Before Eva Marie was All Red Everything and a Superstar on Monday Night RAW, she was simply an aspiring model and actress with a business degree living in California.
However, Eva Marie’s career took a dramatic turn after she appeared at a casting call for WWE Diva Search. Following the casting call, Marie quickly became part of the Total Divas on E! and WWE’s main roster.
The California native would appear for the company in a variety of roles until leaving in 2016. Following a five-year break from wrestling where she returned to acting among other ventures, Eva Marie re-debuted on RAW on June 14th flanked by Piper Niven.
During a recent appearance on the Mikhaila Peterson Podcast Maire reflected on her early steps in the wrestling business.
The WWE Superstar explained that while she had her degree, she wasn’t quite ready to commit to a career in the business world. The result was an audition for WWE Diva Search.
“So, I was 28 when I got my first [opportunity], they call it a Diva Search,” shared Marie. “They don’t do it anymore. But what they’d do is go around to all the large cities and do a big old cattle casting call, looking for the next WWE Diva. After I graduated college, I moved to Los Angeles because I was like ‘I have my business degree, but I’m not ready to go into the business world, per se.’ My parents were like ‘What are you doing? This is not the route we want you to go’. But I decided ‘Hey, I have my degree, I have that to fall back on. Let me go dabble’. I finished college in Orange County, California, moved to Los Angeles [and] dabbled in a little bit of modelling and acting. I was like ‘Ooh, I like this.’
“When WWE came into town, I was like ‘Wait a minute.’ Once I went there to the HQ in Los Angeles and saw Hulk Hogan and everyone on the walls, I was like ‘Whoa. This is like WWF back in the day that I used to watch with my brothers, this is crazy’. Then after my first audition, because they did a couple of call-backs and stuff, I was like ‘This could be my dream job’. Because not only do you have to perform in front of a live crowd, but you have to handle the physicality that is required to step in the ring and have a wrestling match. Then you get to travel the world, and I wanted to do all those things.”
Marie went on to admit that starting a career in wrestling was a completely new experience.
“Wrestling was brand new… I had no idea what taking a bump was. Didn’t know how to run ropes. Definitely nothing, whatsoever, was in my arsenal. It was something, [like] ‘Let me give it a whirl’ and I fell in love with it.”
The former All Red Everything went on to explain how she auditioned for Total Divas alongside already attempting to join WWE.
“At the same time that my Diva Search was happening, this was in 2013, they were also in talks and pre-production of doing a reality show showcasing the life of a WWE Diva,” recalled Marie. “Now, everyone is called superstars. So, I get through my audition and [there are] a couple of callbacks, and basically, I had a four-week try-out to see if you can handle the physicality. And if you made it through, they would give you a developmental contract. Basically, all that means is you then now move to, at the time the facility was in Tampa, Florida.
“So that’s what I was going for, that is what I was aiming [for], and that’s what I ended up getting. But because I was in Los Angeles, they called me up and said ‘You know what? We have this thing; we can’t really tell you too much about it. Will you go in for this interview/audition?’
Marie continued, saying that the audition was a success, setting into motion a whirlwind of events which saw her join WWE’s main roster, Total Divas and attend WrestleMania.
So the producer at the time told me ‘Hey, just so you know, this project is moving really, really fast. If you do get this your life could change in the next 72 hours.’
“I called my now-husband and I’m like ‘Hey, I think I just smashed this out of the park. They said that things can move really quickly.’ So we jump in the car and drive up north. We drive up to my parents, my parents get to meet my now-husband. Then he asks for my dad’s blessing to marry me. And I get a call 24 hours later saying I got the gig.
“I’m on a flight to WrestleMania on Monday. Not only am I now on the main roster of WWE, which is Monday Night Raw, but I’m also on Total Divas, which airs on the E! Network. [Just] like that.”
Reflecting on her early time in the ring, Marie said she felt as though she was thrown in the deep end, learning to wrestle in the road.
“When it comes to learning to wrestle, it was very much so thrown into the fire [and] trying to learn on the road,” shared Marie. “That was just very difficult to do. I ended up going back to developmental. And you see it through Total Divas and stuff, because I’m a perfectionist. It was bothering me, so I went back to developmental and worked on my craft.”
Speaking elsewhere following her recent return to RAW, Marie revealed that her comeback had been in the pipeline for a number of months. The former NXT Superstar added that she was in fact meant to return prior to WrestleMania 37.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.