The following is an excerpt from Fightful's long-form feature on Nidia, doing her first interview in well over a decade. Check it out at this link, and see the full interview above! When aggregating this story, please link back to the long-form itself.
"I ran into Hulk Hogan and he knew who I was. It blew my mind. I was like, ‘You know me?! Oh, my God, you’re fucking Hulk Hogan! How is this even happening?’ I always liked Mankind. But, I didn’t know the effect that it was going to have to actually meet him. When I met him I lost my stuff. It was just this emotion that came out of me. during Tough Enough. Pretty regularly we’ll have somebody come in. Triple H came in, Kurt Angle came in, and Al would tell us, ‘If you mark out, you’re gonna have to do a hundred squat thrusts.’ For us that was the worst punishment in the entire world. At about forty / fifty, your eyes start crossing. You start seeing the little bubbles in the lights. People would throw up. I think everybody threw up except Maven and I doing these stupid squat thrusts. So, we were very careful not to embarrass Al by acting like a huge fan whenever one of the superstars would come in. I remember when he walked in. I was in the ring. Maven and Josh were wrestling and I was the referee. He walked in the door, and I looked at him, I slid out the ring and I looked at Al. I said, ‘I’ll take my squat thrust.’ I couldn’t help it, it was stronger than I was. I was just like, ‘Hi! I love you!’ He’s like, ‘You know you’re here because of me, right?’ I was like, ‘Really?’ He’s like, ‘Yep. I saw something about you and I pushed for you.’ I was like, ‘Thank you!’"
As overwhelming as meeting your heroes can be, there's another familiar face you have to answer to when working that job -- Vince McMahon himself. The man who helped create the face of sports entertainment as we know it today has been documented to be as eccentric as he has been innovative. He's asked wrestlers to puke on cue, and has been known for his disdain of sneezing.
"It’s always so intimidating to see him that I can’t really say I remember the first time. I think it was all a huge blur. I think every time is just a blur. You just kinda stumble through it and then catch your breath afterwards. Oh, my God. He’s so intimidating with the way he carries himself is just so regal. It’s very, very intimidating. Then you snap out of it. It’s like, ‘What just happened? Did I say something stupid? Probably.’"
Fortunately, Nidia didn't have to space out much, because they primarily dealt with Paul Heyman -- the man with the vision for their characters in the first place. Even then, that could be a nerve-wracking experience.
"One time, I think, Jamie and I made suggestions on where our characters should go to him. Even though we talked to him very rarely, that’s what came out of our mouths. It probably wasn’t the wisest thing. The man knows his stuff. He just said, ‘Oh, okay,’ and then he walked away. Immediately we were like, ‘Fuck. Why’d you let me do that?’ ‘Why’d you let me do that?’," Nidia laughed.
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