Zelina Vega is the guest on this week’s “New Day: Feel The Power” podcast. She talks about her days growing up as a wrestling fan, her time in TNA/Impact, her WWE tryout, wanting to wrestle and much more.
Here are some highlights:
Zelina Vega on her WWE tryouts throughout the years: “My first tryout ever was in 2010 for FCW with A.J. and Naomi. Norman Smiley and Steve Keirn were the ones running the tryout. From then on, the Usos and others, I became friends with everybody. Fast forward, I had tryouts almost every year and they would say, no, you’re to this or that. I would try to change whatever it was. Then, your endurance wasn’t up. Next year, I came back and upped my endurance and they said dye your hair blonde because I reminded them of Trish. During my Rosebud time, that’s when I was blonde. It was interesting because I felt I didn’t want to say I was there already. During the Rosebud time, I always felt like it was so easy because everyone made it feel so comfortable and everyone was so welcoming to me that it felt like home. I felt like I was supposed to be here. I just never took no for an answer.”
Vega expressing her working experience with Joey Mercury and Tommy Dreamer: “Joey Mercury was someone who always fought for me. I remember Tommy Dreamer. I call him my wrestling Dad because he was always looking out for me from day 1. He sent Joey Mercury a text saying, Thea is going in there today for a tryout. She’s the next Trish meets Lita. She can do it all. She needs somebody to believe in her. From then on, everytime, he was like, hey we are going to be in Virginia, can you drive there from New York, and I was like, yep and I did it. I was spending more money than I was making to be there but I didn’t care at that point. I felt like I needed to get out there. Also, I wouldn’t have been fulfilled in life if I didn’t make the WWE.”
Vega on her wrestling experiences before WWE: “When I got to TNA, I was only two years in and still learning. I was too young. I didn’t think about the future. I thought about right here, right now. I look good, I feel good, why can’t I be here (WWE)? Norman Smiley said this is not no forever, this is just a no for now. Take the notes we gave you, work on that, and go to the next tryout. He said if you want this, you have to really fight for it. You have to take no for an answer and keep coming back no matter what they throw you. Fast forward, when I got to the performance center, I was in Norman’s class. It took 8 years to get there. He fought for me every tryout. I feel that if I would have gotten signed back then, I wouldn’t be Zelina. I wouldn’t be this package I am because I would not have the experience from TNA, Mexico or Japan. I would not have had the no’s to grow that next layer of skin.”
Vega on meeting Andrade in CMLL 10 years ago: “I met him back then. I would never have thought that all these years later, we would be partners. When I think about it, it blows my mind. They (WWE) were trying to come up with the story of me saying you know him since..and I’m like, no I really have.”
Vega on wanting to wrestle: “I have always loved Paul Heyman, Sherri, and Melina. I would use them for character things, but I never thought I was going to be a manager. That wasn’t something that was in my mind. I remember having a conversation with Hunter about where I was going to be with Andrade and what was going to happen. He said, I know you want to wrestle, but I really think this pairing is amazing, and I think we should start here. It doesn’t mean you are never going to wrestle, but let’s try to work with this and see what happens.”