Marina Shafir joined WWE in 2018 after a brief career as a mixed martial artist. She debuted at the all-women’s WWE Evolution PPV in October of that year. From there, she made several run-ins before debuting with Jessamin Duke in NXT. The team frequently helped Shayna Baszler during her rise to stardom. She was released by WWE in June of 2021.

Shafir talked about making the unusual jump from WWE to the independent circuit. She said it’s tough getting booked when you were brought up through the NXT system. Marina said it’s like experiencing two different worlds on a recent appearance on Shot of Wrestling.

“I trained with Mercedes Martinez like six weeks back and it was hilarious because we were talking about, ‘What you do and how you do it matters.’ She goes, ‘You’re NXT bred.’ Nobody wants me because I was raised in NXT. I don’t have Indie experience and I don’t speak that language. I speak TV language. I speak ‘what do the producers want?’ language.

Not that it’s a bad thing. Being part of that process matters how vulnerable you can be towards people. It matters because that is what will make a story really good. It’s about what you want to be vulnerable about and how vulnerable you want to be.


Coming from NXT, I still get the side-eye. Nobody wants me. Nobody wants the shooter from NXT who has a chip on her shoulder. Nobody f*cking wants me.”

Marina Shafir is set to make her AEW Debut on the December 14th episode of Dark. She’s also worked for GCW and Championship Wrestling from Atlanta. As a professional MMA athlete, Shafir competed for Invicta Fighting Championships.

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Thanks to Fightful for the transcription!

Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a news contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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