What’s the best way to describe Mandy Rose’s new direction on WWE‘s NXT 2.0? “I would say ‘Ruthless Aggression!'” Mandy tells HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE interview, name-dropping the “Ruthless Aggression” era (2002-2008) that saw the rise of John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista, Edge, and other WWE Superstars. With NXT embracing its future with the “2.0” rebranding, Mandy has done a little rebranding of her own. Gone are her “golden goddess” locks, and in its place, a devastatingly beautiful brunette makeover. She has also formed Toxic Attraction, a stable including newcomers Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne.
So, why then – with this new direction – would Many pull inspiration from a past WWE era? “My whole career has been the ‘Golden Goddess,’ ‘God’s Greatest Creation.’ A lot of it has been based on my looks, and that is fine,” she tells HollywoodLife. “But, at the end of the day, I want to be known for my abilities, my athleticism, how hard I have trained and how hard I have worked to get to where I have got and not just about my looks. Yeah, it is great to look amazing and pretty, but that won’t always be there.”
“It doesn’t mean I am going to come out with a garbage bag over my head. I am still hot,” she says. “I am still sexy, and it is still me, but I am a little edgier and ruthless side of me that I am excited to show.” During her EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife, Mandy also talks about how she feels about NXT’s rebranding, what Mandy Rose will “never be,” and if Toxic Attraction might ever become an inter-gender stable.
HollywoodLife: New look, new faction, new NXT. All this new stuff is happening right now, obviously there is an excitement to it, but is there any apprehension to it, weirdness to it, or anything to be scared about or surprised about with all the newness. What is currently in and on your mind with all these changes because it is clearly new for you but unique for all the fans to take part and witness?
Many Rose: Change in my world is always good. Of course, there is always apprehension. There is always fear a little bit with change — because you never know what the outcome is going to be. You might feel a little uncomfortable at first, but I think so far, I have been feeling the change. My career has always been based on taking risks — just going for that leap of faith and having my hard work and talent and perseverance and everything else kind of come along with it.
So, I am really excited overall [with the] NXT 2.0, the rebrand. I think it is awesome, and there is always room for improvement in everything that we do. As far as myself, there is always room for improvement. I am just excited for this new look, this new character, and [the chance to] kind of show up and show out, to be honest.
What do you think that we haven’t seen yet that you might incorporate into your character and your faction as the weeks go by that you are excited for us all to see?
I would say ruthless aggression! That is what comes to my mind in the first place. My whole career has been the ‘Golden Goddess,’ ‘God’s Greatest Creation.’ A lot of it has been based on my looks, and that is fine. But, at the end of the day, I want to be known for my abilities, my athleticism, how hard I have trained, and how hard I have worked to get to where I have got and not just about my looks. Yeah, it is great to look amazing and pretty, but that won’t always be there. [laughs] We all get old! (LAUGHTER)
It doesn’t mean I am going to come out with a garbage bag over my head. I am still hot; I am still sexy, and it is still me, but I am a little edgier and ruthless side of me that I am excited to show.
Anything can happen in the WWE, and you mention you taking these risks that will allow you to go anywhere, but what will Mandy Rose never be?
What will I never be? I don’t know if I will ever be able to be a person who sits at home and does nothing. Not to say I wouldn’t want a family someday, as I would love to have children and be a mom, but I feel like I have to continue to work on something. I always have to be doing something, and I always have to be doing something because I am a very passionate person. I have so many goals. I am always going to be having to do something. Who knows what that will be in years to come after wrestling, but I would say that is my best answer for that one!
You’ve returned to NXT after debuting with the brand in 2016. Would you ever go back to the Raw or Smackdown brands if they were to draft you in the future?
I am definitely okay with wherever I go. I feel like I have been on the most brands in the past year or two than any other Superstar. You know I am a draw. I take it as, ‘Oh, they want me at this brand,’ or do ‘they want me at this brand?’ It is cool, and everyone wants a piece of the pie, but honestly, I have been having a lot of fun at NXT, and I would like to stay for a little while. I am here to take over, and I think I am going to be the star of the show, to be honest.
With that being in mind, will there be more members of Toxic Attraction, both male or female?
Maybe! You never know. Stay tuned. You are going to have to be watching. We don’t want too many people, but you never know where Toxic Attraction will go!
This interview has been edited for clarity.