As soon as the music hit for her entrance into the 2024 WWE Women’s Royal Rumble, Zelina Vega was ready to put on a show. That’s all she’s been doing for fans her entire career. The Royal Rumble is her favorite WWE event of the year.
“It took me a couple of weeks to figure out what I was going to wear,” Vega, 33, told Remezcla during a recent interview. “It’s something I always look forward to.”
Vega stepped out at this year’s Royal Rumble wearing a set of bladed wings to the theme song of the Latino World Order (LWO). The LWO is a faction of Latines in the WWE founded by the late Eddie Guerrero over 25 years ago in another pro-wrestling organization.
“The best part of being in LWO is getting to work with Rey Mysterio, somebody I looked up to as a kid,” Vega said. “Now, being in the same faction as him and training with him and even getting matching tattoos, it’s so mind blowing to me.”
Vega, who is of Puerto Rican descent, grew up watching professional wrestling with her father and younger brother. She said it was her father, who was killed in the September 11 attacks, who inspired her to pursue a career in pro-wrestling, which started in 2010 with National Wrestling Superstars.
Since then, she’s performed in other pro-wrestling promotions, including Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and on the independent circuit. She started as a heel (antagonist) in the WWE, but in March 2023, for the first time in her career, she “turned face,” meaning she went from playing a villain to a protagonist (or “babyface”).
“It feels like I’m putting myself in a prominent role,” Vega said. “Before, it felt like I was doing things for other people. Now, I’m doing something that puts me in the forefront instead of in the shadows. It’s nice to be part of that representation and continue to make strides for our people.”
Two months after becoming a “good guy” in the WWE, Vega fought in front of her family and friends for the first time at the 2023 WWE Backlash event in San Juan, Puerto Rico. During her introduction in the ring, fans cheered for her wildly and chanted, “Yo soy Boricua!”
“It was the best moment of my life outside of my wedding,” Vega said. “[The fans] have no idea what they did for me that night. They lit a new fire under my ass. It was this reminder of why I started. Nothing else mattered other than them telling me, ‘You’re one of us, and you’re representing for us, and we’re going to support you.’”
Vega looks forward to continued success in the WWE and in other industries too. Currently, she hosts the Zelvx and Charlie Girl podcast with fellow WWE superstar Dakota Kai. Pro-wrestling, however, is where her heart is right now. Maybe another shot at the WWE Women’s Championship is in her future.
“It’s the fun of it that keeps me going,” Vega said. “I’ve been on this personal journey. I don’t think I would feel complete without wrestling.”