Thunder Rosa is one of the most exciting, talented and inspiring women in wrestling today. In only three years she has made huge strides in the industry, building a well-respected name for herself and being signed to Lucha Underground as the majestic Kobra Moon. On a visit to the UK (with British Empire Wrestling), we have a chance to speak with Rosa herself and to learn more about what drives her, where she is heading and lots more besides. Read on!
You have different aliases - Thunder Rosa and Kobra Moon. How did these identities come together?
Thunder Rosa was my creation from the start and Kobra moon came about like a year or two after I started this whole craziness. Kobra moon was created by the writers of Lucha Underground and I just took it in, based on their vision of the character and it took off. It's hard now because I haven't portrayed Kobra Moon as much. Thunder Rosa came after I was depressed and out of work. I finished my career working in a rehab facility with teenagers and a lot of them were committing suicide, were hopeless, didn't have anything going for them. So, I thought, "OK, let me take up wrestling. Maybe I can take it somewhere". Then I started getting into it and thought I might get far, and every time I was at meetings in front of them I'd say "Guys, I'm going to be a wrestler! A famous one". They'd tell me I was crazy or high and I said, "watch me in a couple of years". Things just happened and it is what it is now. Thunder Rosa is pretty much a ray of hope for those that are in-between life and death. I'm a celebration of life.
We don't have Lucha Underground on Netflix in the UK. Can you tell us a bit more about Kobra Moon?
Kobra Moon on season two was just an introduction, so I wrestled a little bit and I came and did a couple of spots and that was washed away. On season three, there was a revamp of the character and they gave it more of a status quo, not as big as I would have liked but big enough for the fans to talk about it. She is a queen whose DNA was rescued by Pindar and Vibora and now she's in the body of a luchador. So with her three musketeers, Drago, Pindar and Vibora, she's trying to rule the temple just like anybody else in it. My favourite part of the whole thing is having Drago there because he betrayed our tribe and that's the reason why we got wiped out. I love the fact he's my slave now and I can drag him around everywhere. For some women, they feel like that's very empowering - women dragging men on TV, so they enjoy that. For some, it's just kind of a fantasy thing, very sexual per se. I really enjoy portraying it because it's such a strong character. Although I'm not wrestling, I'm able to explore in other ways within character.
There are other characters that seem to naturally fit with you - Holidead, Su Yung. Is there something in the water....?
No, - Holidead and I tag together as the Twisted Sisters. She's more of the dark side. I'm more of a celebration of those that passed away, in a happy way. The hope. She's more of the mess you up. Su Yung is bridal dead crazy, I'll F*** you up! We're thinking to maybe do a trios thing one day hopefully because we all get along and our gimmicks work well - and we're all crazy in the end of the day!
What are your thoughts on the Sexy Star/Rosemary incident?
It's tricky. I'm very close to Sexy Star. It's so unfortunate the whole situation, for both sides. Somebody is getting hurt physically and somebody emotionally, mentally and spiritually. What happened lead to an explosion on social media and Twitter and maybe people that won't say things in person have done on social media. For me, it's like one day you can be a hero - like she was after she won the championship in Lucha Underground - and now she's a villain. It's a very fine line on what you have to do and not do in this business. I feel bad for both and I'd rather not get into it or comment.
You've been in the UK for British Empire Wrestling. How was it? Will you be back?
I just first want to thank British Empire Wrestling for taking care of me real well. We had really good trips and I'm thankful for it and for taking care of my travel and entertainment. I'm hoping to come back, I don't know when but I have big plans.
You've said before you'd like to have a WWE trial is that still a goal?
If it happens it would be nice. I was talking to one of the girls yesterday and said I was pretty content with what I've accomplished in my career in the last three years. I've been in Japan, Mexico, signing for Lucha Underground and now I'm in Europe.. I've been able to be on TV- on Netflix - who can say they're on Netflix! I've accomplished a lot in a very short time. If it happens, it would be absolutely amazing as its another stepping stone for the future. It just takes the message that I want to bring to people, not to give up and that there's always hope. There's that ray of light, of Thunder Rosa, even if I'm playing another character. It doesn't matter wherever you come from, you can get where you want to get if you just stay focused.
You mention Japan. You have Lucha training and Puroresu practice. Have you onboarded these styles now?
Yes, but I'm always learning. I don't think that I'm an expert. I'd like to go to another company where I can learn something different, similar to what I learned in Mexico. I love working with the veterans out there because the women know so much and that knowledge is just lost if they don't teach it to new generations. So, when I go out there that's what I do and when I come abroad and have the opportunity to teach something, so I teach what they taught me. It's always, - I'm reciprocating. That's the only way we all learn and build each other up.
What's the best and worst fake news about you that you've read?
You know what - none! My social media has been kind of boring lately! I stay away from any controversy because it affects my brand. I'm trying to do something with young kids, young women, people of colour and being in that environment really effects what you're trying to do. Some people will say you've got to stick up for yourself but I think there's other ways to do it than spreading rumours or fuelling them. That's not for me because I'm trying to build my own brand. We're trying to build our own women's wrestling in Texas called Sabotage and for us to have a bad rep is not good.
Is there cut through with the young people? What feedback do you get?
Yes, I'm very close to a lot of my fans, young fans. I have some all over the United States and they contact me and I respond to them if they're struggling. They'll say they've seen me. One girl called Chloe said I inspired her to be a wrestler and she turned 16 and was just out of school.
What are your future plans?
Right now, because of the situation of not knowing when we're going to start again with Lucha Underground, I made a promise to myself that I was going to shine with my own light and make sure Thunder Rosa is known for her work. Hopefully, I can also bring Kobra moon to more places as I'm allowed to wrestle as Kobra moon pretty much anywhere in the world. so whoever wants to use the character, I'd be more than happy to do that. I'd like to go back to Mexico, learn a little bit more and build our company, 'Sabotage' bigger for another generation of women that wants to get some of the opportunities I've had.
Forward facing, passionate, determined and with a big heart, Thunder Rosa is destined for greatness. Make sure to watch her on Lucha Underground and keep tuned to her social media for details of upcoming appearances.