Maxine Explains Why She Left WWE – “I Didn’t Feel Like I Was Moving Forward”

Former WWE Diva Maxine, real name Karlee Perez, joined for her first exclusive post-WWE interview to talk about why she decided to leave WWE, her reported frustration at her upward mobility in the company and more.



Karlee, a Criminology graduate, is obviously very intelligent and that certainly comes across as she talks to us about how she developed her unique character, wanting to be unlike other Divas, not being afraid to be a heel, and not being afraid to be more aggressive in the ring.

Perez discusses her storyline with Derrick Bateman and Johnny Curtis on NXT Redemption which lasted 66 weeks and saw several twists and turns throughout its run.

There’s plenty more discussed also, including the Divas, her start in WWE, working in FCW, the all-Divas season of NXT and her future plans.

Listen to the full interview here:

On why she wanted to leave WWE: “I don’t know if it was something specific or things over time. WWE, there’s pros and cons with the company. It was a company I enjoyed working for. I was able to use tools and broaden myself, and make myself better as an entertainer because of the company and I was very grateful for that. The climb to the top, and the fighting to get to that spot — there’s so many talented people in the company, and there’s so many talented people that aren’t utilized. It’s politics, and I don’t always agree with it. It doesn’t matter [if I do], because you’re either in it or you’re not, and you have to deal with what is handed to you. After NXT [Redemption] that I did with Derrick [Bateman] and Johnny [Curtis] — I think we did 66 weeks or so, I really wanted to keep that as entertaining as people even though we were given the short end of the stick, and even given the short end of the stick, I thought we did a hell of a job. So that was for me the chance to prove that I deserve a chance. After sitting for a while, and the chance not really coming, I just decided to take it in my own hands and make a chance for myself which is what I did.”

Reaction to her decision & making the hard decision to move on: “I didn’t feel like I was moving forward. Even though a lot of fans said that, ‘Why didn’t you just wait? You should’ve been patient’. It isn’t really about patience – they like to tell us it’s about patience, but it’s not. Nobody can say you should’ve been patient, if you don’t know long you’re waiting for, so that can really — yeah, it can get you frustrated. That wasn’t the only reason I left. There was other things. It wasn’t just out of frustration like people say it was. It was a mixture of feelings, and that was just one reason. By the end of it, I wasn’t frustrated anymore. I accepted it. By the end of me leaving, it was a bit of a shock that I did it, but I accepted it. The feelings are tough, sitting there waiting, going backwards, and taking the jump — it’s tough.”

The Divas realizing the grass may not always be greener in WWE: “It makes you think, and I think that’s what happened when I did that and my other colleagues and Divas found out. I think they actually thought about what they were doing for the company, and if they were the ones sitting on the sidelines, I’m sure they thought twice also. There’s some beautiful, bright women in the business and everyone has something to bring to the table, something different. I told management when I asked for my release, ‘I wanted to bring you something you didn’t have’ and I feel I did that. I put a lot of effort and time to make myself as diverse as possible, so there was no other Maxine — so Maxine would have a spot no matter what. I don’t know if it was political, or timing, or whatnot, I just didn’t see the spot being built anytime soon. It might’ve been three, four, five… who knows how many years? I think a lot of the girls are feeling like that right now because for some of them, it’s already been three years and they still haven’t had time. So, what is it? Another three years, and then another three years?”



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