WWE Backstage coverage

WWE Backstage Report: April 21, 2020

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Backstage relives Maria Menounos’s Dusty Rhodes impression.

“You don’t know what hard times are, daddy! Hard times are when the textile workers around the country are outta work. They got 4 to 5 kids, they can’t pay their wages, can’t buy their food. Hard times are when the auto workers are outta work, and they tell ’em, ‘Go home.’ Hard times are when a man has worked a job for 30 years, 30 years, and they give him a watch, kick him in the butt and say, ‘Hey, a computer took your place, daddy.’ That’s hard times. That’s hard times.”

Maria Menounos joins the panel!

Once again, Renee loves that killer Dusty Rhodes tribute. Maria is happy to be back, and Beth points out Maria kicked her butt on several occasions. Renee wants to talk about that WrestleMania 28 moment. Maria could cry thinking back to that amazing moment. She was so lucky to be part of that moment. The most exciting and emotional movement ever, especially for a lifelong fan like herself. To be part of WrestleMania like that, against the Glamazon, no less! Maria can die happy. As for Beth, putting the match together, no one has the enthusiasm like Maria. It was also still when the women didn’t get a lot of time on the big stages, and that match in particular was one of the longest Beth had been a part of.

A lot of that was Maria getting mainstream attention for them, and the work Maria put in to get them on E! Network and all that. It was another big part of why women were featured on WrestleMania 28, and Beth just loves how much energy and enthusiasm Maria had. Renee knows the advice is to soak up the moment. Did Maria get to do that? Maria is pretty sure she did. She was also part of the go-home Raw and Tribute to the Troops, so there was a lot of build for that match. Maria admits to being terrified because of a bad injury on Dancing with the Stars. She feared breaking a rib and puncturing a lung, or even breaking her feet. But when you work with pros, and some of the best ones, it is really easy.

Renee asks how Natty and Maria became friends. Maria is part of the WWE Family because of her passion and respect for the business. Even when they’re not local. She traveled pretty far for some. But Maria has a great love that you can feel, even for someone who grew up in the business like Natty. Natty loves Maria’s enthusiasm and genuine personality, and her love of the WWE. They share that energy, so having Maria as a tag team partner, it was a lot of fun. It reminded Natty of why she loves the business. Seeing it through the eyes of a beginner like Maria, who wasn’t on the independent scene or raised in the business, the love for the business was genuine.


Renee asks Maria about Sonya Deville. Maria basically helped WWE make that signing happen, so how did that friendship start? Sonya was a host at After Buzz TV, the after show network for E! Network. So basically, it was the ESPN of entertainment. They were covering everything in TV, and that was Sonya’s start. Maria and Kevin watched Sonya’s MMA fight, and then they got to meet and talk. Maria was so impressed by Sonya’s toughness, and then a meeting with USA Network led Maria to Tough Enough. Should she be saying all this? Maria knew she wasn’t tough enough, but she had a good feeling Sonya was. And so the idea was pitched, and they called her and made the offer, and the rest is history.


Yes, Renee confirms Sonya crushed Tough Enough. But wow, Maria wasn’t going to host Tough Enough but compete? Maria’s machine gun laugh goes off, confirming that true story. Beth says Maria is tougher than she thinks, and she probably could’ve won. But hopefully Maria can be in the ring again some day, alongside some great friends.

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