Lifetime’s Military Makeover kicks off a national campaign with WWE to find the next military family to receive a complete home makeover. Host Montel Williams and WWE Superstar Lacey Evans, both military veterans, have launched a national campaign to identify and select the next military family to receive a full home makeover.
On July 13, Williams and Evans will announce which military family will get their home redone. All people have to do is tag their favorite veteran hero with the hashtag #tagahero. Tagged families will need to answer questions on an online form that includes the age of their home and what type of health struggles, if any, they may be having. Applications must be submitted by May 31.
Evans served five years in the Marines before making the transition to professional wrestling in 2014. After competing on the independent scene for about two years, Evans signed with WWE and began in NXT. A little under three years later, at the 2019 Royal Rumble, Evans made her main roster debut.
Since then, Evans has been in feuds with current RAW Women’s champion Becky Lynch and current SmackDown Women’s titleholder Bayley.
Earlier this week, Evans took some time to sit down with Sporting News to discuss appearing on the show, how she can relate to the show and her feelings on WWE releasing wrestlers last week.
(Editors note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)
Sporting News: You’re a part of a really cool project, Military Makeover. It’s a TV show with Montel Williams on Lifetime. This just seemed like a natural fit for you after your time in the Marines. So when you were presented with this opportunity, was this something you didn’t have to think about?
Lacey Evans: Not a single second. I jumped on it immediately. I was definitely excited about it and ready to rock and roll the minute I heard about it.
SN: How has being a member of the military affected your living life as an individual and in the world of professional wrestling?
LE: It motivated me. It showed me no matter how hard things get physically, mentally, emotionally financially uncomfortable that you get in your life, it’s going to pass. You just have to keep moving. You can’t stop, and that’s not just physically stopping, but like mentally, you have to continue to go forward, adapt, and overcome. It’s prepared me to definitely be the woman that I am in as a WWE superstar, the mother, the wife, as a motivator, juggling what I juggle on a day to day and being able to tackle it with flying colors and the confidence that I hold. The way I hold my head up just knowing that I’m capable of a lot and not ever stopping.
SN: How do you feel you can relate to the families on the show? Were you able to relate to them?
LE: I mean with every family differently. I’ve worked with a wife who lost her husband at the school shooting in Florida, and she was left with her son. She was a widow. At that point, she and I just could resonate when I lost my father and how much that hurt every day, and I have to get up knowing that he’ll never be there. There was one time she didn’t want anybody to touch her bed and her bathroom. Her husband had completely remodeled it before he passed away. His goal was to get to the whole house. Obviously, he couldn’t afford to. So it was just one little project at a time. My father also was in construction, and he was a builder. And my husband is as well. So when she told us do not touch that bathroom, and it’s the last thing my husband redid for us. She didn’t want our crew to go in there at all.
I completely understood because I have some of my dad’s old tools. My husband is a general contractor. I would be the same way. We just did a home makeover with a mother who has children and she suffers from depression really bad. Every day she has to fight with herself to get up, get outside and get some fresh air. I’ve been there. I know life’s hard. I’ve been through freaking hell. I know what they’ve been through in different little ways. Every family’s different. When I’m looking at their faces and I see them hanging their head, and whether they’ve lost a loved one or they’re struggling mentally, you know, every day when the sun comes up, and I can see it. I’ve been there. That motivates me to continue to do what we do, bring the light of Military Makeover to veterans and their families and just to help each other out. We need each other. The whole world needs to be able to be that face and that voice—that positive example for everybody across the board.
SN: On the pro wrestling side, you’ve made the transition from being the nasty heel, and now you’re the nasty babyface. You had been programmed with Bayley and now with Sasha Banks. What is that transition been like from you from going the heel everyone hates to now the babyface that everybody loves?
LE: I don’t know if they really love me (laughs). I’m a go-getter. Tell me to be mean and I’m going to go out there and I’m going to be mean. If you tell me I got to smile a little more, I’ll smile the best I can. But I’m a mean son of a gun so probably the hardest part is to come out and smile because of how mean I am. You want me to go and get my hands on this person but you want me to smile about it? That’s hard for me. It’s probably the hardest part because that means streak comes in. This isn’t funny to me. This is how I make my money.
SN: It was big news last week that some of your compadres were released from the company. When a deal like that happens, how hard is that for you because you’re seeing people that you’ve built relationships with for a number of years gone from the company?
LE: It’s terrible. I take it hard because I know what it’s like to come from no money and come from a rough childhood upbringing. I know what rock bottom feels like. I know what that sick feeling in your stomach feels like when you don’t know what you’re going to do. That’s all that I could think about is ‘Man, what are they going to do?’
This hits them last minute. But I also do know that WWE is very supportive. They do what they have to do, but they make sure that everybody has what they need and is taken care of, and to the point of going forward. But it’s just a crappy feeling. I just can’t imagine being in that position. I also know of going back to the military, of being able to adapt and overcome. You just got to keep pushing. You can’t let life no matter what it is; no matter what cards you’re dealt with, you keep got to keep playing, you got to play your hand, and you got to play to the best of your ability. I mean, it’s hard. Like I said, me being a mother, I’ve got to get up the next day. I’ve got to pour my cup of coffee and I got to keep on pushing. It reminds me to be prepared and not only to be prepared myself but to prepare my child because you never know. You can’t count your chickens before they hatch. You got to save for a rainy day. A lot of emotions and thoughts come through. I just keep them all in my prayers and wish them the best and then do the best that I can to continue to keep pushing and be good at my job and continue to learn and do the best that I can in there.