Going Ringside Ep. 40: Candice Michelle and the 2000′s WWE Divas

Seldom does World Wrestling Entertainment bring in wrestlers who gained notoriety or fame outside of wrestling. But occasionally it happens. Candice Michelle Beckman is one of those cases.

It was 2005 and Candice Michelle Beckman had just entered the WWE. She had been hired by the company with the gimmick of makeup artist. Unfortunately her name and face were relatively unknown to audiences. That changed the night of Super Bowl XXXIX. This was a year after Janet Jackson’s famed “wardrobe malfunction” shocked audiences during the 2004 halftime show with Justin Timberlake. That malfunction exposed Jackson’s right breast to an audience of tens of millions. That incident caused a considerable backlash in the broadcasting industry over decency on the airwaves.

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Fast forward a year, the Jackson incident was still fresh in America’s minds. And the company Go Daddy knew this. They parodied the controversy over Jackson and held a mock Congressional hearing with Beckman playing a witness who was testifying.

The strap on her tank top snapped, causing a somewhat controversial “wardrobe malfunction” of its own. That commercial gained a lot of attention at Beckman was immediately seen by the biggest audience in television.

“Apparently this was too hot for TV when my strap broke,” said Beckman. “So they pulled the second commercial which caused so much controversy. I woke up the next morning with like 600 missed calls. I was worried. Something happened to somebody. Then I was like this is like a big break for real.”

That was the same month that Beckman had coincidentally signed with WWE. Within months she was brought in as a full time wrestler and performer. Beckman was immediately a regular on camera performer for WWE in the burgeoning women’s division. Or as WWE called it at the time “Divas” division. That branding has shifted for the company in recent years but in the early 2000′s the female performers were called Divas. Beckman went on to wrestle for several years for the company both feuding and teaming with the likes of Torrie Wilson, Melina Perez and Beth Phoenix.

Beckman eventually left the company full time in 2009 and continued sporadically wrestling in and out of WWE for several years. Since then, she has also started a family telling Going Ringside she keeps busy raising three children with her husband.

Beckman said she got her initial interest in wrestling through her stepfather. “I remember Monday Night Raw every week,” said Beckman. “Climbing up on the couch with my stepdad Ken. Watching Hulk Hogan. I had a Hulk Hogan doll instead of a Barbie doll.”

Beckman said one of her first influences was with the old school team the Bushwhackers but the experience turned a little awkward when she met them in her older years. “I remembered looking up to them. I’d put my hand up kind of nervous. I’m like seven, eight. And they high fived me,” said Beckman. “I was so excited to share this story. But they were not so excited because they were thinking more like I was hitting on them.”

Beckman said becoming a pro wrestler was a dream come true for her stepfather. “This is actually his dream. So when I finally booked this and he sees me on stage that’s when he let me know like you’re living my dream,” said Beckman. “And he has MS and is in a wheelchair now so it was pretty powerful to bring that home for him.”

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