Some of WWE’s biggest stars have been noticeably missing from their programming in the last few weeks. In their absences, some new faces have shined the brightest on both Raw and SmackDown. In particular, Zelina Vega has stood out as the best manager in the company outside of Paul Heyman.
Vega has been making an impact since her introduction on NXT in the summer of 2017. In the next six months, she molded her associate, Andrade, into a champion. In January of 2018, she accompanied him to the ring for his first title defense against Johnny Gargano at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia.
The match became an instant classic. In fact, It was the first NXT match to earn a five stars rating from Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The next day, the two made their Royal Rumble debut when Adrande made a surprise appearance as entrant number seven. A few months later, Vega and “El Idolo” made the move to SmackDown.
Of course, the third-generation luchador emerged when NXT was still considered a developmental brand thanks in part to his smooth in-ring work. However, he really took off with Zelina Vega as his manager. She added all the missing elements that ultimately made them into one of the hottest acts in WWE at the time.
“El Idolo” is limited as a talker because of the language barrier but Vega is an excellent mouthpiece. She cuts biting and bombastic promos that could put even the most seasoned talk talkers to shame. Moreover, she consistently generates heat for a wrestler, who would probably be cheered otherwise in this era where workrate is highly touted.
Let’s face it, the managerial role is a dying art form in professional wrestling. There are still some notable exceptions, but it’s an underappreciated and often underdeveloped aspect. So, it’s great to see someone new thrive in the position.
Zelina Vega is unique because she has the style and flair of women like Miss Elizabeth and Sensational Sherri but she can also represent her clients on a microphone. In addition, she can pull off some great distractions and high spots when need be.
Unfortunately, Andrade has missed a lot of shows this year due to injuries, but Vega has remained a constant even in his absence. Her work with Angel Garza and later Austin Theory have been a highlight on Raw. Garza is undoubtedly a rising star in his own right but pairing him with Zelina and Andrade worked wonders for him.
In the weeks following WrestleMania 36, the new stable stole the show with Vega front and center. She appeared in multiple segments and knocked it out of the park every time.
Admittedly, it would be a treat to see Vega make a run as a wrestler with WWE at some point but she’s so good as a manager. So much so, that it would be hard to imagine Andrade without her by his side at this point. Now, they’re building a stable similar to Los Ingobernables, which Andrade was a founding member of as La Sombra.
For now, Zelina Vega has been unparalleled and selfless in her role as a manager, which is rare in modern wrestling. It’s even more remarkable because she’s actually a good wrestler. She deserves recognition for the work she has done to help others over her own pursuits as a competitor. The results speak for themselves.