Ahead of her match with former WWE star Mandy Rose, NXT’s Roxanne Perez worked hard in the gym and showed her followers a snap from the session.
Roxanne, real name Carla Gonzalez, posed for the gym selfie as she wore a black crop top and loose-fitting black sweatpants. The crop top allowed Roxanne to reveal her toned midsection, which she often shows during NXT matches, depending on her ring gear.
She kept her face mostly hidden from view as she held her phone up in front of it to capture the snap. Roxanne also wore a black necklace, a primarily black ball cap with white graphics on it, and some wireless headphones to give her music motivation while working out.
Completing her gym attire were her black sneakers, possibly Vans, with white trim around the bottom edges.
The 21-year-old wrestling star may have been getting some cardio in ahead of her huge matchup against Rose on NXT. Surrounding her in the photo are various machines, including a stationary bike, treadmills, and an elliptical machine.
“#NXTTuesday,” she wrote across her slide, also adding, “aka #TuesdayNightRox” at the bottom of her picture.
Roxanne Perez battled Mandy Rose for championship
All of her hard work paid off, as Roxanne appeared in that night’s episode of WWE NXT on USA. She was the winner of the recent women’s Iron Survivor Challenge match at NXT Deadline, which made her the No. 1 contender for the NXT Women’s Championship.
That championship belonged to Rose, as the Toxic Attraction leader had defended the belt for 413 days. She also attacked Roxanne during the opening in-ring segment of NXT this past Tuesday, leading to Roxanne calling out Rose for a title match that night.
The two would battle in the show’s main event, and it was a hard-fought match with both women giving it their all. Toward the finish, Rose was in disbelief that she couldn’t put away her latest challenger, and Roxanne eventually hit her finisher, Pop Rocks, for the pinfall victory.
With that, Roxanne became NXT Women’s Champion for the first time in her career and took to Instagram to celebrate with her fans. She shared several posts, including one that featured a photograph of herself and Shawn Michaels as she mimicked a classic Heartbreak Kid pose.
Her caption captured her struggles in getting to where she is now with her wrestling career. Among them were her fights with her mother, “missed childhood memories,” and “crying because doubts would overcome me.”
“Every. Single. Thing. was worth it. Your craziest dreams are not crazy at all,” she wrote.
Roxanne Perez started training early for wrestling career
Roxanne’s recent NXT Women’s Championship win is the second title she’s won within NXT, previously capturing the Women’s Tag Team Championship with her former friend, Cora Jade.
It took a lot of hard work to get to this spot, including Roxanne training at a young age and working out hard in the gym nowadays.
In a video interview several years ago, she said she started watching WWE at 10. She shared that former WWE star AJ Lee inspired her to get into wrestling because she was similar to Roxanne, who was tomboyish as a kid.
Roxanne explained that when she lived in Laredo, Texas, she found a wrestling school in Houston called Reality of Wrestling, where Booker T was among the trainers. She told her parents, “When I turn 18, I’m going to move to Houston to start training to become a wrestler.”
She started attending local independent wrestling shows in the Laredo area with her dad and was able to work with them to bring wrestling gear backstage. She couldn’t start training too young but did tumbling and cheerleading before turning 13.
At 13, she was able to start training for wrestling, and after training for a whole year, she had her first match at 14. She continued from there, ultimately landing bigger opportunities when she was older.
Check out the full interview below, where Roxanne talks about her background ahead of WWE.
In addition to tumbling, cheerleading, and wrestling, Roxanne mentioned she did “a lot of sports” when younger, including playing midfielder in soccer. She also appeared with Ring of Honor before arriving at WWE NXT, giving her valuable experience with other talented wrestlers.
While Roxanne doesn’t show a lot of her behind-the-scenes workout footage, it’s evident she’s dedicated to her craft, which involves hours spent in the gym with weights and cardio and time training in the ring.
Her athletic background, love of wrestling, and training since a young age led her to where she is now, as the WWE NXT Women’s Champion.
WWE NXT airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on USA.