AEW’s Thunder Rosa on Mexican Pride, Uvalde, Women’s Wrestling & ‘Forbidden Door’
It was an emotional scene when Thunder Rosa finally captured the All Elite Wrestling women’s championship. The fan-favorite defeated her arch-nemesis Britt Baker in dramatic fashion. A bloody steel cage main event during Dynamite’s “St. Patrick’s Day Slam” before Rosa’s San Antonio, Texas faithful. A year prior she’d come up short against Baker in their landmark “Lights Out” match.
Since attaining the gold, Rosa has successfully defended against the likes of Nyla Rosa, Serena Deeb, and Marina Shafir. The forecast next calls for a big challenge at the Forbidden Door pay-per-view against the red-hot Toni Storm. A standout who left WWE in hopes of a greater opportunity to perform. Rosa talks to TV Insider about the experience atop the women’s division, giving back, tacos, and others walking through the “Forbidden Door.”
How has it been being the champ?
Thunder Rosa: It’s a very important thing for me. Having someone like me, a Mexican-born wrestler be champion in AEW, is humungous. I’ve been blessed as a champion. I’m a representative of the company everywhere I go. I take this very seriously. I’m happy to have the strap and that I’m able to represent Latinos all over the world in a positive way.
There is that shot with the fan ringside with the Mexican flag during your match. What you’re doing clearly is having an impact.
This is a fan who has come to a lot of my shows. He was wearing my t-shirt. Someone had taken the photo and tagged me a couple of days ago. It feels very special. It has been a while for a single competitor to represent Mexico the way I have. Women and men of different ages tell me when the mariachi played the day I won the championship, they felt it was for them. They cried thinking it was one of the most beautiful things they’d ever seen. Representation is very important to me. It’s very powerful.
Through the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop of Pawn Stars fame, you auctioned off your ring gear from Double or Nothing where 100 percent of the proceeds benefited families and victims of the Uvalde School shooting. How is it for you to see the outpouring of the support with $5,000 raised?
This one specifically hits home. It’s just terrible how things were handled and that the families continue to suffer because they don’t have their kids anymore. It’s heartbreaking. I like helping families and raising awareness for mental health, and women’s rights. It is important because I’m not only a wrestler and entertainer. Before I did all this, I was an activist. I’m an activist at heart.
When it comes to women’s wrestling, there are some really passionate fans. They want to see more than what they see currently. What do you feel is the state of women’s wrestling right now in AEW?
Our roster is stacked. It is really cool to work with people who I have worked with in other companies and have been in the business. One of my favorite people to work with, and I see more these days is Mercedes Martinez and Serena Deeb. Those are the ones when I’m feeling a certain type of way I will ask for advice. I think with the right tools we can do even more.
How do you feel you’ve grown as a person inside and outside the ring while wearing the gold around your waist?
I come from very humble beginnings. So when you get something like a title and live the life I’m living, it’s about enjoying it. You can’t wrestle forever. It’s important whatever time I have left that I enjoy everything, the good and bad. To let people know that I’m not perfect. Every day I’m working to become a better person. It has been a soul-searching journey the last few months, but I can tell you I’m happy.
Not only do you have your career but you’re providing a chance for young wrestlers to be seen in your own promotion Mission Pro Wrestling. In just a few short years, it has certainly evolved and grown.
Mission Pro Wrestling, we are taking it show-by-show. I think we can definitely grow into a more elaborate production. I can’t really talk about what is in the works because I don’t want to jinx it. Mission Pro is definitely to push those I know are really talented and have the skills but haven’t been given an opportunity. We’re investing a lot in this including my husband, my friends, and everyone who works for Mission Pro. We’re trying our best to create something different and better and make it profitable because at the end of the day it’s a business.
I love your Taco Vlog. Did you have a bucket list guest you want to sit down with?
I’d really love to get Tony Khan, but I know he doesn’t eat tacos! Depending on the dietary restrictions, I will accommodate. I shot tequila with Lance Hoyt, so I’m not married to just doing tacos because we can eat whatever. There are a couple of legends, too. I want to bring in others who haven’t gotten a chance to share their story. I’m trying to open it to people who are not in wrestling like actresses, and singers. Shakira maybe? All of them.
You’re facing Toni Storm next. How are you approaching this match against someone who has wrestled all over the world?
Fans can expect a really cool match. We’ve never wrestled with each other before. This is going to be very vibrant and different. We are the only women’s match on the card. We are going to show up and show out.
Anything you can tease bout your pay-per-view entrance and ring attire. anything you can tease?
Pay-per-view means new gear and hopefully, a new headpiece. You’ll see what I have in store.
There is a lot of talk about Saraya (Paige), who is about to become this hot free agent. What are your thoughts on her possibly walking through the “Forbidden Door?”
She has so much experience. She has been wrestling since a young girl. I met her mother a few years ago at an independent show. She is a wrestler’s wrestler. She would bring something different to the women’s division as a wrestler or even if we needed a general manager. If she came to our door, I think everybody will benefit from it. If anyone comes to wrestle me. I’m open to any challenge. Whoever wants a piece of me, you know where to find me. If not, I’ll send you my number right now.
AEW and New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Forbidden Door, June 26, 8/7c, Pay-Per-View