Raw is Zelina Vega and Smackdown is Sonya Deville: Unlikely Females Emerge to Help WWE Surge

Revolutions Zelina Vega and Total Diva’s Sonya Deville lift WWE Raw and Smackdown brands at crucial time

The AfterBuzz TV Staff

Posted On: April 27th, 2020 2:22pm pst

Maria Menounos
Keven Undergaro
AfterBuzz TV Founders

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.



Just a few short weeks ago, WWE professional wrestling, traditionally viewed in large arenas with thousands of screaming fans, migrated to closed sets due to Coronavirus. With just two commentators serving as the only true spectators, it has been a challenging ride, indeed, for the mighty company and her performers.  As is the case during times of crises, some people, and businesses for that matter, will perish. Some will manage to hold on long enough to survive. We have already seen several examples of both in the WWE. But in said crises there’s always a third class that rises, too. This class is far smaller in number. They are the few that do more than just survive. The roses that grow through cement cracks, these parties actually thrive, turning worst into best, forging new paths and ascending new levels.  Two such WWE Superstars have proven to be in that third class. They’re not just building their own brands.  Most incredibly, and more importantly, they’re doing as much, and more, to lift the brands they work for in Smackdown and Raw. What makes both their journeys even more remarkable, and awe inspiring, is that the duo may be the least likely.   

Zelina Vega, the self-proclaimed “Muñeca” of Monday Night Raw has long been the longstanding business associate of the current United States Champion, Andrade. Fans will remember that it was the character of Zelina Vegas that helped shape the “party boy” Andrade “Cien” Almas into the modern “El Idolo” we see today. However, over the past couple of months, Vega has bolstered the roster of her on-screen clients into a whos-who of the future of the Red Brand. Angel Garza, the “Monday Night Lothario” and the wrestling prodigy Austin Theory have looked like an absolute force on RAW. Whether they were making a splash in the tag team division or being a thorn in the side of newly crowned WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, Zelina’s stable has been a force to be reckoned with. The fact she even has a ‘stable’ proves she is force enough but with Vega it goes a whole lot deeper. Zero disrespect to the talents of the men she manages. Immensely gifted, we have already anointed them Raw’s immediate future after all. Yet, this whirlwind mainly rests on the talents of Vega.  Note that we say ‘talents.’  Though stunning to look at, Vega is not accomplishing all of the above on appearance, as we’ve seen in past talents.  It is her charisma and work on the microphone that is positively dominating Raw, while steadily rivalling the abilities of Paul Heyman, the greatest of them all. Add to the fact that she may not even be 5 feet tall. That alone makes her the definition, embodiment and poster person for 21st century power. It wouldn’t be enough to say she is revolutionizing the role of female manager, because she’s doing much more. She is inventing the role, blazing a path for women of the future to not have to take bumps or rely on cleavage. At the same time, she is bringing back the role of manager, in general, reminding us of the great values of the Paul Heymans, Paul Bearers and Bobby the Brains.  But unlike those three managers, Vega is also an accomplished wrestler in her own right – a high flyer even – making her all the more ominous.  

Meanwhile, if Vega is Raw then Sonya is Smackdown, as in Sonya Deville. An evolving love triangle story around Deville’s partner Mandy Rose, babyface Otis and heel Doph Zeigler has had the internet buzzing for months, with fans loving every minute of the angle. Thus, when you have a future champion phenom in Mandy, a way over, unique, babyface and athlete in Otis, and a no fail, veteran heel in Dolph Zeigler, where could anyone else possibly fit into that equation, let alone Sonya Deville. 

With a motto, “Put Your Hair and Square Up, Deville has always had a no-nonsense on-screen character. Only the highly informed wrestling fan sensed that when it came to Deville, we were just seeing the surface. Cut to the live promo she recently cut to Mandy on Smackdown, and those highly informed senses proved highly accurate.  Deville, literally, cut one of the best live wrestling promos in years, revealing just how gifted she is. For the sake of the WWE and fans, it could not be more timely. 

Even the casual wrestling fan could surmise that Mandy and Sonya would one day turn on each other. That’s pretty much wrestling Wrestle Friends 101.  Still most, if not all, of these heel turns between wrestle allies appear forced. This particular turn could have come off as forced, too, and we would have easily accepted it. Wrestling fans normally do as fans tend to focus less on the ignition and more on the ride: the battles that subsequently ensue.  However, Deville’s deeply crafted promo, carefully connecting all the dots, genuinely made us believe. To be fair, Deville could have hung her heel-turn on the easy and familiar play of jealousy. Mandy’s Barbi beautiful demeanor, and great work in the ring, is clearly evident after all. Deville could have, likewise, played some sort of lesbian lover’s angle. Both are obvious options for storylines yet equally as buyable and perfectly satisfying. Deville went beyond the obvious.  Instead, she pointed out the poor business decisions of Mandy, i.e. her alignment with the seemingly oaf-like Otis, as a greater reason for separation. Why would Deville want to partner with a talent making such poor choices, much less play second fiddle to that talent?   As Deville spelled all this out in her promo, fans hung on her every word, as evidenced by her name trending on Twitter.  Vega trended likewise last Monday night, too, incidentally, and by no coincidence. As we mentioned with Vega, Deville, too, is a ground breaker. Sure, she is the first openly gay WWE female and should be lauded immensely for that.  Plus. lest anyone forget that SHE is also the first female MMA fighter signed by the WWE.  Yet, none of that is figuring in to her recent rise.  It’s Deville’s genuine and authentic delivery that has the world’s attention. Sonya Deville is granting us a glimpse of who will lead the next generation to follow the Big Three of Becky, Sarsha and Charlotte.  We know she is gorgeous. We know she is a legit, former MMA fighter and superb athlete. However, seeing her take the microphone, hearing her cut promos, we see early signs of the CM Punks of the world, along with the universal success of the Cenas. Speaking of which, in the future, expect to see both Zelina Vega and Sonya Deville having significant careers as actors and entrepreneurs, in addition to wrestling. Just remember that you heard it here, first!

Two final thoughts on these two trailblazers. Zelina Vega and Sonya Deville are doing all of the above in one of the most challenging times in wrestling history, not to mention our nations’.  Lucky for wrestling fans, they are just getting started.

If you are a fan of Zelina Vega, Sonya Deville, WWE, women’s wrestling or AfterBuzz TV, please share this article.  For great wrestling news, commentary, shows and podcasts visit afterbuzztv.com

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence

“We don’t just celebrate and cover the top shows, content and stars, we celebrate and cover ALL the shows, content and stars.”

Maria Menounos

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