Thunder Rosa on SpeakingOut and empowering women professionally
On June 21, NWA World Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa announced that the promotion she runs with her husband Brian Cervantes—Mission Pro Wrestling—would be an all-women’s promotion, moving forward.
The promotion will not only feature female talent, but will also be ran by women in backstage roles. Roles like production, booking, and creative.
In an interview with Kristen Ashly of Bell To Belles, Thunder Rosa shared her inspiration for converting Mission Pro Wrestling to a women-led promotion.
“Actually, it was my husband and my friend Jeremiah that were the ones that were running Mission Pro Wrestling before, and he stepped down from promoting and being the face of the company. After [SpeakingOut] I kind of feel like it was something needed and something different, and where, for the first time ever in the history of wrestling in America, that a promotion will be ran and owned by a female.
I’m not talking just about just talent in the ring. I’m talking about camera women, production, merchandise. And of course, it is inclusive. We’re not just going to have only females working, but we want all of the main positions taken by females, which is the most important part. And I don’t feel like that has ever been done before.”
In late 2018, Thunder Rosa began working tapings for Women of Wrestling (WOW) under the gimmick Kobra Moon, later changed to Serpentine. Around the same time, wrestler Robyn Reid, known in WOW as The Disciplinarian, also started working taped matches.
Shortly after the announcement of the promotion’s change in direction, Thunder Rosa announced Reid would be in charge of booking and creative for Mission Pro. Thunder Rosa spoke on why she chose Reid for the position.
“She mentioned that she was interested in doing another role that wasn’t necessarily a performer. So, she put it out there, and we noticed, we contacted her right away. And we had a conversation, a personal conversation with her, and we told her exactly what our vision for Mission Pro wrestling is going to be. And, I mean, she’s on board, I work with her, she’s a wonderful person.
I’ve been in many, many promotions, and she has experience, herself…we’re on the same wavelength, it works.”
The International Princess Champion revealed her plan on filling the other open roles within the promotion.
“I mean, it is 2020. Big movements are happening right now, as we speak, and I think that it’s time for a group of women, men, transgender, and gay people, too, to come together and really make a difference, in different aspects of the world.
So, I have a camera woman already, and probably get another camera woman… I’m having other, very wonderful people that reach out to me, that are willing to help us, you know, with the first show. And, again, want to make sure that everything we’re learning, or we are going to get it, is we’re teaching other women, you know, so we’re going to empower them.”
Thunder Rosa would continue by speaking on professional development in wrestling.
“I am so blessed that I worked in so many different TV shows, and I was able to ask because I was always very curious to work other areas to learn other areas of the business, I’m talking about editing, creative. I’m not very good at booking to tell you the truth, but I’m really good at seeing what the producers want to see on TV, because I’ve worked on TV for so long, now.
I mean, when you’re working with a company, we have to put up the ring, and sometimes we took it down. But most of the time, it was all of the women [that] would put the room together as a team.
I mean, in the age that we live now, you need to learn those skills, in order to be successful.”
After allegations against NWA’s Vice President David Lagana surfaced during the SpeakingOut movement, Lagana resigned, and NWA stopped production on new content until a new management structure could be built.
On top of that development, AXS TV dropped WOW from their line-up, leaving WOW to search for other distribution channels, after the COVID-19 pandemic limitations are lifted. With the sudden uprooting of Thunder Rosa’s work in various promotions, she was asked if she was planning on focusing on Mission Pro, full-time.
“I am still training full-time for MMA, I’m an MMA fighter, too. And I’m going back to do three more fights for Combat America.
So, as you can see, I’m like, I’m juggling all this stuff…But nothing is impossible, I mean, I see some of my peers, they have kids, they have a regular job, and they’re still able to accomplish so many things. You know, I mean, I’m a mother, I’m a wife, and I’m a professional wrestler and an owner of a business.
I have a team, so I’m not doing things alone.”
After the SpeakingOut movement, a heavy focus has been placed on equality and creating safe spaces within wrestling. Thunder Rosa stated the movement caused an “awakening” and that Mission Pro is working diligently to make sure everyone is comfortable in their environment.
“It’s been an awakening in social media and social media platforms. And other women have taken it to the next level and used it to start doing research and start the grassroots part of it, which is like talking to lawyers, talking to attorneys, talking to HR people to see if we can implement rules and regulations about sexual harassment, and how to deal about it, in different parts of the United States.
Because it’s very, very important for women and our transgender males and females, and others, to feel comfortable going to a wrestling school and become professional wrestlers, and they don’t feel harassed and they don’t feel uncomfortable and then they quit. Because a lot of times, those are the main reasons why people leave the business.
I grew up with a very thick skin, and I remember, when I started people started saying things back to me, and stuff like that and I would look at my husband and was like, ‘If this was at a regular job, half of them would have been fired already.'”
“And I mean, it is important that we are having these conversations and that this is happening and then decide, ‘You know, what? We are speaking out on social media that things are being done and being implemented.'”
The ultimate goal of Mission Pro’s new direction? Thunder Rosa says people should be allowed to be themselves.
“The movement is not just one of us, per se. It’s all of us. It’s the time and the effort that we’re willing to put in. Also, just keep in mind that when you’re trying to make a difference, people are going to jump to criticize.
I mean, it’s time that people stop pointing fingers and segregating women or men that decide to do certain things to make living. We should be allowed to be ourselves in the business, we should be allowed to not be afraid of wearing a certain thing without being told, ‘That’s the reason why I talk to you that way.'”
Mission Pro Wrestling hails from Buda, Texas; a city located between Austin and San Antonio. Though the promotion is not currently running shows, like most promotions, they are working hard to create a staff and ensure everyone is paid fairly. Please consider donating to Mission Pro’s costs here.