WWE Smackdown returns to Ford Arena

Carmella vs. Charlotte Flair (Courtesy of WWE)

The WWE Superstars of Smackdown Live return to Beaumont to battle it out between the ropes at Ford Arena on Monday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m. Scheduled to appear are WWE champion AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, United States champion Shinsuke Nakamura, Jeff Hardy, Randy Orton, Smackdown Women’s champion Charlotte Flair, Carmella, Asuka and many more.

Carmella has made big moves in a small period of time since joining the WWE. Born in Massachusetts, Carmella is a former NFL cheerleader for the New England Patriots and was a Laker Girl with the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers during the 2010-11 season.

She signed a contract with the WWE in June 2013 and began with their NXT brand. After two years, she got the call in July 2016 to Smackdown as a part of the WWE Draft, which she was picked last.

“I was the last draft pick, but I took that as motivation to work harder than anybody,” said Carmella. “I set goals to be the face of the women’s division and the rest was history.”

Carmella made her Wrestlemania debut April 2, 2017, and just two months later she won the inaugural Ms. Money in the Bank ladder match, which earned her a contract to compete for the Smackdown’s Women’s championship.

She then had to prove the win was no fluke by winning a second Ms. Money in the Bank ladder match. During that time as Ms. Money in the Bank, Carmella competed in the first ever women’s Royal Rumble last January then cashed in the contract April 10 on an episode of Smackdown and beat Charlotte Flair to become women’s champion and the face of the division.

“After the draft, I put myself on the map and made history by winning the first women’s Money in the Bank match,” said Carmella.

“The rest is history. It’s been an amazing journey. I beat Charlotte Flair twice. I beat Asuka twice. Had my first title defense at Summer Slam. That didn’t turn out in my favor because I lost the title to Charlotte and I do want my title back. I feel I have so much more I want to do.”

Carmella will get her chance to regain her title in Beaumont on Sept. 10 as she faces the champion, Charlotte Flair.

Tickets are $15-$95 and can be purchased via Ticketmaster outlets including ticketmaster.com, by phone at (800) 745-3000, or at the Ford Park box office (5115 I-10, Beaumont).

Those who know Carmella can see she takes pride in her wrestling gear and has matching shoes every night. Those shoes are Air Jordan’s.

“I was a dancer my whole life, so when I was in NXT, I wore wrestling boots but I felt like I wasn’t being authentic to myself,” she said. “I was trying to be a wrestler and I never was a wrestler before that. So I started wrestling in Air Jordan’s and felt more comfortable. I fell in love with them and now I am a super sneaker head.”

Her favorite pair? The Air Jordan 3 True Blue.

Recently, Carmella was caught in the crossfire by current Smackdown Women’s champion Charlotte Flair, who called Carmella a “diva.” The WWE created a Diva division in 2008 for women wrestlers on the roster such as Eve, Beth Phoenix, Kelly Kelly, Michelle McCool, Maryse and others.

In 2016, the Diva’s championship and division was rebranded as the Women’s Championship.

“I’m not sure why the term diva is considered negative,” she said. “They were only allowed a few minutes for matches on television and didn’t have the TV time like the men did but they made the most of it and it wasn’t their fault.

“They paved the way for us to be where we are at now. So I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be called a diva. I love doing all the hair and make up and I’m proud of the way I dress. I talk the talk and walk the walk.”

More history will be made at the inaugural all-women WWE Evolution pay-per-view set for Oct. 28 and can be seen on the WWE Network.

Already announced is Alexa Bliss vs. WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus.

“Unfortunately, Alexa Bliss is wrestling my dream opponent — Trish Stratus,” said Carmella. “Trish Stratus would be amazing, but honestly, I just so happy to be part of this monumental event. I am having the time of my life and it’s a perfect time to be a woman in the WWE. We are making history left and right.”


Chad Cooper is the Entertainment Editor. Email cooper [at] theexaminer [dot] com