Today, we celebrate the birthday of WWE superstar Mandy Rose.
Wrestling fans have joined Rose on her WWE journey from the get-go, thanks to her start on reality show Tough Enough, and have had the pleasure of seeing her go from a newbie with no experience to a growing fan favourite with serious potential, with the chances of becoming champion one day. With all that in mind, let’s relive the career of Mandy Rose so far, and discuss the comparisons she has faced to WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus.
Her striking resemblance to the seven-time champion has been a talking point from the start, but when we take away those comparisons, who is Mandy Rose, what has she achieved so far, and what can fans expect in the months and years to come?
It’s no secret that Rose has an extensive modelling and fitness background prior to signing with the WWE. In the years before entering the world of pro wrestling, Mandy spent a great deal of time working on, and building an online presence and following using popular social media apps like Instagram.
It was during these days that Rose also took part in bikini competitions and was heavily involved in the fitness world. After earning a bachelor’s degree studying speech-language pathology, Rose entered the world of bodybuilding and fitness competitions. In the early stages, she placed first in the Boston WBFF (World Beauty, Fitness, and Fashion) show. From working alongside other fitness models on Instagram, to competitions that allowed her to grow in popularity and confidence, and, of course, over time, create the perfect image and figure to enter the world of professional wrestling.
In 2015, the WWE re-introduced the Tough Enough contest and it was here that wrestling fans would soon be introduced to Mandy Rose.
Rose stood out from the mix and excelled in both character and in-ring challenges, shining as a natural heel. Her image was constantly brought up and comparisons to WWE Hall of Fame Trish Stratus ushered in every single week from judges, fans and fellow Tough Enough competitors. It was made clear that Rose had a fantastically fitting image for the WWE, but added pressure for her to show that she was more than the woman who looked like Trish Stratus and that she had talent and potential.
Of course, Rose did in fact prove that point and made it to the finals where to this day fans do believe she should have been the female winner instead of the runner up.
Following on from Tough Enough, Rose was signed to the WWE, despite coming second, and was added to the cast of Total Divas in 2016 for the fifth season. Here, we got to see more of the real Mandy Rose and her girly, yet tomboy character was very clearly on display. Throughout the season, Mandy (real name Amanda) went by the name Mandy and so it was from here that the WWE decided to continue on with this name for her WWE character and added the Rose part to it as it’s one that mean a lot to Mandy’s family, something she has touched on in previous interviews.
Her appearance on Total Divas again allowed her to growth in popularity, create an even stronger fan base and for wrestling fans to get more of an understanding of who she is. What this also done was yet again allow the WWE Universe to follow her on her career even more. We got to learn who Mandy Rose is, her family and personal life and watch as her WWE career developed entering the world of NXT.
Now, Rose didn’t spend much time in NXT, at all.
We saw a few matches here and there, and her heel character was something fans picked up on early. We also saw glimpses of the depths of her moveset, and fans were, of course, impressed with how far she had come in a short space of time. Once again, in her career, Rose was pushed to her limits and put under intense pressure as she made the quick jump from the black and gold brand to the main roster when she, alongside fellow Tough Enough star Sonya Deville, joined Paige in her return to action in 2017.
Things didn’t quite go to plan here, following Paige’s retirement from in ring competition, but WWE kept Rose and Deville together, and their chemistry was clear.
Now, I personally have always wanted to see Deville and Rose go on to become tag team champions, as it’s always been so clear that they were one of the most legit, put together teams in the women’s tag division and could have seriously benefited from holding these titles. However, despite not winning gold, the pair did work standout tag bouts, including inside Elimination Chamber where they looked to become the first female tag team champion. It’s been inside both Elimination Chamber matches that Rose has had some of her best in ring performances and really showed, not only the depths of her character, but her strength, speed and wrestling ability so well.
Now, there can be no denying that Mandy Rose has been a big part of the Smackdown women’s division away from the Women’s Championship.
Rose and Deville worked as key characters for the division, but upon their split, Rose has begun to stand out even more. Throughout her WWE career, Mandy has worked as a convincing and strong heel and so when her relationship with Otis progressed, and fans saw the split of Fire and Desire, it made for an interesting twist to see Mandy take on the role of the babyface.
To the surprise of some, Mandy has made for a fantastic babyface.
It’ been refreshing to see WWE take the woman who looks like a glamorous model and have her progress from the cocky arrogant heel to a relatable character, likeable and someone we are rooting for. What is so important moving forward is being able to see more of Rose in the ring – that means longer matches, stipulation bouts and storylines away from a rivalry with Deville – to see how she performs with more layers of her character and move set/skills.
What is so striking about Rose, and something that can be compared to Trish Stratus, is how quickly she has adapted to the world of pro wrestling.
Rose hasn’t had a lot of time to adjust, but upon being thrown into the spotlight has grown and again, similarly to Trish, we as fans have watched a young woman grow to go from no experience to a woman with potential to become champion. We have seen the growth and watched Mandy become a WWE superstar.
Today, she works as one of the key figures of the Smackdown women’s division. Rose is yet to hold championship gold in the WWE, but we can most certainly expect to see it happen in the near future, as well as looking at potential standout performances and even victories in matches such as Survivor Series elimination matches, Elimination Chamber, Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank. Her relationship with Otis is something adding to her character depth and likability, and seeing where that goes is sure to also be an interesting angle.
We have already seen Mandy go on such an intense journey, and comparisons to Trish Stratus can most certainly be made, not only when it comes to her image but also her journey and how quickly she has evolved.
There of course, is still so much to see From Mandy Rose, and to see how impressive and how far she has already come as well as the change in character we have seen means I cannot wait to see what is next for her, and we can for sure expect to see a title shot down the line.
For now, we here at TWM want to wish Mandy a Happy Birthday.