Thunder Rosa Explores Wrestler Identity

Exploring Thunder Rosa's late start and cultural journey.

by Noman Rasool
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Thunder Rosa Explores Wrestler Identity
© WWE/Youtube

Despite her seasoned presence in the ring, many fans may not realize that Thunder Rosa, the former AEW Women’s World Champion, embarked on her wrestling career at the relatively mature age of 28. Before entering the squared circle, Rosa dedicated years to social work.

As she nears the 10-year mark of her wrestling journey, she’s taken time to reflect on her evolution from her origins in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, to her current life in San Antonio, Texas, discovering her true self both as an individual and as a performer.

In a heartfelt discussion with "Heal Squad," Rosa opened up about her lifelong dream of living in America to access opportunities similar to those her relatives found after leaving Mexico. However, her path was marked by a significant internal struggle with her cultural identity.

For years, Rosa deliberately distanced herself from her Mexican heritage and the traditional lucha libre style, aiming to be recognized simply as a wrestler rather than a luchadora.

Rosa's Revelatory Journey

Rosa's turning point came during her time in Japan, a journey that unexpectedly steered her back to her roots.

"I was so against my background," Rosa shared. "I did not want to be seen as the Mexican wrestler. I wanted to be seen as a wrestler, as a woman. In my process of running away from who I really was, I ended up finding myself." It was in Japan where Rosa finally embraced her Hispanic heritage and her foundational connections to lucha libre, despite her initial lack of knowledge in the style.

Her experiences in Japan were transformative, helping her to reconcile her identity with her profession. "Going to Japan got me closer to my roots. That's where I started learning how to do lucha libre," she explained. This acceptance has enriched her performances, allowing her to fuse her newfound skills with her authentic self, enhancing her appeal and relatability to fans around the globe.

As Thunder Rosa continues to evolve both inside and outside the ring, her journey from rejecting to embracing her heritage stands as a powerful testament to the personal growth that often accompanies professional pursuits.

Thunder Rosa
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