Cathy Kelley Motivates Us To Chase Our Dreams

Author: Lindsay Jernigan / Photos: Christina Choi
11.16 / MB Series

"Hey Guys, it's Cathy Kelley!" has become not only an on-air greeting, but a battle cry for die-hard WWE fans. The host captivates thousands of viewers each week with her million watt smile and infectiously positive personality. Her unrelenting pursuit of her dreams has catapulted her into tremendous success, making her a role model for girls and women everywhere. If that wasn't enough, Cathy also started her own lifestyle blog, where she showcases her killer style and next-level baking skills. We sat down with Kelley to discuss what motivates her to work so hard and her style inspirations.

Your love of WWE has been evident throughout your career. Where does that passion for sports entertainment come from? How were you initially introduced to it?
I only began watching a few years before I was hired by WWE, but I fell hard and fast. I had moved to Los Angeles to pursue TV hosting, which had been my goal for as long as I can remember. Upon moving to LA I started working at Afterbuzz TV, the after show network created by Maria Menounos and Keven Undergaro. I was hosting a few shows but asked to work in the office as well. The network was still in its infancy which gave me the opportunity to fill in on-air in the off chance a host missed a show. Long story short; every Tuesday morning, like clockwork, we caught up on Monday Night Raw. I was instantly hooked by the larger than life characters, the storylines and the athleticism displayed by the WWE Superstars.

Sports entertainment is traditionally a very heavily male-dominated industry, yet you have never let that intimidate you from pursuing your dream. What do you credit that tenacity and fearlessness to?
Firstly, I would say that the WWE’s women’s evolution has helped progress so much of the female-centric storylines. It went from ‘Divas’ having short matches to female ‘Superstars’ being in the main event of some of WWE’s biggest Pay Per View events. I’m so proud to work for WWE in a time where the female superstars have not just been given bigger opportunities, but proven they deserve them. Getting a literal front row seat at such a historic period in WWE has been nothing short of incredible. The women’s evolution is not just in the ring but on the broadcast team as well; more and more women are being featured! Personally, I am so excited by the prospect of working alongside other women, like Renee Young or WWE Hall of Famers Lita and Beth Phoenix.

I’ve always had strong female role models in my life. I grew up in a single parent household, my mom worked 80 hours a week. She is a scientist and researcher, which is also a very male-dominated field. When I was born, people told her that her career was over, and she wouldn’t be able to put in the time it would take to succeed. She proved them wrong and now we laugh about the fact she used to bring me on business trips when I was a toddler. My mom is the hardest working, most perseverant person I know; and inspires me every day to work for and achieve my dreams.

What advice would you give to women pursuing careers in male-dominated industries?
If you love something and it is what you want to do, go for it with everything you have. Too many times we pass up on pursuing dreams because we’re scared of what others will think or about the obstacles we may incur. ‘Will you have to work harder to prove yourself?’ Most likely. ‘Will it be worth it?’ Absolutely. All that hard work pays off. One day I am going to tell my grandchildren ‘look how cool your grandma used to be’ and it will be because of all the hard work put into chasing my dream.

What is your favorite WWE memory thus far?
Actually, it happened very recently. It was at this year’s Royal Rumble event; I met former WWE Superstar Vickie Guerrero and freaked out a bit. I have always loved her, I think she is brilliant. Royal Rumble weekend was such a great experience overall. I had a moment backstage when I just  looked around and saw all my friends there, Maria Menounos who I’ve looked up to for so many years, Sonya Deville, and Zelina Vega (we would take long hikes and talk about how working for WWE was our dream), it was definitely a surreal moment.

You also have a fashion and lifestyle blog, (check it out!!), and it’s evident your fashion game is on POINT. Who are your greatest style inspirations?
Oh man! Half the time I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing when dressing! I just wear what I like. Olivia Culpo and Jamie Chung have been my style crushes for a minute. I’d raid both their closets if I could! I am also a huge fan of Millie Bobby Brown - any girl who rocks white chucks at an award show red carpet has got my heart. I’m starting to wonder how much longer I can get away with wearing converse all the time, but I prefer them over heels any day.

What does MISSBISH mean to you?
I feel like it represents female empowerment. I love seeing women support other women and that is exactly what MISSBISH is all about!

Who is your MISSBISH?
Any woman who is strong, fearless, and fights for what she believes in. She encourages others and believes she can change the world.

What are three hidden gems in New York City/Brooklyn?
My absolute favorite restaurant in Brooklyn is called Samurai Mama. There’s no sign on the door but it has the coolest atmosphere with a huge communal table and an actual tree growing in the waiting room. And they have sushi tacos which are just the best!

Second, when I’m in New York City on a nice day on, I’m a sucker for walking the High Line Park. I could spend an hour just watching taxis and cars go by at one of the window overlooks.

Finally, I’ve found one of the coolest tiki bars in New York. It is called Mother of Pearl in the East Village; I love that it has with most absurd/cool cocktails. One beverage comes in a Shark shaped mug and the bartender splashes grenadine all over it while screaming, ‘SHARK ATTACK!’ It’s so much fun!

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