NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez has opened up about why WWE wouldn’t let her use her real name when she joined the company.
Since reappearing in NXT as Raquel Gonzalez in early 2020, the woman who had been known as Reina Gonzalez has been the most impressive run of her career.
Arriving back in NXT, Raquel Gonzalez immediately united with Dakota Kai. The pair later won the first ever Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic before being crowned the inaugural NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions.
While the pair lost the the titles on the same night that they were awarded them, Gonzalez went on to claim the NXT Women’s Title at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver. Since winning the gold, Gonzalez has continued her impressive form, retaining over the likes of Ember Moon and Dakota Kai.
Speaking in a new interview with Yahoo! Sports Gonzalez recalled watching her father Rick Gonzalez in action as a child, explaining that he inspired her to get in the ring.
“My dad used to wrestle when I was younger and I remember being on the road with him, my mom and my sister watching him,”
“At a young age I told him I really wanted to do that and I was such a daddy’s girl that I wanted to do everything that he was doing. Watching my dad wrestle here in south Texas and Louisiana, where the Hispanic culture is so strong and seeing the mix of luchadores and American wrestlers interact with each other, I always loved the passion.”
After finishing her education her father let her begin training as a wrestler. This eventually led the second generation star to sign with WWE in 2016. Upon signing with the company, Gonzalez was asked to provide a list of names to use. Among the names that Gonzalez suggested was her own, Victoria. However, while WWE said she could keep the Gonzalez portion of her name, she wasn’t allowed to use her first name.
“The one [name] that they did push back on was Victoria, my actual name, because it had been used a couple of times, but González wasn’t a problem,” González said. “It was very important for me to keep it because my father went by Speedy González and Rick ‘Desperado’ González. I wanted to keep those initials. It was important for me to have a first name that started with R. I think that they loved the González part because it added something different to the women’s division at the time.”
In recent weeks, Raquel Gonzalez has become wrapped up in a feud with Toxic Attraction and more specifically Mandy Rose. On the most episode of the show, Toxic Attraction came out to confront the champion before Io Shirai and Zoey Stark evened the odds.