The wrestling world has always been a realm of larger-than-life personas and captivating storylines. Among the glitz and glamour, one wrestler, Thea Trinidad, has broken barriers by revealing her authentic self, shedding the WWE superstar persona of Zelina Vega, and delving into her passions for video games, anime, and acting. In a candid and exclusive interview, she opens up about her journey and the rewarding experiences that have come her way since.
The Joy of Discovery and Connection
Trinidad’s recent endeavor involves hosting a podcast with co-host Dakota Kai, where they explore their shared interests in video games, anime, and other facets of geek culture. The podcast serves as a bridge to connect with their fans on a more personal level, revealing the “flip side” of their wrestling personas.
“It’s just a fun, nerdy get-together,” Trinidad explains. “I like to think about it like we’re going to have some new guests on the show — other nerdy people who like to talk about games or anime or whatever it is that connects us as friends.”
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She points out that one of the most rewarding aspects is revealing her authentic self to fans who primarily know her as Zelina Vega. “A lot of them wouldn’t really know Thea if it wasn’t for Zelina and if it wasn’t for WWE,” she acknowledges. “It’s being able to take those newly gained fans and get them to know Thea and get them to know how I came about and what this journey looked like way before WWE.”
This journey is a blend of her wrestling character, Zelina, and her true self, Thea. It’s a conscious effort to introduce her fans to the multifaceted individual behind the character. She affirms, “I think it just goes hand-in-hand. For as much as Thea is me, Zelina is also very important to me.”
Trinidad’s venture into hosting a podcast exemplifies WWE’s changing approach to let wrestlers pursue their passions and creative interests, a shift she finds immensely rewarding. “It got us as talent and the office on a much more fun page, and we get to do this together,” she says, emphasizing the significance of unity and collaboration within the WWE community.
Anime and Fighting Games: A Love Story
Trinidad’s fascination with video games and anime is a testament to her genuine enthusiasm for these art forms. Her journey into the world of anime began when she was around eight or nine, watching classics like Pokémon, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, and Digimon. These shows provided the foundation of her love for the medium.
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“Anime, as far as that goes, or fighting games … it’s so specific to me,” she comments. She emphasizes the nostalgia and emotional connection that anime and gaming offer, allowing her to relive her childhood and share that joy with friends.
In the realm of fighting games, she had the incredible opportunity to be involved in Street Fighter 6 as a commentator. “I think anime, as far as that goes, or fighting games … it’s so specific to me,” she says. “I think bringing in Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, and that kind of stuff has just been so unique because you’ve seen like Alexa cosplay Freddy or Chucky or something like that, and you’re like, ‘Okay, so she’s got the horror/Disney kind of feel.’ But I think anime, as far as that goes, or fighting games … it’s so specific to me.”
In her wrestling career, Trinidad has masterfully blended wrestling and her love for video games and anime, making iconic appearances in character cosplays like Vega and Juri. Her passion and authenticity are evident in every project she undertakes.
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Exploring New Horizons
Despite her successful foray into acting, including her role in “Fighting with My Family” alongside Florence Pugh, Trinidad remains selective about her future acting endeavors. “I’m not the type of person to just jump into a project just because it’s a project, you know?” she admits. “It has to be something that I’m super passionate about.”
She’s particularly drawn to voice acting in anime, and dreams of lending her voice to a character in a beloved anime series. Her personal connection to anime and gaming fuels her desire to be involved in projects that hold a special place in her heart.
Trinidad’s journey from Zelina Vega to Thea Trinidad is a testament to the evolving landscape within WWE, where talents are encouraged to pursue their creative passions and build authentic connections with their fans. Her authentic approach to life and her dedication to her interests continue to resonate with fans and serve as an inspiration for aspiring individuals to embrace their true selves.