Originally published at Carmella DeCesare recounts 'horrible' WWE Diva Search experience
DeCesare liked working for the company but did not enjoy how she was treated by fellow talents.
In 2004, WWE presented the second installment of their ‘Diva Search’ contest. The winner received a contract with the company and a $250,000 prize.
Among the participants that year were Michelle McCool, Christy Hemme, Maria Kanellis-Bennett and Carmella DeCesare, who was Playboy’s Playmate of the Year in 2004.
Carmella spoke candidly about her experience with WWE while on the ‘Girls Next Level’ podcast and described it as ‘horrible’. She clarified several times that she enjoyed working for the company and wishes that continued but it was how she was treated by fellow talents that made the experience an overall negative.
She stated that everyone treated her badly except Christy Hemme and described how she was treated as ‘high school sh*t’.
I want a redo, I want a redo [DeCesare laughed]… Same thing [as Playboy], it was just an open call [she said about getting her shot with WWE]. It was an open call in some rando city and I’m like, oh, let me go be a wrestler and so, I decided I was gonna try out… The actual competition [Diva Search] didn’t go quickly because it was week after week but, I quickly went through the interview process and I think because I was the reigning Playmate of the Year, it stood out and they kind of utilized that during the show as well and so, for me, the experience was horrible. Talk about competition. At least the girls with Playboy were nice. These girls were f*cking brutal. Brutal. They were so terrible. Most of that is scripted. Everything that we do there, it’s like you go for a show eight hours before a show. You stick to your script. That’s the way that it is. They would carry it to the locker room. I would walk in a locker room, they were calling me a slut, a skank, every nasty name that they could. It was so ruthless.
It was f*cked up [the names I was called on TV]. They were so nasty and it was not scripted. Were there things that were scripted? Yes. I was kind of cast to play the villain so I mean, I said some nasty, horrible things that were, you know, it was scripted but it just didn’t stop when you got off the stage. When you go back in the locker room and they’re in there just talking sh*t to you, talking sh*t about you and I’m like, it’s not right and I think it got to a point where I was just like, hey, I’m good. I’m working with Playboy, I don’t need this and I think at that point, they probably had a talk with some of the girls but I remember one that owned a modeling agency in L.A., she was awful. She was not a nice person at all.
They said every nasty name that they could call me and it was so awkward too because you’re walking in this locker room and they’re all talking about you and you’re walking in, you hear it all and it’s like, well what am I supposed to say? It’s like one against 12 people. It was just the most uncomfortable, uneasy and I’m like, I don’t need this. I didn’t need the money at that point but I wanted to be… even after, I wanted to continue working for WWE because once the contest portion was done, it was fun and I actually liked the winner. The winner was nice, it was Christy Hemme. She was great but the rest of them were awful. The only time that any of them were nice was when it got down to the final three and they didn’t have their backup b*tches with them on the side, you know? I’m not a hater. There’s room for all of us at the finish line and I love my girlfriends and it’s like, you stick up for your girlfriends. You don’t go against them. It was high school sh*t.
It’s like what happened to you as a kid to make you like that? Who did what to you? To be that level of nasty, there’s no reason for it.
DeCesare reiterated that she wanted to stick around. She shared that an agent she had burned a bridge with WWE during the contract negotiation process.
Despite being the runner up, DeCesare had an offer but her representation asked for triple of what was being offered and then the process of her coming into the company full-time was halted.
It was tough and I wish that I had continued to work for them [WWE] because I do love the company. I did like working for them. I just didn’t like how aggressive the contest was but even after that, there was a guy I had met up at the [Playboy] mansion who was kind of like an agent… I shouldn’t say this but I’m going to. It really kind of screwed me up with WWE because even though I was the runner up [in Diva Search], they offered me a contract and so here I have this big name agent that’s coming up to the Playboy mansion, he was a friend of Hef’s and he was like, ‘Oh, I’ll represent you’ and I was honored to be represented by this guy. Well he started having conversation with WWE and was asking for triple the contract that they were offering me and they were, at that point, just like, see you later. Done. We’re not dealing with this. It was very just primadonna and they didn’t wanna deal with it and for them, pretty girls are a dime a dozen just like Playboy and so, they were just on to the next and so I was always just super disappointed because I really did like the company and I loved working for them. Just not the competition part so, I kind of feel like that was where one thing that didn’t go in my favor because without that, I do think I would have signed and continued working with them but this guy was such a hard ass and was like, ‘No, no. She’s the current Playmate of the Year. It’s gonna be this amount of money’ and they were just like, see you later so I just feel like he really burned a bridge for me there. Everything happens for a reason. But I did like working with them.
DeCesare was the runner up behind Christy Hemme. She competed in one sanctioned match for WWE and that was a Pillow Fight in 2004 against Hemme at Taboo Tuesday.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit ‘Girls Next Level’ with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.