At WWE Backlash, Zelina Vega was able to represent her Puerto Rican heritage in the biggest match of her career.
The star made her entrance to an ecstatic crowd wearing an outfit that incorporated a huge Puerto Rican flag. As she stood in the ring, Vega was visibly emotional at the reaction of the fans.
The match itself saw Vega using her speed to try to outmaneuver Ripley. However, the champ stopped her in her tracks with a massive Powerbomb before beating her down and antagonising fans by mocking Eddie Guerrero.
Vega was able to make a comeback, ramming The Nightmare into the ring post and getting in multiple strikes and Clotheslines before eating a Headbutt. Vega escaped a Ripetide and hit a Tornado DDT followed by a 619 and Meteora for a close two-count.
As close as Vega came, it wasn’t to be, as Ripley took her down with a kick and Riptide for the pinfall victory.
A current AEW star cried seeing Zelina Vega’s entrance at Backlash
Vega’s emotional entrance brought many fans and fellow stars alike to tears. Among those was former AEW Women’s World Champion Thunder Rosa.
Speaking on Busted Open, Rosa admitted she “really cried”, saying that seeing Vega being able to represent her culture was a “beautiful moment”.
“When Zelina Vega came out I really cried.”
“People have been able to represent their countries and represent their cultures in such a positive way… It was such a beautiful moment.”
She went on to recall seeing Vega in the Japanese women’s promotion, STARDOM, in 2015.
“I remember when Thea Trinidad [Zelina Vega] came to STARDOM in 2015 and I saw her struggle.
“When I saw her in Puerto Rico with her people, it was such a beautiful moment… Even though she didn’t win the title, she won even more than that.”
Rosa is also unsure if she’ll ever be able to experience a similar moment on the same scale.
“Every time I watch it I cry. I don’t know if I will ever get to do something as big as that.”
Thunder Rosa is currently out of action with a back injury. However, she has been kept busy while being away from the ring, providing Spanish-language commentary for AEW and also releasing her first music video.
H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the above transcription.