Sonya Deville is widely known as one of Smackdown’s most important fighters on the roster, but her sharp wit, fierce social activism, and easygoing sense of humor make her one of WWE’s most dynamic personalities outside of the ring as well.
Today, on Maria Menounos’ daytime show Better Together w/ Maira Menounos, WWE superstar Sonya Deville described her complicated journey coming out on national television, her experience continue to wrestle during a national pandemic, and things even gotten HEATED when a rouge prank caller crashed the interview. This featured image size is 1920 x 1080.
Fittingly, seeing as her interview took place on the last day of Pride Month, Sonya vulnerably described what it was like to come out on national television, in a surprise turn even SHE didn’t see coming. In a dramatic play-by-play, Sonya described the scene:
“I’m 21 years old the time, I’m on a reality television show that’s being broadcast live internationally, and the first question I’m asked in the interview portion of the show is, ‘are you in a relationship?’…that’s such an easy question. But for me, it was this loaded question with such a complex back end. I wasn’t openly gay yet but I did have a girlfriend at the time. I remember thinking, ‘OK, do I lie, and my girlfriend will kill me because I’m now saying I’m single on a Reality TV show, or do I tell the truth, and now the entire world knows I’m gay? And out her, because she wasn’t even out to her parents. Nobody.’ I just told the truth, and was like, ‘yeah, I have a girlfriend.’ And I kind of, like, smiled. And Triple H was like, did you just come out on National Television? And I was like, ‘yeah, I think did.’
Despite her impressive self-assurance with that huge decision, social media wasn’t so receptive, especially during the beginning of Sonya’s impressive ascent. She addmited, ” I remember social media back then being a little rough…a lot of people were jumping to judgements and conclusions, and I was very young and easily influenced at the time.
That being said, the challenging experience allowed her to grow: “looking back at the kind of last five years of my life and realizing that not only am I more comfortable with myself than I ever been, because of almost being forced to live my truth, but watching my younger fans be inspired by it, it means the world to me. Now, obviously I’m in a place where I’m proud of my sexuality, and it doesn’t. I want to be the voice for people who don’t have a voice.”
Speaking of having a voice, things got emotional between Sonya and Maria Menounos, whom Sonya considers to be a crucial mentor in her career, along with Maria’s husband and business partner Keven Undergaro. Deville offered, “[Keven and Maria] were vital to my experience and my success with you guys, because you obviously are the most giving people I’ve ever met. Hence why I met you and Keven, I thought you were completely full of crap. I was like, ‘why do these people want to just help me? What’s the catch?’…I’m really grateful for all of the lessons you all have taught me and continue to teach me.”
But things were NOT all rainbows and sunshine during the interview. As things began to wrap up, the production crew was suddenly swarmed by a series of prank calls. The rouge trolls continued to Sonya’s final MMA fight (in which she lost), and even accused her of being a weak fighter. Though the production suffered through three “separate” callers, Deville was CONVINCED that it was Mandy Rose, her former bestie and now other half of the showstopping feud between Fire & Desire. Yikes!
Do you think Mandy was the rouge caller? Let us know in the comments below, and make sure you tune in Better Together w/ Maria Menounos everyday at 11a PST on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Apple Podcasts!