From Edge and Lita to AJ Lee and Daniel Bryan, there’s nothing quite like a WWE wedding.
This week during NXT, Indi Hartwell and Dexter Lumis will add their names to the list of those who’ve tied the knot in a WWE ring.
“I’m excited and extremely grateful,” Hartwell told NZPWI. “WWE weddings don’t happen that often and when they do they’re kind of a big deal. I’m really excited to be a part of history.
“When I first signed my contract with WWE I never expected to get married on live TV but here we are.”
NXT viewers have watched InDex come together over several months with an emphasis on developments outside of the ring ranging from a group counselling session with The Way to a bachelorette party.
“Doing these skits and backstage segments, it’s probably been my favourite thing since being in NXT,” Hartwell said.
“I didn’t really get the chance to do these kinds of skits on the indies—it was mostly about wrestling—but in WWE we’re all about the larger-than-life characters and moments.
“I’m really enjoying getting to do those. It’s really helped me come out of my shell, have more confidence, show more personality, and that has translated into the ring too.”
In-ring action is what first drew Hartwell to NXT. Blown away by Bayley vs. Sasha Banks, a young Hartwell made the decision to pivot from studying to become a paramedic to seriously pursuing WWE.
“I was sitting in my room on my bed, watching that match on my laptop—it’s an amazing match, one of the best matches of all-time in my opinion—and I remember thinking: I wanna do that, I can’t believe they put on a match like that, I wanna do that too.
“I literally opened up a new tab on my laptop and signed up for wrestling school. That was really the catalyst that started my wrestling journey.”
It’s not lost on Hartwell that she now finds herself in the same setting as Banks and Bayley did in 2015.
“It’s a big full-circle moment to be in NXT,” Hartwell said. “NXT was what inspired me to become a professional wrestler.
“I just hope that I can put on a match one day in NXT that’ll hopefully inspire someone else to start their wrestling journey.”
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David Dunn: What’s it been like working with Austin Theory, Candice LeRae and Johnny Gargano in The Way?
Indi Hartwell: When we first got put together everyone was kinda confused, no one really understood the dynamic and I don’t think we did either but as the months went on we kind of became an on-screen family and that definitely translates off screen for us. We’re like a family and we’ve gotten to have so much fun on TV. Getting paired with Candice and Johnny who have so much experience in this industry has been great for me. I’ve learnt so much from working with them.
They’re not the only familiar faces around. How does it feel to have so many Australians alongside you in NXT?
Having fellow Aussies and Kiwis here has definitely made my transition to the United States much much easier, having familiar faces. Most of the Aussies here – and the Kiwi – I knew them all before I got here so that was great for my transition here. Also, going through the last year-and-a-half, I haven’t been home in almost two years, so having other Aussies who are in the same boat as me makes it easier and we all stick by each other and have each other’s back.
What do your family think when they watch you on TV in Australia?
They love it. My parents weren’t too big of wrestling fans but I think when I’m on TV they become big wrestling fans.
You wrestled in New Zealand in 2019 (SPW Southern Rumble). What are your memories of that trip?
That was definitely one of the best parts of my indie career, I would say. It was a huge show. I think it was the biggest crowd that I had wrestled in front of at that time. It was a great set-up and it was my first time going to New Zealand. I got to see Queenstown. It was beautiful. I will never forget that trip and the memories that I made.
WWE NXT is available on-demand Thursdays via WWE Network and Saturdays from 11am on Sky 5.