AEW star Red Velvet has discussed her start in the wrestling business, revealing that she once applied to appear on WWE’s Tough Enough.
Velvet recently appeared on AEW Dynamite teaming with Cody Rhodes to face NBA legend Shaq and Jade Cargill.
Speaking to Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone on the AEW Unrestricted podcast, Red Velvet finding out about Tough Enough bringing her back to wrestling from a potential dancing career.
“So I stepped away from wrestling before that because I was training to become a professional dancer, so dance took over my life. I stopped watching wrestling, and then I quit. And then you have Triple H making the announcement that they’re doing Tough Enough. Anybody can do it. You don’t have to be a wrestler. You just have to show that you’re tough enough. So I went on and did the YouTube video, and it took off. They showed it twice on SmackDown. I remember somebody woke me up to the video footage of my video, and then I had a follow-up Skype interview with the producer.”
Velvet then revealed the reason she thinks she didn’t eventually make it on to the show:
“So I had made it, I guess, through round one, and then she had asked me, ‘Hey, I need you to send over some professional photos.’ And at the time, I didn’t have no professional photos. I had selfie-type [photos]. It was just horrible what I sent in. So I didn’t make it on the show, but I’m a big believer of everything happens for a reason, and that was, I think, the bullet point that stuck for me to start wrestling because then after, it just took off. And people were like, ‘Well, why don’t you do it? You should do it,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, you’re right.’ So I started looking up schools.”
The star that comes ‘straight out of your momma’s kitchen’ then discussed not making it on Tough Enough worked out for the best in the end for her:
“I didn’t even know wrestling schools existed. I never even thought how people became wrestlers. When you see these celebrities, it almost feels like something that is so far that you don’t even know how to get there. You always just watch it on TV like, oh, these superheroes, these people, they’re celebrities. I’ll never get there, and then I started searching schools. And it took off, so I think not making it on the show was the best thing that happened because it opened up my eyes to how much potential I had to become a wrestler, and then I joined the school and started wrestling.”
Tough Enough 2015 was hosted by Chris Jericho and Renee Paquette – then known as Renee Young. The judges for the show included Daniel Bryan, Paige, and Hulk Hogan. Joshua Bredl and Sara Lee would win the competition however, neither is still contracted by WWE. Notable stars from the series include WWE’s Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, and Chelsea Green.