Originally published at Dawn Marie reflects on WWE releasing her while she was pregnant
Dawn Marie recounts her time with WWE.
From 2002-2005, Dawn Marie was under contract to WWE. Early on during her time in the company, she feuded with Torrie Wilson and Wilson’s late father, Al, was involved in their storyline as well.
In July of 2005, Marie was let go from the company while she was on maternity leave. She ended up filing a lawsuit against the company for releasing her. She reflected on that during her appearance on René Duprée’s Café De René podcast. Dawn always wanted to have children and was caught in a crossroads of having kids or staying focused on work and not having kids.
She and her then-fiancé planned to have children and Dawn informed WWE on a Tuesday that she was expecting. That Friday, she was pulled from the schedule. At that point, she hired a lawyer. She was later informed by John Laurinaitis that creative had nothing for her and they would be letting her go. Dawn said there was a multitude of ways she could have been used or just sent home until she had her baby.
I was pregnant, I got pregnant, it was planned, my fiancé at the time. I was getting older… on my last contract, I had another year, year-and-a-half and it was like, either I got pregnant or I was never gonna have kids. I was gonna be stuck on the road. It was like — and I was going through this really hard time in my life because I wanted to have a family. I never had it so it was really important to me, but then yet here is my career and this is really important to me. What do you do? I even looked into surrogates back then, thinking about doing that because I’m like, well I can’t ruin my body. I need this for work. I looked at all different avenues… I got pregnant. I told them on a Tuesday. Friday, I was done. Well Friday, they sent me home. They didn’t put me back on the road, now mind you, all those years I was in the wrestling business, right? I probably only missed two weekends in all those years because you know, it’s all about spots. You’re not there, someone’s gonna come and take your spot. Two weekends, ever. I was on the road always, never took off. Missed everything in life and then they were, ‘Oh, well, we’re gonna keep you home this weekend.’ I’m like, ‘Okay’ and then it came two weeks, it’s been three weeks and then they weren’t gonna put me on the ECW reunion show, they took me off of that, which I was like, ‘Oh hell no. You’re not gonna do that to me’ and I got a lawyer. No. At the same time, they were like, ‘Well we don’t have anything for you right now’ and so Johnny Ace called me that morning and told me that. He’s like, ‘Dawn!’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah?’ He goes, ‘I’m sorry, we’re gonna have to let you go because creative just don’t have anything right now’ and I go, ‘Well, just be honest. I’m a raging slut. I’ll do anything you ask me to do,’ you know, in the ring. ‘You don’t have a storyline for me? I’m pregnant. Whose baby is it!?’ Let’s be serious, my character was so maniacal and slutty and this and that, right? And I was in the business for so long, I could commentate, I could be in and out, I could be on the outside, I could be an interviewer, I could be a backstage story, or guess what? You could have sent me home, have my baby and then come back.
On the build to Torrie Wilson versus Dawn Marie at Royal Rumble 2003, there was a video that aired during the December 2002 Armageddon pay-per-view. Dawn brought Torrie’s father Al to the ring and she played a video of her and Torrie being intimate in a hotel room.
After that segment with Torrie and Dawn was filmed, Dawn ran into Vince McMahon, Michael Hayes and Paul Heyman who were smirking at her. McMahon approached Dawn and said all of what she and Torrie did could not be used because it was too much of what they wanted for TV because that’s where that footage was originally supposed to be shown. McMahon requested that she and Torrie film it again and they did, but said he could not use that for TV either so decided to move it to the pay-per-view.
That storyline and, ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Well, we can’t use a lot of it’ and I go, ‘Oh, oh, okay.’ ‘We need you to go back and redo it.’ So we had to do that twice. He was like, ‘Yeah, we can’t show that on TV’ and that’s why, they were originally going to show it on TV, but then they had to put it to the pay-per-view because even with the second, it was too much. That’s why they had to put it to the pay-per-view.
In 2019, Torrie Wilson was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Her father Al passed away just days before she received the honor.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit the Café De René podcast with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.