Sonya Deville is a legitimate badass and best-dressed wrestler in the world. She is one of the most captivating WWE Superstars on the roster. Her style and presence dominate the screen whenever she appears.
Earlier this year Deville made her return to the company on SmackDown donned in a suave and stunningly cool suit. Deville strode back onto the screen with a confidence and star quality that she had shown throughout her rivalry with Mandy Rose.
Sonya Deville proved herself to be one of WWE’s biggest and best heels in 2020. turned maniacal and unchained mega-heel in her breakup and feud with Rose.
Deville revealed a pent-up and passionate mega-heel that wanted nothing more than to ruin Rose’s life. Deville’s mic work was vicious, hateful, and Oscar-worthy.
The feud with Mandy Rose reached its zenith with a “Loser Leaves WWE” match in August. Rose was successful in the emotional brawl, and Deville wasn’t seen on WWE television for four months.
Upon her return to the company, Deville took an authoritative role and become one of the most effective performers on WWE programming. Recently she made her return to the ring in angle with Naomi.
In the ring and in her position she is a badass, but in her other role, she is an inspiration and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community as WWE’s first-ever openly gay female wrestler.
It is a role she is honoured to have bestowed upon her. Speaking to Variety Deville, stated she wants to be the voice and example for the community in sports.
“I really just want to be a voice for the community in sports — specifically, in the WWE.
“I want to let people know that their sexuality doesn’t define them and how they identify doesn’t define them. And I’m a perfect example of it.”
Here are five things you may not know about Sonya Deville.
5. Sonya Deville turned her love for doughnuts into a successful business
Alongside Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville is a doughnut enthusiast. After becoming great friends as contestants on the 2015 season of Tough Enough they discovered a love for something other than wrestling.
One night after a show they hit the donut shop and videoed themselves having fun and trying the different versions. The video drew huge numbers and led to them creating their YouTube series, and own website, DaMandyz Donutz, dedicated to the delicious baked goods.
Speaking to PopCulture earlier this year Deville and Rose explained how their love for doughnuts has turned into a very successful business. Rose begins:
“We basically were on a late-night run to Krispy Kreme. It was Daria [Sonya Deville], myself, and her dad,” Rose told PopCulture. “We went and the light was on. We had to pull in and get some donuts and we grabbed the hats that they have at Krispy Kreme, we were outside and we created this video, basically. It’s really silly.
“We have the video, of course, still. We were like singing doughnuts and I don’t know, Daria can sing it for you. She does a really good job. We basically had this video and we put it out there on social media.
“We didn’t realize obviously the outpour of feedback we got because it seemed like our fans just really loved the two of us kind of out there being silly and eating doughnuts.
“And then we started to realize like, ‘Oh, that’s what makes us relatable right?'” Deville said. “We love food, and that we have balance in our lives. And so we really wanted to start showcasing more of that side of us because that is who we are.
“That’s when we made the YouTube series, Damandyz Donutz, and then we were like, ‘Wait a second, we need to make our own doughnuts because, why not?’ Right? We’re trying everybody else’s, and we’re donut aficionados at this point. So that made us the experts to make some doughnuts of our own.”
In June of 2021, the former Fire and Desire tag team celebrated the opening of their first DaMandyz Donutz pop-up shop.
“We’ve been doing pop-ups in various cities around the globe, and we decided, why not bring it to the Northeast, which is our home territory of New York,” Deville said. “It was an amazing turnout.
“We’re blown away every single time because it’s like, we know we’re cool, but we know our donuts are great. When you see a line that covers two city blocks, it’s surreal. So it’s super fun event. We partnered with a local donut company, Peter Pan Donuts, and the doughnuts were incredible.”
4. Sonya Deville trained MMA with American Top Team
Before professional wrestling entered her life Sonya Deville was an active Mixed Martial Arts fighter.
Deville began training when she was 16 and during an Instagram Q&A session, Deville revealed she dropped out of college so she could train with American Top Team in Florida.
“So funny story. I told my dad I would go to Palm Beach State College in Boca. So I went for like two weeks before dropping out because I really just wanted to live near Coconut Creek, Florida so I could train with American Top Team.
After training at Dan Lambert’s gym, Deville headed to California and Systems Training Center in Hawthorne which led to her amateur MMA debut.
On October 11, 2014, Deville, then known as the Jersey Devil fought Allenita Perez at California Fight League. Deville picked up the submission victory in the third round via guillotine choke.
Deville returned to action in February 2015 for her second MMA bout, this time against Jeselia Perez. Deville won the fight with a TKO in the second round.
Deville tasted her first loss via unanimous decision in her third and final fight as Deville faced Jasmine Pouncy at the University of MMA: Fight Night 9.
3. Sonya Deville and her mother have matching tattoos
Since coming out on Tough Enough, Sonya Deville has proudly become the Pride Fighter, using her position to help and inspire others.
Over time, and especially since adopting her role of authority her identity is influencing her style and vice versa. One such style influence has come in the form of tattoos.
Deville has several tattoos but there is one that means more than the others because she shares it with her mother.
In an interview with Allure, Deville explained the meaning behind the tattoo she and her mother both wear:
“A year ago, I got a tattoo on my bicep — me and my mom got it. It’s an equal sign for equality.
“I’ve had tattoos since I was like 16, but if you would have asked the younger me to get a tattoo that symbolized my sexuality, I would have told you no, because that’s how not okay I used to be with it.”
2. Sonya Deville was trained by Brian Kendrick
Sonya Deville was a contestant on 2015’s Tough Enough and due to her likability and MMA background, she became a favourite of the show. However, she has shockingly voted off the show on the third episode.
Not one to take no for an answer Deville did not give up on her dreams of becoming a WWE Superstar. After leaving the show she headed back to LA and immediately began training with Brian Kendrick.
Kendrick is a former WWE Tag Team and Cruiserweight champion, who is a well-respected wrestler and trainer. As well as his own school, School of Professional Wrestling he works with WWE behind the scenes as a coach at the WWE Performance Center and a producer.
Speaking Last Word on Pro Wrestling she spoke about her time on the show, how it unleashed her competitive side and motivated her to her goals.
“Tough enough was a whirl wind of experiences, it was my first time on a reality TV show, but also my first experience with professional wrestling. I was excited, SUPER motivated and overwhelmed all at the same time.
“My competitive nature took over and all I saw was winning, after being eliminated I was devastated, I had fallen in love with this world and wanted it so bad.
“So, when I went back to LA I immediately began training with Brian Kendrick and emailing and hounding WWE for another shot.
“Finally, a few months later I was given another tryout and that is when I finally got hired. It’s changed my life WWE is where I belong.”
1. Sonya Deville has appeared in several movies and TV shows
Like many of those who came before and after her, Deville had to work several different jobs before fulfilling her dreams.
Deville worked as a bartender during the nights so she could train in the day and whenever she got a day off she worked as an extra on the hit TV show, Burn Notice.
During an Instagram Q&A session, Deville disclosed her out-of-training occupations.
“So instead of school, I would train for like 5 hours a day then bartend at night and work as an extra on Burn Notice, Lol.”
It is clear that Sonya Deville possesses an attention-grabbing presence. Whenever she appears on screen the viewer takes notice. Her role as WWE’s on-screen authority figure feels legitimate due to her ability to control the scene.
Therefore it should come as no surprise that Deville has a number of acting roles under her belt as her IMDB page proves.
Her acting resumé proves some very interesting reading with parts in a zombie series called Black Days, an intense drama named Fratello and a coming-of-age romance titled The Honor.
During her hiatus from WWE Deville expressed a genuine interest in joining the cast of Batwomen in the lead role. Speaking to Comicbookmovie.com she revealed she was working on auditioning for the role.
“I think that’s always cool because Ruby obviously did a great job with the character, and you don’t ever want to be a different version of somebody else,”
“You want to be a new version of yourself, and so I think that would be an amazing opportunity to create a new role and bring something very different to it, you know?
“Growing up in general as a female, female superheroes are so inspiring and so cool, but they weren’t always the most prevalent.
“You had Wonder Woman and Batwoman, but it was so cool to me to not only see a strong female being portrayed on a network like The CW, but that Batwoman is gay.