Funky Divas: Bringing the WWE to Reality TV [INTERVIEW]

The Funkadactyls: Cameron (l) and Naomi

Page 2 of 3

everybody when you watch our shows. There is someone that everybody can relate to. If you saw us within the community giving back, it’s amazing what we do and how much we put out. WWE is global, it’s worldwide. We do three hundred shows a year.

AA: I would just like to add to the whole stereotype thing. I think a lot of it goes back to the attitude era, the time when everything wasn’t PG. Now we are a PG company and, you know, we really try to gear towards women which is why we have Total Divas. Of the percentage [of female fans] that we do have, eighty percent of them are mothers like yourself. I feel like a lot of [the negativity and lack of diversity] has changed and it’s great to have so many different people that come from so many different backgrounds. Out of all of the Divas we have, there is someone for any fan that is watching.  I just think being an African American Diva, it’s nice to show little girls and boys that if you put in your mind and your heart and dedication towards something, you can make anything happen. Trinity and I are a perfect example of that. So I think that a lot of the stereotypes that have been in the past have totally been broken because everything about the WWE now is totally different now.

EBONY.com: You work and play together. How has your friendship evolved since you met?

TM: Cameron and I were very close since the day we met. We hit it off and have been good friends. I like to describe our relationship as sisters because we have disagreements, we have arguments, we are together all the time 24/7, and I think it’s natural that we get under each other’s skin. We love each other, we hate each other but at the end of the day we have each other’s back.

AA : From day one we kind of just clicked. Like Trinity said, no matter what, you are going to have your ups and downs, your disagreements especially when you travel—and we travel all the time together. I am so lucky to have her as my tag team partner because she helps me in so many ways. This girl is amazing. She has definitely made me want to push harder and train harder.

EBONY.com (kid 2): How did you guys get the name 'The Funkadactyls'?

TM: We brainstormed on a few different names. The Funkadelics was one.

AA: Was it Funktastical?

TM: We combined with Funkasaurus, which is who we valet and dance for. We wanted to have something related to him. We wanted a dinosaur name to match his name so we ended up with The Funkadactyls.

EBONY.com (kid 1): Yeah but did you guys choose Brotus Clay (The Funkasaurus) or were you forced to work with him?

TM: No we wanted to work with him, we’ve known each other for a while, and when the opportunity came we were very excited to dance with him and be able to work together.

EBONY.com (kid 1): Were you all ever bullied as kids?

AA: Yes. We were bullied as kids but you know what? It feels great because now Trinity and I can go around and talk about how to stop bullying and to prevent it from happening through the WWE Be a Star program. We can talk to children about how being a bully and how watching bullying happen is not okay. So have you ever been bullied before?

EBONY.com (kid 1 & 2): [long pause] Nope.

AA: That’s good.

EBONY.com (kid 1): Have you ever been bullied by the Bella Twins [the WWE "heels" who rival The Funckadactyls]?

TM: On TV as our characters, yes, but not in real life. In real life they are really nice girls. They are sweet, they are funny, but on TV we are acting; we are playing a role and pretending.

EBONY.com (kid 1): So Naomi, do you have a finishing move because I noticed you beat one of the twins with a crossbody.

TM: [laughs] Yes, right now I use the crossbody as a finish—but I haven’t come up with a good name for it yet.

EBONY.com: You've stepped out of wrestling into the world of reality TV, but there's a lot of criticism of Black women who are on reality shows because it's believed that many don’t put forth positive images. Pardon the pun, but are you wrestling with that issue yourselves? Do you feel the burden of being 'positive'?

TM: I see myself as a role model and I think that everything that I am putting out is positive. It feels good to me as a Diva to be successful in what traditionally has been a man’s world, not just as an African-American but as a woman, period. I feel like Cameron and