Dawn Marie lives and learns
By BOB KAPUR --
For SLAM! Wrestling
Former ECW star Dawn Marie is anxious to work again.
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
fiancee) 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."
More information on Dawn Marie can be found on: www.dawnmarieonline.com
More information on the Piledriver radio show can be found on: