One of the hottest feuds in WWE has unquestionably been between Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose, and those who tuned into recent SmackDowns saw Deville take that feud to another level. Deville wanted to make a point, and so after a beatdown backstage, Deville took scissors and cut Rose's blonde hair several times. It's the latest move in a Championship trajectory for Deville, and fans are rallying behind her as she makes her mark every week on SmackDown. ComicBook.com had a chance to talk to Deville about her feud with Rose and those Championship aspirations, as well as her journey to SmackDown difference maker and some priceless advice she's received along the way.
First, we had to talk about what she did to Rose, and while I called it torturing Rose, Deville thinks it was merely payback. "It's funny you say that. I don't really think it was torture," Deville said. "I think it was payback, but whatever. Mandy's like the fly you can't swat. I honestly thought she was down and out after the little haircut, but I guess she had a little fight in her. Last week I was actually shocked that she came and brought a halfway-decent fight to me. So I guess I've got to put the nail in the coffin once and for all and get rid of her. So if she wants to lose to me for the third time consecutively, I mean, bring it on. Why not SummerSlam, right?"
If she is to finish off Rose, you can't just do it in a regular match, so I asked what the stipulation for a finale to this Deville Rose rivalry would look like if Deville had her choice.
"Yeah. I mean, it definitely can't be a regulation match," Deville said. "It has got to be a No-Holds-Barred or Falls Count Everywhere. It's got to, it's got to be something, a Street Fight even, because this is it. I'm putting an end to Mandy once and for all, and it's not just physically. I told her I was going to ruin her life in every way that I possibly could. So even if, let me put it this way, even if there are rules in the next match that we have against each other, I won't be following them."
"I mean, it's really not about winning anymore, because I already know I'm better than Mandy in the ring," Deville said. "It's about getting rid of her. I don't, I don't want her in the division. I don't want her anywhere near me. She's been like a thorn in my side for the last five years, and I'm so sick, to be honest, I'm sick of hearing her name, even in this interview right now, it's annoying me. I don't want to hear Mandy Rose's name anymore. It's Sonya Deville's time. I'm the star now."
Whenever Deville pops up on SmackDown, calls for her to become SmackDown Women's Champion are soon to follow, and Deville commends them on having good taste.
"Yeah. I mean, they're smart people. What can I say? It seems like my journey, it's been a long time coming, right? I got fight, and I feel like through Tough Enough and starting in NXT, people have a lot of hope for what I could do in the company, and I kind of went on this journey of being part of Tag Teams and Factions for the next part of it," Deville said. "Finally I'm getting to show what I can do on my own, what I'm capable of inside the ring, so I feel like it's kind of been a very organic journey and they've come on it with me. I think it's only afterward that they see the potential in me and where my character's going."
Deville was recently mentioned by Tegan Nox as someone who helped her in her decision to come out, though Deville got as much out of the conversation as Nox did, and she even shared with us one of the most important pieces of advice she's received over the years.
"Well, that's a good question. Yeah, first of all, I'm so happy for Tegan, and when she reached out to me, I'm no expert at anything," Deville said. "All I know is my own journey and what I've been through the past five years, so it was really cool to be able to talk to somebody else that was going through something similar now and the best piece of advice I've had is the quote Be Yourself; everyone else is already taken, and I say it a lot because I remember the first time I heard it, it struck a chord with me and it was like, wait a second, that's exactly how I feel. Everybody else was created to be who they're meant to be, and I'm created to be who I'm meant to be. Wasting your time and energy trying to be somebody that you're not just feels counterproductive, and so just being true to yourself and living your truth is something that's very important to me."
Deville's own journey towards coming out came with its share of challenges and doubts, and while she didn't plan on doing it the way it eventually happened, looking back it was a blessing in disguise.
"Yeah, all the time.," Deville said. "I mean, I was living in LA at the time when I got the title for Tough Enough, and I always tell the story. Like I would tell half of my acquaintances, coworkers, etc, that I had a girlfriend. Sometimes I would get nervous and be like, oh no, I just live with my friend. I wasn't comfortable with myself at that time at all, and so when I was asked on Tough Enough on live television if I was in a relationship, it was kind of like a loaded question that I didn't have time to overthink it. My initial thought was crap, I can't lie. I can't lie on national television, right? So like my instincts just kicked in and I just said, 'yeah, I have a girlfriend.' So it wasn't anything that was kind of thought out beforehand. I was very taken off guard, but hindsight's always 2020, and it was one of the best things that I'd ever done, because from that point on, it was almost like I had to live my truth. Because now people knew and I outed myself, so I had to be true with myself. It was like one of those blessings in disguise where now I was kind of forced to live my truth."
These days Deville's true self is one of the highlights of SmackDown every week, and she's having a ball.
"The best characters and superstars in wrestling overall are people that are actually, Chris Jericho told me this when I was on Tough Enough," Deville said. "He said, the best performers are people that are themselves just dial it up times a thousand, and I think that's so true. When you see people start to become comfortable in their character and more true who they are in their character, that's when they really start to excel. I feel like that's what's happening with me. I'm just kind of finally letting loose and being myself and organically people see that. You know, people can see the genuineness in a character. Our fans are really smart, so it's been fun to just kind of let loose."
You can watch Deville in action on tonight's episode of WWE SmackDown, which airs on FOX at 8 PM EST.
What do you want to see next for Deville? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things WWE with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!