New SmackDown star Raquel Rodriguez has admitted that she would have preferred to remain “Raquel Gonzalez” rather than having her name changed.
Victoria Gonzalez signed with WWE in 2016, where she initially appeared as Reina Gonzalez. Under this moniker, the star competed in the 2017 and 2018 Mae Young Classic tournaments being eliminated in the first round on both occasions.
It wasn’t until the Texas native returned to NXT under the name Raquel Gonzalez in early 2020 that she really began to make an impact.
The star went on to win the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles twice, the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and the NXT Women’s Title before being called-up to the main roster in April 2022.
However upon moving to the main roster, the former NXT Women’s Champion underwent another name change to become Raquel Rodriguez. This was just the latest in a raft of changes as the likes of WALTER, Pete Dunne, Marcel Barthel, and Austin Theory all had their names changed to come degree.
Speaking with Ryan Satin on the Out of Character podcast, Rodriguez has admitted that she would have like to have kept the “Gonzalez” moniker as it’s her real name, and obviously has a special meaning.
“I wanted to keep Gonzalez because it represented me. It represents my legacy because it’s my real last name. It’s the name that my dad used while he was wrestling throughout his career, but I wasn’t upset about it. I’m glad that they still gave me something Hispanic, Rodriguez, I’m grateful that I got something that is R and R. I was joking with Rhea that her initials are RR, mine are RR, when we used to tag together, we were R&R.I can’t say that I was super upset. I just wish…Gonzalez had a special meaning to me, but it’s always going to be my name,”
Raquel Rodriguez was most recently in action on the June 3rd edition of SmackDown where she competed in a six-pack challenge to determine a new number one contender for the SmackDown Women’s Title. Despite a strong showing from the star it was Natalya who earned the win.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.