We first saw you in NXT a little over a year ago. What's the difference between that Candice and the one we see here today?
My childhood dream was to be a WWE Superstar. Now that I am living that dream, I am discovering there is a whole new world of opportunity here in NXT. I have pushed myself to do things in the ring and in the gym that I used to be afraid to do or was uncomfortable with. I want to seize every opportunity NXT has to offer me, and when I do, I want to be ready for them. Being here has sparked something special in me to push me to the next level.
You've obviously been through a lot with your husband, Johnny Gargano. To someone not familiar with sports-entertainment, what are the benefits and challenges of working alongside Johnny in the same company?
A massive positive is that we can travel together! There were times before I got here where I would be wrestling in Japan or the United Kingdom for weeks at a time. Trying to talk to each other when I was basically a day into the future was challenging.
I half joke with him that my biggest challenge is trying to keep up with him. He's just so talented. It puts this added pressure on me because I don't want to be an embarrassment to Johnny. Plus, my husband worked so hard for his name, and I absolutely refuse to ride his coattails. I know I have a challenge in proving to the fans and my peers that I belong here too. I want to make a name for myself here in NXT because of my own work and not because of who my husband is.
Why is it important for you to prove to the world that a young lady like you, who never expected to make it to WWE or NXT, has what it takes to become a champion?
It's become bigger than not disappointing the 6-year-old girl inside of me. I have four nieces, and it is extremely important to me to be a good example for them. That isn't limited to just making good life choices, but to also teaching them the importance of dreams. When I started to believe in myself and worked harder than ever before, I achieved my dream. I don't ever want my nieces to doubt themselves. I never want them to think they can't live their dreams. This quest for the NXT Women's Championship is an absolute fairytale for me, and I will stop at nothing until I have my happily ever after.