In a heartbreaking new video, Zelina Vega opened up to Renee Young about losing her father, Michael, in the terrorist attack on 9/11 in 2001 when she was 10 years old. I encourage everyone to watch the video above.
After describing the final moments of her father's life, hearing his voice on the phone, and detailing their last time together; Vega spoke about the connection her and her father had with wrestling.
"I went through so much depression and denial. Trying to figure out, 'Why me? Why this?' Finally, it was around 15 or 16, I was like, 'What was it that my dad and I shared the most?' It was wrestling and WWE. I fell in love with wrestling when I was four years old. That's what I wanted to do. My mom was like, 'it's just a phase.' My dad was like, 'Let's do this.' He was an amateur wrestler in high school and he wanted to be a WWE superstar. That was his dream too."
Vega explained that The Rock was her dad's favorite wrestler when she was growing up. She told the story of going to Madison Square Garden with her father and cheering on The Rock. Then, she spoke about meeting The Rock for the first time and how he know her father's name.
"To be able to tell Dwayne, 'You know my Dad's name, that's amazing.' I remember when I spoke to Dwayne, I walked away and I stopped and looked up and was like, 'Dad, he knows your name. That's so cool.'"
Vega officially became a member of the WWE roster in June 2017. She started at NXT as Andrade "Cien" Almas' business manager, helping guide him to the NXT Championship. Vega debuted on the main roster this past May and wrestled her first WWE match in July.