wrestling / Columns

Chelsea Green on Dealing With Her WWE Release, Bouncing Back, Her Time in NXT

August 28, 2021 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
chelsea green

Wrestling veteran Chelsea Green was formerly signed to WWE, but she was among a string of releases that began earlier this year. Since that time, the former Impact Knockouts champion has bounced back, debuting in Ring of Honor (ROH) and also making her grand return to Impact Wrestling at Slammiversary 2021, where she teamed with her real-life fiancé, Matt Cardona. Green has also kept busy launching her own podcast, and recently she took the time to chat with 411 for an exclusive interview. Here’s what she had to say about her career, dealing with her WWE release, joining ROH and Impact, and what’s next for her career:

Jeffrey Harris: Do you feel like the last few weeks have been a restart or a rebirth for the Chelsea Green legend?

Chelsea Green: Absolutely, and I knew that’s what I wanted it to be, you know, especially having 90 days to really think about where I wanted to go, who I wanted to be, how I wanted the world to perceive me. I have no excuse to not kind of have a rebirth in wrestling.

Jeffrey Harris: You’ve been building a lot of buzz between your Ring of Honor (ROH) debut and your return to Impact Wrestling, so it looks like you have a lot of momentum. So, how does it feel at this point in your career after what you’ve been through with your injury to have this much buzz and momentum on your side?

Chelsea Green: It feels great. That’s exactly what I hoped for when I took those 90 days to plan what I was going to do. That’s also why I stayed a free agent and I didn’t initially sign anywhere right off the bat is because I wanted this buzz, and I wanted to pop up in places that were buzz-worthy and kind of get people thinking and kind of shake up the wrestling world in the sense that we haven’t really seen people going from company to company until this year. And so, it’s really fun to be able to do that and to get people talking again.

Jeffrey Harris: With the arm break, it sounded like it was quite the battle for you just to make it back to the ring and to wrestling?

Chelsea Green: The first time I broke it in NXT, it was live in front of the audience. That was kind of the first injury I really had with wrestling, or I guess the first setback when I’m on TV and I’m getting momentum. So, that bugged me, but the recovery was quick. The second time is kind of where everybody saw me drop off the face of the earth, literally, live on SmackDown. That one was tougher because I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, which was that main roster contract, that main roster buzz, that main roster push. And so, it was kind of hard to bounce back from that because I was in a different place emotionally. And then what a lot of people didn’t see behind the scenes was that I was struggling with having a plate in my arm that I was having an allergic reaction to that I needed to get taken out, and breaking it again and not being able to tell you guys that that was happening; trying to keep it — to announcing at Ring of Honor, all these weird things behind the scenes that were putting me in a different place. But now that I’ve got the cast of, and I’ve got the removable cast on and I’m kind of a good place mentally and emotionally, I feel like this will be the best comeback yet.

Jeffrey Harris: I’ve talked with EC3 about this, but I want to hear your perspective as well. What do you think about reinvention in wrestling?

Chelsea Green: I mean I wholeheartedly believe that if you are stale and not feeling yourself, reinventing is the best way to reinvigorate yourself, the audience, your character. I love a good reinvention.

Jeffrey Harris: What can you tell us about wrestling in Ring of Honor?

Chelsea Green: Well, I can’t wrestle in Ring of Honor until I am fully, 100 and ten percent cleared. So, there is no matches happening for me in the near future at this point. That could totally change, but right now, I’m in this weird position where Ring of Honor films their shows in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Maryland Athletic Commission will not allow me to wrestle with any sort of cast on or with this injury.

Jeffrey Harris: So does that mean you are out of the tournament?

Chelsea Green: I am totally out of the tournament, and I will be doing — I will be sitting on the sidelines and doing commentary and watching everybody. But I basically won’t be back until the winner of this women’s championship tournament will be crowned.

Jeffrey Harris: Well, I think when the winner is crowned, you should get the next shot, and you will become the next ROH Women’s champion.

Chelsea Green: I mean I think so too *Laughs*, so we’ll see.

Jeffrey Harris: What do you think about the competitors who are in the tournament at the moment? Are you scouting any of the talent?

Chelsea Green: I absolutely have been checking out every single competitor in the tournament. I’m so impressed with the diversity in this tournament. We’ve got veterans, we’ve got newbies, we have got women from all over the world. Women of all different shapes and sizes, and that’s what we need to see in the tournament. I don’t want to look at the brackets and be able to easily choose who is going to be able to win this tournament. And I truly think with the Ring of Honor Women’s Championship Tournament, you cannot make predictions right now as hard as I try. But yeah, I will be sitting ringside for most of the tournament, if not sitting ringside. If not doing commentary, I’ll be backstage sitting and watching every match. So, I’m just checking my competition, so when we crown that champion, who I’m going to be facing up against; hopefully.

Jeffrey Harris: What was it like to make your return at Impact’s Slammiversary, and the fans were finally back at that event, correct?

Chelsea Green: Yes. It was the first time we had the fans back in Impact in a year; a really long time.

Jeffrey Harris: What was it like to have that special appearance and have fans present as well and feed off of that energy?

Chelsea Green: It was amazing, and it was everything I could’ve asked for from Impact. It was just, oh man, having the fans back, and being back in the Impact Zone, and being with my fiancé, and my best friend, and all my old co-workers; I had such an awesome, positive time when I was in Impact [before], and so it was just great to be back, and it felt kind of just like I was coming home.

Jeffrey Harris: And then at homecoming, you teamed with Matt Cardona again and won your first-round match in the Homecoming tournament. How was it getting to team with because I don’t think you had never gotten to wrestle together with him before you got together?

Chelsea Green: No. Not only have we not teamed, or wrestled together, we really haven’t wrestled on the same show or company. I was called up to Raw twice when he was there, and that was as close to us ever being on the road together. Other than that, we’ve had very separate careers, which I’ve been very proud of. I’ve been proud of keeping my name to myself, his name to himself, but now we’re getting married and we’re stepping into this new chapter of our life; I want to do things with him. I want to podcast with him. I want to wrestle with him. And so, it was really cool to be able to have him win the match and have him pick me up and hug me and kiss me and really be right there. I’ve never had that moment. It was awesome. I will say, wrestling or even working with your significant other is not easy, but I really think we’re on a good path to making it work.

Jeffrey Harris: Did he have to get an earful about that bloody war with Nick Gage in GCW? Because goodness gracious!

Chelsea Green: Yes! He absolutely did. Me cleaning him up, I was so annoyed with him, but also trying to take care of him. the whole thing was very confusing because you’re like mad, but you’re also sad and also proud. It was all the emotions.

Jeffrey Harris: Going back to your time in NXT, did you like your early storylines with the Robert Stone Brand?

Chelsea Green: I loved working alongside Robert. I really get along with him on a personal level. And so, I think we work really well together. I would love to work with him in the future, wherever that may be. So yeah, I think we could’ve delved really deeper into all that stuff, but it was very confusing because I was getting called up [to the main roster] and then getting called back down to NXT. And then getting called up and coming back down, so it was a weird transition period.

Jeffrey Harris: Would you have maybe wanted to spend a little more time in NXT to establish the Chelsea Green brand maybe before getting called up to the main roster in those intermittent times?

Chelsea Green: Honestly, no. My goal is to always be on Raw or SmackDown, so NXT for me was just a jump-off point. So, I would’ve been OK with getting called up to Raw on D1 and trying to figure it out on the main roster, but I do think, unfortunately, that I got called up and a couple things fell through. And I just didn’t get to show what I think I could’ve shown them. So, that was more the unfortunate part.

Jeffrey Harris: In terms of your future, do you just want to play the field and keep things open for right now and not set up roots just yet, or would you be open to signing a longer term contract?

Chelsea Green: Right now, I want to keep things open. Now, that’s not to say, come 2022, I won’t change my mind. But right now, I feel like I kind of lost the buzz around my name, and I lost a little bit of confidence. And I want to get that back. So, I want to spend the next six months floating around and doing the best I can in Impact and ROH and if NWA asks me to go there, I’ll go there. If AAA asks me to go to Mexico, I’ll go to Mexico. I want to do it all. And I want my resume to be more stacked than any female in the entire world, and that’s what I’m working towards. And maybe, if you ask me that question in January, I’ll have a different answer for you.

Jeffrey Harris: I’m not sure what the travel restrictions are at the moment with Japan, but would you like to work in Japan as well?

Chelsea Green: Absolutely, and I loved my time in Japan when I was there working for STARDOM, so I definitely will go back there at some point. Of course, since I checked it off the bucket list, I’m trying to do things that I haven’t done before, before I go back and do things again, so Japan will probably come some time in 2022.

Jeffrey Harris: You had your WWE release recently, and it’s something a number of former WWE performers are going through right now. So, do you have advice for going through that experience and keeping your head up and having grace under pressure, which I feel you’ve exemplified?

Chelsea Green: Oh, well thank you. I definitely think for me, what helped, and a lot of people — I know that a lot of my girlfriends who were released, they needed time to just relax. Time to breathe. For me, what helped is putting my head down and grinding. You saw I was released, and before I put out a statement: I put out a Pro Wrestling Tees store; I put out new t-shirts; I announced my podcast; I had all these things. I kind of hit the ground running because that’s what makes me happy. And I think in those moments where we lose something that is so precious to us, like our goal and our dream of being a WWE Superstar, you have to really focus and hone in on what makes you happy. Other than this wrestling state, what can I do to keep my spirits up? At the end of the day, whatever it is that makes you happy, you can make a job out of that. You just have to figure out what it is, and for me, I learned that that’s podcasting.

Jeffrey Harris: How did it feel when you got your own action figure?

Chelsea Green: Oh man. I was so shocked. I felt like I did nothing that deserved an action figure at all, so that was such an amazing surprise for me. And for the guys to reveal it to me on the Major Wrestling Figure Podcast, it made it even more special. And I’m just so obsessed with my two little figures, and you know, no matter what happens in life, I’ll always be able to show my kids and grandkids that mommy was a wrestler and grandma was a wrestler, and these are her action figures. That’s such a cool thing to be able to say.

Thank you to Chelsea Green for taking the time to speak with us. You can check out her shirts at Pro Wrestling Tees. She also hosts her own podcast, Green With Envy, which is available at all major podcast platforms online.

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0:00: Intro
1:41: On her “rebirth” by appearing for ROH, Impact, and NWA, not signing anywhere right away
3:20: On her broken arm and her struggles fighting her way back from it
5:26: On the importance of reinventing herself in wrestling
5:53: On the ROH Women’s Title tournament, scouting the competitors and her involvement
7:14: On her return to Impact Wrestling at Slammiversary, teaming with Matt Cardona
9:42: On her reaction to Cardona’s bloody battle in GCW
11:19: On her storyline with the Robert Stone Brand, if she would have rather spent more time in NXT
12:52: On her future plans and if she’s open to signing with a company, possibly working in Japan
14:30: On her advice for those who have been released by WWE recently
17:08: On her reaction to getting her first action figure of herself
19:31: Where to find her online
20:53: Outro

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