At WWE Backlash, Zelina Vega went into the biggest match of her career representing her Puerto Rican heritage.
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.
Zelina Vega’s match brought former WWE SmackDown star to tears
After the match, Ripley left the ring, title intact, and Vega received a huge ovation from the crowd including singing and cheering, bringing her to tears.
Former SmackDown star Ricardo Rodriguez was watching at home and found himself getting emotional too.
In a post on social media, Rodriquez recalled having a similar meaningful experience to Vega when he was able to work in Mexico City and represent his Mexican heritage.
“Years ago, we did WWE Tv in Mexico City, and I can not begin to tell you how much that meant to me. To be representing our people. It may not mean a lot to many. But I legit shed a tear seeing @ZelinaVegaWWE as she stood within hers. I felt that moment.”
Years ago we did WWE Tv in Mexico City and I can not begin to tell you how much that meant to me. To be representing our people .
It may not mean a lot to many.
But I legit shed a tear seeing @ZelinaVegaWWE as she stood within hers. ❤️🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷✊🏽 I felt that moment. pic.twitter.com/6Y0i3OUCeG
— ⭐⭐Rodriguez 🇲🇽🇺🇸⭐⭐ (@RRWWE) May 7, 2023
Later in the night, Puerto Rico was also represented by rap megastar Bad Bunny who took on another Judgment Day member in Damian Priest.
The chaotic bout saw involvement from not only the Judgment Day and Latino World Order, but several unexpected former stars before Bad Bunny was able to overcome the Archer of Infamy.