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Chelsea Green: ‘They would’ve had to drag the belt away from me’ [Exclusive]

Chelsea Green is not afraid to fight for what she wants most out of life and in her WWE career. She’s living proof that if you want something bad enough, if you work hard enough, and if you ask the right people the right questions, you can overcome any obstacle that comes your way.

Green’s nearly 10 year journey in professional wrestling has not been without its challenges, but that road of rejection and dejection has molded her into a Superstar built to survive and thrive in today’s unpredictable WWE landscape.

World Wrestling Entertainment made headlines last Tuesday, when it’s deal to merge with UFC and form the TKO Holdings Group under parent company Endeavor, became official. For the first time is decades, Vince McMahon is no longer the majority owner of his family founded company that he transformed to global wrestling empire.

What the future holds for WWE is as unpredictable as it’s ever been. But no matter the moves that are made at the corporate level, you can count on Chelsea Green being someone who can handle whatever the trickledown effect may be.

“If I’m being honest, I feel like unchartered territory is like where I thrive,” Green said in a recent interview with Cageside Seats. “I have been released. I have been fired. I have been not hired. I have been rehired. I have gone through all these things in one way or another. And it might not be the sale of a company, but it’s COVID, it’s a pandemic. It’s not being hired after Tough Enough when all of the Tough Enough cast was hired. Like, all these things I’ve been through, have set me up for just facing uncertainty or adversity or whatever it is.”

And facing it head-on. When life threw Chelsea her latest curveball, she sat on it, took a big swing and made solid contact.

Eleven days after Green and Sonya Deville won the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships, the pair would find themselves competing on SmackDown against Charlotte Flair and Bianca Belair.

In their first match as the new Tag Team Champs, Deville would tear her ACL. Its an injury that will sideline her for several months. The news left many members of the WWE Universe, including Sonya herself, believing that those Women’s Title belts are cursed.

“[Sonya and I] have such a history together, coming up through Tough Enough. And I’ve supported her along the way. I’ve been watching her do all these amazing things, but not be able to actually grasp a championship. And so for her to finally win her first championship in eight years... to win this alongside her, it was such a full circle moment. And then for that to happen, it’s like, ‘God, why? Like, why, why, why?’”

Once the initial shock of the news wore off, it was time for both women to get to work. For Sonya, she had to prepare herself for surgery and the grueling months of rehab she’ll have to endure to make it back to the ring.

It’s a challenge that her tag team partner is more than confident she will be able to battle through with flying colors.

“I am counting down the months until Sonya can come back and show the world how strong she is, because we have seen her be strong in so many different areas of wrestling. And outside of wrestling, we’ve seen her go through a lot. We’ve never seen her face an injury and come back. And I really think she’s gonna come back even better.”

As heartbroken as she was over losing her tag team partner to injury, Chelsea Green had zero time to waste. She knew she had to figure out a way to hang onto the Tag Team Championships that she and Sonya worked so hard, for so long, just to win in the first place.

There was absolutely zero chance, that Chelsea was just going to hand the titles over to the WWE Creative Team and let them anoint new Champions through a tournament or any other means.

And it’s a good thing that no one ever approached Chelsea with the intentions of taking the title belts away from her, because they would have had a literal fight on their hands.

“I did not give them the opportunity to take my favorite accessory away from me. People were not gonna take this [Tag Team Championship] away. And if they even tried, I promise you, I would’ve been kicking and screaming. They would’ve had to drag the belt away from me, while I held onto it.”

Luckily for Chelsea, she had a bit of time on her side. She quickly went to work, coming up with a number of ideas and pitches on how to move forward with the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships, and within 24 hours of Sonya Deville landing on the shelf, the concept for “Chelsea’s Got Talent” was born.

Days later, without the knowledge of anyone from WWE, she introduced the social media audition “contest” on the After the Bell podcast — posting the clip above to Twitter (or X now, I guess) before the episode even aired.

“I knew that this was an opportunity for me to show not only the world, but to show my boss, what I could do and the attention I could bring to WWE.”

Mission accomplished. Introduced on a Thursday, “Chelsea’s Got Talent” took off over the weekend. Garnering countless submissions, ranging from current WWE Superstars like R-Truth, to WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley, reality TV stars, and members upon members of the WWE Universe.

“It was so cool to see people from all over applying.” Green said. “That’s what I love about WWE, it’s so inclusive. Everyone feels that they have a little bit of something in WWE. A little investment in WWE. Whether it’s in a character... whatever it is. People feel like they could be here and be a part of this.”

While she was hopeful that “Chelsea’s Got Talent” would go as viral as it did, she said nothing is a guarantee with today’s social media users. It’s hard to tell what’s going to gain any traction and so many “great” ideas have died a slow death in cyberspace.

In her words, she threw something against the wall hoping it would stick, and thankfully it stuck. By the time the next episode of Monday Night Raw was set to air, WWE had a viable and already successful option on the table for how to proceed with Chelsea Green as one half — or both — of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions.

It was that night that Piper Niven made her return to WWE programming and declared herself with winner of “Chelsea’s Got Talent”, so to speak. She took the second title belt off of Chelsea’s shoulder and declared herself to be Sonya Deville’s replacement.

It was a bittersweet moment that brought to an abrupt end a brilliant concept that likely had legs to carry weeks of television.

Regardless, “Chelsea’s Got Talent” was well-calculated gamble for Green to take and it was one that paid off. WWE took notice of her creativity and her ability to get a response from the fans and Chelsea believes — at least in part — that’s why she’s still has her favorite accessory today.

“I also believe in whatever is meant to be, will be. And it took me a long time to get there, but I am there and whatever happens, happens... You can only control certain things. You can control your gear and the way that you look and you can control your mindset. That’s it.”

With Green, her mindset is everything and it’s all encompassing. Covering how she approaches and prepares for her job, but also the time she spends away from the ring.

No doubt you’ve heard of someone, “living their best life.” Well, Chelsea Green is truly living her best life.

“I just go to work. I do my work and I leave. And when I am off the clock, I have the best, even if it’s 24 hours, the best 24 hours. The best weekend, the best week, whatever it is. I spend my time, if you follow me on social media, you see I’m going to Halloween Horror nights. I’m going to Disney. I’m going on vacation. I’m going to Lake Tahoe. I’m visiting my friends and family. I am doing this so differently than I would’ve done if WWE hired me in 2015.”

Green’s positive approach to life was one of the few flowers that blossomed among the crop of weeds that was the COVID-19 pandemic.

As it was for millions of Americans, those several months were a trying time for Chelsea and her family. But being able to weather the storm and come out in a better place on the other side, was a real turning point in her life.

“I don’t think there’s a person in this world that can say that the pandemic did not change them in one way or another. Watching people face what they faced, losing my job, reinventing myself, and not only doing it just myself, but my entire household did that. My husband [Matt Cardona] had to do that too. We were faced with things that we never thought that we would be faced with, and that we definitely didn’t think we were gonna face together. And so to be able to be released and continue to pursue my dream, continue to support my lifestyle, was really eye-opening.”

Always one to thrive in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, the next challenge for Chelsea Green to tackle is elevating the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.

Now that her new partner, Piper Niven, has been medically cleared after a reported brief illness, the pair is hopefully set to go on a run that will give the division some much needed stability.

Whether you believe in curses or not, there’s no denying that those Championships have been caught up in a series of unfortunate events recently — nearly having to be vacated twice in a month due to injury. But there’s nothing holding them back now.

“Now we’re gonna get the ball rolling,” Green said. “We had a momentary little pause, and Piper’s back, and I think that these Titles could travel around to all the brands. You know, we said that from the beginning, but we haven’t seen that.”

It’s true. The WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships were originally a golden ticket to work on any night of the week that WWE was putting on a show, no matter what brand the Champions called home.

That was until the spring of 2021, when NXT introduced a new set of Tag Titles specific to Tuesday nights. Now that both sets of Women’s belts have been unified, Chelsea is ready to take Piper Niven and their gold on a “world tour”.

“Let’s go to SmackDown. Who’s the team there that we can beat?” Chelsea said as she started to run down her competition in character. “Let’s move on to the witchy girls [Alba Frye and Isla Dawn]. Let’s move on to the purple hair little girl [Candice LeRae] and Indi [Hartwell]. Impressive Indi. Let’s move on to the NXT girls.”

Before they take the gold on tour, Chelsea and Piper appear to have something brewing on their home brand of Monday Night Raw. There’s a new alliance forming between Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark and they seemingly have taken issue with the Champs.

That could lead to a future Tag Team Title opportunity for Baszler and Stark, potentially at Fastlane next month in Indianapolis. It would be the first Premium Live Event appearance for the Women’s Tag Team Titles since Money in the Bank back in July.

On-screen, Chelsea may have an issue with that match being booked. She’ll likely even berate Adam Pearce for making it official. Off-screen, she’s all for it and is ready to defend her title.

“That’s what they deserve. They deserve to go around the world. They deserve to be on pay-per-views. They deserve to be defended.”

Make sure to check out our full conversation with Chelsea Green in the video at the top of the page, and don’t miss her and Piper Niven tonight on Monday Night Raw, starting at 8pm ET on the USA Network. And remember, you can always follow along with the show in Cageside’s live blog.

You can follow Rick Ucchino on Twitter and subscribe to the Bleav in Pro Wrestling Podcast Channel for more of his work.

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