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LaBar: Eva Marie embracing dislike from WWE fans

| Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, 12:15 a.m.
Wrestler Eva Marie

WWE Diva, Eve Marie ­— I'll pause for your reaction.

When you say her name, some react with, “Wow, look at her,” referring to her stunning good looks trademarked by fire engine red hair. Maxim magazine ranked her in the Hot 100 of 2014.

Others respond with a chorus of negativity and boos.

Bottom line is, you can't say her name to a wrestling fan and not get some kind of reaction. It's better than getting no reaction, and Marie has embraced her heel position to the audience.

“Nobody is born a wrestler,” says Marie. “You might be born with wrestler's blood, but things come after you put in the work and time. That's what I'm doing, but I want all the heat I can get so bring it on.”

This heat comes from her wrestling life being documented since Season 1 of Total Divas on E!. The reality series follows some of the female WWE performers careers and personal lives.

A prominent storyline since the debut of the show has been Marie learning how to be a WWE Diva despite not having any prior training. Because of this, it has caused quite the stir out of a lot of fans when they see her opportunities and attention that's come her way.

“I actually love the fact I'm a heel. At the very beginning, I got thrown in very quickly. Anybody would take that opportunity, and if you didn't, shame on you,” said Marie. “Since I don't have the background of a Paige or Natalya, I'm really trying to hone my craft. You'll see that on this season of Total Divas.”

You also can see Marie's progress weekly on the NXT brand on WWE Network, a move Marie said she requested in order to get more training time and matches. Just last week, she competed in a battle royal. This was a situation and showing of the potential in her as a performer.

She's embraced the boos with a smug smirk and blowing the audience a kiss in sarcasm. Her placement in NXT also provides her the perfect opposition. NXT has some of the most passionate wrestling fans. The most passionate who dislike her and who also love their favorites like Bayley, Carmella and Asuka. Pitting Marie against these fan favorites creates interesting television, largely driven by the fans' vocal involvement.

The second-biggest pop of Wednesday night during the Divas battle royal was Marie running her mouth to Asuka, and the Japanese star responded with a stiff kick to Marie's face. The biggest pop of the match was Marie, who thought she won the battle royal before getting attacked from behind and eliminated by Carmella who then won the match.

Marie doesn't have the family pedigree for the business but does have the interest. She's been a wrestling fan since she was a kid, citing Razor Ramon as her childhood favorite.

“It's one of those weird feelings, because part of me wants to geek out. The fact I'm able to have met him, and he's been able to watch some of my matches, that's unreal to me because he was one of my favorites.”

She's doing extra training with veteran Brian Kendrick to increase her in-ring skills. All things that would normally be endearing to the fans, but not with her.

They like to hate her, and she's fine with being hated.

Justin LaBar is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7949 or

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