Kelly Kelly and Maria: WWE Divas
WHEN Kelly Kelly first began wrestling in the WWE in 2006, she was the youngest Diva in all of sports entertainment. Admittedly an exhibitionist, she regularly stripped off in the ring, dubbing these stripteases 'Kelly Kelly's Exposé'.
With stripping, a history as a model and having won several body competitions, it would be easy to dismiss Kelly Kelly and her ilk as eye candy.
High expectation Kelly Kelly is keen to be evaluated as a wrestler and not just the sport's hot stuff
There is, she says, much more to being a Diva.
"Trish Stratus basically revolutionised women's wrestling, and so it's hard trying to follow in the footsteps of people like her and Luna, and Lita and Chyna, who were great athletes as well as entertainers," she says.
Landlords let us advertise your property and find you vetted tenants quickly. Our let only service is £195.
We offer full management services as well as rent guarantee and rent advance. Call us
Terms: No hidden charges, you will be informed of all costs in advance. The letting agency you can trust.
Contact: 0115 8969582
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
"People look at us and think 'oh, these are just a bunch of hot girls that are trying to get in there and wrestle' but we really do give 110%."
She adds: "We really want to be known as wrestlers, not just hot girls."
After gaining a university degree, she was surprised to get a chance at wrestling.
"I watched wrestling growing up but I majored in a degree in broadcast journalism and wanted to be an anchor for E-News or something. Never did I think I'd be given the opportunity to work for WWE."
She enjoys working alongside the male wrestlers – but admits they can be irritating.
"Sometimes they're great and they're like your big brothers and other times they're just like your annoying little brothers and you want to get away from them."
But she said: "It's cool because you constantly have these guys around you who want to protect you. We'll all go out together and no-one will come near you because you've got these huge guys hanging around you.
"It's nice to be surrounded by such great guys from so many walks of life."
The 23-year-old has achieved an amazing amount for a wrestler of her age. She believes that being such a fresh face carries its own pressure, in a world of long-established wrestling icons.
"These girls are so amazing, after having watched them and worked with them so much, they've basically taken me under their wing to show me the ropes.
"Obviously, I look up to them and I want to follow in their footsteps so I do feel the pressure of doing that sometimes."
Maria, too, feels the pressure of being in this environment. With a strong competitive streak, she always has her eye on the prize.
"I've been around for longer than Kelly Kelly and there is pressure in the sense that I haven't won a championship yet and everybody else around me has! I feel as if that is one of the things that I haven't achieved yet."
Going from a runner-up to a backstage interviewer then finally to becoming a real competitor amongst the Divas, Maria has risen through the ranks of WWE, but she says she still has a long way to go.
"I still feel like the underdog. I still feel like I'm constantly fighting to keep up with these girls who have been wrestling for ten or twenty years or however long."
Maria describes the WWE as "an amazing, huge, weird, quirky, hillbilly, all-over-world-family that we've come to belong to."
However, she doesn't see herself as a wrestler forever.
"I've always wanted to be an entertainer and looked up to the girls in wrestling – on the other hand I wouldn't say that this is my last stop because I don't want to still be spandex when I'm 45."
And it seems that she won't. After wrestlers like The Rock and Kane have pursued acting careers, it seems that Maria is also finding success from her extra-curricular activities.
"I have an album coming out in April that's going to be available on iTunes. That's what I want to be doing, as well as hosting TV shows. I've recently hosted a few and I've really enjoyed my time on there so I want to continue doing that. I'm doing more and more stuff outside of the WWE, so whenever I come back it's kind of like a homecoming."