Chris Van Vliet recently interviewed WWE Hall of Famer Torrie Wilson for the latest episode of the INSIGHT podcast and YouTube show. The interview, full of candid revelations and insights from Wilson, is available to watch at the end of this article. Highlights of the discussion include:
Wilson reflected on her experiences participating in bikini contests during her time with WWE, describing them as "mortifying." Despite putting on a confident front, she recalled moments of intense discomfort, such as a house show:
"They were all mortifying. People don't realize. I went out there and owned it the best I could and pushed through the fear, but it was mortifying. There were times when, I remember specifically a house show that I was in this bikini showdown with Dawn Marie and Sable and someone else. I was standing in the corner watching one of the girls dance in the middle and literally fighting back tears. Like, I cannot believe I'm doing this right now because it got to like a raunchy point, and I'm like, I don't want to be a part of this, but that was also my job."
When asked if she ever felt she could refuse to participate in certain segments, Wilson admitted it was challenging due to her nature as a people pleaser. She recounted two instances where she firmly said no:
"No. It was like twice that I could remember that I (said no). First of all, I’m a major people pleaser, so to say no to people is really hard, even if it's someone you know. I'm recovering from that. There was one time when I had a thing with Sable where Vince wanted me to come out with the paint on my boobs like she did, and I was like, hard no, I can't do that. I mean, it ended up being nearly nothing anyway. Another time was when I did Playboy, Vince wanted me to do a pay-per-view also, the video. That one was very hardcore pressed and it was really hard for me to say no, but I absolutely didn't want that."
Discussing her decision to pose for Playboy, Wilson expressed mixed feelings. She initially viewed the opportunity positively, excited about the glamour and fame associated with the magazine:
"That part, no because I thought it's photos, I know it's gonna look good, and it's Playboy. To be honest, this is gonna sound real dumb, but I hadn't really even thought about the fact that I was kind of gonna be nude because Playboy was such a popular magazine. I was like, this is gonna be awesome, right? Playboy parties and all that. Literally, it wasn't until I was landing on the plane to go to the shoot that I was like, oh, sh*t, there's going to actually be other people in the room, not just me and the photographer. It was kind of a closed set. So there wasn't more than maybe six people and I always had a robe, but in between shots, I was always like, this is so weird."
Wilson also spoke about her pride in maintaining her integrity throughout her wrestling career. She emphasized that she never compromised her values for fame or success, avoiding politics and backstage maneuvers to advance her career:
"I'm really proud of the fact that I stayed true to my values. Even though on screen it got a little raunchy, I was never that girl that politicked my way. I never slept my way to the top trying to get a little extra attention, and to me, that goes a long way. I was never a backstabber. I was, you know, on the up and up, and to me that's something that I'm most proud of."
Finally, Wilson shared her detachment from wrestling following her departure from WWE. For years, she avoided the sport entirely, partly due to the PTSD from the vulnerability and judgment she felt during her career:
"I didn't watch wrestling. I didn't want anything to do with wrestling for many years after I left mostly because I just had a certain amount of PTSD from being so vulnerable out there and feeling like I was put in this kind of, like, this raunchy role that wasn't me. I felt judgment from people. I felt like people looked down on me for like, just stuff that I did, the bra and panty matches and all that, so like, I just wanted to shut that door. For many years, I didn't watch. It wasn't until they called me to do the Royal Rumble that I started to kind of catch up and then I got really into it, like more into it than I ever was when I was wrestling."
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