Carmella will be looking to punch her ticket to WrestleMania by stunning the world at the Royal Rumble – and she admits there is nothing quite like being the final entrant.
Thirty women will compete in the over-the-top rope extravaganza at the Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.
Last year the ‘Staten Island Princess’ had the advantage of entering the match at No.30, although Becky Lynch went on to win.
‘Mella admits it wasn’t an easy task but hopes her fate will be much different this year with a WrestleMania title match against Bayley or Sasha Banks firmly in her hopes.
“I think that’s something that is quite exciting and appealing for the crowd,” she said, speaking to Mirror WWE ahead of the Royal Rumble, which is live on BT Sport Box Office .
“I’ve never really had a singles match against either Bayley or Sasha Banks.
“We’ve had a match or two but not like on Smackdown or Raw. So it would be something that’s fresh – and I think its important that we can do that.
“We don’t want to keep seeing the same matches over and over again. So I personally would love to have a [WrestleMania] match with either one of them… and kick their butts.
“But only a handful of names have been announced for the Rumble so far.
“And I know from experience that if you’re No.30 you’ve got a pretty good chance of going out there and staying in the match for a while – because everyone else is tired.
“You do wonder who else is going to be out there. As a wrestler or as a fan to watch it is special because you don’t know who’s music is going to hit.
“When I was No.30… well, I think some of the crowd were like: ‘Can someone come and attack Camella backstage so we get someone else more exciting?’
“So yeah, there was a lot of pressure for sure. But all you can really do is go out there and do your best.”
Carmella admits she is thrilled that the women’s match has gone from strength to strength since its inception three years ago.
“Obviously, I would say that’s the biggest moment in recent memory for me was the first-ever women’s Rumble match,” she added.
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“You know, that was just huge and I was just so grateful to be a part of it, especially when you had all of these legends come back for it and be in the ring, like with Jacqueline and Lita out there.
“It was just so surreal. And here we are, it’s the third one this year and it’s not like a big deal anymore.”
The women’s match is expected to be filled with a host of exciting NXT and NXT UK superstars. Carmella has got her eye on NXT champion Rhea Ripley – although she would love to see former Smackdown champion Naomi back in the squared-circle.
“I’m a huge fan of Rhea [Ripley],” she said.
“I’ve been a fan of hers for a while now. In fact, any of the girls from NXT. They are all absolutely killing it. Their division is just on fire.
“That division is stacked. There’s no weak link and everyone has something different to bring to the table and it is just so awesome to see.
“Honestly though, now that The Usos are back on Smackdown, I’m hoping Naomi comes back. She’s my girl. I’m hoping she’ll be in the match.
“As for any of the legends, who knows if they are going to back this year? It would be awesome but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Whatever happens Mella wants to remind the world of what she is capable of doing – and that involves ‘kicking some butt’.
“For me, it’s crazy because for the first time in my career it feels like I’m kind of taking a break,” she said.
“I’ve just been go, go, go since my debut – and I’m very fortunate for that. I had a lot fun running around with R-Truth in the last year. I think it helped show the other side to me character which I don’t normally get to show. Most people don’t get to be champion and then go and have fun.
“But I’m ready to remind everyone why ‘Mella is Money’ and not just this comedy character.
“Like, I can go too – and I’m going to kick some butt.
“Obviously I would love to win the Rumble match. Who am I to say it shouldn’t be me! “If it’s not me, I’d like to see someone win it who’s never had an opportunity.
“For me, the Rumble is an event where it can really elevate someone – much like the Money in the Bank. Without that, I’d never been able to get to this next level.
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