June 3, 2017

Mandy Leon On Being A 'Rosebud,' If WWE's Focus On Women's Wrestling Has Helped ROH's Women Of Honor

Mandy Leon spoke with USA Today's "For the Win" section on a number of wrestling topics. Here are some of the highlights:

If WWE's focus on their Women's Division has helped ROH's Women of Honor division:
"A lot of people have this misconception that we're in competition, but that's not the case. There is literally zero competition. It's just two entities that are at the top in professional wrestling. We're doing our own thing and they're doing their own thing. I do think it's a beautiful thing that the attention they brought to their women's division, the amount of opportunities and all those women that they're using for the physical aspect of the division have come from the indies, so it does bring focus back here and it does help. People want to see it here and how we do it."
Being one of Adam Rose's "Rosebuds":
"It was fun. I was brand new in the business and had not that much experience at all, so it was an opportunity to network and get the experience. Everybody there is very nice and treats you like family. I was there just as an extra and we did have dark matches before every taping. Through that, I earned a tryout in Orlando and that went phenomenal. A few months later, everything was transitioning where the focus was on the more athletic side of things and creating a strong women's division. Once that came about, for me, I didn't want to go there yet. My goal wasn't just to get an opportunity because of the way I look. I wanted an opportunity because I made a name for myself and I worked in Ring of Honor and made history in the indies and made an impact. Then I want to go there. I don't feel like I've accomplished what I've wanted to accomplish yet. I do want to go there someday, but right now I'm happy here. Ring of Honor will always be my home."
One of the "Founding Mothers" of Women of Honor:
"When I first started training, there wasn't a women's division. We had a few matches now and again as dark matches, but there wasn't a roster. I was so new and had no right to say any of this on the first day of class, but I said, 'I want to be the girl that brings back women's wrestling in Ring of Honor. I want to help create a division and one day have a historic Women of Honor championships belt.' Of course, everyone looked at me like, 'This is your first day here; you have no experience; what are you talking about?' One day I asked if I could have a match with Deonna Purrazzo before a show in Baltimore and they said yes. ...It wasn't supposed to be anything but a dark match. The company was doing YouTube exclusive matches. For whatever reason, that didn't work out and they decided to throw the women's match on YouTube instead and see what happens. Overnight, it was a huge thing that went viral. We then had more matches and more matches. That created the rebirth of Women of Honor brand. You have the women's revolution in WWE. We were also creating our own revolution that not a lot of people knew about. To see where it is today is absolutely crazy. It' just monumental in my eyes and means a lot to me. I never thought I would be where I am. All it takes is asking for an opportunity and you do it to your fullest and have people who believe in you."
Mandy Leon also discussed her "Exotic Goddess" nickname and more on Women of Honor. You can read the full interview by clicking here.


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