As Pro Wrestlers we often find ourselves pandering to the masses no matter our age, race, gender, or experience level in the business. It's happened to us all and continues every day. A perpetual cycle of critics, fans, coworkers, the office execs and dirt sheets… an endless list as wide as it is long. A seemingly bottomless pit full of nonsensical prattle bouncing off of its own cavernous walls with a deafening echo filling our minds and our hearts with a foreboding sense of lacking. A sense of lacking in every sense applicable to the industry we've pledged out dreams to and poured our souls therein.
A nagging sense that we are somehow just not good enough. Not talented enough. Not PG enough. Not thin enough. Not athletic enough. Not pretty enough. Not popular enough. Not enough experience. Not T.V ready. Not charismatic enough. Not enough five star matches. Not enough coworkers talking about you… Every possible insecurity being simultaneously identified - defined - and exposed. Essentially picked a part. One by one. Piece by piece. Match by match. Promo by promo. Outfit and facial expressions. Exposed and vulnerable until we are raw with emotion and full of self-doubt. All in plain view of the very public and quite unforgiving eyes of the industry…
In a recent interview NXT Women's Champion Raquel Gonzalez went into candid detail on her journey thus far into becoming your reigning and defending NXT Women's Champion. As a WWE Superstar and second generation wrestler, the bar was set precariously high from the get. A standard to uphold without room for error lest you find yourself having to withstand the onslaught that'll surely head your way in crushing waves from all angles. Raquel talked of her time in EVOLVE and her first experiences with No DQ matches and Ladder matches alongside fellow WWE Superstar Shotzi Blackheart. She elaborated on how those experiences showed her opportunities to grow in her craft. How they are opportunities that you can't truly prepare for, as you just have to face them head on the first time around and gain valuable experience from the experience itself.
In all I saw a very honest and mature side to Raquel Gonzalez in her interview with Fightful.com. I saw an admirable sense of humble gratefulness that stems from withstanding criticism and self-doubt and earning every inch of that WWE ring with each new performance. I saw the beginnings of well-deserved gumption as a human who dared to go after their dream in spite of the pitfalls. I saw a woman becoming comfortable in her own skin as she grows into the woman she's meant to become someday. I saw a person with the strength to acknowledge how far she's come and pay homage to the journey that got her to this point. I saw a young WWE Superstar who has been putting her all into reaching her fullest potential as a WWE Superstar. How she found the guts to feel that she is good enough and her determination to utilize very opportunity to keep getting better and better. How she's honing her own innate abilities and learning to love herself for who she is instead of focusing on all the things she isn't. Prioritizing her own expectations for herself higher than the expectations others have for her. In this interview you see the fighting spirit that fuels the lifeblood of NXT and your NXT Women's Champion.
In deference to the lengthy history of the industry, the stars who paved the way for us as the next generations, and the lack of kayfabe in comparison to decades past, in Raquel Gonzalez's words I saw a much needed dose of reality for the industry as it stands today and the WWE Universe as a whole. The sentiment behind her words both spoken and left unsaid get an altogether authentic glimpse into the private side of publicly growing as a WWE Superstar on weekly T.V. The other side that's overshadowed by the glitz and glam. The other side ripe with the repercussions of pursuing a dream that is reminiscent of the road less travelled. All underscored by the numerous stories revolving around the mental health of Pro Athletes and the perseverance it takes to overcome adversity to ultimately become what it means to be a role model the WWE Universe deserves. And that is Raquel Gonzalez…
For more Taeler Hendrix content check out the links below
Children's Book: "It's Not Easy Being A Sloth" By: Taeler Hendrix
Children's Book: "A Fish With A Wish Is Trish" By: Taeler Hendrix
Children's Book: "Nosey Rosie and the Secret Surprise" By: Taeler Hendrix
Podcast Talks with Taeler Hendrix: http://bit.ly/2YvNKwP