Steph De Lander (Persia Pirotta) Says Turn On Indi Hartwell Was Coming On NXT

Indi Hartwell didn't even see it coming.

Throughout the first few months of NXT 2.0, the tag team division has changed in many ways whether it meant a new team debuting, an old team disbanding, or a couple of singles wrestlers being put together into a team. For Persia Pirotta and Indi Hartwell, none of these things were true as before they were partnering in NXT 2.0, they were working together in multiple independent promotions around the world.

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Speaking to Fightful in a new interview, Lander noted that there was originally a plan for her to turn on Hartwell -- a plan that was similar to their betrayal storyline that they played out on the independent scene.

"I know. It’s funny you mention that because that was initially where our story was gonna go. I was gonna turn on Indi and we were gonna kind of run through the same story that we had done in MCW. Even to the point where I had shown them what we did in Melbourne and I told them all of the history. We had meetings. I told them everything and as like, ‘This story writes itself. We literally did it in Australia and then what the ultimate screw over, we’re meant to be going within three months of each other and then I get screwed for two years.’"

Lander then revealed that the story, like most things in professional wrestling, just didn't see itself through.

"I was like, ‘This writes itself as far as I’m concerned.’ For wrestling, reality is the easiest thing for the fans to connect to. I’m like, ‘I don’t think anything gets more real than this.’ So before the 2.0 change over and even the early days, that was the way we were gonna go with the story. But then obviously everything changes in wrestling and they decided to keep Indi and I together as a team for a bit longer. Then we started doing all the Duke and Dexter stuff. It was still eventually, I think, lead to a feud between myself and Indi and it sucks that we weren’t able to do that."

Despite the disappointment, Lander understood the situtation and why it didn't play out the way she had hoped.

"But I also understand that we’re creating a television product and where I was right now, when I first started I didn’t have enough of a following or I hadn’t done enough in WWE, for people to care about me enough to make that story as juicy as it could have been. Whereas I think if we let all this InDex and DuSia stuff play out and then we did the big Persia verse Indi, then I think it would have been a much hotter story. That’s what they said to me and I agree with them. Not for nothing, the stuff that we did with InDex and DuSia, so many people have so many opinions on it, but at the end of the day, I’m like, ‘I was on TMZ. I don’t think a five minute wrestling match would have gotten me there.’ So I have no regrets about anything."

Lander spoke about multiple other topics in the interview, including noting when she originally signed with WWE and about being in the cross hairs of the NXT regime changes.

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