dream about it all the time, and it was this unhealthy obsession with like, all I want to do is get back there.”

“Then once I kind of let go of that, and I made peace with what I was doing, and I realized if I do the indies begrudgingly, and I do it dragging my feet, and I do it not really enjoying it, always looking to the next thing, I’m not going to have fun, and I’m not going to put out my best work. So I kind of had to pack up that WWE box and put it away and really focus on what I was doing and then have the faith and know that if I do what I need to do, and I work really hard and I commit fully to this, the end result will be I’ll be getting new interest from WWE and from elsewhere, which I have, because of how hot our act is.”

You can check out the complete interview below:

(h/t to for the transcription)