One of the best events on the WWE NXT calendar is finally back, as this Sunday is NXT WarGames. It feels like a battle of eras, as some of the black and gold brand's biggest stars are taking on some of the stars of NXT 2.0 in the Women's and Men's WarGames matches. The Women's WarGames match will actually mix things up just a little, as both teams will feature a blend of eras. The match will have Raquel Gonzalez, Io Shirai, Kay Lee Ray, and Cora Jade taking on Toxic Attraction's Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin, and Jacy Jayne alongside Dakota Kai, and on the most recent episode of ComicBook Nation we had the chance to talk to Raquel all about the big event, the clash of eras, and even some possible Marvel and DC cosplays in her future.
First though we had to talk about the clash of eras, and Gonzalez feels there is a bit of a rivalry between the two in NXT at the moment.
"I do. I feel like the NXT 2.0 stars, as much as I love change and as much as I love fresh blood in the ring, I do feel like the NXT 2.0 superstars are a little overconfident," Gonzalez said. "I don't think that they realize who exactly they're stepping into the ring with, and I just have to say that I'm definitely backing up my boys from the NXT Gold and Black brand because I feel like they're really going to teach them a lesson, a lesson that I think needs to be learned."
Now, don't get her wrong, she loves getting to work with all the new talent, and when we asked if there was someone from the 2.0 side of things that was being slept on a bit, a name did come to mind.
"Yeah. I mean, I love working with the new talent. I think it's great to have fresh faces. I think it's great to have new challenges because everybody comes in with their own superpower if you will. Either they have a jujitsu background or a strength background or a hardcore background. I'm really excited about my teammate Cora Jade because I feel like in the past few weeks, she has really stepped up as a newbie and as a newcomer, but she's done it in the right way, in a way that she's been seen as this underdog or she's been seen as this younger, more shy kind of a girl, but she has a lot of aggression in her," Gonzalez said. "She has a lot of passion in her and I think she has a lot of fight in her too, and I think everyone's really going to see that this weekend at WarGames on the 5th."
Gonzalez sees Jade stepping up to the plate in this year's WarGames, similar to how Raquel stepped up in her first WarGames match last year, and she hopes to help Jade along like Candice LeRae helped her.
"Yeah. I feel like last year for WarGames, it was my first WarGames. Candice LeRae kind of did the same thing with me where she took me under her wing. She was the captain of our team. It was my first one. Dakota Kai had already been in one. It was exciting to have Toni Storm there as well with full experience. So I kind of felt like the underdog in a sense, and to come out victorious at the end for my team, I felt like I stepped it up for them," Gonzalez said. "So I'm looking forward to seeing that from Cora, and I feel like she does have that in her and I'm glad because she has a great team. She has a team of ex-Champions, NXT UK's longest-reigning champion, KLR, NXT Champion, Io Shirai, the Genius of the Sky and you never know what to expect from her. Is she going to throw herself in a trash can again from the top of the game? Maybe."
That was one of my personal favorite moments from last year's event, so here's hoping that happens. Gonzalez agreed. "Exactly. Cora has a good team around her, a good support system, and I think she really does add to our team as well. So I'm just excited because there are so many possibilities for this weekend," Gonzalez said.
Speaking of NXT 2.0, we asked how Gonzalez feels about some of the changes to NXT. "I love the new colors and the new atmosphere that we have going on right now. I feel like it's very bright, it's very welcoming, it's very open," Gonzalez said. "And what we really want right now is to get more interaction from the fans, from our people especially, people who are watching every week. And I think a lot of people as well don't know that they can come to the shows every week if they are in Orlando, if they're vacationing, if they live here. You can actually come watch us live every week for free here at the CWC and kind of experience it yourself."
Pretty sure Janell is going to take her up on it next time she's in Orlando, so you might see her in the crowd! "Yeah, you should come. All you have to do is go to wwe.com/nxtlive and it's literally a short little like name, email, and they just shoot you an email back and then you can come and join us live."
As for what she would like to see in NXT 2.0 moving forward, Gonzalez wants to see a Battle Royal make a return. "I would love to see, I feel like we haven't had one in a while, but a Battle Royal, especially with the females and especially with the new NXT 2.0 and all the new faces and the new talent and the new blood that's coming in and out every week, I feel like a good Battle Royal would really just showcase, not just the old school, but the new school and like a mix of the both, which I actually feel we're going to see this weekend too with the men's four games matches because it's NXT 2.0 versus NXT Black and Gold. So it's going to be a good clash between the old school and the new school. I'm really excited," Gonzalez said.
Now, you knew I had to bring up Raquel's awesome photoshoot as She-Hulk with Illite Fotos, and I had A recommendation to make for what their next team-up should be. The character is none other than Lauri-Ell, half-sister of Carol Danvers (aka Captain Marvel) who is now the new Kree Accuser, which has made an already badass powerhouse even deadlier with a giant hammer. After the reveal, I think Raquel was sold, but she also revealed that she's been getting tagged by fans with other picks for what her next cosplay project should be.
"I love that! Yes. I love that. I've been getting tagged in a lot of different posts on new cosplays and stuff like that. I would definitely love to try this because Thor's one of my favorite superheroes too. So if I get to hold a hammer, let's do it," Gonzalez said. Janell's pick was for Black Cat, and that was a hit as well.
"I love that one too. Yeah. Black Cat. And I've also gotten Red Claw from Batman," Gonzalez said, which is a deep cut but a great one. "I know. I was like, wow. That could be cool too. I'm all for it. Yeah. I'm going to have to talk to Illite," Gonzalez said.
Fingers crossed any of those happen, but in the meantime, you can see her in action at NXT WarGames, which will stream live on Peacock Sunday night starting with the WarGames Pre-Show at 7:30 PM EST.
Are you excited for WarGames, and should her next project be Lauri-Ell, Red Claw, or Black Cat? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things wrestling and comics with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!0comments