In her first post-WWE interview, former WWE developmental talent and Tough Enough contestant Ivelisse Velez (Sofia Cortez) speaks on her surprising release in an interview with Diva Dirt.
Velez discusses her release, rumors which circulated regarding her attitude, whether she feels any resentment that she and Christina Crawford were let go while their Tough Enough colleague, Cameron/Ariane Andrew, survived a DUI and alleged police bribery incident and much more.
Ivelisse talks about her run in FCW/NXT, being an “Anti-Diva”, whether there were plans for an NXT Divas Championship, and her plans for the future.
Ivelisse on WWE release: “Definitely a shock to me, and a shock to many, many — not just fans. It was very hard for me, especially throughout the clause of the contract. My whole career basically for eight years or so, pouring [my] heart and soul into something, and everything’s going great and the direction you put all the effort to — and all of a sudden it’s gone. It’s really hard. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through other than the thing with Tough Enough, because I’ve given my all. I was still in high school and after that I gave up scholarships to just struggle to do what I wanted to do with wrestling. I came here to the States from Puerto Rico with nothing and just started from the ground up, and thankfully I was blessed to be able to get noticed with WWE. I’m a hundred times grateful for the opportunities while there. It’s just unfortunate, you know?”
Ivelisse on attitude rumors: “Anywhere you go and you’re a confident woman, you believe in your abilities, and no matter how respectful you are, they’ll label as something in a negative way. It can’t be like, ‘Oh that girl is confident and she respects herself enough to stand up for herself and she knows her value’. Not everyone will see it that way. Some people see it as, ‘Good, she’s a strong person’, others may take it the wrong way. I try my best, like anyone else, to be respectful. I am a human being, most probably I’ve made mistakes, but I do know for a fact, I can confidently say, I strive to be as professional as possible. That has more value than anything else.”
Ivelisse on her release versus Cameron’s troubles: “I guess anybody would [feel resentment], you know? Looking at it, I am a human being. I don’t wish anybody any bad or anything like that. That speaks for itself. I don’t have to say my opinion about that. It speaks for itself. When I read that… Like I said, everybody makes mistakes. Who knows, maybe she’ll learn from this? But yeah, it kinda sucks.”