Since placing second in the 2015 season of WWE Tough Enough, Mandy Rose has been a staple of WWE programming.
Despite not winning the reality show, Mandy was signed to a developmental contract and starred in season 5 of E!’s Total Divas. Speaking on Table Talk w/ DVon, Mandy revealed she was not always a big wrestling fan.
“Well, to be honest, I didn’t always watch wrestling growing up,” Mandy said. “I watched here and there, but I wasn’t a huge diehard fan until I got a little bit older and I started kind of watching a lot of Trish Stratus, and Lita, and a lot of the women – Beth Phoenix.”
Since she made her way to the main roster, The Golden Goddess has received many comparisons to WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus. According to Mandy, she has always viewed Trish as a role model.
“I’d have to say Trish was definitely one of my all-time favorites,” Mandy said. “And seeing her when I was kind of going through my fitness career and having similar careers into getting into wrestling, she was always kind of someone I looked up to. And she was such a success story where she came from. So, I felt like it kind of gave me the motivation. She’s always been my inspiration, and still to this day [she is].”
While the comparisons may be intimidating, Mandy says she doesn’t feel that pressure.
“She’s such a cool, genuine person to talk to,” Mandy said. “… When I saw her later on in life, I was like, ‘Wow, those shoes I would love to fill’.”
Both Mandy and Trish were entrants in the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble in 2018, but their paths unfortunately did not cross during the battle royal.
“We didn’t get to actually work because in the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble, I got thrown out by Lita, which I was like, ‘Cool, no problem,'” Mandy said. “So, I didn’t actually get to work with her one on one. But being in the same ring with her was obviously a really cool accomplishment.”
Staying in character in a big part of being a WWE Superstar. Most wrestlers embody their gimmicks both at work and in public. For Mandy, she says her character is close enough to the person she really is, so it’s not too challenging to play her part.
“I mean, I feel like I always try to kind of stay in character most of the time, especially at work. And a lot of us are all ‘versions of ourselves times a thousand’, we like to say,” Mandy said. “So, I feel like the closer you are to yourself, the easier it is portrayed to others and other people perceive you, and the more believable it is for sure. And I feel like I definitely do have a little routine though.
“Before my match, I have this weird thing where I have to do 20 push-ups, and sometimes, I do a little more if I have extra time. But it has to be 20, and just the normal [stuff], like stretching and kind of just getting in the moment, because once you come out those curtains, that’s it. You’re live. So, I would say I’m just really focusing on being in the moment.”