Rumours are rampant that former ECW star Dawn Marie is going to appear on WWF programming in the very near future, possibly even on the next edition of Smackdown! Even on WWF.com, Jim Ross has said that the company will be assessing her in-ring abilities, though no other mention was made of her possible role in the company.
For Dawn Marie, she’s just anxious to get out there and work again, as she told Slam! Wrestling recently. To that end, she has been honing her craft and learning new ones to become more of an all-around performer, rather than play the valet role solely, as she did in ECW.
“I’ve been unemployed now for over a year (since ECW’s bankruptcy), so I’m looking forward to working again real soon. I’ve been working a lot of independents. As well, I’ve started training. Twice a week, I go up to Mikey Whipwreck’s school, and Simon (Diamond, who is also her real-life fiancée) has been teaching me. I’ve been kicking myself for not doing this earlier. I knew how to take bumps, but I never knew how to wrestle, never learned the psychology of putting a match together. I find my ring awareness is so much better now and I get so angry with myself, thinking that if I had that awareness back when I had a job, how much further I could have gone. But, better late than never, right?,” Marie told SLAM! Wrestling.
Considering what she gave up to get into wrestling, it seems only fair that she be given the opportunity to shine in the WWF.
“At 23, I was the director of an international real estate consulting firm. I was very successful professionally but I just wasn’t happy. One day, I fell into a wrestling indy show by accident and that was it. I called my office and told them I was quitting. My boss said to come in and discuss it and I said no, that’s it, I’m done. You can keep my licenses, you can throw away all my paperwork and my books, because I’m never coming back,” recalled Marie.
From there, Dawn started working in the indy’s where she managed Simon Diamond. That’s where the genesis of their relationship was formed.
“Simon and I were best of friends, inseparable, for about two years before I went to ECW. Everyone swore we were together, even though we weren’t, because we were such close friends. When I went to ECW, we realized that we missed seeing each other all the time and that maybe we should be something more than friends and we started to date. Now our relationship is as close as it was before ECW. There is nobody I’d rather come home to.”
After only a year or so on the independent circuit, Dawn was brought into ECW for what was initially only supposed to be a three-week run. She was to appear in a program against Tammy Lynn Sytch (who had just completed her WWF run as Sunny), where basically she was to be humiliated, beaten up, and thrown away. Rather than just take the run and move on, though, Dawn capitalized on her chance and made herself a mainstay in the company. Despite, as she says, being the complete opposite of what women in wrestling were supposed to be like.
“When you look at the girls who were in wrestling then, it was the era of the fitness models, Sable for example. They were sexy and luscious, and frankly, I didn’t have any of that. I was overweight, I was very flat-chested, and I couldn’t take a bump. So I decided to be different. I became the complete opposite of every other girl in wrestling – this clumsy, gaudy, eccentric character with no chest. And it worked, thank God,” she said.
And Dawn Marie was born.
And the character eventually grew into one of the most hated women in wrestling. But Dawn doesn’t take full credit for that. She praises a lot of others for their help in that regard.
“I had the best teachers in the world. Paul (Heyman, ECW owner) allowed me to experiment and allowed me to make mistakes. He helped me create the character. He was very patient. I did most of my programs with Tammy Sytch and Chris Candido. And then I was with Lance Storm and Justin Credible. With people like that teaching you on a constant basis, how can you not get better, how can you not have a great foundation for your career?”.
“Shane Douglas was a gift from heaven for me. After each show, I would ask him for his thoughts on what went wrong, where could I improve. You get Shane talking, he can go on for an hour,” she said. “You hear the term ‘ring general’. I believe there are very few of those in the business and he’s one of them. He would never use the word ‘wrong’. He would tell you how you could do things differently and explain why the way you did it wasn’t necessarily the best. With that, once you understand something, you’ll never make the same mistake again.
Canadian Lance Storm also taught her much about the business as well. “Lance Storm was great. He taught me timing and interplaying with characters. Tammy Sytch was like my personal angel. She literally would walk me through matches night after night after night. She was just amazing, everything was just so effortless, things would just flow with her. She was just magic out there. That was one of the main reasons I lasted in ECW.”
Eventually, Dawn was paired with Lance Storm and became his valet until his departure for the WCW. The pairing was so successful that, eventually, they were both offered jobs from the WCW, which Lance accepted but Dawn did not. By that time, the two had grown to become incredibly close friends and the night he left was truly difficult for both.
“The night he left was absolutely the most difficult night of my entire career,” Marie remembered. “He couldn’t tell me, for contractual reasons, that he was leaving. But I had a feeling. We were very close, we could tell what the other was thinking by just a look. I looked at him, and I knew it was killing him that he couldn’t tell me. And he knew that it was killing me that I knew.”
“I finally went up to him and told him that I knew, and told him that I couldn’t accept the offer for two reasons: ‘One, because I really honestly feel that you’re only as good as your word. I have an obligation here for another two years. Two, as much as I would like to work with you and spend my career with you, my family (Simon) is here. I’ve watched people’s lives and families be ripped apart because of this business. And I refuse this business to tear apart my family. For me, family is forever, this business is just temporary. So I’m staying because of my family. Just like you have to take the offer for your family. The money they’re offering, you have to go to give your family a better life.”
“He thanked me for saying that, because it made it a little easier. But it was still hard for me – I bawled my eyes out afterwards,” Marie said.
Dawn has no second thoughts about her decision even though she would have been better off financially and probably professionally, given the respective futures of ECW and WCW.
“I firmly believe that there is nothing more important than your family and your word. Some may say it’s a mistake, others would not. You’re the person you are because of what you do in your life. I did what I felt was right. I have absolutely no regrets about the decision,” she said.
Of course, the decision may now be moot, considering the rumours floating around. If true, fans could see her as a valet, a wrestler, or even announcing, which is another talent she’s been developing as of late, as co-host of the syndicated wrestling radio program, “Piledriver”.
“The show has been a great learning experience for me. I was never able to talk much on the mic – usually, Lance was the talker and I was just in the back giggling. So what the show has done for me is allow me to convey my thoughts as my character, which is really fun. Sometimes, some of the stuff that comes out of my mouth, I can’t believe it’s so stupid. But it works,” she said.
“Plus, it’s teaching me something else, a new skill. Maybe when my wrestling career is over, I have another avenue. I want to be an entertainer, be it in the ring, on stage in a play, a movie, on the radio. As long as I’m an entertainer, being creative, I’m happy. For now, though, I’d like to stay in wrestling. Wrestling is my life. There is truly nothing that I’d rather do.”
DAWN MARIE STORIES
- Sep. 26, 2008: Dawn Marie’s WrestlersRescue helps grapplers, sister-in-law
- June 25, 2008: Dawn Marie battles to help ailing sister-in-law
- Nov. 16, 2007: Dawn Marie & Francine heading down different paths