WWE star Zelina Vega has eyes on girls’s title at Backlash in Puerto Rico: ‘It’s a dream come true’

Backlash would be the first WWE premium stay occasion held within the aftermath of WrestleMania 39 the place Rhea Ripley defeated Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.

The occasion will happen in San Juan, Puerto Rico – the primary time a WWE premium stay occasion will happen within the territory since New Year’s Revolution in 2005. While the occasion – hosted by Bad Bunny – is bound to draw 1000’s of wrestling followers, it means extra for Zelina Vega.

Vega, whose actual identify is Thea Büdgen, will probably be battling Ripley for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. It will probably be Ripley’s first title protection since she beat Flair in an epic battle in the course of the first night time of the star-studded spectacle in Inglewood, California. Vega is of Puerto Rican respectable and will probably be wrestling within the territory for the primary time in her profession.

Zelina Vega in Tokyo

American skilled wrestler Zelina Vega arrives on the Crunchyroll Anime Awards Red Carpet at Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa on March 4, 2023, in Tokyo, Japan. (Jun Sato/WireImage)

“It’s thrilling. It’s surreal. It’s nerve-racking. It’s a dream come true,” Vega instructed Fox News Digital in a current interview days earlier than Backlash kicks off.

“And not simply the match, actually, however the location. Like, attending to do it in Puerto Rico is one thing I by no means thought was going to be the case. And to have this type of a match there may be loopy. The household that lives there’ll lastly see me wrestle in individual. It’s actually cool.”

WWE introduced it will be going again to Puerto Rico in March. Vega mentioned that when she heard the information she instantly tried to determine how she was going to get herself on the cardboard. Two days after the announcement, Vega turned face and joined Legado Del Fantasma in serving to Rey Mysterio towards Judgment Day. The group would re-form the Latino World Order (LWO), and on April 21, Vega would request and be granted a match towards Ripley for the championship at Backlash.


Zelina Vega in Saudi Arabia

Zelina Vega celebrates after profitable her match in the course of the World Wrestling Entertainment Crown Jewel pay-per-view within the Saudi capital Riyadh on Oct. 21, 2021. (Fayez Nureldine/AFP through Getty Images)

Vega is the one feminine Puerto Rican famous person on the principle WWE roster. She mentioned she felt a “duty” to be the illustration for the locker room.

“It’s an enormous duty, nevertheless it’s one which I take very critically, and I’m glad I get to do it,” she instructed Fox News Digital, “as a result of, my God, it’s one thing that even once I was youthful, to have the ability to say, to have a look at [former WWE superstar] Melina and [think], ‘Wow, she’s in WWE, and that’s the place I need to be.’ And Rey, he’s smaller in stature like me, I really like that. I really feel like I can do that, too.”

“So, I had that illustration once I as youthful, and I simply need to have the ability to be that in a bunch of various methods however for different folks as effectively. I simply [want] to be what Rey Mysterio was rising up,” Vega continued.

WWE has been all around the globe over the past 12 months, internet hosting premium stay occasions like Clash on the Castle in Scotland and Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia. WWE additionally launched a expertise search throughout Africa to search out the following nice famous person.

Zelina Vega at Survivor Series

Zelina Vega is proven in the course of the girls’s five-on-five elimination match in the course of the WWE Survivor Series at Barclays Center on Nov, 21, 2021, in Brooklyn, New York City. (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)


Saturday’s Puerto Rico occasion seems to be simply one other instance of the corporate’s world attain.

“WWE is sort of a beast in the very best of the way,” Vega instructed Fox News Digital. “I feel they’re very large on simply having a melting pot of gorgeous cultures altogether. They’re very large on inclusivity and all people and discover one thing in frequent with somebody right here.”

“We discuss Rhea, and I’ve seen folks say, ‘Oh, wow, she clothes like me. She likes the identical bands that I do. I’ve one thing in frequent together with her, so I can relate together with her,’” she continued. “With me, it’s like, ‘Oh my God, she loves anime like I do, and she or he likes gaming and stuff identical to I do.’ We have various things folks can discover in frequent with us, and I really feel like WWE is actually good at ensuring that everyone feels included.”

Zelina Vega at John Wick

Zelina Vega attends Lionsgate’s “John Wick: Chapter 4” screening at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on March 15, 2023, in New York City. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Vega is only one of 39 girls superstars who wrestle full time on the principle roster. While there’s a girls’s championship and a girls’s tag-team championship, there isn’t a mid-card title belt akin to that of an Intercontinental Championship of United States Championship on the boys’s aspect.

Vega instructed Fox News Digital it could possibly be time for that to vary.


“I hope so,” she mentioned when requested whether or not WWE ought to introduce a mid-card girls’s title. “And to be honest, I assumed that’s form of what Queen of the Ring may have been. When I received that crown, I used to be like, ‘Yeah, I’m all the way down to put it on the road.’ Like, we’ll have matches for the crown. There had been so many concepts that I had for Queen of the Ring.

Zelina Vega at Money in the Bank

Zelina Vega battles within the girls’s Money within the Bank at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 18, 2021. (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

“But I feel as a result of it was simply so new, and it was the primary ever, you already know, they put me in with Carmella, and it bought form of difficult to attempt to do all of that without delay. I do assume it will be helpful undoubtedly to have one other title, one other alternative for different women to win some gold.”

Backlash is about for Saturday at 8 p.m. ET within the Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot. Bad Bunny will the host of the present. Backlash will stream stay on Peacock.

Here’s the cardboard:

  • Matt Riddle, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. The Bloodline in a six-man tag-team match
  • Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar in a singles match
  • Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zelina Vega in a singles match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship
  • Seth Rollins vs. Omos in a singles match
  • Austin Theory (c) vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Bronson Reed in a triple menace match for the United States Championship
  • Bianca Belair (c) vs. Iyo Sky in a singles match for the Raw Women’s Championship
  • Bad Bunny vs. Damien Priest in a San Juan Street Fight

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