Lacey Evans started wrestling in 2014 and is already headlining pay-per-views. With an incredibly inspiring story, Evans overcame a troubled upbringing and joined the United States Marine Corps at 19-years-old. She served as a military police officer for 5 years, before discovering the world of professional wrestling.
She’s best known for her unwavering discipline and intimidating presence in the ring. We had the chance to chat with the “Sassy Southern Belle” when she was in Toronto in August for WWE SummerSlam. Lacey shared all about her time serving her country, her successful career, and how being a mother and wife is always her number one priority.
What led you to join the military at 19, and what was that experience like for you?
I grew up with a rough upbringing. A lot of drug addiction and depression and just lifestyle choices that I did not want to have any part of as an adult. I realized that the only way I was going to be able to break the cycle and make something of myself was to challenge myself and put myself in a situation where I am forced to be surrounded by a different lifestyle and motivators and hard working focused individuals. I found myself being around the greatest, finest fighting force in the world, with some of the toughest, meanest, hardest-working people I have ever met. I am so blessed to have that instilled in me to this day.
Did your services with the Marines help prepare you to enter the world of pro-wrestling?
I would say that it absolutely prepared me for this lifestyle, especially considering the fact that I was not raised watching professional wrestling. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Between getting contacted by WWE and them offering me a tryout, to quickly being signed with the company, I was completely oblivious to what I was about to endure. But the US Marine Corps teaches you discipline, drive, initiative and grit. It teached you to push through, adapt and overcome any situation no matter how stressful. Being a sports entertainer you have to be confident, and hard working. There is long nights and days, lots of fights, and you have to be ready physically, mentally and emotionally. The Marine Corps really set me up for that.
How did you find out you were being called up to the main WWE roster and who was the first person you wanted to talk to when you found out?
When I found out, I was just finished assisting in a three day try out for NXT. That was something that I started assisting with just shortly after I got signed to help push the recruits and really see what they’re capable of and what their limits are. This is something I took pride in, at every tryout that WWE would have, I would be there to push them to their limits.
“I found myself being around the greatest, finest fighting force in the world, with some of the toughest, meanest, hardest-working people I have ever met. I am so blessed to have that instilled in me to this day.”
The last day I was brought into the office, it was right before Christmas vacation. Matt Bloom and Sara Amato are the coaches for NXT and they told me the news. I asked to speak with my husband and daughter immediately. They are my biggest fans and main supporters. That’s who I wanted to see and tell as soon as possible. They were actually in the parking lot waiting to pick me up for holidays, so they brought them in and I got to break the news to my family.
What does your daughter, Summer, think about WWE? What is life like on tour with your family?
She does not like when her mama loses. She loves WWE, and she thinks she has the coolest mom in the world. She’ll tell anyone who will listen. You can hear about what I do no matter where we are – Wal-Mart, a restaurant, you’re gonna hear about it and know who I am. She loves being on the road with me. This year we’re going to homeschool her, and take her studies on the road like we’ve done in kindergarten. I juggle a little bit more than the average sports-entertainer, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m a mother and that title comes first. As long as my baby is healthy and happy, and learning what she needs to learn, then she travels the world with me. She sees what I do, and she loves it. She’s excited to start the school year with me on the road again. I’m a mother and a wife and that’s important to me.
How would you say your WWE character and you as a person are different, and how are you similar?
I’m a mean, rough human being. I have dirt bikes and four wheelers. I can fish, then cook and clean everything I’ve caught. I put food on the table for my family. So you wouldn’t see the lady of WWE getting down and dirty with the four wheelers and catching food out of the river. That’s where it’s different. Obviously I was a US Marine, I can bake a pie just as good as I can fire a weapon. I’ll kick my high heels off and throw on a pair of boots in a minute.
However, I’m also very similar because I am a lady. I do love and embody what it means to be a lady, as a mother and a wife, in beauty and feminism. I am proud to be a woman. From high heels to lipstick, I am a classy, confident, sassy southern belle. I was born in Georgia. I run my mouth just as much as I run my vehicles, so the similarities are definitely there. I love dressing up and feeling beautiful, as I believe all women should.
What advice do you have for young women that may wish to follow in your footsteps, to either serve their country or join the world of pro-wrestling?
Don’t give up. Make sure that no matter what happens in your life, good or bad, that you make a plan. A lot of people when they’re going through hard times, they fail to plan. One minute your bills are paid and you’re doing ok, and the next minute it all catches up to you. No matter how good or bad your life is going, as long as you wake up and wash your face and write down a plan and work towards that plan, no matter how big or small. Don’t look at the bigger picture. Everyone is so quick to want it all right away. You have to work towards what it is that you want in life. Make sure your happiness is at the forefront of that, because what good is life if you’re not happy. When you’re laying in bed at night and thinking about what you have and don’t have, make sure your happiness is there. Put time into yourself and what you want out of life. Always make a plan, failure to plan is the biggest thing that sneaks up on people.
Summerslam in Toronto is one of the largest fan celebrations, giving people the unique experience of meeting their favourite WWE Superstars. What’s the best part about meeting fans for you?
My favourite thing about meeting the fans is be able to get up close and personal. The coolest thing about Summerslam is that we have one of the biggest fan events of the summer. The fans get to come by, meet and take photos and autographs with the biggest stars of WWE. We get to talk face to face with these fans that support us, and without fans, what are we? Let’s face it. The fact that I get to be in front of them and hear how excited they get to watch what we do, that makes everything worth it. Our sore backs, our injuries, our stressed out life, and everything we’re dealing with. We get to see why we do it, and it’s for the fans. It’s a personal thing that doesn’t come up often so I’m excited. You guys are the reason that we do what we do. It reminds us why we put our bodies on the line, and travel the world, and late nights with barely any sleep.