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Salina de la Renta on How She Went From Film Student to MLW, Her Flat Earth Views, Needing Surgery and More

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Ever since arriving Major League Wrestling, Salina de la Renta has taken the promotion by storm. The founder of Promociones Dorado is on a never-ending search for gold. The devious empresario got her first taste when she helped clients Pentagon Jr. and Fenix win the MLW tag team championship. With a bounty on MLW champion Shane Strickland’s head, the Puerto Rican beauty will stop at nothing to add another prize to her collection.

Despite her busy schedule, de la Renta took time out for an interview ahead of the MLW television taping on July 12 from GILT Nightclub in Orlando and Battle Riot on July 19 from the Melrose Ballroom. Fans can catch de la Renta and all the stars of MLW on MLW Fusion 8 p.m. ET Friday nights on beIN Sports.

For those who aren’t familiar with your backstory, how did you end up in the pro wrestling business? What was your experience coming to MLW?

I started wrestling I would say two years ago. I was a film student at the time doing a research paper. At the time, they said I had to study reality film. I picked Total Divas. That was actually the first time I have ever watched anything wrestling related. As soon as I saw them in the ring I thought, “Oh my God! I feel like I’m meant to do that.” It just wouldn’t leave my mind. I would eat and do different things and always thinking, “What if I’m meant to be a wrestler?” One day I was talking to my mom. I said, “Hey, do you think I should be a wrestler?” Everybody’s reaction was, “This girl is crazy.” I said, “You know what? I’m going to do it.” I went to a school, and the next thing you know I’m on TV for wrestling.

What school was that?

I went to I Believe in Wrestling (Team Vision Dojo Pro Wrestling Facility) based in the Orlando area. I lived in Puerto Rico most of my life. I moved here for film, and now I live in Florida for wrestling.

Tell me about your experience coming to MLW. This is your big break, being on television. What has that been like for you?

Definitely, my plan was to be on television for wrestling. I only do things one way. And that’s the biggest way you can go. My plan from day one was to be on television. Now were my plans to be on television in two years? Probably not. I thought it would be five years, maybe a little bit more. I’ve had the opportunity, and I appreciate the opportunity because not everyone has that. To work with a bunch of people who definitely know what they’re doing. A lot of extremely talented, newcomer talent too. I’ve learned from new students as well as super experienced veterans in the business.

Now that you are in the business, I’m sure you’ve had a chance to study some tape and observe. Who were some of folks you take inspiration from?

I would say most of my inspiration came from Doink the Clown (Matt Borne). I just started looking at the style he wrestled and thought everything Doink did was so different from what I saw from everyone else. Of course, I didn’t have all that knowledge of who did this and that. Mostly, I was inspired by what he did and studied him only to find out he wasn’t alive anymore. I almost cried. I started to also look into women’s wrestling, and as soon as I saw Melina, I said to myself, “I wish I was like her.” I met her and became a really good friend of mine. It’s the greatest feeling ever.

Tell me about your character on MLW television. Managers nowadays are a lost art in many ways and not used fully to the way they could be used. Yet in MLW it seems what’s old is new again, and you’ve become one of the prominent figures of the promotion. What is it like to be such a featured part of the show every week and get the chance to grow this character that you have?

When they started telling me about the character. In my head I thought there was no way I was going to be this big. I just said, “Let’s just do it.” As soon as I started seeing how everything would play out, I can tell you I was impressed. I don’t expect much from anyone in general, but this has been the biggest thing I’ve done my career. I’m super happy that I’m with MLW. The experience has been amazing. The character, it’s a privilege to be this important to the company.

You also get to represent Puerto Rico and the Latin American community. That’s got to be a great thing for you to be able to show such an empowered woman on television.

That to me is amazing. I love it. They bring in people from all over. So, it’s not just Latino countries or Americans. There is such a mix. It’s a different experience not only in wrestling but in life.

What about some of the guys you have in your stable now? There is a lot of big name talent. Do you find yourself sitting under the learning tree of a Pentagon Jr. or Fenix?

We work on MLW shows, but it’s not like I’m getting ring time learning from them from the wrestling aspect. In the business aspect and the way, they think about things, I most certainly can say I’m learning from them. It is a completely different experience because I’ve never been put in a position before where I’m helping somebody that has actually done something for the business. I’m here representing somebody who has done so much that it’s almost impossible for me not to look up to them. Even when I’m representing them.

How has life changed for you the last few months since MLW has been on beIN SPORTS?

My social media has grown. I would say everything I did before just disappeared, and I’m mostly known for my television spots. It’s kind of awesome. I’ve actually been stopped a couple of times just at Walmart and buying some stuff. “Hey, I heard you don’t’ like being called bruja.” I’m like, “oh no.” But it’s pretty fun.

MLW has been moving forward and has a big show in New York City. What does it mean for you to do a show outside of Orlando for the company with Battle Riot, especially in such a big hotbed wrestling city?

I was in New York once for a modeling competition. I thought it was the greatest experience ever. Then I started traveling for wrestling. I have to say, it’s an amazing feeling going to another state where you don’t know anybody. But as soon as you open the door, everyone knows you. That is a crazy feeling for me. I’m excited for this trip to New York. I was looking at the card, and I was excited at the matches that are going to happen.

As far as working for MLW and performing on all the shows in Orlando, who was the one that was instrumental in getting you into the door?

Court Bauer is the CEO of MLW. Nothing happens in MLW unless Court approves it. So, Court would definitely be the biggest instrument. But he would not know about me if it were not for Mister Saint Laurent. I have to give it to him. He took his time and helped train me for two years in the wrestling business aspect. The way I do business comes from everything I learned from MSL. In general, he would be the person who has helped me the most.

You got a lot of reaction from social media with your views about the Earth being flat. You have a t-shirt coming out. Tell me how that came about, and did you expect such a social media reaction after voicing your opinion?

I genuinely think that there is a possibility of the Earth being flat…My take is it is a possibility, and we should not believe in everything we’ve been told. If people were more open to listening to other people’s opinions and researching other theories, they would really understand that the world may not be what it seems to be. I don’t want to be like, “You should believe in flat Earth.” Or, “You should believe in round Earth.” I don’t care. People can believe in whatever they want. I personally believe that there is a very big possibility that it’s not round.

And you’ve turned this into merchandise. Who gave you that idea?

That came from a friend. I posted about it. I was trying to see how people would react to it. It just blew out of proportion. I didn’t think it would be that big a deal. Some fans wrote, “Flat Earth, but that butt is not flat.” Then they started making jokes, and other people started taking it to heart. I was like, “Well, if this is getting such a big of a reaction, let’s make a t-shirt.” I have been selling flat Earth t-shirts for two days now.

And I bet they’re selling well.

Yeah.

That’s pro wrestling 101 there. Taking advantage of a situation and making the most out of it.

There are more than a few wrestlers out there who think the Earth is flat. I just didn’t know.

Another thing fans will find on social media is you are trying to raise money for a knee surgery. A surgery you need to continue your in-ring career. How did you get injured? And tell me about the GoFundMe?

I went from the top rope and did a leapfrog. When I landed, my leg just blew off and went back in its place. It was the worst pain ever. I started screaming, “Please don’t touch me anymore!” The match didn’t matter. I went to the hospital after. They told me I couldn’t wrestle for eight months, but they were not going to give me surgery because I was 20. They didn’t think at my age they should do surgery. After the eight months I went back into wrestling. I wrestled for five months. Then my knee completely gave out. I can’t do anything that is cardio. I can lift weights and walk. But if I were to try to run, my leg would just snap and not let me continue. So, I have to do a fundraiser to cover my surgery because my insurance is not very good.

What would it mean to you for a fan to donate?

Honestly, when I see anyone donate. Even if it’s for a dollar, it just feels like there are people supporting me and waiting for me to come back. This is my biggest desire. If I can go back into wrestling today, I would pay whatever price they would give me in order to do that.

Do you have a timeline when you want to have the surgery?

I’m going to definitely going to schedule it in July. No matter what, I’m going to get my surgery. I’m just going to have a bunch of medical bills after. I should be back at the beginning of 2019.

But you’re still going to be maintaining your presence on MLW TV?

Yes. I will also be part of other wrestling shows and continue to stay in wrestling

Last question. What do you want to see for Selina moving forward in MLW and the company as they continue to put the brand out there?

Let’s just say, if there is a belt involved I want it.

WWE

Ladder Match Set For WWE NXT; WarGames Advantage To Hang In The Balance

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For the second week in a row, WWE NXT will be headlined by a ladder match with major WarGames implications literally hanging in the balance.

Ahead of their four-on-four double cage match this Sunday at NXT Takeover: WarGames, team captain Shotzi Blackheart will face off against the opposition’s Raquel Gonzalez. The winner will earn their team the numbers advantage in the match.

This stipulation didn’t exactly come out of nowhere. Last Wednesday night’s show was also headlined by a ladder match – one that saw the “Bruiserweight” Pete Dunne defeat Kyle O’Reilly to earn Team McAfee the advantage in the men’s WarGames match at Takeover.

Shotzi Blackheart’s team so far consists of the recently returned Ember Moon and the Australian badass Rhea Ripley, as well as one more Superstar to be named later this week. They’ll step into the side-by-side double ring against Candice LeRae, her protege Indi Hartwell, Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez.

Join us for live coverage of WWE NXT every Wednesday night at 8:00 PM ET and make sure to join us this Sunday for exclusive live coverage of NXT Takeover: WarGames.

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Raw Rambling (11/30): #1 Contender’s Match, The Viper Smells A Weakness & Lana Triumphs

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Last week saw a quick break from the Raw Rambling article as I was off live coverage, but we are back in full force this week and it was a strong episode to return too! From start to finish, the red brand did a good job of creating meaningful segments and matches that developed characters and drove stories forwards.

As ever, it wasn’t perfect, but that is to be expected with a three-hour episode of WWE Raw. But’s let’s jump into the episode and take a look at what worked, and what didn’t.

The Money in the Bank concept has had quite a poor year overall. Asuka just being given the title from winning and then the mess that was Otis’ run with the briefcase has certainly dampened things for the concept. But The Miz holding the briefcase has potential, and this week did a great job of building that.

There were multiple segments throughout the night that focused on the briefcase, and that was great. The Miz TV segment had a purpose, it pushed the briefcase and Miz’s desire to cash it in, but knowing he can’t take out Drew on his own also makes the champion look great.

Meanwhile, it also pushed the connection that Sheamus and Drew have, with this slow-burning storyline being a lot of fun to see.

But it was the main event segment that really worked well. Once again, Sheamus and Drew’s friendship was crucial, as it should be as WWE is clearly planting seeds for something here. But having AJ Styles legitimately try to help Miz cash-in just made perfect sense.

He knows Miz is easier to beat than Drew, and on paper, that was something that everyone understood and could connect with. The tease of the cash-in continues to be well booked, with that eventual moment sure to have a big pay-off.

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Rhea Ripley Discusses Losing Momentum Following WWE WrestleMania 36

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During an appearance on Lilian Garcia’s Chasing Glory podcast, Rhea Ripley spoke openly about losing momentum after WrestleMania 36.

Ripley was defeated at the event by Charlotte Flair, losing the NXT Women’s Championship in the process, which she is yet to win back since that point. Ripley admitted that she’s not sure what happened from that point, but did reveal she lost some confidence after it.

“I’m not really too sure [what happened]. It did feel like that though. I definitely have gone through a stage where I did start losing the confidence in myself, because I just wasn’t portrayed the same way that I was. Like even now, I’m still slowly building myself back up from it. My confidence definitely was tainted a little bit, which sucks because I try and keep it up and do my best all the time. I don’t know if it was something inside my head that just wasn’t getting the picture but like, I don’t know. I got a little bit lost after that. But, right now I feel like I’m getting back on track, especially after doing all the things that I’ve done. Building myself back up has been really, really hard. I’m not gonna lie. It has been very difficult and I’ve been very lost at times but I’ve definitely found my track now and I’m getting back on it.”

Speaking of regaining her confidence, Ripley went on to discuss which members of the WWE NXT locker room she would like to work with in the future.

“I would like to go to RAW and SmackDown but at the same time, there’s so many people in NXT I haven’t faced yet and I feel like there’s so much more that I could still do. Like I would love to wrestle Candice [LeRae], especially now that she’s changed and her whole persona’s changed. I would love to wrestle Candice. I would love to wrestle Indi Hartwell, I would love to wrestle Shotzi [Blackheart]. I haven’t had a match with Shotzi. I tagged with her, but I haven’t wrestled her. There’s so many people that I would want to wrestle. I wanna wrestle Raquel [Gonzalez] again. It was [a hell of a match]. We battled each other. It was intense but I would love to face her again. Hell, I would love to do a stipulation match with her. I would love to do a lot of different things. I would love to do WarGames again.” (H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.)

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