Sonya DeVille revealed how she takes a lot of inspiration for her on-screen persona from none other than Stephanie McMahon.
Since her return to WWE in January 2021 after a lengthy hiatus, Sonya DeVille has served primarily in an on-screen authority role. While she has spent some time in the ring, the former Tough Enough competitor can most often be seen making matches and helping run the show alongside Adam Pearce on both Raw and SmackDown.
Speaking to Ryan Satin on Out of Character, Sonya DeVille opened up Vince McMahon’s vision for her character taking inspiration from none other than his daughter Stephanie McMahon.
“I’ve gotten a lot of what I do from Stephanie. Looking back on the old Stephanie stuff, I think that is Vince’s kind of vision for me, a Stephanie-esque character. When I do get in the ring, it’s like yeah I get in the ring but I get in the ring as an authority figure. I will use my power how I see fit and how I can to my advantage and I’ll enjoy doing it because that’s how Steph does and that’s how Vince did. I’ve taken a lot of notes from both of their past work for sure.”
Sonya DeVille continued, recalling that she’d impatiently spoken to Vince McMahon multiple times about getting back into the ring before the timing was right and she made her eventual return to in-ring action as part of a feud with Naomi that had been building for well over a month.
“About half way through this role I was going to Vince saying, ‘When am I getting back in the ring? When am I getting back in the ring?’ Kind of pestering him and he was like ‘just wait’ and then a couple weeks ago he pulled me aside and was like ‘aren’t you glad you waited?’ So that was kind of my confirmation from him letting me know to look at how much equity and work we just put into this character and now she can go anywhere and do anything from this point on.
“So that was kind of cool because as a competitor and someone who constantly wants to be better like all of us, it’s hard to be in the moment and realize what you’re doing is being special and you always want more.
“That was kind of a cool moment like wait, he’s right, we just put a lot of work into this character, it was very consistent and long and you don’t get that very often. Sometimes things are short-lived and a couple of week things and it’s cool to be a part of something more longer and more permanent because then when you do something else and switch it up on the fans, they’re like whoa. It’s a drastic change and it will get that reaction. I’m excited to see how it all plays out but again, I’m in no rush to leave where I’m at right now.”
Sonya Deville first crossed paths with WWE in 2015 where she appeared on the sixth season of Tough Enough. Despite not being victorious, the star joined NXT later the same year.
After arriving on the main roster in 2017, Sonya Deville began teaming extensively with Mandy Rose. Known as Fire and Desire, the team came close to the tag team championships, falling just short of claiming the gold. The pair later split, before feuding into the summer of 2020.
After her defeat at SummerSlam, Sonya Deville went on hiatus following an incident where a man broke into her home.