Raquel Rodriguez, joined SiriusXM’s Busted Open Radio to discuss her call-up from NXT to the main roster.
Rodriguez made her first appearance in a backstage segment being interviewed by Kayla Braxton on April 8. During the segment, Raquel was noticeably smiling, which she noted was something that she was instructed to do.
“When I first started at the PC, to a lot of the coaches – Matt Bloom always got mad at me, for constantly walking around the PC, no cameras on, it was just practice, for smiling,” Raquel said. “He was like, ‘you need to learn how to stop smiling. You gotta stop. You gotta stop smiling, you gotta be intimidating. You gotta, you know, this.’
“But I was just – I get so excited about being in this position because it’s something that I’ve always wanted, and something that I’ve sacrificed and worked so hard for. I can’t help but smile. And so coming up to SmackDown, I was fully ready not to smile, I was fully ready to be this intimidating bad mother, you know, and put that on the screen.
“But the thing that they asked for me was to smile, so I honestly, at this point in my career, I feel comfortable doing both [smiling and being intimidating].
The former NXT Women’s Champion stated that she is looking forward to facing a lot of the women’s division on the main roster, and in particular, Natalya.
“I’m looking forward to getting in with so many people, honestly,” Rodriguez said. “I haven’t gotten to work with even some of the people that were in NXT with me, like Bianca Belair. I would be very excited to step into the ring with her one day. Charlotte Flair, of course, I’ve always talked about Sasha Banks as well.
“Natalya, of course, for not only being a veteran in the ring but for being just the top at her game every time she steps into the ring, she produces. And she’s one of the women that, that’s the kind of person you want to earn respect from, and the only way to earn respect from Natalya, is to step into the ring with her. And so, that’s something I am hopefully looking forward to in the near future, is really getting into the ring first with Natalya.”
Raquel Rodriguez also mentioned that there is a considerable difference between the NXT locker room and the SmackDown locker room.
“There is definitely a different atmosphere into it, there’s a lot more pressure on SmackDown,” Raquel said. “I think NXT is very much, you know, welcoming and laid back because we have so many new faces so often, that everyone’s just very much ready to get at it.
“And SmackDown, there’s a lot more veterans, there’s a lot more women with experience, so there’s a lot more opportunities to prove yourself and to also mess up, so it’s just a lot more pressure overall.”