wrestling / News

Raquel Rodriguez on Facing Ronda Rousey, WWE SmackDown Being a ‘Very Structured Show’

July 7, 2022 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
WWE Smackdown Raquel Rodriguez Ronda Rousey Image Credit: WWE

– WWE Superstar Raquel Rodriguez appeared on The Zaslow Show on AM 560 Sports WQAM (Miami) this week, and she discussed wanting to face Ronda Rousey, her father Rick Desperado Gonzalez, and more. Below are some highlights:

On moments with fans at house shows: “It is that fan and wrestler interaction that we don’t get very often — it’s being able to take the time to go and high five every single kid who stuck their hand out for you, being able to smile and wink at someone, being able to say, ‘happy birthday’ to a kid who has a sign in the crowd — it’s those little moments that they’re going to remember forever, and I’m going to remember forever because it just makes it fun. It’s so interactive.” ”

Raquel Rodriguez on joining the SmackDown roster: “It’s a very structured show, because, yeah, you are in a time crunch when it comes to making time for the network. There’s beats you have to hit and places you have to be, whereas at a live event you’re just a little more free to take that extra second.”

On the WWE’s travel schedule: “I try to make trips back home to Texas when I can to see my family, in between going from wherever I’m at to Florida, so it’s definitely a lot being on the plane or in the car overnight. Sometimes you’re at the airport at 4:00am and you just went to bed at 1:00am because the show ended at midnight. It is a lot, but honestly I love it, and I think I love it a little bit more because I used to do it with my dad when I was younger. He had road shows, and we were going maybe four or five hours away from our hometown. I would go with him, and we would do the same for basketball, too. My dad would take the weekends off sometimes to drive me four or five hours to San Antonio or Houston, just so I can participate in tournaments where hopefully there would be scholarships and college recruits. I enjoy the road. Maybe I was a gyspy in another life. It feels like home to me.”

Rodriguez on wanting to get into wrestling since she was a kid: “I always wanted to get into pro wrestling ever since I was a little girl and watching my dad do it. When I graduated college I told myself I can continue to play basketball, continue trying to be on some traveling leagues, or go play overseas, or I can continue with my degree which was in broadcast journalism. Part of me was like, if I’m going to to try and become a WWE superstar, this is my moment and my time…I loved going to the shows and watching all the hard work my dad and his friends would put into the craft…I didn’t see too many women, but I saw some very strong men. My dad is such a great role model…I went to college and got my degree. I’m very grateful that I’m the first one in my family to become a college graduate, but I also wanted to keep chasing my dreams.”

On how her father was protective of wrestling secrets: “[My dad] was very protective of [WWE secrets] with me and my sister, especially because we were always on the road with him and what not, so he would never let us into the locker room…He didn’t want us to see what would go on behind the scenes. We would go to training with him, and roll around a little bit in the ring, but he wouldn’t tell us much more than that. He was even like, ‘if you’re out there, don’t call me dad. If you’re going to cheer for me, you call me Desperado, you don’t call me dad.'”

Raquel Rodriguez on Ronda Rousey being in the way of her goal when she faced her on SmackDown: “I envision myself becoming Women’s Champion, 100%…I’m always thinking of when my moment is going to come, but also live in the present, and take every moment for what it is. Have the opportunity when it presents itself — like my match with Ronda [Rousey], I was very abrupt and not expected, but I loved every minute. I think the unexpected is the best part of it…In the moment it’s like, this is Ronda Rousey, she’s the baddest woman on the planet, but she’s also in the way of my goal, which is to win the SmackDown Women’s title. I’m going to take her as I do with any other opponent and take her very seriously.”