Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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NXT recruits comment on moving to Raw and SmackDown

Two groups to the main roster are busy making waves after their surprising debut on November 27th and 28th. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville joined Paige to form Absolution, while Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan made a statement on SmackDown, forming the Riott Squad.

ESPN recently featured all five women as they reflected on arriving at NXT to being called up to WWE’s premier shows, Raw and SmackDown:

“For a long time before I got signed, I didn’t feel like a girl like me would ever be able to work for the WWE because I look so different,” said Riott. “Then I got to the Performance Center and then I still kind of had that feeling. [But then] I debuted for NXT about two months after I got there, and ever since, I’ve been involved in matches with some of the most incredible women I’ve ever stepped foot in the ring with.”

“Ever since Tough Enough, and getting put on Total Divas right away, it was kind of like I never stopped,” said Rose. “I was like, ‘Okay, now I need to get to the Performance Center.’ I needed to train and get the wrestling down. Once I started training at the Performance Center, getting in the groove of the schedule, and really getting used to that, I really loved it because I’m big with routine.”

“When I arrived at the Performance Center, I was 20 years old,” said Morgan. “So I was like the baby of the building. I definitely wasn’t mature as I should have been. Definitely wasn’t as responsible as I should’ve been. But they were really patient with me.”

The moment arrived sooner than any of them imagined, from sporadic appearances in NXT to quickly arriving on the main roster Liv reflects on how the women found out they were moving up:

“We get to Raw and we kind of get pulled aside in a room and we’re told that we’d be going to Raw or SmackDown,” continued Morgan. “I didn’t expect it at all. I was completely surprised and, of course, I’m so emotional and such a baby. I started crying. I grew up a little poor girl from New Jersey. I shouldn’t be here, but somehow, in this universe, I made it here in the WWE”

Ruby and Sarah echoed similar sentiments:

“It was a very emotionally, overwhelming weekend, but it was really, truly amazing,” said Riott. “My heart had never beaten so fast in my entire life. This was the moment that seven years of hard work at culminated to, showing the world on a different platform who I was and what I came there to do, and then to be able to do that because we had our sights set on two of the top women in the division. It was a really incredible experience. You know, to hear them chant NXT, to hear them chant ‘Ruby Riott’, it was amazing.”

“That was my dream ever since I was a little kid watching wrestling with my grandma,” said Logan. “That was the moment in my life I always worked for. When it’s there, you start questioning if you’re ready to make that step. Are you ready to have your life change forever? When you’re out there and the lights are on you, you have to feel at home. I felt like that was where I was supposed to be.”

Sonya mentioned that the best part of coming to Raw was experiencing the moment with her best friend Mandy:

“I think one of the best parts about this entire journey is that me and Mandy got to share it together,” said Deville. “We started together about two and a half years ago on Tough Enough, on the reality show where some odd thousand number of people tried out and me and Mandy were just two of those thousands applying for an opportunity to change our lives, never thinking it would come to this… We’ve tagged together in NXT, we fought each other in NXT — it’s just been this crazy rollercoaster ride that I’ve gotten to take with my best friend. It’s the best possible scenario I could ever ask for.”

Go here to read the full feature.

What do you think about these interviews? How do you feel about Absolution and Riott Squad’s impact so far? Sound off in the comments below. 

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