It’s hard to understand how 10 years have passed since an excited Leah Van Dale signed on the dotted line with WWE and became Carmella, the ‘Princess of Staten Island’, but the 35-year-old professional wrestler has certainly made its mark over the past decade.
After making a welcome return to “Monday Night Raw” in January after an injury and two heartbreaking pregnancy experiences, the first-ever “Money in the Bank” winner says she’s more amplified than ever in a brave and expansive chat with M&F Hers who discusses a tumultuous 2022, the importance of listening to your body and the value of sharing emotional experiences with those who can relate.
Carmella returned to WWE “Monday Night Raw” in January, after several months away from the limelight and there’s no doubt that 2023 is hers, but the past year has seen both incredible highs and lows. devastating lows. Good news, the former SmackDown Women’s Champion has married her WWE colleague, Corey Graves (real name: Matt Polinsky) in April, and the beloved couple were able to let loose and even treat themselves to a wedding cupcake.
“We didn’t have like, a big, grand, tiered cake, we actually got our cake from Publix and it was amazing. It was so good!” said Carmelle.
But with the married couple still basking in the glow of being newlyweds, 2022 would prove to bring devastating challenges. On October 25, halfway through her ring hiatus due to a concussion, the WWE Superstar shared her story of suffering a miscarriage in September and then an ectopic pregnancy a few weeks later. .
Carmella reached out to support others after her own tragic loss
“It was a very difficult time in my life,” shares the popular WWE member, who shows immense courage as he shares his story to help support and raise awareness around this important issue. “I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t even know what an ectopic pregnancy was until this happened to me. It only happens 6% of the time, so it’s not very common.
“Unfortunately I was rushed to the ER and had no idea what was going on, but I just trusted my body that something was wrong,” adds Carmella. “I’m so grateful that I listened to my body… I think through my years as a dancer and as an athlete, I know my body so well and I knew something was wrong. I was in the ER when I got the terrible news that it was an ectopic pregnancy and for anyone who doesn’t know what that means; Basically, it’s when the baby forms in your fallopian tube, not your uterus. So it is not a viable pregnancy and many women are not even aware that it is happening. The fallopian tube can simply burst and many women will die from it.
Of course, the effects of experiencing an ectopic pregnancy aren’t just physical. There is also the immeasurable emotional pain of losing a baby. “It was just awful, and I felt so alone, a bit isolated,” says the talented athlete. “And I just felt like, if I feel like that, there are definitely other women who feel the same way.” After sharing her story, the lady we know and love as Carmella was approached online and in person by people around the world who know her from WWE or who could relate to her loss, and the star says that she was comforted by those who felt less alone thanks to her message.
Carmella says she has received much-needed support from her husband and family in WWE. “I just wanted to share my story and make sure people realize this is happening, and there’s nothing I could have done, although there were times when I felt like to blame me,” said the warrior. “Social media can be used for so many different things and I’m guilty of projecting this perfect lifestyle and I just felt like, let’s use this for something real, and I’m grateful that I did, and the outpouring of support and love I had was incredible.
The gym has become a sacred space for Carmella
Before making her highly anticipated return to the ring earlier this year, Carmella rebuilt her relationship with fitness through a love of the process. She grew up in a fit and healthy household and has stayed in great shape through disciplines such as dance, cheerleading and of course WWE, but the gym also means so much more than just a space to play. training for her. “For me, when I’m having a bad day, I’m in the gym. When I have a good day, I go to the gym,” she says. “When I need a distraction, I’m in the gym. When I need focus, I’m in the gym.
And, although Carmella still enjoys lifting weights, she tells M&F Hers that she doesn’t lift as heavy these days and also likes to spend her time on recovery rituals. “I’m really into Pilates and yoga,” the former LA Laker Girl shares. “With Pilates, it’s all about resistance and time under tension,” she says. “Over the past few months, I’ve really gotten back into yoga and I’ve never felt better.” With WrestleMania 39 just weeks away (April 1-2 on Peacock Live, WWE Network everywhere else), our daughter certainly has her eyes on the prize.
When Carmella wants to score an epic workout in no time, the ‘Princess of Staten Island’ opts for HIIT-style training, implementing moves like medicine ball slams, pull-ups and push-ups. a weighted sled.
Luckily, after going through so much pain, the decorated pro wrestler is finally in some big mental space and enjoying life in WWE. Professional wrestling was a childhood dream come true for her and as a second generation professional wrestler, Carmella tells M&F she was first inspired by iconic ladies like Miss Elizabeth.
“I really liked Miss Elizabeth, because she was always so fabulous with the way she dressed and carried herself. She was always so classy,” says ‘Mella. than Trish Stratus and Lita, but having now established a name in her own right after ten years with WWE, there’s still a lot of motivation to look forward to. “Ten years is so crazy, because I feel like it’s gone,” says the star. “I have a new taste for my career. I was away for seven months and I didn’t know if I was will come back. Will people remember it? What am I going to do when I get home? And, of course, while I would love to win the Raw Women’s Championship because it’s the only title I’ve ever had, at this point I really want to focus on my character. I really like to stir the pot. I really like being the bad guy and pissing people off and making them want to see me get their ass kicked! That’s what I want, so if I do that, then I’m doing my job.
Take our money, ‘Mella!