As a gift to you all, I decided to dip down into the archives of RF Video and see if we couldn’t get another good shoot interview for us to enjoy. Sure enough, one I didn’t expect to see was available. Kelly Kelly – former Divas’ Champion and probably one of the bigger stars of the ‘Diva Era’ – sits down with Tommy Dreamer and discusses her career. You can purchase the DVD at this link.
Right off the bat, this interview is unfortunately nowhere near as fun as the ones with Kaitlyn, Tori or the Bella Twins. The fault lies squarely with Tommy Dreamer who, while a lot of fun to watch, is not a particularly good interviewer. In parts, he cuts Barbie off while she’s only got a few sentences out to give his own opinions – and doesn’t let her finish or go back to the topics at all. A good interviewer gets their subject to speak as much as possible about the relevant subject – and they also know not to cut them off to spout their own opinions. At times, it felt like we were watching a Tommy Dreamer shoot. That being said, the banter between he and Barbie is still fun in places. His main problem is that he talks over her and doesn’t allow her to speak as much as a different interviewer could.
Barbie Blank naturally begins by talking about her gymnastics background. She started at the age of four and was already competing by the time she was six. While she was training, her daily routine was to go to school, do her homework in the car on the way to practice, have dinner on the way home and then go straight to bed. As she got older, her time was also taken up by cheerleading practice and she got burnt out pretty quickly. After fracturing her tail bone at the age of twelve, she opted not to go to the Olympics. After graduating school, she had “no clue” of what she wanted to do and attended college to study broadcast journalism purely to please her mother. On the weekends she also modelled, making $1000 per shoot.
As is well-documented, she and Alicia Fox knew each other from modelling and were discovered by John Laurinitis in the same catalogue. Contrary to popular belief, they were not signed at once; but rather offered a chance to try out. This was at OVW and Bill DeMott was in charge – where she and Alicia had to “run the ropes about five hundred times” throughout the day. Tommy Dreamer chimes in with the news that the two nineteen-year-olds called him up completely clueless about what happened after they were signed. They had to move to Lousiville, Kentucky and share an apartment while they trained at OVW. Barbie puts over Al Snow, the trainer at the time, and says he helped her out a lot. Within a month, she was called up to TV. Barbie says Alicia was happy for her but the constant travel made living together tricky.
Kelly Kelly with Alicia Fox.
Tommy Dreamer shares a titbit about the Kelly Kelly name; the character was conceived as a dumb blonde who was “so dumb her parents had to name her twice so she wouldn’t forget.” The character didn’t last but the name did. Barbie says that Tommy and a few of the others prepared her for the hostile environment at ECW – but she was still shocked by the heat she got doing bikini contests. The Kelly’s Expose gimmick gets an embarrassed laugh, as she talks about her memorable trouble unhooking her bra. Vince McMahon apparently took her aside when she was debuting, brought out a chair and demonstrated the dance he wanted her to do. She describes Vince as “very hands on” with all the storylines, and someone she always got on well with. She doesn’t have fond memories of the Extreme Expose gimmick either; Paul Heyman apparently called her up, asked her if she had any dance training and said “don’t worry, you’ll be fine” when she responded no. She, Brooke and Layla had a difficult time with the dancing because they never knew how much time they would be given for their segments or what music they would have. A typical TV day would have them trying to put together a routine with about four hours to prepare. Brooke was later released but Barbie says she still watches her on TNA and is proud of her for becoming Knockouts Champion.
After Brooke was released, she and Layla feuded on ECW. She says Layla was really good at being the heel in the ring, but the two would often come back from their matches in tears because they had no idea what they were doing. Things improved when both of them were drafted to Raw – and Barbie thanks the likes of Jillian Hall and Victoria for really helping her play to her strengths. In the ring, she loved selling, and would often tell the other girls to really “lay it into me” so she could turn on the tears and win the crowd’s sympathy. She says some girls are stiffer than others but she likes it when they stiffed her – as it allowed them to generate audience sympathy. Her favourite person to work with was Beth Phoenix. She says they worked together for about two years of house shows – and that Beth brought out the best in her.
Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix for the WWE Divas’ Championship at SummerSlam 2011.
Barbie briefly mentions the little program she had with Randy Orton. She was uncomfortable with some of the things he was scripted to say to her on TV, and went to Stephanie McMahon to have them changed – and there were no hard feelings about that. She has good things to say about Stephanie, saying she could always go to her about anything. Vickie Guerrero was the same; she was another locker room leader who would try to put a stop to any trouble, and was like a mother to all the Divas. She was a little sad when she got drafted to Smackdown as she preferred the live show – but had fun teaming with Taryn Terrell (Tiffany) as ‘Blondtourage’. When NXT Season 3 came around, she was happy to be paired with Naomi, as she was her favourite of the Rookie Divas. She felt they were very similar – since they both came from cheerleading backgrounds and had similar wrestling styles. She and Tommy both put Naomi over as “amazing” and “phenomenal” in the ring.
Kelly Kelly was Naomi’s pro on NXT Season 3.
She won the Divas’ Championship on a special ‘Power to the People’ edition of Raw. The poll was legit, and Brie Bella (who she won the belt from) had to remember three different matches depending on who the fans voted for. She feels that WWE were waiting until she was ready before giving her the title – as opposed to other girls like Eve, Maryse and Alicia Fox who got it too soon. When it came to her title match against Beth in Buffalo, she was warned that the crowd was very pro-Beth and anticipated that she would be heavily booed – and they were told just to ignore them and carry on as normal. She was glad Beth was the one she dropped the belt to, and loved taking the Glam Slam. Maria Menounos is mentioned, and Barbie puts her over for working their WrestleMania tag match against Beth and Eve – and handling the frosty response from the crowd fine.
Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos vs Beth Phoenix & Eve Torres at WrestleMania 28.
She took time off in the middle of 2012 to heal some nagging injuries and get some rest – as she had been on the road full time for the last six years. She also had some issues with her neck and was reluctant to return – saying she was no longer excited to go to work and her heart wasn’t in it. The office eventually got the message when she took part in a racy photoshoot and refused to take some of the pictures down from her Twitter. She preferred being released rather than quitting. She has no regrets and felt like she accomplished enough. She lists her favourite matches as the one against Beth at SummerSlam 2011 and one against Gail Kim on an episode of Superstars.
Not a great interview I have to say. I mostly put it down to Tommy Dreamer, since he and Barbie are good friends and skip over various points that they themselves are clued in on – but the viewers are only left with vagueness. Barbie’s memory isn’t particularly good either; she doesn’t remember a lot of the matches she’s asked about. They skip over a lot of details in her career and there’s loads more material I would personally have seen covered. Nonetheless the banter between the two is entertaining enough. Kelly Kelly fans might be disappointed if they bought this, but it does offer some worthwhile moments.
Kelly Kelly & Edge vs Dolph Ziggler & LayCool for the World Heavyweight Championship (in the main event of Smackdown).
*Career Information: A lot was glossed over or else skipped completely. She’s not even asked about the fact that she defended the World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of Smackdown, feuding with Layla over the Women’s Championship, or the Divas of Doom storyline getting dropped. 11/20
*Screen Presence: Barbie was a lot of fun talking to Tommy, and their back and forth was amusing. Unfortunately she didn’t elaborate on enough topics, and her poor memory didn’t help. 14/20
*Candids: Not too much behind the scenes stuff shared, and Tommy wasn’t able to get a lot of stories out of her. The stuff about ECW was gold though. 14/20
*Fun Stuff: The funniest part was Tommy describing Kelly Kelly and Alicia Fox calling him up right after they got signed with no clue what they had to do. Another fun story was Barbie having thirty people invited to an ECW taping – to discover she wasn’t on the show that night. 14/20
*Overall Entertainment: I got some entertainment out of this but there was a lot lacking. 15/20
Final Score: 68%
Kelly Kelly as the WWE Divas’ Champion.