NXT has kicked off 2020 in a big way, and that includes the much-awaited NXT TV debut of Chelsea Green. Green has been a part of the black and yellow brand since 2018, wrestling as part of live events and even making a recent appearance on Monday Night Raw to close out 2019. Last week though Green made a statement on NXT and will be vying or the chance to challenge current NXT Women's Champion Rhea Ripley, and ComicBook.com had the chance to chat with Green all about her big debut, what led up to it, the biggest challenges so far, and what's in store for her and NXT going forward.
One of the first things we covered is the biggest challenge of NXT, and that is easily the women's roster, which is one of if not the best in professional wrestling.
"Well, I think my biggest challenge, and I honestly think every female would say this, is the fact that our roster is so stacked with amazing women, that truly it's hard to get your time to shine because there are so many amazing people from all over the world," Green said. "We're all trying to stand out in one way or another and differentiate ourselves, but it's very hard when your competition is this stiff. I think we have one of the best women's rosters that we've ever had and by far the biggest."
Green's television debut took a bit longer than some fans expected, but all the hard work was worth it, and she says she's actually grown the most as a character since joining the brand.
"Well, I definitely evolved as a wrestler," Green said. "Every single year, I go through once the new year hits, I go through this moment where I kind of think about how far I've come and what's changed. And I would say that my biggest evolution character-wise has been from the time that I started in NXT until now. I've been working through who I am and how to show the fans and the audience who I am in a genuine way."
"I want you guys to see the fighter in me, and the athlete in me, and also the world traveler in me, and the friendly side of me, and all of these sides," Green said. "So, I've been working really hard to figure out how to put that into a character and in front of you guys. So, it's been kind of a different sort of evolution this year, but I'm loving it and I'm still figuring it out. And maybe in a year, you can ask me the same question, and I'll have a totally different response. You know?"
Green will be going up against some of NXT's finest tonight for the chance to challenge for the NXT title, and she is well aware of what she's up against, a well as the fact that there are three superstars in particular that she's going to have to keep her eye on during the match.
"Well, I would be lying if I said that really I have no competition because I just told you that the roster was so stacked (laughs)," Green said. "I want to tell you that I don't have to worry about anyone, and that I'm the best and that I'm going to be standing there, the last woman in that ring. But we've got one of our strongest competitors, Bianca Belair. We've got one of our highest flyers in Candice LeRae. We've got Io, who is one of the best wrestlers, male or female ever. So, those are going to be kind of my three. My eyes are going to be on those three."
As for the title, Green definitely has plans for it once she is able to take it off Ripley's hands.
"But I do think that there are going to be a lot of women that you guys haven't seen that are going to shine, and so I'm going to have to kind of keep my eyes peeled on everyone," Green said. "However, when I do win and challenge Rhea for the title, and take the title off her, or whoever it may be that I take the title off of, I just want to do exactly what I've done when I was on the independent scene, which is really just be a fighting champion. I want to continue to wrestle nonstop whether I have the title or not, and I'm not afraid of whoever it is that wants to step up."
Green wasn't alone last week on NXT though and was joined by her new manager Robert Stone, who announced that Green was the first member of the Robert Stone brand, and Green broke down why she decided to join forces with him and what he brings to the table.
"Well, aside from the fact that Robert and I go way back, we've known each other for a while. So, I trust him, he trusts me," Green said. "He makes the best business decisions, whether it's in wrestling, whether it's in life. I am very, very proud to have Robert representing me. I think he feels the same way, and that mutual respect is going to take us very far."
Before her NXT TV debut, Green was wresting in front of the Monday Night Raw crowd against wrestlers like Natalya and Charlotte Flair, and that experience is definitely feeding right into her journey through NXT.
"It's so hard to describe how I felt because that has really been my ultimate goal, to get on Raw or SmackDown, since the minute that I first stepped in the wrestling ring in 2014," Green said. "So, for it to all come together and right before Christmas was honestly the best Christmas present I could have possibly asked for, and really the takeaway was that I am a great wrestler. I can compete anywhere. I can compete on Raw, on SmackDown, on Main Event. I can compete on 205 Live if they want me to. And there's something to be said about a confident woman, and I think a lot of people are afraid of that. But after this little holiday season and my stint on Main Event and Raw, I can tell you that I am coming into NXT and making this debut as the most confident woman in NXT."
Green knows she was a bit off the grid last year, but she cannot wait to make her longtime fans proud and bring in plenty of new ones to the mix when 2020 is all said and done.
"I really want them to say... Gosh, that's so hard,. because really what I want them to say is, well, I knew Chelsea was great and she just went another year proving it," Green said. "You know what I mean? I kind of had a bit of a... I fell off the grid a little bit for the last year and that's okay. I focused on myself. Like I said, I focused on building my character up and my confidence up. And I know how good I am, and I think that my fan base knows how good I am. And I just want to get back out there and prove to them that they stuck around and they waited for this moment, for this debut for a reason."
"And I think they will," Green said. "I think that's exactly what's going to happen in 2020. And I would say my goal for 2020, aside from of course winning the NXT title, would just be to have my face plastered all over WWE. I want to be the face of this brand in any way possible, and if I have to do double duty and triple duty, and be on Raw, SmackDown, and NXT in the same week, your girl will do it."
Green also happens to be engaged to WWE superstar Zack Ryder (Matt Cardona), who is known for his love of action figures and toys, which is also part of his and Curt Hawkins' podcast The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast. Green has also appeared on the show and in videos, and while she's not as big of a toy nerd as he is, it's a side she's readily embraced, something I also can quickly identify with. As a fellow toy nerd, my wife has embraced it because it happens to be something I love, and Green feels the same way about Ryder.
"Yes. Honestly, that's exactly what it is," Green said. "When I first met him, I'll never forget, he probably told me on maybe the fourth date, all about this toy obsession. But I did not realize how crazy it was until I moved in, and I kind of have helped him unbox his toys as you toy nerds would say. But I love it. At the end of the day, if you're passionate about something, be passionate about it. And be totally and ridiculously passionate about it. Because I think that that's what... I'm passionate about wrestling and now look, I'm totally ridiculously passionate about it. So, it's cool to me that he is so into something that I just had no clue even existed. So, I mean, there could be worse hobbies, right?"1comments
We feel the exact same way!
You can catch Green in action on tonight's NXT on USA, and make sure to hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB for all things NXT and WWE!