Raquel Rodriguez
González in 2016
Birth nameVictoria González[1]
Born (1991-01-12) January 12, 1991 (age 33)
La Feria, Texas, U.S.
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Raquel González
Raquel Rodriguez[2]
Reina González[3]
Victoria González[4]
Billed height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)[2]
Billed fromRio Grande Valley, Texas[2]
Trained byGeorge de la Isla[4]
Richard Aleman[4]
WWE Performance Center[4]
DebutJune 3, 2016[4]

Victoria González (born January 12, 1991)[5] is an American professional wrestler currently signed to WWE, where she performs under the ring name Raquel Rodriguez. She is a former 3-time WWE Women's Tag Team Champion, 1-time NXT Women's Champion and a record-tying 2-time and inaugural NXT Women's Tag Team Champion. She is currently inactive due to suffering from MCAS.

González is a second generation professional wrestler, following her father Rick González, and began her career in June 2016 on the independent circuit.[5][6] She signed with WWE in October 2016, performing under her real name, and debuted for the company's developmental brand, NXT, in early 2017. Her ring name changed to Reina González later that year before it again changed to Raquel González in early 2020. In early 2021, she and Dakota Kai won the inaugural Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, then becoming the inaugural NXT Women's Tag Team Champions, a title they won again in early 2022 for a record-tying second time.[a] She moved to the main roster on SmackDown in April 2022 with her ring name changed to Raquel Rodriguez, and then moved to Raw the next year. While on the main roster, she won the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship once with Aliyah and later twice with Liv Morgan.

Early life

Victoria González was born on January 12, 1991, in La Feria, Texas, United States.[7] She is of Mexican descent.[7] A fan of professional wrestling growing up, she cited Madusa and Lita as her inspirations,[5] as well as her father Rick, who was also a wrestler.[6] Through high school and college, González was a basketball player, playing collegiately for the Texas A&M–Kingsville Javelinas.[5] In 2013, she transferred to Sam Houston State University where she continued her collegiate basketball career, and earned her bachelor's degree in Mass Communication.[5][6]

Professional wrestling career

WWE

Early appearances (2016–2020)

On October 25, 2016, it was reported that González had signed with WWE and reported to the WWE Performance Center.[1] She made her in-ring debut on January 20, 2017, under her birth name at an NXT live event, where she was unsuccessful winning a 12-woman battle royal.[8] On the May 3 episode of NXT, González made her first television appearance in a losing effort, where she was eliminated during a battle royal to determine the #1 contender for the NXT Women's Championship.[9] Under the name Reina González, she competed in the inaugural Mae Young Classic tournament, where she was eliminated during the first round by Nicole Savoy, which aired on August 28.[10] González would compete again in the tournament in 2018, where she once again was eliminated in the first round by Kacy Catanzaro.[11]

Alliance with Dakota Kai (2020–2021)

On February 16, 2020, at NXT TakeOver: Portland, under the ring name Raquel González, she interfered in a street fight between Dakota Kai and Tegan Nox by slamming Nox through a table, allowing Kai to win the match, establishing herself as a heel in the process.[12] González then became Kai's bodyguard, helping her win her matches.[13][14] González had her first pay-per-view match on June 7 at TakeOver: In Your House, where she, Kai, and Candice LeRae lost to Mia Yim, Nox and Shotzi Blackheart in a six-woman tag team match.[15] Afterwards, González went on a short hiatus, but returned on the August 19 episode of NXT, helping Kai attack NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai.[16] At NXT TakeOver XXX three days later, after Kai lost to Shirai, Rhea Ripley confronted González, beginning a rivalry between the two.[17] González lost to Ripley on October 28 at Halloween Havoc.[18] Kai and González aligned with LeRae and Toni Storm in November, resulting in a WarGames match against Blackheart, Ember Moon, Shirai, and Ripley on December 6 at NXT TakeOver: WarGames,[19] which González won after pinning Shirai.[20] At New Year's Evil on January 6, 2021, she defeated Ripley in a Last Woman Standing match, ending their feud.[21]

Kai and González took part in the inaugural Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, defeating Aliyah and Jessi Kamea in the first round,[22] Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter in the semi-finals,[23] and Moon and Blackheart at Vengeance Day on February 14 to win the tournament.[24] As a result of their win, they received a match for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship against champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler on March 3; the match ended in controversy, with Jax and Baszler retaining after Baszler submitted Kai despite her not being tagged in.[25] As a result, González and Kai were crowned the inaugural NXT Women's Tag Team Champions the following week, the first title in González's career; however, they would lose the titles 56 minutes later to Blackheart and Moon in their first title defense.[26][27]

NXT Women's Champion (2021–2022)

On April 7, 2021, at the first night of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, González defeated Shirai to become the new NXT Women's Champion.[28] On the May 11 episode of NXT, she made her first successful title defense against Mercedes Martinez.[29] On June 13 at NXT TakeOver: In Your House, González retained the title against Ember Moon.[30] On the July 27 episode of NXT, González was attacked by Kai, turning face for the first time in her career and ending their alliance.[31] This led to a title match between the two at NXT TakeOver 36 on August 22,[32] where González retained and was confronted by Kay Lee Ray.[33]

On the September 28 episode of NXT, after retaining the title against Franky Monet, she was attacked by Toxic Attraction (Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin, and Jacy Jayne).[34] The following week, a Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal match between González and Rose for the title was made for Halloween Havoc on October 26,[35] where she lost the NXT Women's Championship to Rose in a Trick or Street Fight due to the returning Kai's interference, ending her reign at 202 days.[36] On December 5 at WarGames, González, Cora Jade, Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray defeated Kai and Toxic Attraction in a WarGames match.[37] At New Year's Evil on January 4, 2022, González failed to regain the title in a triple threat match also involving Jade, who Rose pinned to retain the title.[38] González and Jade then took part in the Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, defeating Valentina Feroz & Yulisa Leon in the first round,[39] but lost to Kai and Wendy Choo in the semi-finals on March 8 at Roadblock.[40]

On the March 29 episode of NXT, after Toxic Attraction took out Choo, Dakota Kai attacked the group and was assisted by a returning González, whom Kai embraced afterwards.[41] It was then announced that Kai and González would face Toxic Attraction members Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne for the NXT Women's Tag Team Championship during the pre-show of NXT Stand & Deliver on April 2,[42] in which they were successful in winning the titles.[43] Their first title defense was scheduled for the following episode of NXT,[44] where they lost the titles back to Toxic Attraction due to Mandy Rose's interference; this was González's final appearance in NXT.[45]

WWE Women's Tag Team Champion (2022–2023)

On the April 8 episode of SmackDown, González made her main roster debut in a backstage segment under the new ring name Raquel Rodriguez.[46] On the April 29 episode of SmackDown, she made her in-ring debut for the brand, defeating local competitor Cat Cardoza.[47] On the May 13 episode of SmackDown, Rodriguez answered Ronda Rousey's open challenge for the SmackDown Women's Championship, but lost.[48] On the June 17 episode of SmackDown, Rodriguez defeated Shayna Baszler to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match on July 2,[49] which was won by Liv Morgan.[50] On the August 5 episode of SmackDown, Rodriguez competed in a gauntlet match to determine the number one contender to Morgan's SmackDown Women's Championship, but was the last woman eliminated by Baszler.[51] The following week, she and Aliyah participated in the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship Tournament, defeating Shotzi and Xia Li in the first round,[52] and Natalya and Sonya Deville in the semi-finals.[53] On the August 29 episode of Raw, Rodriguez and Aliyah defeated Damage CTRL (Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky) in the finals to win the vacant tag titles, making her the first woman to have held the NXT Women's and WWE Women's Tag Team Championships.[54] On the September 12 episode of Raw, they lost the titles to Kai and Sky, ending their reign at 14 days.[55] After Shotzi saved her from an attack by Damage CTRL,[56] they challenged Kai and Sky for the titles on the October 21 episode of SmackDown, but were unsuccessful after Bayley distracted Shotzi.[57] On the November 11 episode of SmackDown, she competed in a six-pack challenge to determine the #1 contender to Rousey's SmackDown Women's Championship, which was won by Shotzi.[58] On the December 23 episode of SmackDown, Rodriguez won a gauntlet match to become the number one contender to Ronda Rousey's SmackDown Women's Championship.[59] The following week on SmackDown, Rodriguez failed to win the title after interference from Shayna Baszler.[60]

She entered her first Royal Rumble match at the titular event on January 28, 2023. She entered at #22 and eliminated Nia Jax, Lacey Evans, and Piper Niven before being eliminated by eventual winner Rhea Ripley.[61] At Night 2 of WrestleMania 39, Rodriguez teamed with Liv Morgan to take part in the women's WrestleMania Showcase fatal four-way tag team match, which was won by Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler.[62] On the April 3 episode of Raw, Rodriguez teamed with Morgan to defeat Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky of Damage CTRL to become new number one contenders for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship, with the title match being scheduled for the following week against reigning champions Lita and Becky Lynch.[63] However, Lita was attacked backstage by an unknown assailant, and was replaced by Trish Stratus. Rodriguez and Morgan would go on to win and became the new champions.[64]

As part of the 2023 WWE Draft, Rodriguez was drafted to the Raw brand.[65] On the May 19 episode of SmackDown, Rodriguez and Morgan vacated the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship due to Morgan suffering an injury, ending their first reign at 39 days.[66] On the May 29 episode of Raw, Rodriguez and her new tag team partner, Shotzi, failed to win the vacant titles.[67] On the June 19 episode of Raw, Rodriguez lost the qualifying match for the women's Money in the Bank ladder match to Trish Stratus by disqualification when Becky Lynch attacked Stratus halfway through the match.[68] On the June 23 episode of SmackDown, after reigning WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler defeated NXT Women's Tag Team Champions Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn in a unification match, Rodriguez and the returning Morgan challenged Rousey and Baszler for the tag team titles at Money in the Bank.[69][70] At the event, Rodriguez and Morgan regained the championships after Baszler turned on Rousey.[71] On the July 17 episode of Raw, Rodriguez and Morgan were scheduled to defend their titles against Sonya Deville and Chelsea Green, but Rhea Ripley attacked Rodriguez and Morgan before the match, causing Rodriguez to sustain a left knee injury. Later that night, Rodriguez and Morgan lost the titles to Deville and Chelsea Green, ending their second reign at 16 days.

Championship pursuits and hiatuses (2023–present)

After her return on the August 21, 2023 episode of Raw, Rodriguez challenged Rhea Ripley several times for the Women's World Championship, but she didn't win the title.[72] On January 2, 2024, Rodriguez revealed she was diagnosed with mast cell activation syndrome, which has resulted in her being absent from in-ring competition.[73] After a two-month hiatus, Rodriguez returned on February 19 episode of Raw, winning a Last Chance Battle Royal to earn the sixth and final spot in the women's Elimination Chamber match at Elimination Chamber: Perth.[74] She would, however, fail at the event after being eliminated by Bianca Belair.[75] On March 18, 2024, she was pulled again from the active roster.[76]

Professional wrestling style

During her time in NXT, González performed a one-arm powerbomb as a finishing move called the Chingona Bomb.[6] The move was renamed to the Tejana Bomb when she was drafted to the main roster since it was deemed too vulgar.[77]

Personal life

González was in a relationship with fellow professional wrestler Braun Strowman.[78] On January 1, 2024, González revealed that she was diagnosed with mast cell activation syndrome.[79]

Championships and accomplishments

References

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Notes

  1. ^ González and Kai are tied with Toxic Attraction (Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne) for the most reigns as a team and individually.