Sonya Deville on being naive about her torn ACL injury, relinquishing the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles, looks back on the Otis and Mandy Rose saga

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Insight With Chris Van Vliet with guest Sonya Deville
Host: Chris Van Vliet
Podcast available via

On the major injury suffered on Smackdown: “I had no idea. I must be so naive to this. I’ve been an athlete, I was like, I’m fine. I tagged out. Alright, I’m lying. I knew something was wrong. It felt a little weird. I kind of like my knee buckled and I was like, Oh, that was weird. But like, I’m fine. I have eight minutes left in this match. We’re about to go to a commercial break. I need to get it together. And so I tagged out to Chelsea and I got on the apron. Luckily, we were in a commercial break. So I was like alright, let me suss out the situation. So I’m hopping on the apron and anyone in the live audience was probably like, What the heck is she doing? But I’m hopping up in down on the apron trying to gauge if I can trust my knee. And sure enough, it was sketchy at best.

“I was like, Oh God, well, I’m in a match with Bianca, Charlotte, Chelsea, it’s a tag match, no less. I’m not about to change the entire match right now on live TV. So I was getting the comeback run on me and I had another eight minutes to wrestle. So I was like, we just got to do this. So Chelsea tagged me in for the hot tag. I had two comebacks ran on me. We did some falsies, I think a superplex. And the whole time I was like, Oh my God, I hope I don’t fall flat on my face. And sure enough, we made it to the end and I limped back, I got my rental car, went to my hotel, tried to pretend like it didn’t happen, because in this business, no one wants to be injured and out of play. Because I just won my first title. I was so sad, I was like, It’s fine. It’s just a sprain, I’ll wrap it. Long story short, I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and I fell face-first into the wall. And I was like, Oh, I think something’s wrong.”

On having to relinquish the championship: “I was so devastated. I mean, I’d been with the company for nine years. And of course, part of being in the WWE is to one day grab that brass ring and get gold around your waist and that’s what I had been striving for, of course. So I finally got my first championship and I was so happy. I was so elated. I was ready to make those titles mean more than ever before. And the injury came, which is probably why I ran back to my hotel and hid in my room and didn’t tell anyone I was injured.”

On the Otis and Mandy Rose storyline that culminated with no fans: “Bittersweet, but life works in such mysterious ways. I always say everything happens for a reason and I’m a firm believer in that. But it was one of those moments where I was like, wow, I think I just had the run of a lifetime. And it was in front of nobody, except the millions, of course watching at home. There was so much interaction and love on socials and online and everything. But being a performer, being in the WWE, my favorite part is walking out there and hearing you guys. I want to hear the audience whether you’re booing me out of the building, whether you’re cheering, whatever it is, I just want to hear and feel the passion from that. So walking into the empty arena, when we know we’re having iconic moments like the Mandy Otis kiss, the Sonya/Mandy turn, all these moments, I’m like, oh my god, the crowd reaction would be so good. And, you know, at one point, it was like 20 NXT talent in the audience. And they’re booing and I’m like, This is crazy. This would be so iconic in front of in front of a crowd. But it was iconic nonetheless, to be a part of a cool story like that.”


Readers Comments (1)

  1. She’s so damn talented. I’m glad she’s on TV and doing press. Those are good signs WWE will do something with her.

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