Cathy Kelley Calls Stephanie McMahon A Mentor, Says She Fought To Go Back To NXT

Cathy Kelley talks returning to NXT.

From digital work to host to interviewer, Cathy Kelley has worn many hats in WWE. Kelley currently serves as the backstage correspondent for NXT, a position she fought to be in after doing main roster work in 2018.

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“The people at NXT are looking to prove themselves. That’s why I’m here, too, because of my passion. We’re hungry for this opportunity," Kelley told Sports Illustrated. “My goal is to deliver interviews in as realistic a way as possible. I started with NXT, then became the first host of WWE Digital. We were figuring out what worked on the fly, and I pushed to do more longform interviews with the talent. But I really missed doing backstage interviews, so I really pushed to go back. I spoke about it with Joe Belcastro, who is the head writer for NXT, and he shot it up to Triple H. Look at the work of Tommaso Ciampa or Shayna Baszler. There is something magical about this roster. People were so excited to learn that we’d have a weekly [live] show. There is a different feel and a different pressure, but it’s a testament to all the work that has gone into NXT.”

Along with wanting to tell stories alongside the NXT roster, Kelley also hopes to inspire young women.

“I want to be an example for young girls. My mom busted her butt to take care of me, and she also set an incredible example. She is a scientist and runs a research lab, as well as taught at a medical school, so she was crazy busy when I was growing up. She’s always been a strong female force, whether that meant working long hours or traveling for business trips and taking me with her. If I was sick, I would sleep in a sleeping bag underneath her desk. I was very lucky to grow up with her as my mother, and I’m really lucky to be surrounded by so many strong females at NXT, which has the strongest, most talented group of females in all of wrestling," she said. “Steph McMahon has also really been a mentor to me, seeing everything she does is inspiring. It’s also inspiring to see so many women and girls coming to shows, too, as this has always been a male-dominated business.”

Kelley previously revealed she pitched to do long-form sit-down interviews in NXT. Thus far, fans have yet to see that idea play out on television.

Fightful will have live coverage of NXT beginning on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.

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