Our readers are STRONG, SEXY & SPOILED and of course, that means those that grace our covers and are featured in our pages embody this spirit as well! The world of the WWE includes some of the toughest athletes with dynamic personas and ever changing storylines that keep their fans waiting to see more every week!
The ladies of the WWE are an elite powerhouse that represents vixens and villains. For those that need an extra dose (know and love this world) of the ladies, E! Networks' Total Divas - allowed viewers to see their lives in and out of the ring. Episodes showcase the ladies in the relationships, training, their personality, their personas and more. Our initial introduction to Summer Rae came during the second season of this show.
Summer Rae is a WWE athlete who fights in the RAW brand. Playing a villain role, she has won a number of single and tag team matches which keeps the crowds wanting more. Outside of the ring, Danielle Moinet is the complete opposite of her character; but, she shares the athletic sensibility as her career includes being a former professional football player as a cornerback for Lingerie Football League's Chicago Bliss (in addition to being a professional wrestler and wrestling manager). This Manhasset, LI native is also a model and actress who took the time to chat with us about her athletic career; what it's like to be a part of the WWE; the importance of giving back and insight into who Danielle is!
ATHLEISURE MAG: We love seeing you in the ring and being on E!'s Total Divas. Tell us about your career leading up to the WWE, as we know you played football, were the face of the Lingerie Football League, and you were an ambassador for Nascar's Bobby Labonte's team - how did this all come together with your love of sports?
DANIELLE MOINET: I have always been a fan of sports, both watching sports and playing sports. Growing up, I danced for many years and then I also ran track, jumped hurdles and played tennis. I’ve always had an athletic background and spent a lot of time in the gym in college. Playing football was definitely very fun. It was full contact seven on seven football. The ladies of the LFL hit hard. It’s not a gimmick. I’ve always had a passion for wrestling and loved watching it. I went to Monday Night Raw and watched it in the audience and thought, “Wow I can do that and I think I can do it well.” I decided to try out for WWE.
AM: We grew up in the 80's watching the WWE, when did you realize this was what you wanted to do and what was the process like to get to the ring?
DM: The thing that I love about WWE is everyone has a story. Everyone has someone they watched growing up. With me, my dad has no sons, only daughters, and I’m the oldest. I watched with my dad on Saturday mornings and when I was an adult I would sit at home and watch Monday Night Raw. I loved the soap opera! I became a fan again after college and that’s when I realized I wanted to submit. Now with NXT, Triple H has given people a great outlet to submit their resume and portfolio and be able to try to become a WWE Superstar.
AM: We see the physicality that is needed to be a Diva, while also being able to be a total boss by being glam. It's such a unique sport that allows both - how is Danielle Moinet similar and different to Summer Rae?
DM: Very good question! Some people like to form their WWE persona based on an extension of themselves. For me it’s the total opposite. Summer Rae is everyone I wanted to be growing up: all of the girls I wasn’t and all of the things I wanted to say to people that I couldn't because I was too nice. Summer Rae is a conniving egotistical villain who will do whatever she needs to do to get what she wants. That’s why it’s so much fun to play her! I have never once been a good guy in WWE and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
AM: This summer, we worked out with you and additional Divas during Summer Slam at Tapout here in NYC - between matches and doing PR events what is the schedule like when you're traveling and how are you able to balance your day to day life with that?
DM: Wow! That’s so cool that you came and worked out with us! That was the first time we had tried anything like that and my first time teaching an exercise class! It was inspiring to talk to different women. It was a special event for me. It's hard to find balance and in 2017 that is what I am going after. Balance. It is hard being a Superstar, being on the road 300 days a year filming and working events on your off days. Traveling and everything that comes with it is really hard. Having a group of people, whether they are family or friends that ground you when you’re home, it's important on those off days to step away from work. Otherwise, you will lose who you are. It’s something I’ve struggled with in the past and its something I am really working towards in 2017.
AM: As an athlete, the physicality of the sport is demanding, what does your workout day look like when you're preparing to be in the ring versus when you have down time?
DM: Very good question! I've never had someone ask me this in an interview! I train very differently on days when I have a match versus days I don't. I don’t do my legs as much on days I have a match. I save my cardio days for TV. Sleep is the most important thing in this business. I like to do circuit training so I don’t overstimulate one body part. When you bump and have five matches in a week you’re going to be sore.
AM: Recovery is always essential when you're working out - we're fans of foam rollers, KT Therapy ice packs etc, what do you have on hand for a little TLC for your body?
DM: Recovery is very important. The number one thing I find that helps is sleep and I am the first person to say I don’t sleep nearly enough. On the off days I will force myself to sleep. Massage is something really great. I live by a great chiropractor and physical therapist. In Los Angeles, I have gone to PEAK Wellness and I have absolutely loved the practice. The people there have been so amazing to me. Dennis at PEAK is so amazing and I’ve loved working with them.
AM: What is your favorite moment in the ring and who has been your favorite partner?
DM: My favorite moment in the ring is actually not a wrestling match. It was when I got to write my own promo and do it for everyone. It was in Chicago where I was living at the time. I got to break up with Rusev on screen. I really felt it and felt so fortunate that they let me write it. It was so amazing and the crowd was so behind me. It gives me chills to think about.
My favorite person to wrestle is Nattie. I always loved wrestling her. She’s someone who challenges me and made me try to be better every time I stepped in the ring with her. I also love Sasha Banks. The chemistry we have is amazing!
AM: Besides your life as an athlete, what other passions do you have as we know you have acted?
DM: Being in the Marine 4 was an amazing opportunity. I loved being on set and learning the way that works! Being in more films and being able to act is a goal. I love the idea of having an amazing day and channel different emotions into my work. It is such a talent to be able to do that and of course that is something I would love to do and love to study more. Being able to publicly speak and host as well and spread positivity.
AM: When you have personal time how do you take time for you to center yourself?
DM: Personal time is something that I am trying to work on more and have more of, and give myself. Being able to center myself is having a good support system. I center myself by going into the gym and having a great workout and catching up on some of my favorite shows. Taking time for me. Our personal time is so few and far between, that it’s something I really have to cherish when I have it.
AM:What is your personal style from what you wear when you workout, when you're going out to brunch and for a night out with your friends?
DM: My personal style ranges. I live in workout clothes and I can be a tomboy. The word ATHLEISURE definitely suits me. I’m always in my hat on my day off, because I hate wearing makeup. I have to let my skin breathe. Workout clothes all day! Whatever fits and is comfy. I love the girly side too and get styled. My style is very diverse.
AM: Clearly, you have a great body! What are 3 exercises that we can incorporate for great legs, arms and abs?
DM: For me, something that I started in the Fall that I had never tried before was Pilates. I had a lot of restrictions from wrestling as far as my mobility and neck. The thing I love about Pilates is that it's 50 minutes and it's full body, but you also use weights. I’ve tried a lot of different exercises. Pilates really helps shape my arms legs and abs. I had never done a plank until Pilates and now I see it in my shoulders and abs. It's long and lengthening. Pilates gives me the flexibility and is so safe on the joints and knees. It’s something I really have to think about. You can find all three in Pilates.
AM: When it comes to getting energy before a workout what do you suggest we should eat?
DM: Some people are very different when it comes to eating before working out. Some people like to eat and some people like to be empty. I like to be full. I don’t like my stomach growling. I like to eat a high protein meal. I prefer fats and carbs in each meal I eat. Having a good piece of chicken or turkey meat, a good 25/35 gms of protein. You don’t have to get fancy when it comes to caffeine pre workout. Black coffee is great. You can’t beat a double shot of espresso or a black coffee before you work out. I always have a shake right after I work out to get my protein in.
AM: When you're having a bit of a splurge, what is a treat that we can enjoy that tastes decadent, but isn't really that bad for you?
DM: I have a sweet tooth. Something for me that I crave is ice cream like crazy and want it all the time. Instead, I buy the fat - free Cool Whip from the market and freeze it. Then it’s like fake ice cream. I just need a little bit. It’s no fat or carbs and not nearly as bad as ice cream. I find myself only having one or two spoonfuls. It gives me that satisfaction.
AM: What charities or foundations do you work with and tell us about them.
DM: I work with the DTM Foundation which was started and by my sister Nicolette Moinet. They work with medically fragile children at UNC and Duke hospital. Anytime I’m back home in North Carolina I love to help them in any way I can whether it be hospital visits or the comfort cooks program. We make food for the families that are basically living at the hospital with their children. With WWE, we are so fortunate to work with so many other great initiatives include our anti-bullying program Be a STAR, Special Olympics, Make a Wish, Susan G. Komen and so many others.
Read more from the Feb Issue and the In and Out of the Ring Danielle Moinet X Summer Rae feature specifically here.