She’s bubbly, she’s beautiful and she’s an object of desire for many men. Of course, she is also Greek. She’s Maria, and she’s darn proud to call herself a WWE Diva. While many may think she’s ditzy or absent-minded, there’s one thing that’s well-known: she’s hot.
But hey, she wouldn’t have it any other way. Maria has won many beauty pageants in her time, but she’s not just all beauty. From kickboxing to sewing to dancing to working on cars, Maria’s areas of expertise make her one of the best-rounded Divas in WWE.
After years of entering beauty pageants and an education at Northern Illinois University, the Ottawa, Ill., native struck it big by nearly making it to the end of the 2004 Diva Search. While she didn’t win, our fans felt an immediate connection to her, and she quickly made her way to Raw as a backstage interviewer who wasn’t afraid to ask any question, from the hard-hitting to the quirkily obvious.
Since her debut in WWE, however, Maria’s role has expanded by leaps and bounds. At first, she was tentative to step into the ring, but to this day she continues to learn the ropes and develop into an exciting and skilled performer. She also can be seen (or read, as it may be) lending her auto expertise to our fans in her very own WWE Magazine column every month. In the April 2008 issue of Playboy, Maria was on the cover.
What is your Greek background?
“I am half Greek which comes from my father’s side. Both of my grandparents are originally from Sparta, so I have a good fighting background.”
Have you ever been in Greece? Which parts do you like the most?
“I was in Greece a couple years ago. I took my parents for their 25th wedding anniversary. We were able to see most of the country, including Athens, and I cannot wait to go back.”
How did your family react to your decision to start modeling and later wrestle?
“My family has always been very supportive of me and Greeks are very a proud people. I’m very proud to be a Greek and I love all of my Greek fans!”
Do you agree with the idea that beautiful people such as yourself should show their bodies without being embarrassed in magazines?
“I think all women should be proud of who they are. My message to women would be to look at yourself in the mirror and realize that there is no one else exactly like you.”
How was your “Playboy” experience?
“Playboy was a great experience. The shoot really helped me with my confidence level; I felt much more empowered after that shoot it.”
Describe yourself using 5 adjectives.
“Motivated, Dedicated, Passionate, Underdog, and Sister (I’m the big sister type)”
What do you usually do in your free time?
“I visit “Couch Island” which is in the middle of my living room. It’s where I relax and watch movies when I’m home. I also design my own clothes, sew, and spend time with my family.”
Would you like to start doing more modeling work, or acting? Would you consider coming to work in Hollywood?
“Definitely, I think it’ll be a great opportunity to be in a movie and show everyone what the WWE Divas are all about.”
What is your biggest dream (future plans)? (personal life and career)
“I’m living my dream right now by just being in the WWE. I still want to be Divas Champion and then move back to RAW to become Women’s Champion. I also recently recorded a song and I would like to do more of that, and finally I would like to launch my own clothing line.”
Watch Maria’s Photo shoot for Playboy: