NXT women’s division star Raquel Gonzalez was the latest guest on WWE’s The Bump to talk all things pro-wrestling and hype this evening’s WarGames pay per view, where Gonzalez teams with Dakota Kai, Candice LeRae, and Toni Storm to face Shotzi Blackheart, Ember Moon, Rhea Ripley, and NXT women’s champion Io Shirai. Highlights are below.
On her first singles match in NXT going over well:
Well, going into it was really surreal because being here at the Performance Center on Wednesdays are always a stressful day for everyone. For that day, it felt calmer than usual. I was very, very happy, and proud of myself for doing it because it was my first singles match, and being out there without Dakota [Kai], like you said, I’m pretty proud that I opened a lot of eyes and showed people that I’ve been here for four years, and I’m learning my craft, and honing who I am.
How it’s rare that she gets to work with talent her size:
It’s rare when I get these types of matchups because I am the biggest girl here in NXT. And Rhea is one of the other biggest girls, as well. She’s not as tall as me, but that girl is strong,” she complimented. “Coming into that match, I had to rewire my mindset because as much as I love throwing small people around, I knew that wasn’t going to be the case with Rhea. I think what we both did in there really opened up my eyes to hard-hitting matches. But our story is far from over.
How she’s changed a lot since her time in the Mae Young Classic:
I definitely have changed a lot. At that time, I was trying to embrace who I thought was going to be me. But changing into Raquel really pushed me to become this woman who’s strong, dominating, and controlling, and knows what she wants, and goes for it. I think that really helped elevate my skills in the ring as well as my personality. It was me stepping out of my comfort zone that really helped me embrace her.
On working with WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix:
I’ve only gotten to pick Beth’s brain when she was here with us at the Mae Young [Tournament], and also when she was able to come to the PC. Obviously, this year has changed a lot of that for all of us. Listening to her commentary each week and her comments on my matches has helped me as well because she’s such an inspirational person, and I do look to her for inspiration [both] outside and inside of the ring. We’re a rare breed. Knowing that she was able to embrace that, and giving me that confidence to embrace that, has really helped me with what I do in the ring.
Full episode of The Bump is below. (H/T and transcribed by Wrestling Inc.)