Lacey Evans is looking at Money in the Bank Saturday night as an opportunity to pick right back up where she left off in February of 2021. Evans was in the midst of the biggest push of her career that was reportedly set to lead to Raw Women’s Championship victory and match with Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 37. But Evans had other plans that needed to come first.
On the Feb. 15 episode of Raw, Lacey was competing alongside Peyton Royce in a tag team match against Charlotte and Asuka. However, she refused to get into the ring and it wasn’t long before we found out why. Evans grabbed a microphone and told the crowd that she was pregnant. Fans around the world were flabbergasted by the announcement, left to wonder if this was all part of her ongoing relationship angle with WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair.
Although that idea was teased on television, it was later dropped and fans soon realized that Evans was truly expecting her second daughter. Speaking with me on the Bleav in Pro Wrestling Podcast, the former U.S. Marine said the WWE Universe may have been shocked, but it was no surprise to her family.
“I’ve been with my husband since I was 15 years old. Okay. We got married at 19. Our entire lives growing up in the crap, the Hell hole that we grew up in, we always wanted to do two things. Get the Hell out and have lots of babies. I’ve wanted to be a mom my entire life and I have the best husband in the world. So now I was in a position where I had the best job in the world and the best husband in the world, but guess what? We still wanted them damn babies. So I did what I thought would be best for me and my family and I planned and prepared and did what I had to do to have another baby.”
Her pregnancy obviously put everything in her professional life on hold for a while, and forced WWE to pivot away from any WrestleMania plans for the Sassy Southern Belle. But the plan was always for Evans to come back to WWE once she was ready.
“The powers that be decided that I also had what it took to be in the limelight, in the main events and in an awesome, awesome career position, but I was gonna have some more babies. And so that’s what happened with that. I told the powers that be within WWE, I’ll come back. I’m gonna come back stronger than ever. I may not have a six pack honey, but I’m gonna work my butt off and come back. You know, hit the ground running. And that’s exactly what I did.”
While her story arc with Ric and Charlotte Flair was not exactly every fans’ cup of tea, Lacey said the opportunity to work with the 16-time World Champion was an incredible experience and she’s ready to pick things back up with the Queen once she is back on Friday Night SmackDown.
“There’s unfinished business there. I didn’t get my hands on her as much as I would’ve liked. That’s what’s wild about being women in this business. I went out to have a baby. She went out to take another man’s last name and become a wife and I’m so happy for her,” Evans said. “She’s fulfilling the dream of being a wife, but also she’s gonna come back and guess who’s gonna be waiting on her.”
When Charlotte does make her return to WWE, she’ll see a slightly different Lacey Evans than the one she encountered in early 2021. She’ll see someone that more represents the person behind the character.
Ever since she was apart of the NXT roster, Lacey Evans says she always wanted to use her platform to tell her story. Hoping that she could be the proof and the inspiration for others to change their situations in life. Coming straight from the trailer park to WWE, Lacey found herself in the company of women like Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Natalya and at first, it was intimidating.
“I look around and there was a voice that tells me, ‘What are you doing here? Like, you’re fraud.’ And I say, no! There are people out there that can relate to that. And so I said, no, screw this. I am Lacey Evans. I am gonna come in here. I’m gonna stand toe-to-toe with these women and I’m gonna win. And I’m gonna make it. And I am going to pave my path and be a name that will always be remembered, regardless of who I am.”
So when it came time for Lacey to return to WWE this spring, she took to opportunity created by her lengthy hiatus, to tweak her character to make it more in tune with the message she wanted to convey. Evans took it on herself to make the pitch to put her entire story out there for the world to see.
“Can I come back like the real me? And show the world this hardworking, dedicated, motivated, mother, marine, wife, woman, superstar, that is just not gonna give up, but also cry on TV if she has to and tell her story, which was so hard to do. Can I do that? Can I be her? I’m still a Sassy Southern Belle. I could still bake a pie, just as good as I could fire a weapon, honey. I just took the high heels off and dug my boots back out. That’s all.”
WWE was very receptive to Lacey’s idea and got behind her 100 percent. Thinking about what her story could mean and do for others, an emotional Evans says it was an absolute blessing that WWE allowed her to follow her heart upon her return to television.
“Speaking about addiction and depression and mental health, that’s hard. And it’s hard as a company to even tiptoe around that,” Evans said. “The babies that were in my situation with addicted parents and mental health that’s digging them down in more holes than they started with when they were born, the parents that won’t get off the addiction and won’t get the help for the depression, they’re watching this and being like, wow. The babies are saying, I need to keep climbing. And the parents are saying, I need to fix myself.
It shows that I may be a superstar. I may be a beautiful, strong mother but I am hurting. I have been through so much that it’s not fair. It’s not fair as a daughter, as a kid, to go through what I’ve been through and then be thrown out there in the world with Charlotte Flair and Nattie Hart and looking around and questioning if I have what it takes. Why did I deserve that?
So telling my story is exciting, because if you are a kid that’s going through it, keep your head up and keep going and know that it doesn’t matter where you come from, you become what you wanna become. And if you’re a parent that is destroying your baby’s heart and their grit, stop. Get the help. It’s out there, please.”
While Evans is extremely hopeful that she can help even just one person to change for the better, Saturday night in Vegas, it’s all about the Sassy Southern Belle. She made the decision to leave when she did, but Evans says she should have been Raw Women’s Champion before she ever left. A Win at Money in the Bank will bring her one step closer to accomplishing that goal. Will Lacey Evans be the one to grab the briefcase and get the guaranteed Title shot?
We’ll all find out Saturday Night at Money in the Bank. WWE’s latest premium live event kicks-off at 8pm EST on Peacock. Please check out my full conversation with Lacey Evans in the video above where she talks more about working with Ric and Charlotte Flair, MITB at WWE Headquarters, who she wants to cash-in on and so much more! You can also listen to the Bleav in Pro Wrestling Podcast, available wherever you get your podcasts.