NWA Women’s World Champion Thunder Rosa recently spoke to Sports Illustrated on a number of topics ahead of her AEW Women’s World Title Match at AEW All Out against AEW Women’s World Champion Hikaru Shida, including how she and Shida will show the world what a championship match looks like, how she has nothing to lose by competing against Shida and more.
Below are the highlights:
On how she and Shida will show the world what a championship match looks like:
“I’m the NWA women’s champion, and I get to walk into an AEW pay-per-view for a match against Hikaru Shida—to me, that is an honor. I know people have been very hesitant about what they’ve seen in the last couple of weeks in the AEW women’s division. I’ve read the criticism, but we are going to show what a championship match should look like. I’ve been visualizing my entrance, my moves, my MMA technique, and I wish I was getting in the ring with her right now.”
On how she has nothing to lose by competing against Shida:
“I have absolutely nothing to lose at All Out. I want my hand raised, and then I’ll defend the AEW title, too. But no matter what, you’re going to know who I am. Me and Shida at All Out, it’s going to be magic. You’re going to see passion, you’re going to see conviction, and you’ll learn why I am who I am.”
On her face-paint and how she was initially running away from her culture:
“My first month wrestling in Japan, I suffered a concussion. My husband thought I should wear face paint as a symbol that I was half dead and half alive. But at first, I didn’t want to wear it. There was a promotion in the United States that asked me to use face paint because they thought I would appeal more to the Latino community because I’m Latina. I hate when people make me feel less than because I’m Latina or because I have an accent, and in all honesty, I was running away from my culture. So I didn’t wear the face paint.”
On what made her revert back to her face-paint later on:
“When I came back to the United States from Japan, my uncle started asking me all these questions about wrestling, and he wanted to know what Thunder Rosa was all about. Without even knowing all the details of my career, he told me this story about why I should wear the Day of the Dead paint. He told me how my grandfather passed away while watching lucha libre in Tijuana.
At the time, my uncle was only eight years old, just a little boy, sitting on my grandfather’s lap when he died. My uncle told me that my grandfather loved watching, that this was in my blood, and it was now my destiny to represent those that couldn’t make it. That’s why I wear the paint. My career is a celebration of those that brought me here.”
On her relationship with fans:
“People make sacrifices to see me. There are girls that always come see me. I wait to see them at my shows. They see me as their inspiration, and that drives me. They make me strive to be a better person. I am here for a reason. This isn’t a job. Wrestling has allowed me to create relationships with people that I never would have met, to make a difference—and I was put in this world to make a difference.”