Q&A: Barbie Blank On E! Show ‘Wags,’ Flourishing As An Athlete’s Lady & Not Giving Life To Haters
In the world of WAGs (wives and girlfriends of sports), lifestyle is everything. Making sure your body is Instagram-perfect, flaunting the blingiest bling and keeping tabs on your pro athlete bae is a daily job. Enter E!, who flipped the cameras on the ride-or-dies of the NFL and NHL for your viewing pleasure.
Barbie Blanks, former WWE Diva and fiancé to hockey star, Sheldon Souray, has mastered the art of manhandling beef with class. Despite her on-air confrontations, the entertainer born Barbara Jean wears a happy demeanor like Dri-Fit.
Before WAGS hits your flat screens tonight (Sept. 8), get familiar with Barbie’s hustle below.
What interested you the most about joining WAGS?
Barbie Blank: I came from the world of WWE and entertaining at such a young age, at 19 years old, from a wrestling standpoint. So I did that for seven years and I just fell in love with entertaining. After I retired about two years ago, it was all about WAGS. And I just thought it was such a great concept. In the reality world, you just have stuff like that but you don’t see the relationship and the struggles we go through [while] dating a professional athlete, whether it be being traded to a different team, the schedule, all that stuff that comes along from dating someone that’s in that world. Our show shows a different side of it, our lives and the ups and down we go through. I think it turned out really well.
Do you think there will ever be a show where we see that male equivalent of a WAG? Like husbands and boyfriends of sports?
It would be funny. I feel like why me and my fiancé’s relationship works so well is because I was a professional athlete in my own world for WWE, so I get the travel and everything he goes through. I think it would be great if there was a show like that, seeing what men see us going through.
How did the transition from wrestling affect your personality in front of the camera?
When I was on WWE, I was able to be myself. I was always the good guy, the underdog, the All-American girl and it was great because Vince [McMahon] was like, ‘Just go out there and be yourself.’ I never had to play a character; I never had to be the bad guy. And with the show, I was able to be myself. There are times on the show where I’ve gotten in arguments with these girls [and] I want to have Kelly Kelly come out and put some moves on these girls. [Laughs] But I have to remember I’m not in the wrestling ring—this is real life so I have to hold myself back sometimes.
On the show, the friendships have gone through different highs and lows in just three episodes. How do you deal with critics that come at you and judge your life based on Twitter and Instagram?
Well, really, a lot of the girls really haven’t encountered any of the negatives or backlash before the show. For them, I think it’s a lot harder to deal with. When I started wrestling, social media was really big. People were so mean, they would be like, ‘You can’t wrestle, you suck.’ And every Monday, I would come back from a match and have lots of hate tweets. I would just block those out, not give them any life. So I try to tell a lot of the other girls that with this show. We do get backlash from the show. Not everyone is going to like it.
In terms of your relationship, Sheldon seems the most supportive. What do you think is the key to a healthy relationship, especially when both partners are in the limelight?
When we first started dating, we were able to relate on that level, and already respected and supported each other. It’s been like that for the last four years. We’ve always had that balance so it’s just been easy for us. We’ve always been like that from day one. It’s a balance we’ve been able to keep.
What helps you both combat the infidelity rumors?
On the first episode when Olivia said hockey players [cheat], I’ve heard way more comments [about] NFL players than I have for hockey. So for her to just say that, I was like, whatever, you just laugh it off. We laugh at stuff like that all the time. We both know what we have and we would never let anyone get in between that.
As a former wrestler, what are your go-to fitness routines?
I am a co-founder in this new company called Lynx Fitness. It’s all core training and I love core training. So we started this new equipment, and so I work out in that every day. You can do 30 different types of workouts [on it]. I’m obsessed with circuit training I do that a lot. I work out with four times a week and an an hour of cardio every day.
Do you swear by a strict diet?
I just did an allergy test to find out what foods I should avoid. I stay away from dairy, beefs and a lot of cheeses. [I eat] chicken, veggies and all that.
With female athletes like Serena Williams and Ronda Rousey being criticized for their build, what is your response to bodyshamers?
I don’t give bodyshamers any life. Every girl is beautiful in their own way, and we all have different body types. I don’t pay them any mind.
What do you think is a positive lesson from watching WAGS?
Every girl has a different story. Whoever is watching—girls or guy-wise—you can relate to one of us. It’s like Sex in the City. In our own right, we have a lot going on. You see what we go through in every day life—our world is not glamorous. We go through a lot of struggles just like every regular couple does. I hope people can get [something] out of that.