All wrestlers have to start somewhere on the path to making their dreams a reality, whether it be a wrestling school, church basement, bingo hall, etc. From there, those wrestlers work their way up to the pinnacle of their dreams. For many, that’s a career in WWE or more recently AEW, IMPACT! Wrestling or even NJPW. But sometimes the journey is just as important as the destination. In LWOPW’s newest feature, “Before They Were Famous,” we take a look at the pre-WWE careers of some of the company’s top current stars, following along on their road to superstardom. This time, we take a look at SmackDown’s Mandy Rose.
Mandy Rose is still growing as a WWE superstar but has become a key part of Friday nights on SmackDown. As her rivalry with Sonya Deville continues to grow and lead to her biggest match at what many can presume will be SummerSlam, we take a look at how she got to the WWE through her Tough Enough appearance and more.
Before They Were Famous: Mandy Rose
— Mandy (@WWE_MandyRose) July 14, 2015
Mandy Rose doesn’t have a wrestling background like many favorites. She doesn’t have a combat background like her former partner Sonya Deville either. Instead, her background consists of bodybuilding. An impressively enough, she finished in first place in the World Bodybuilding Fitness & Fashion Boston Show in 2013. It was just two years later where her career path would change as she would try to join the WWE through one of the more interesting paths, instead of a tryout.
She applied for Tough Enough, joining the sixth season in 2015 and becoming a big-time member of the cast. While fans didn’t necessarily love her, her star rose as she went week after week and appeared to be the favorite of the company. In episode six, she was about to be eliminated before The Miz, who had been a judge on the season, made the save for Mandy and kept her in the competition. Mandy wouldn’t face risk again the rest of the season and make it to the finale. She would eventually ride that wave to being the runner-up to Sara Lee, who is no longer with the WWE.
After the season ended, PWInsider reported that she was signed to a contract and despite losing, made quite the impression on the company. Her debut on television wasn’t until July 2016 when she competed in a losing effort in a six-women tag team match.
Five years later, she is in the biggest feud of her career with the same woman she broke in with, Sonya Deville. And while there is no news as to what their match will be as of this writing, there’s a chance a hair vs. hair match could be in the future following Deville’s attack on Rose. Excitement is in the air as the ever-improving Rose seems to be on her way to more high profile matches, something that has been in her future for a long time.
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