While members of AEW were sniping at her for being physically unable to defend her title as the current “real” AEW Women's World Champion, Thunder Rosa made one of her fairly routine appearances at Busted Open Radio and, when asked about which wrestler won the week, she gave an answer that will make NXT fans very happy indeed, as transcribed by Fightful.
“I’m gonna say Mandy Rose,” Rosa said. “And I wanna give an appreciation to her because she’s worked so darn hard in the last month representing the NXT brand and also working on her craft. When she was in Raw and SmackDown all that time, people did not have any respect for her, a lot of the time, because of her lack of skills, like there’s a lot of little things here and there. But I feel like she really has took the time. She has developed her character really, really well. People tune in to see her. She always makes everybody talk about her. This last match she had, she’s showing a lot of fire in the fact that she’s taking a lot more risks as a champion. It really shows that she’s growing, and she is really committed to what she’s doing right now. She’s really committed to represent NXT’s women’s division as a champion. She might not be a high-flyer, she might be super spectacular, but what she’s doing, I think it’s very important because that shows you if you give time to someone and if you believe in them, that’s how you can develop and that’s how you can become. I think Mandy Rose deserves a little bit more respect because she’s really working very, very hard.”
On paper, Rosa's assertion is dead on; while Rose still isn't the most popular performer in professional wrestling and maybe doesn't get the love she deserves from fans of her current show, the leader of Toxic Attraction has been booked head-and-shoulders better than her run in WWE, where her biggest contribution to the professional wrestling world was a love angle with Otis that admittedly was one of the true highlights of 2019-20. Rose has successfully defended her strap on 10 occasions, with wins over current NXT stars like Cora Jade, Roxanne Perez, Zoey Stark, and Alba Fyre, and even has wins over current fixtures of SmackDown and RAW like Raquel Gonzalez-now-Rodriguez, Dakota Kai, and Io Shirai-now-IYO SKY. If she wasn't still viewed as an outsider who was shipped down to NXT, one could argue that the former member of Fire and Desire might just be the most important champion to a single brand in WWE today, as Roman Reigns jumps from show to show, GUNTHER doesn't have much pedigree, and Seth Rollins is just beginning his Monday night reign.
If that was that, then that would be that, but Rosa pushed forward with her comments and gave a little love to Rose's toxic pals, Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin.
Thunder Rosa is a certified fan of NXT's top female faction.
Continuing on with her comments, Rosa turned her attention to the rest of Toxic Attraction, who she believes are being booked the right way to build their confidence and overall aura.
“This is important of booking, of booking a person the right way,” Rosa said. “Mandy and Toxic Attraction needed that opportunity and that storyline that they have to develop as the heels, the main heels of a company. Why? I can tell you. When I was in NWA, working on the first season, how I was booked, it really developed the Thunder Rosa a lot of people really liked when I came to AEW. I feel what they have done with Mandy Rose in the last year, they have created an aura for her that she really has empowered herself and taken it over. That’s why when you see her, in every match that she’s doing, with an extreme match or just a regular match, she’s delivering. I think it is important that we give her her flowers because she deserves that.”
Unlike AEW, who rely on “tweener” performers who can fill either the babyface or heel role depending on the match, Rosa believes that NXT's reliance on traditional performer alignments has allowed Rose to flourish as the baddest gal in Orlando, Florida.
“For me, one thing that I love is that she owns the fact that she pretty, that she’s beautiful, but she’s also a champion, and she’s also the face of the women’s division in that aspect,” Rosa concluded. “The dynamics that she has with the babyfaces there, I think at NXT, you’re either super, super heel, and you’re super, super babyface. That’s very palpable. I don’t feel like there a lot of tweeners, and I think that helps her a lot more when she is doing her thing. I’m really enjoying her work in the last couple weeks, and I really enjoy her promos. They’re very entertaining, with her and Toxic Attraction.”