Sonya Deville

Sonya Deville On Returning From Injury, Liv Morgan, MMA to WWE

Sonya Deville (@sonyadevillewwe) is a WWE Superstar appearing on the Raw brand. She sits down with Chris Van Vliet in Philadelphia during WrestleMania week to talk about recovering from her torn ACL, winning the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship with Chelsea Green, how she met her wife, her particularly violent match with Liv Morgan, transitioning from MMA to WWE, being the Smackdown GM, a possible match with Rhea Ripley and much more!

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On not realizing something was wrong when she injured her knee:

“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’re 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.”

How much pain were you in?

“No pain. I swear. I know that sounds very weird. I’ve torn my ACL and every ACL is different. We’re not all created equal in that sense, but I didn’t feel any pain. I just felt instability. And it wasn’t even swollen. And then the doctor looked at the MRI, and he’s like, your ACL has probably been torn for a long time.”

On having to vacate the championship:

“20 days, 21 days [before] who’s counting? 30 seconds. 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 common fan questions:

“Okay, it’s one of two things. Funny enough I think it’s mostly I loved you as GM. Which was always like, Oh, wow, really, because I loved I loved being GM. I think it was a natural fit. It was great. It was the evolution of my character. But when I think of, you know, I want to be in the ring. I want to be hitting people. I want to be hurting people. I want to be cutting promos and hurting people with my words too. But that’s what a lot of people say also a lot of people throw back to the pandemic era when me and Mandy had that huge rivalry, which was probably one of my favourite durations of my career also me and Naomi had a really cool feud. So those are like, I think the maybe the top three Yeah.”

On her amazing suits:

“My wife would love to enter this conversation. So we have our closet that we share. And then we have another bedroom in our house. It’s no longer a room. It is the Sonya Deville suit display. And my wife, you know, it’s the ongoing beef between us because I take up probably 60% of our closet that we share and the bedroom next door. She’s not happy about it. I think I need to do something we need to do some rearranging. But for now. Yeah, it’s the suit display. So basically looks like um, maybe 50 suits or so. And then it goes into Sonya Deville. Then we have the MMA gear from back in the day. So there’s a bunch of that. Yeah, there’s a wide variety.”

On the Otis and Mandy kiss in the pandemic era:

“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 favourite 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, like the Sonya Mandy turn, like, 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.” 

On future dream matches:

“So it’s not a real answer, but it’s an answer. One of my favourites, I’ve had a million matches with her but not a lot televised, and never a singles televised to my knowledge. Asuka is one of my favourite opponents. We would have awesome matches down in NXT seven years ago, eight years ago on live events and road loops. And it was my favourite match to this day, but we never got an angle on TV. And then it would be like, I go to Raw she got to SmackDown she go to SmackDown I go to Raw and we just keep playing tag and not catching each other. So I was like, if I could paint the perfect picture, I would love to have like a two-three seg match with Asuka and just mess each other up.”

On meeting her wife Toni:

“She slid in my DMs. Yeah, it works. Well, okay, I’ll give you the full story. She’ll kill me if I just say that. But she was following me for a while. So I followed her back. And, you know, we’d stalked each other’s page as us millennials do. And, yeah, I always thought she was like, dream, like goals, like, just everything I wanted in a future wife, but she was in a prior relationship and so was I, and we were respectful. Then we both got single. And she said, Hey, and of course, I saw it, because I stalked her page and then popped up in my little primary folder, because the algorithm knew that I wanted to see that. And I was like, Oh, she’s just saying hey, like, she want to just ask me a random question. And I was like, Hey, what’s up? And she was like, I haven’t done this in a while. Haven’t been single in a while, like something, implying she was newly single. And I was like, Oh, now I was like, Where do you live? Do you come from the northeast? And she’s like, Yeah, and I was like, awesome. I have a show in Albany, New York. Come, I’ll get you tickets. And I’ll take you to dinner after. And the rest is history.”

What is Sonya Deville grateful for?

“My wife and family, my health and being able to do what I love.”

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