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Thunder Rosa On Almost Quitting Wrestling Before She Joined the NWA, What She Learned From Lucha Underground

November 29, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Thunder Rosa

Thunder Rosa is arguably at the height of her career right now, but she almost never reached it as she was considering quitting just before she signed with the NWA, Speaking with Gerry Strauss for 411’s “My Big Break,” the former NWA World Women’s Champion discussed how she felt she was at a crossroads after leaving Lucha Underground and didn’t feel like she had a lot of opportunities available. Rosa discussed how her roles in Lucha Underground and WOW: Women of Wrestling were characters specific to those shows and no companies on that level had given her much of a chance to play her own role, which is ultimately what helped her rise to new levels in NWA and now on AEW.

You can check out highlights from that discussion and the full video below:

On what she learned from Lucha Underground and WOW: Women of Wrestling: “I learned a lot of stuff about getting your character over in Lucha Underground. Because nobody knew who Cobra Moon was. My job was to put it over. My job was for people to want to see the character, even though I wasn’t wrestling. That’s when you know you’re doing the work and it’s getting over. Because you can be the best wrestler in the world, but if you don’t have a connection with the fans, they’re not gonna care about you. And that’s one thing I learned, and then I learned how to work cameras. I asked a gazillion question about thing. So that really helped me later on [learn] how to sell, how do I focus on certain things, how to focus on the story. Promos that we were working on, or stuff like that. Everything tied into it, and how can I, myself as Melissa, make this work without sacrificing a lot from putting too much of Thunder Rosa in there. So that was like, a balancing act”

On not playing her own character for those companies: “It’s just like the struggle, because I felt like with Lucha Underground and WOW, they never really wanted Thunder Rosa. They always wanted something else, something that belonged to them. So that was always a conflict that I had, but again I wanted to work and I wanted to get that experience. Because for me, it’s all about experience, it’s all about learning. At the end of the day, I can’t decide if I want to come back or not and then just do my own thing, because I still have Thunder Rosa, Thunder Rosa’s mine. When the opportunity came for me to work in the NWA as Thunder Rosa, a singles competitor, it was a no-brainer. It was the first time that somebody was like, ‘We’re interested in you.’

On nearly quitting before she signed with the NWA: “At the same time that was when I was at a crossroads, I was like, I wanted to quit wrestling because it was the whole contract situation with Lucha Underground, I was kind of like, ‘Ehh, nobody’s knocking on my door. And I mean, you know that you have it, you have the skills, you have the following. My following was pretty strong back then too. But it was just like, ‘People are not seeing this. How in the world are people not seeing this? What else do I need to do?’

“And I remember having that conversation with one of the guys, Rick, and he was like, ‘Melissa, you have everything, but they don’t understand that. It’s like there’s one thing missing. I don’t know what it is, but there’s that little one thing missing.’ That thing was, somebody needed to give me an opportunity to kick ass in the ring as Thunder Rosa. And NWA did it in Powerrr in season one.”

You can see all the episodes of My Big Break along with the latest episodes of the 411 on Wrestling Podcast, Dissecting Dynamite, Andy Perez’s 30 best moments of Undertaker’s 30 years and much more at the 411 YouTube account, which you can subscribe to here.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Gerry Strauss’ My Big Break on 411mania.com and please embed our YouTube video.