Former two-time WWE Women’s Champion Jazz was recently featured on Noonan Speaks podcast to discuss her start in ECW, who helped her get to the WWE and first experiences when arriving at the WWE. Highlights of the interview below, courtesy of Wrestling INC.
On first joining ECW: “I was in ECW in ’98 and I had my first pay-per-view match. I was doing house shows and all that and I was part of Justin Credible’s entourage at pay-per-views before the single’s match. I debuted my single’s pay-per-view match against Jason Knight at Heat Wave in ’99. And that was the birth of ‘The Female Fighting Phenom’. That did it I always give props to Paul E [Heyman]. and [Tommy] Dreamer for seeing something different in me and something that I had to offer to the [pro wrestling] business, so I owe a lot of credit to Dreamer and Paul E.”
On who helped her get to the WWE: “First off, ECW folds, right? The next thing you know, who’s commentating? Paul E. Alright, so Rodney [Mack] and I, we moved to Texas in Fort Worth, and we’re doing indies. Still, we were trying to make it to WWE. That was our ultimate goal. So on an indie show, we run into Dreamer. There he was like, ‘Hey, I’m going to talk to Paul. He’s commentating now. He’s over there [in WWE] and I’ll see if I can get you a dark match, okay?’ And I was like, ‘okay! Cool!’”
On her first impression of Chyna: “I saw Chyna there one Monday and I never saw her there again. It was really weird because she was in a corner by herself. I had heard stories. Yeah, yeah, yeah… I didn’t really know, but out of respect to Chyna, I went and introduced myself and she didn’t even reach her hand out, extend her hand out whatsoever to try to shake my hand to say ‘Hello’ or anything. And I was like, ‘Whoa, okay…’ That was something new because, in ECW, we were a family. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, we get to the building, we shake hands, we hug, we go, ‘Hey, hey, hey’ every weekend. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, the first thing we do is shake hands and hug. That’s how we greet each other in ECW. And then, you get to WWE, you don’t know if you should speak. It’s a whole different world over there.”
Vince McMahon’s reaction to her first PPV Match against Trish Stratus: “I remember my first pay-per-view match with Trish, and, at the time, they were still putting me up in the office hotel, as we’d call it. The office would stay at a hotel and the talent would get their own rooms elsewhere. You don’t want to be at the same hotel as the office. So anyways, I’m staying at the hotel where Vince and everyone is staying. And I’m standing there waiting in line to get to the counter to get my room and Vince and Linda walked in. And Vince shakes my hand. He’s like, ‘Kid, great freaking job. That was an awesome match tonight.’ And I was like, ‘Holy moly! Vince McMahon just shook my hand and gave me a compliment!’ So that alone right there, that’s a standout moment alone right there as far as WWE goes.”
On her dark match with Ivory: “Anyway, I get the call for the dark match and I get there. Ivory’s in the locker room. Molly Holly‘s in the locker room, which I had met Molly Holly a few times at ECW shows. I think she was in WCW at the time. We [were] near, I guess, her neck of the woods and she would stop by. I got to meet her a few times. And I was told I was going to get to wrestle Ivory for my dark match, so Ivory’s like, ‘Hey, lady! How are you?’ I love Ivory – she has the greatest personality I’ve ever met in my life. She’s an awesome, awesome lady. So she’s like, ‘How are you?’ and I’m like, ‘I’m good! It’s good to meet you. Blah, blah, blah. Whatever.’ She goes, ‘Yeah, I’ve heard so much about you. Unfortunately, I’ve never watched your work or anything like that, but Molly says you’re freaking awesome and she loves you! She puts you over all the time.’ I was like, ‘Whoa! Really?’ I was like, ‘Well, thank you!’ [Ivory said], ‘So tonight is your night and I’m going to make sure that you go out there and shine bright like a diamond and everything we do out there, we’re going to make it all about you.’ And I said, ‘I appreciate that.’ So we went out there and we did our dark match. And we came back and they said that was the biggest crowd reaction they’ve ever had for a women’s dark match ever in the history of WWE. So kudos to Ivory for looking out. And that’s why, the way she came to me and what she did for me, I did for others. Every female that came in that building for a tryout to get a job, I was the first one to step in that ring and workout with them, so they could showcase their talent, their craft, in front of the agents.”
Jazz also discusses helping elevate Trish Stratus’ career, influences she received Tommy Dreamer and Paul Heyman, and not being intimidated to talk to people.
What did you think of the interview? What are your favorite Jazz moments from her career? Let us know in the comments!