Denise Salcedo was up for her dream job at WWE, but missing out on the opportunity fuelled her explosive online growth.
Salcedo can be seen everywhere in the pro-wrestling community and beyond: from the Wrestling Observer, Fightful, WrestleTalk and The Sportster to her entertainment brand Instinct Culture, which is zeroing in on 50,000 YouTube subscribers. In a new interview, Salcedo reveals just how close she came to signing with WWE as an on-air digital personality.
“I have had talks with WWE,” Salcedo confirms to Cageside Seats’ Shakiel Mahjouri. “This is not known information, so you’re actually the first person to hear about this. I was up for a job with them probably between December 2020 and March 2021. They had me do a lot of different stuff for them to see where we were going to end up here. For about a six-month period I was aiming at getting hired by WWE. It was my dream. I was so excited, everything was going great and they ended up going in a different direction. I won’t sit here and lie to you, that hurt and it hurt like hell.
“I knew for a fact that I was doing something that nobody else was. I knew for a fact that they made a mistake. When they called me and said, ‘We love you, but we’re going a different direction.’ I knew they had made a mistake. But I will tell you this, Shakiel, it lit such a fire underneath me where I was like, ‘My dream job just said ‘no’ to me, what am I going to do?’ The second I got that ‘no’ — the day after because I was sad the rest of the day,” she chuckles. “The day after, I just went into this mode of ‘do something and do something more than you’ve done before.’”
Salcedo picked herself up, dusted herself off and started exploring new avenues.
“So I started reaching out to people, I started pitching myself to people. Within that week I was having meetings with people, I was listening to job offers,” she explains. “Once you take away that specific vision of what you want, all of a sudden you start to see more opportunities that could come about. I will tell you, by the end of that month I had about four new shows added to my schedule. I had more money coming into my account.
“From March 2021 to now, we’re in September, I’ve seen this growth in my career and it was all because of that one moment where they said ‘no’ to me. Seeing everything that happened since then, it’s one of those things where I think it worked out for the best. I don’t know if that opportunity will ever come about again, but I am kind of happy that they passed on me right now because I think I can offer so much more than the position I was up for.”
Salcedo is leaving the door open to future WWE appearances; however, experiencing rejection from her dream job helped the entertainment personality recognize her value.
“I feel so happy that these opportunities have come my way. I’m starting to see more avenues and paths that I can take. Different things that I can do,” Salcedo says. “I love being freelance. I love being my own boss. I love being a creator. I still love that I get to work with all these different wrestling promotions.
“I’m a huge believer in ‘everything happens for a reason’ and I’m a huge believer in destiny,” she concludes. “I do hope to make some WWE appearances later on in the future. I would really love to because I still want that relationship with them. At the end of the day, I grew up a WWE fan and that’s always been a bucket list dream. But I don’t want to necessarily stop doing everything else that I’m doing... I had been so adamant about making so much noise that they can’t ignore you. Ever since I got that ‘no,’ I’ve gotten louder. It really, really lit a fire under me. There are positives to rejection. You just have to pull it out yourself. It takes a lot.”
You can follow Salcedo’s work on Twitter.
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