January 26, 2018

WWE On Menounos, Maria's Maternity Photoshoot For WWE (Video), Natalya On Shinsuke Nakamura

- As noted, Maria Menounos will serve as the guest ring announcer for the first-ever women's Royal Rumble match on Sunday in Philadelphia. Below is WWE's announcement on Maria's return to WWE TV:
Maria Menounos to serve as guest ring announcer for the first-ever Women's Royal Rumble Match

The first-ever Women's Royal Rumble Match already has a special guest commentator in Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon. Now, it has a special ring announcer: Maria Menounos.

The former "Extra" host and AfterBuzz TV founder (and WrestleMania veteran) filled in for Kelly Ripa on "Live with Kelly and Ryan" earlier today and let slip during an interview with Golden Globe Award winner Rachel Brosnahan ("The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel") that she will serve as the guest announcer for the inaugural contest.

"Maybe we can throw you in last-minute," she quipped to Brosnahan. As to whether that happens, there's only one way to find out. The Royal Rumble event airs at a special start time of 7 ET/4 PT this Sunday, streaming live on the award-winning WWE Network.
- Natalya discusses teamwork in her latest article for The Calgary Sun, now available at this link. She wrote about teaming with Shinsuke Nakamura in WWE's Mixed Match Challenge:
I was paired with the Japanese sensation Shinsuke Nakamura. Our charity is Make-A-Wish. It was the first time I was partnered with a male Superstar in WWE since I managed my husband Tyson Kidd and Cesaro in 2015, and I was ecstatic at the opportunity. I was also concerned.

What If Nakamura and I don't have chemistry as a team in the ring? What if Nakamura doesn't like my ideas? What if Nakamura doesn't think my impression of his dance moves are good? What if I want to take a hundred selfies with him to promote The Mixed Match Challenge and Nakamura doesn't want to?

These were all valid concerns in my mind. However, the good news was that I made some suggestions to my teammate and he was receptive! He listened to my ideas and I listened to his.

Nakamura suggested we dance a lot, and although I expressed to him that I am a terrible dancer, I told him I would give it my best shot. I asked if I could dress my cat up as him and he gave me a kitty kimono for 2Pawz to wear. Let's just say we were off to a great start!

Nakamura took the time to help show me his dance moves and I came up with a great idea. My dad, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart," used to wear a really unique ring jacket when he tag-teamed with my uncle Bret "Hitman" Hart.

The jacket was designed to look like something Michael Jackson would wear, and it was extremely cool. I brought the jacket for Nakamura to wear so we could be matching in our pink and black leather coats. Although the jacket was old and musty, he gave it a chance for me so we could match when we walked down to the ring together. My heart was happy.

We filmed funny videos that complimented our own unique styles. The team that we faced in the first ever "Mixed Match Challenge" was Sasha Banks and Finn Balor. Before we walked down to the ring, Nakamura said to me, "We can't lose if we just have fun." I smiled in agreement with my tag team partner and the rest is history.

In writing this, our "Mixed Match Challenge" match against Finn and Sasha has garnered million of views between social media and WWE Network. We didn't win, but I made a friend for life in Nakamura. As I mentioned earlier, teamwork makes the dream work. Thank you, Nakamura.

Ever want to see Naomi pop a bunch of balloons in a unicorn costume or douse Marlon Wayans with a bucket of suspect liquid? Well, then you and your very specific desires are in luck.
- Below is Maria Kanellis' latest pregnancy vlog for WWE's YouTube, featuring a behind-the-scenes look at her recent maternity photoshoot.


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