Summer Rae is a WWE Superstar. Danielle Moinet is a sweetheart.
When Danielle Moinet walk into a room, heads turn. She’s a tall, gorgeous blonde with a killer, toned figure. Many girls would kill to be her. And then, she opens her mouth and she’s intelligent, kind, and thoughtful. A lot of
her fans don’t get to see that side of her. She will always just be Summer Rae, the conniving yet badass WWE Diva. On Total Divas, they only brought attention to her character, Summer Rae, so we still didn’t get to see the real her on the “reality” show.
Behind Summer Rae, Danielle Moinet is a hard-working athlete who’s on the road week after week. Like most of us, she thrives off of her female friendships, loves chocolate, and struggles with backlash on her social media. But in hopes of not confusing fans, she hopes that parents teach their kids that Summer Rae is a character and she ups the sweet factor in her meet and greets.
We talked to Danielle about the struggles of getting in her workouts on the road, how she overcame her original weaknesses with wrestling, meeting fans, and female empowerment. She also goes into detail on how she’s beyond different from her character and why having a fan tell her that she
is different is the best thing they can say.
You’re a traveling athlete so your life is on the road non-stop. It must take a toll on your body and skin. How do you stay limber and not get sore from long flights and drives? How do you take care of your skin?
I should be doing more yoga, pilates, and stretching. I’m really bad before a match. I don’t even really stretch that much. Every time I land [from a flight], I have coffee, find a gym on Yelp, go straight to the gym and knock it out, then go get groceries. Sometimes I travel with food. Most of us are with Anytime Fitness or LA Fitness .≤cause they’re in most places. I try to do something active everyday. Sometimes our matches will be short and it’s not a long workout.
For my skin, immediately after a show I take my makeup off and lather my skin in creams and mist. I’m obsessed with every cream ever. I just lather my face.
How often and for how long do you work out each week? While we know you switch between weights and cardio, do you switch between different kinds of cardio or do you have a set routine?
With lifting weights, I can knock out some things in an hour. My average workout is an hour and a half. I like to warm up with cardio. My new thing is that I love the show Scandal and I only let myself watch it while doing cardio so I do it longer.
For cardio, I try to find different things to do; as I’m getting older I see that I need more cardio. I love doing SoulCycle or doing hot yoga to sweat it out. I want to start taking up boxing.
With lifting, I try not to be crazy sore. Eventually, I’ll have to get gains and be sore. On Mondays and Tuesdays – on TV days – I don’t like to lift really heavy because I want to be at my best. And there’s not [always] eight girls in a match; sometimes it’s a single. But Wednesday when I go home, I’m usually fresh so I’ll try to do heavy legs and cardio. Wednesday and Thursday are no excuses .≤cause those are my home days.
As you were an athlete before the WWE, you could easily have brought in other injuries or certain muscle memory into your WWE training. Did you have to reteach your body certain motions when becoming a WWE Diva or did you come in with any weaknesses to address?
I’ve been better with the injuries. As far as surgeries and major injuries, I’ve been very lucky. But it’s interesting coming back from concussions. I’ve been lucky to where I’m not nervous. You never want to play scared. I’ve never been like that which is really good.
When I first started to learn how to wrestle, it was the hardest thing I had ever done and it was so humbling. I’d go home and be so defeated every day. That made me want it that much more. I’ve been with the company almost five years. I remember in my first couple of months, the simple stuff would stress me out so much. Now it’s completely in my muscle memory and I just grab a hold and don’t even think about it. It’s cool how your body does that.
Your character of Summer Rae is vastly different from Danielle. In what ways are you obviously different and in what ways might you be similar?
How we’re different, definitely the arrogance, cockiness, mean girl things. I think we’ve all been mean-girled before. I would never want to do that to anyone. So that’s something that’s not me. She’s very manipulative. It’s really good to work as a group and to use people in a positive manner, but she does it for her own benefits and reasons. I don’t have an agenda. I love meeting people of different walks of life but it’s not because you benefit me.
How we’re similar…deep down maybe she’s someone I’ve always wanted to be, but I’m too nice or I can’t be like that. Some days you have a really bad day and you just want yell at everyone. She does that. Maybe I’ve always wanted to stick up for myself and be like that – to tell people what I really think. But I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. I admire her confidence, definitely. I think there’s a way to have confidence and not be cocky and she’s very arrogant.
Being a part of the WWE has put you in the position to inspire young girls. In what ways have you seen that you’ve made a difference?
I can see that just from social media! A lot of people are saying, “Wish me luck!” online. I forget how young people are that watch us. It’s interesting and also hard because I do play a bad character. When I meet people, it’s so important to be super nice, to always know that it’s the first time you’re meeting someone and it’s easier for parents to explain that you’re playing a role.
I just make time for people. It’s insane at four in the morning when we’re at the airport and there’s 45 fans and they all want stuff. But then it’s like, I don’t know when I’m going to Tulsa ever again.
It’s also a parent’s job to say there’s no good guys without bad guys and that’s why we have superheroes. Meeting our fans at WrestleMania is the best, seeing them from all over. I think that’s when I realize how big the impact WWE has on people. We have to be responsible for it.
You were on E!’s Total Divas for two seasons. In what ways did being on that show help with Danielle’s life, and how did it help Summer Rae’s persona? Did your fans ever confuse your persona for the real you?
It definitely helped Summer Rae’s persona. It was fun being on the show! All of the girls are still my friends and I work there. They film there 24/7. It takes up so much of your life. I definitely applaud those girls for being able to do that. It’s tiring. That was something that was good for Summer Rae and I was definitely able to expand her reach. That show has brought so many eyes onto the women’s division.
The cooling thing I feel I get is when I meet people at the airport – and they watch WWE or Total Divas. They say “Oh my gosh, you’re so different in real life!” I take it as such as compliment. That is so great because that means I’m good at my job!
On your Twitter page, in the bio, it says “the sticks and stones you used to throw have built me an empire”. Were you bullied when you were younger or did you find that not a lot of people supported your dreams? How do you handle that now?
That’s a lyric by Bring Me the Horizon. I love that quote because I feel like so many people use the sticks and stones as “poor me”. It’s excuses. To be able to use it as fuel and motivation is so empowering. You can take something so negative and turn it into a positive. It’s the greatest form of revenge.
People would make fun of me for being twig skinny. A lot of people always think that people get made fun of just for being overweight. With body image in today’s society, it’s goes both ways, and [for more issues] like skin issues, tons of freckles, etc. It’s horrible now.
How do you handle any negative backlash or inappropriate comments from men, especially when you also have a young following?
I don’t want to give people a platform to argue back and forth. The minute they say something that is bullying, self-hatred, or a racial slur, I immediately block them and report them. Sometimes that’s what they want. But if I have a fan that’s offended, I don’t want them to see that [hate].
Sometimes if I respond, I’m giving [the bullies] the attention they want. But
lot of people were saying bad stuff about this one fan. I responded to that. [For that] you can’t sit back.
You’ve always been the kind of girl to cherish female relationships – being in a sorority and a WWE Superstar. What do you think your female bonds bring to your life?
They give me wider eyes, [make me see] a bigger picture. They are the ones that tell me to be the first! When I say things like “Oh I’m 32. Most girls do that at 20.” They say, “Then be the first!” They make me look at what I want to do in five or 10 years. The creativity from my girlfriends is so great. I have so many different levels of friends. I have friends back home in North Carolina that have desk jobs and families. That’s a very different life and I don’t know that life. Then they look at my life and ask if they could come with me!
Then I have friends in L.A. that are makeup artists and publicists. Being able to network with them, they teach me so much stuff about this community that I don’t know about.
A lot of women refuse to be friends with other girls claiming that it’s too much drama or competition. How can we let go of that competition and break those barriers between us girls to get those relationships?
It really boggles my mind. There’s certain girls that I know now that I love, that are not haters, that go out of their way to say, “She’s gorgeous” or “Look how good she can sing!” I hate when a girl says, “I don’t have guy friends.” I relate to women on such different levels than I relate to a man. I’ve known my girlfriends for years. You just have to find the right kind of girlfriends.
Women tearing down women boggles me. We already have it harder. We’re trying to keep up, claw back, and get to the same level as men. If we all just empowered each other, we would have this huge community. It would be bigger than the male community. We are so versatile and we have so many things that we can do. Women are so passionate and powerful. We have so many qualities that are amazing and it’s so catty and competitive. It comes from being insecure. It’s tough! In every locker room or sorority, they all have their problems. It really sucks .≤cause women need the support of each other.
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