Former WWE Women’s Champion Candice Michelle has spoken of her discomfort in having to take part in ‘romance’ angles with Vince McMahon.
I remember it was awkward. I do think there was like two, maybe three, I don’t quite remember to be honest. But also it was how it was back then. I remember it just kind of trickled down from girl to girl. Everybody kind of went through that. Even though it’s awkward to do, it was just part of my job. There was no intimacy, we didn’t think of it like we’re actresses and we’re going to win an Emmy nomination or something. We’re young and we’re dumb and we’re innocent, and we’re happy to be working. That’s just part of it.
Over the course of McMahon’s television run, his character was also romantically involved with Trish Stratus, Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson.
Wilson, who was scripted to kiss McMahon on her very first day with the company, felt similarly perturbed by the experience:
First day backstage, I was so nervous. Vince is an intimidating man, and I’d just met him, so of course he’s even more intimidating. To have to kiss someone that you’re physically scared of, that’s frightening.
(Of Linda McMahon’s presence whilst filming) I remember her telling me when we were filming ‘just go for it,’ and I was thinking ‘this is so messed up right now.’ We didn’t rehearse, we just kind of walked through what we were going to do. One take. Her being there made me feel more comfortable.
Candice also described her feelings towards some of the less wrestling oriented match types women of that era were often booked in:
Most of it I did not like. The worst match ever in my life is the pudding match. I mean, that is just like, we had pudding in our ears! Anytime we were given a match, we took it as an opportunity. All the women there did. ‘Pudding match? Okay, great. How do I body slam you into pudding, I can’t even pick you up out of the pudding!’ I’m trying to do a DDT in the pudding, and I’m just like, this looks terrible. Probably the world’s biggest rib on us ever.
Michelle did however attempt to put a positive spin on her experiences, noting the character building aspect of such situations:
But it was part of building that tenacity. I never felt like I was at a point to where I was like, ‘No, I’m not doing that.’ I also didn’t mind being eye candy, I was eye candy for most of my life. I did magazine shoots, I was a model. That part never bothered me. But when you get a WrestleMania match and you’re realizing the gift of that, and the importance of that, and the level of that, and then they’re like, ‘By the way, we’re going to put a bed there, and you’ll wear a gown with a bikini underneath it, and you’ve got to get the gown off down to the bikini…’ And I just remember Torrie and I just sitting there like, ‘Okay, how do we do this move off of the bed?’ It just really built our character, I guess, we had a lot of fun, and that was that era. I wish it was more like this era, but you know it paved the way for girls to not have to do that anymore.
Michelle would eventually scoop her lone Women’s Championship at Vengeance 2007 by defeating Melina, in doing so, becoming the first Diva Search contestant to win gold in WWE.