Raquel Gonzalez is walking tall over NXT's women's division.
Raquel Gonzalez is the breakout star of NXT’s women's division in 2021 and she sits firmly atop the division as its champion. On tonight's episode of NXT, she looks to successfully retain her championship against Xia Li.
Speaking about this match to Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp, Raquel reflected on working matches with Xia in Shanghai and how she knew that she would one day face her again inside the squared circle.
“It definitely brings back old memories from a lot of past encounters we've had and Coconut (live event) shows and when I got to attend a tryout in Shanghai and I wrestled her there for everyone in Shanghai. That was a great experience. It's also like, 'We're doing this again.' The last time she came and called me out, she didn't show up, now she's stepping on Dakota's shining moment. [Dakota] just beat Ember Moon, clean and fair, and now [Xia] is taking this opportunity to come and get in my face,” said Raquel.
Upon looking at Xia and Raquel standing across from each other from the ring, Gonzalez’s stature becomes even more present. Gonzalez tells Fightful that no matter what, she's always ready for the unexpected, no matter what her size advantage is.
“For me, it's the same thing I go into these matches thinking; be ready for the unexpected. Yeah, she's little, so she can probably get out of things easier and she moves a little quicker. If we look at UFC and boxing fights, the advantage always goes to the person with the longest reach. No matter how many strikes she's throwing, those things are going to wear her out if she's not hitting them.”
Raquel credits everyone at the WWE Performance Center from Norman Smiley to Shawn Michaels and Triple H with helping her build her confidence. However, she credits Scotty 2 Hotty with bringing her out of her box the most.
“A lot of the coaches at the Performance Center have helped me with that. I had the opportunity to work with Robbie Brookside, Norman Smiley, Scotty 2 Hotty, Sara Amato, Matt Bloom. Getting feedback from Terry Taylor and Fit Finlay. Even talking with Shawn (Michaels) and Triple H sometimes, they really helped me build up my confidence in my size and what my in-ring capabilities are. Especially Scotty 2 Hotty, even though he's not one of the taller men's competitors, he's someone who brought me out of my box and pushed me to my limit on what I could do and be capable of. “
Fightful has live coverage of WWE NXT every Tuesday.
You can check out the full interview with Raquel Gonzalez embedded in the video above.