Total Divas cast member, Tough Enough runner-up and current NXT Superstar Mandy Rose joined Cageside Seats for a telephone interview this past week. We asked her about jumping from the competition show to the E! Entertainment series and how she makes things work splitting her time between her in-ring and onscreen careers.
CAGESIDE SEATS: You were the runner-up on Tough Enough and you ended up on Total Divas. What was the timeline of going from Tough Enough to getting a developmental deal to becoming a cast member of Total Divas?
MANDY ROSE: Obviously it was really crazy going from being just on Tough Enough and being a runner-up. Not winning, but overall, winning in my eyes, because I was obviously signed right after the finale of Tough Enough. So I was obviously very grateful for that opportunity.
It was a little overwhelming at first, because they had told me they wanted to sign me with a developmental contract with NXT right away and put me right on Total Divas, so right in the beginning, it was more of a shock that I was getting both these amazing opportunities. So for me, it was about balancing my time, making sure I get enough time in the ring and traveling on the road with the main roster. So there was a big split there, but overall, it was an amazing experience for me.
So that all happened at the same time? They presented you with the developmental deal and the offer to be part of Total Divas?
Yes, at the same time. It was really crazy. I was taken aback, definitely, at first, because I was really happy that I had gotten signed, and then right after that, telling me they also want to put me on Total Divas. I was like, "Whoa." You know? This is pretty surprising. But it was awesome.
How did that work with splitting your time between the Performance Center and traveling with the main roster? What was your schedule like on a given week?
It was pretty crazy. Right in the beginning, I was flying back to New York, back home for a little bit, and [WWE] ended up wanting to get me right back [on the road] to surprise all the [Total Divas cast members] for the second episode, when we were filming.
So right away, I packed a big suitcase, because I didn't know how long I'd be away from home. Because I wasn't settled in a place yet in Florida. So that was really crazy. I was living out of a suitcase from like September to November, when I ended up getting a place finally in Florida.
Right off the bat, it was a lot of traveling, obviously, to TVs and on the road and Paris and all of these amazing places. It was a lot of traveling. And then when I would get home, I tried to get as much training in as I could in Florida, but it was really tough. So I started getting full-time training Monday through Friday when I got settled in my apartment and everything in Florida.
There are a lot of reports out there that Total Divas will be going through some cast changes next season. Is there anything you can tell us about that?
Unfortunately, nothing is out there that's definite. All I know for me is that I'm focusing so much right now on my training at the Performance Center. That's my main thing right now. I don't know anything else when it comes to [Total Divas]. There's always changes with the cast and all.
But you're putting most of your focus and energy right now on just getting your WWE career started?
Yeah, exactly. Most of my focus right now is my training and getting on TV and in the ring.
The full interview with Mandy Rose will be part of Wednesday's episode of Rudo Radio podcast.