Last month, former WWE Women’s and Divas Champion “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix was announced as an inductee to the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame class. On Wednesday, WWE revealed Phoenix will be inducted by former teammate Natalya.
“There’s nobody that I can think of that deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame more than Beth Phoenix,” Natalya told WWE.com. “She’s a pioneer for women in our division. Beth did extraordinary things for women in WWE.”
Natalya formed an alliance with Phoenix in late 2010 as the anti-Diva duo known as “The Divas of Doom.” During that run, Phoenix won the Divas Championship and held the title for 204 days.
During her WWE career, “The Glamazon” also held the WWE Women’s Championship three times and was the second woman in history to enter the Royal Rumble match in 2010, eliminating The Great Khali.
“Beth broke down a lot of walls for women in the industry in the sense that she wasn’t a cookie-cutter-type female wrestler,” Natalya explained. “She was bigger than the other girls, she was muscular and dominant, she was strong. At different stages in WWE, that wasn’t always the ‘in’ thing. Beth did it her way and stayed true to who she was. She believed in herself and blazed her own trail.”
Natalya, a one-time Divas Champion herself, said inducting Phoenix was an honor, but joked that she knew it was coming.
“It’s not a surprise,” the third-generation Superstar said. “Beth knows I’d put her in the Sharpshooter if she asked anybody else.”
She added that she still keeps a close relationship with her former “Divas of Doom” partner.
“Beth is one of my best friends. We’re close as sisters. It’s such a huge honor for me to induct her into the WWE Hall of Fame because I feel like we shared so many incredible memories on the road, traveling thousands of miles together. We did it all together. While Beth is getting this honor, I want to help share her journey and do her justice.”
USA Today’s blog For the Win broke the story of Phoenix’s Hall of Fame announcement on February 27. “The Glamazon” reflected on the honor in an exclusive interview.
“When you are in WWE, you dream of that moment (in the future) when you get to reflect on your career and the things that you did and you get that wonderful individual honor. It seemed so far off in the distance for me (when I was wrestling). I didn’t know when — or if — I’d ever experience that feeling. I certainly didn’t think I’d have that opportunity this early in my life. It’s amazing and very, very humbling.”
Phoenix told the website that she received a call from Mark Carano, WWE’s vice president of talent relations, in January about her induction. Carrano told her that WWE Chairman and executive vice president Paul “Triple H” Levesque made the decision to honor her.
“To hear they find my career was worthy enough and that I did well enough in the ring to be honored among the greatest of all time was incredible and the biggest compliment I could ever ask for,” Phoenix said. “It’s still sinking in and is very surreal.”
Phoenix hasn’t appeared on WWE television since late 2012. She has since started a family with fellow WWE Hall of Famer Adam “Edge” Copeland. The couple were married on October 30 of this past year and have had two daughters since Phoenix’s retirement.
After receiving the call from Carrano, Phoenix shared the news with her husband.
“He was like, ‘Oh, OK.’ He wasn’t shocked by it at all. He’s like, ‘Of course, you deserve it.’ I was shocked by that response, too. I said, ‘You think I deserve this? Is this the right time?’ He was 100 percent confident and he made me feel like a million bucks about it. He is super excited. We’re still celebrating it and looking forward to seeing everyone at WrestleMania and enjoying the experience.”
Phoenix will be inducted during the WWE Hall of Fame during a ceremony held at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on Friday, March 31, two days before WrestleMania 33.
[Featured Image by WWE]