WWE Tried To Sign IMPACT’s Tasha Steelz As A Referee In 2015
“I was like, ‘No disrespect, but that’s not in my heart.’”
Tasha Steelz is enjoying a fine run in IMPACT Wrestling, having reigned as Knockouts Tag Champion on two occasions since joining in 2020. However, had she signed with WWE her career would have panned out differently.
Talking to Tommy Dreamer on the House of Hardcore podcast, Steelz revealed that WWE offered her a refereeing position after an NXT tryout in 2015:
“I went down to NXT. I had a tryout. I was so prepared for the tryout. I was nervous at first, but once I got down there, I realised how well prepared I was because the things that we were practicing at training already, they were already doing at the tryout. Once I got there and realised that this is what I do in training all the time, ok, well let’s knock it out. That’s what I did. Everyone was so impressed. The coaches were impressed. Everyone who was helping out was impressed. The one thing that I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback the most was the fact that the very first day was our promos. I impressed them off the bat with the promos that I did. They didn’t even get to see my in-ring performance. They didn’t get to see how I do drills. They were just impressed by my promos already. They were like, ‘Alright, we’re interested in this girl. We have eyes on her.’
“Once I did the tryout, the last day I got some great feedback from Canyon Ceman, from Paul, who’s his assistant. Some of the coaches were telling me that they loved me, and they wanted to hear more from me, and see more from me. I have a great head on my shoulders. I was like, ‘Ok, this is great.’ I had a tryout match. I flew back and actually, that night wrestled at House of Hardcore for Tommy Dreamer. That’s hustling right there.
“A couple weeks later, I heard, ‘We’re interested, but right now, we don’t have any positions.’ I think that’s the generic thing that a lot of people get nowadays when they get out of the tryouts, and then later on they get hired. It was ok for me because I didn’t let it stop me. I let it motivate me more to continue, and keep on doing what I’m doing, that way when the opportunity does present itself again, I’m already prepared for it. When they finally got back to me, they offered me a referee position. I immediately was like, ‘Does this mean that I shouldn’t be a wrestler?’ You get self doubting at the time because I let WWE be my end all, be all.
“I was like, ‘No disrespect, but that’s not in my heart. That’s not something I want to do.’ I had a couple meetings with Mr. William Regal. He saw me at an indie show right after my tryout and he knew what I could do. He really complimented me and said, ‘I know what you can do. You’re talented. If this is something you really want to do, you have to put your mind 100% into it, and being a wrestler is no longer. You have to be a referee.’ He actually gave me some time to think about it. It took me a couple days, and then I realised, this doesn’t have to be my end all, be all. There are so many opportunities out there and so many places I can go. I respectfully declined, and I said, ‘If there is anything wrestler wise in the future for me, I would love to be a part of the black and gold brand, but in the meantime, I have to turn down this position.’ He understood. There was no bad blood, so that was good for me.”