When Zelina Vega linked up with Legado Del Fantasma as a replacement for Electra Lopez, it was to do what she does best: shepherd a group of developmental standout heels onto the main roster.
On paper, this was a very good use of Vega's talent, as she's a savvy operator who can talk, wrestle, and
cheat provide emotional support for her boys in the ring but, in a move that could seriously impact her career moving forward, that plan was nixed pretty quick. While Vega remains the manager of Santos Escobar, Jaquen Wild, and Cruz Del Toro, the entire faction came into the good graces of Rey Mysterio, who incorporated the group together under one unified banner: the Latino World Order, or lWo for short.
When asked about what it's like to work in a faction with Mysterio by Ryan Satin on his Out of Character podcast, Vega let it be known that working alongside the active Hall of Famer is like a dream come true.
“I was surprised if I'm being honest,” Vega noted via Wrestling News. “It was a surprise for me because it wasn't exactly the plan. It only became the plan literally the day before. But for me, I was like, okay. This is like a whole new challenge. I had just been with Andrade forever. That's what people had known before. Then obviously, there was that time with Garza, and then people forget about the fact that I had Theory on our team as well. It was just completely different because now it's not just pushing for one person, it's pushing for a team. Again, I like to say this because people will get a little confused. I'm not just a manager or just a wrestler. I'm probably the only one who wears every single hat that there is to wear in WWE. So I'm not a manager managing wrestlers. We're a group of wrestlers that are all pushing to be the best.”
After managing heels like Andrade, Angel Garza, and even Austin Theory on RAW and SmackDown during her main roster run in WWE, it certainly must be a different feeling to start working alongside Mysterio and the rest of LFI, who were heels in NXT too. Fortunately, Vega is embracing this opportunity, as you don't get to work with a performer like Mysterio every day.
Zelina Vega embraces her first-ever run as a WWE babyface.
Discussing her babyface turn further, Vega pointed out that at no point during her 14-year career had she been afforded a chance to play a babyface, but all things considered, she's excited about the opportunity to showcase her range.
“I think what they needed really was just somebody who kind of knows the landscape to come up and introduce them to the SmackDown audience because I was really the only one that was known as far as that goes. There's such a big difference between NXT crowds and the main roster crowds. So with that, it was just like, ‘Hey, WWE Universe humans. Look at this amazing team that I have and just wait and see what they can do.' I think that was the exciting part for me, like, where do I fit in this, and how do we make it different and something exciting and new? One of the things that I'm really big on is just freshening it up every time because people are like, ‘Oh, yeah, you've done that before', but never this way, and especially not as a baby face. I've never been a baby face on TV ever, like, in my whole 14 years of doing this, like, ever. So It's very, very cool and very different, and to add parts of Rey Mysterio into the match that I had with Rhea and Dom, that was really fun for me.”
Logistically speaking, having Vega in the lWo is an absolute no-brainer; with Rey and Dominik Mysterio paired off in their father-son feud for the ages and Finn Balor and Escobar capable of putting on cruiserweight classics that would, to paraphrase Booker T, headline any show in the world, giving the lWo a female member unlocks all sort of meaningful opportunities for Rhea Ripley, who seldom gets to work meaningful angles in The Judgement Day other than power slamming certified hosses like Luke Gallows, who still works for WWE, in case you forgot. If Vega can use her experience as a manager and tie that in with her in-ring pedigree – she did win Queen of the Ring, after all – her involvement in the lWo could be a slam dunk.