Mandy Rose had a number of firsts in 2018. First time competing in the women’s Royal Rumble. First time wrestling on WWE’s all-women’s pay-per-view, Evolution. And first time competing in the Elimination Chamber. Nearly a year after being a part of WWE history, Rose — in her own words —reflects on her time in the Elimination Chamber and looks forward to her second go-round this Sunday (Elimination Chamber will stream live on the WWE Network at 7 p.m. ET) as she competes for the WWE Women’s Tag Team titles alongside partner Sonya Deville.
By Mandy Rose, as told to Marcus Vanderberg
It was only a couple of months in from when I got the news I was going to Raw and it was a very exciting time. I was still with Absolution (Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Paige) and we were told we were going to compete in the first-ever women’s Elimination Chamber match. A lot of thoughts were going through my mind. I was really excited, a little bit nervous and obviously didn’t know what to expect because there had never been a women’s Elimination Chamber match before, and I had no experience in anything like this. It’s definitely one of those things where it’s nerve-wracking, but there’s also a lot of pressure because you want to put on a great match. This was the first-ever and there could be more along the way for years to come, but I was excited to be in there with Sonya Deville, my partner in crime.
We didn’t have too much time to prepare, as we had about a month from being told about the match to the actual event. But in WWE, you always have to be ready. Sonya and I went back and watched a bunch of old Elimination Chamber matches and tried to get ideas. It’s way different than being in the ring for a normal match, so you don’t know what to expect until you have that first encounter with the cage, but your adrenaline is pumping so you really don’t care and just keep going.
When you see the Elimination Chamber on TV, it obviously looks intimidating and huge. But when you’re there in person and inside it, it’s a whole different ballgame. It was very surreal when we first got there that afternoon and walked down that ramp to go inside the chamber.
There are certain rules for Elimination Chamber and going into the match, Sonya and I were tag team partners in Absolution. Even though it wasn’t a tag team match last year, we still worked together. There’s definitely a lot more intricacies to prepare for in a match like that as opposed to a regular singles match. Paige always gives us advice before matches and she was so happy for us to be involved. She’s been wrestling for a while now and has a lot of experience. Paige always acted like our mentor and gave us that confidence right before we went out.
Being in the pod, you feel a little bit claustrophobic and you’re waiting for that buzzer to go off that sets you free. It’s almost even more nerve-wracking because you’re stuck in this little cube and you can’t wait to get out. I was a little bit nervous about that. It’s one of those things where the anticipation is “Oh my God” as you can’t wait to get out of there. But once it buzzes and you finally get out it’s an incredible “wow” moment.
Bayley got me first before I even got in the ring. She hit me with a stunner that was very exciting for our fans. Inside the ring, our adrenaline is going so much that you just fight through everything. Getting tossed into the pod wasn’t fun. That hurt more than anything else in the whole match.
The aftermath following Elimination Chamber
After I was eliminated, I walked back and continued to watch the match backstage. I wanted to see the rest of the match because I knew it was going to be one of those All-Star matches. Shortly after, unfortunately Sonya was eliminated she came back and watched it with me as well.
I always watch my matches back 100 times afterwards because that’s how I improve. This is something I’ve always done, even in NXT. You can get a million different opinions from different people, but I always like to watch myself to see what I did and how I performed because the best critic is yourself. Sometimes you get too much feedback that can cause you to overthink things and start overanalyzing yourself, so that time for me to analyze the match myself is very important to me. There’s always room for improvement.
It was such an awesome moment for myself and the other women to be part of that historic match, especially because I’ve only been doing this for three years. Being on Raw, being part of the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match and the first-ever Elimination Chamber was incredibly exciting.
Ready for Round 2 with Sonya Deville
Going into this year, we kept hearing rumblings about the creation of Women’s Tag Team titles for so long and didn’t know if it was really going to happen. Now that it is a reality, and Sonya Deville and I are part of it, it’s very exciting because I feel those titles belong to us. We’ve been working our butts off, are the total package and we’re really excited going into this match. The only other two people with experience in the chamber are Sasha and Bayley. We have to watch out for them obviously, but everyone else hasn’t been in this kind of match.
I’ve come a long way considering I didn’t have a wrestling background coming into this. I was in NXT for two years, which is a pretty short period of time. But as I mentioned, I’m always looking to improve and looking to get better. The more you work, the better you get. It’s all about experience. I think the year between Elimination Chamber matches I’ve definitely improved, especially being on SmackDown Live, and having the chance to work with all of the talented women in WWE. It really makes you grow and become a better performer.
This Sunday at Elimination Chamber I’m definitely going to try my hardest to stay in a little bit longer than last year, in this case long enough to win! There are different stipulations this year because it’s now a tag-team match, but I couldn’t ask for a better partner in Sonya. I think we have an incredible advantage over last year. We have a lot of tag team maneuvers planned that we can perform and know what the other tag teams are capable of. I can’t wait to be a part of it.
Fire and Desire, baby.
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