Eve Torres: Exclusive Interview with the WWE Divas Champion
Eve Torres sits atop the WWE Divas division, butterfly-emblazoned championship title across her waist, giving fans her patented parade wave.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with the now three-time Divas champ, Eve, about a variety of topics.
Eve earned her spot with WWE after winning the 2007 Diva Search and has since become one of the company's better characters, a powerful woman and a star on an upward path.
In our interview, she spoke about dream matches she'd love to have, the Gracie Women Empowered Self-Defense Program, her life outside the ring and who may be her biggest challenger inside of it.
Outside the Ring
Eve's stardom is growing beyond the ropes.
Aside from winning NBC's Stars Earn Stripes reality show, Eve has appeared on The Soup, Deal or No Deal and Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition.
Eve said that these opportunities outside the ring are not only fun, but let "people know who Eve Torres really is."
She said that she loves the character she portrays on-screen, but being asked to do these television shows and commercials allows her and other Divas to, as she puts it, show "who we really are and what matters to us."
Being on live television weekly for WWE has helped prepare her for working in Hollywood and for having to perform in a variety of settings.
She's experienced people being surprised how professionally and how well WWE Divas and Superstars thrive in these types of roles.
Her explanation is that, “we do it every week. Every week is a crazy, hectic, live televised show. We're used to the pressure, and we're just to kind of getting it done, making it good on the first try."
On the Gracie Women Empowered Self-Defense Program
The renowned Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy runs a women's self-defense program that Eve is actively involved in as an instructor.
"I'm very passionate about it because it changed my life in many ways," she said.
She talked about the confidence it has given her on a daily basis and touted the power of the program.
She stated flat-out, "Every woman in the world needs to know this program."
Beyond the physical techniques of the jiu-jitsu elements, the Gracie Women Empowered program "encompasses everything" including the necessary "mindset and the awareness principles." It also includes what one should do if their assailant is someone they know.
Eve laid out several important aspects of the program in an article in Cosmopolitan magazine. The Gracie program and jiu-jitsu itself work with leverage, allowing someone to defend themselves against a larger opponent, especially when "you are at the bottom of the fight."
The Divas champ, who has trained in jiu-jitsu for about five years, told me, "As women, we have to accept that our opponent is going to be much bigger than us."
Male attackers "want to get us to the ground and eventually between our legs and we have to know what to do in that position."
Not every woman can be as powerful and athletic as Eve, but they don't need to be. The program she is so proud of can help teach women how to escape and how to protect themselves even before an assault.
Eve said she'd happy if young girls look up to her because of her work with WWE. One thing she wants them to know and understand is that "it's really important to take your own personal safety into your own hands."
Her involvement with the Gracie program is an example of Eve using her star power to better her world, something she's made a habit of doing with charities like Feed the Homeless and St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
Who Is the Biggest Threat to Her Divas Title?
TLC 2012's pre-show will feature just about every Diva on the roster competing in a battle royal with the winner earning the right to face Eve for her Divas title.
The field is filled with former champs like Layla and newcomers like Tamina. When asked who was her biggest challenger among them, Eve answered "the opponents I've yet to face."
"Those are the ones who I think are the biggest threat at this point. They are the unknown variable."
Specifically she pointed out Natalya, who she hasn't faced in several years, and rising star AJ. About AJ, Eve said that "her dream is some day to be Divas Champion."
With AJ reportedly pulled from the TLC battle royal, that dream may have to wait. There are a number of talented women who could give Eve fits, but she doesn't sound too concerned.
"All the Divas work hard, they're all threats. They're just not as good as I am," she said with a chuckle.
Fans certainly have their wish lists of possible matches for Eve in the near future and beyond. She has a few ideas of her own.
I asked her about who she'd most like to face, she answered, "I'm really excited about facing either Natalya or AJ."
Natalya is the best technical wrestler in the Divas division and when given ample screen time has delivered in a big way. She's the most capable of producing a high-caliber match with anyone on the roster.
A clash between her and Eve has tremendous potential.
As for AJ, she's been all over the product lately, but less so in the ring. The speedster is a compelling showperson who could make magic with Eve.
In terms of women not currently signed by WWE, Eve has one particular opponent she'd like to face.
"I've always fantasized about facing Lita," she said.
It's not an improbable idea as Lita recently wrestled at Raw 1000 and as Eve puts it, is "still kicking butt."
That battle of the moonsaults could be the best Divas match in recent memory.
After defeating Alicia Fox on a recent Raw, Eve channeled her inner Ted DiBiase and came up with one of the most entertaining post-match routines in a long while.
She coaxed a WWE cameraman inside the ring and posed around Fox's fallen body, taking shots that featured Eve's beauty-pageant smile.
About the moment, Eve said, "It just felt right."
"Isn't that what you do when you do something great? You take a picture," she went on.
Here's hoping this becomes a regular part of her matches. Eve seems to always having a blast whether in the ring or in backstage segments. This is just the latest expression of that, a welcome entertaining addition.
The State of the Divas Division
Regardless of their talent level or how beloved they are by fans, it seems the Divas are always the first to get shafted in terms of air time. Their matches are far too short. Their storylines are often nonexistent.
Eve said, "the Divas division is always an uphill battle."
"We have a group of really hungry and talented women. It's just a matter of being able to showcase all of us in the right light and with the right stories."
Even when in-ring stories and feuds are limited, Divas like Eve have found a way to remain a vital part of the WWE product.
AJ has recently been a major part of the show as the Raw General Manager or as everyone's favorite crazy chick.
Eve praised AJ's recent work, saying that she is "reminding why women are important in the WWE."
As for Eve, she's recently been Booker T's assistant on SmackDown as well as being involved in a John Cena and Zack Ryder romance angle.
She's kept up her momentum after moving back into the ring. At Night of Champions 2012, Eve made history by becoming the only three-time Divas champion.
She says she is "happy about developing a character" and that she truly enjoyed her Survivor Series match with Kaitlyn. That feud has major potential in that it features two of the best all-around Divas today.
Fans will have to be patient as that feud and others develop.
In Eve's words, the Divas division "always has its ups and downs." No matter how hard things get, Eve says, "we're always up for the challenge."