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Mandy Rose’s 'Vacation' Pic Steals The Show As Chaos Reigns On NXT 2.0

Mandy Rose's strategically placed titles called to mind WWE legend Shawn Michaels' infamous Playgirl photo shoot.

By Chris Phelan
Wwe Mandy Rose4

A new era of NXT began last night in the Capitol Wrestling Center, as unlikely alliances were formed and rivalries were reignited.

But that’s not what the WWE world is buzzing about today.

Mandy Rose – fresh off becoming the unified NXT Women’s Champion in a classic match at Worlds Collide – took it upon herself to steal the spotlight without even appearing on last night's episode.

We’ve been lamenting on this very site that Mandy deserves some much-needed rest and relaxation after an absolutely exhausting last few months of constantly defending her title against all comers, and it seems like Mandy herself agrees with that sentiment:

Draped in nothing but her championship gold and looking as stunning as ever, Mandy provided yet another glimpse to the WWE Universe of what a real champion looks like. With this photo already amassing over 230,000 Instagram likes less than 24 hours after it was posted, it looks like a ton of people agree!

It’s a photo that has gotten the attention of not only hundreds of thousands of fans around the world, but fellow WWE Superstars as well. Do yourself a favor and scroll through the comments, which range from Nikkita Lyons simply commenting with “Art” to Cora Jade condescendingly posting “Mandy Rose shows off in skimpy IG post” – which, to be fair, could be the headline of this article.

As we covered in our two-part interview with Mandy, she’s made a career out of her confidence and social media savvy – and sometimes a girl’s just gotta try to break the internet, you know?

What you may not know is that – intentionally or not – this particular photo evokes memories of a similar photo from WWE’s past.

Shawn Michaels infamously posed for Playgirl magazine back in 1996, and his spread including a particularly risqué photo involving himself, the WWE Championship, and nothing else.

It looks like Mandy Rose wanted to take things one step further – after all, two titles are better than one, right?

While we’re happy that Mandy is taking her well-deserved vacation, NXT rolled on last night without their Women’s Champion – and it was quite the show to kick off this new era that has taken shape in the wake of Worlds Collide Sunday.

One of the most surprising developments was the unlikely friendship that is brewing between the two men who competed to unify the NXT and NXT UK titles just a few days ago – Bron Breakker and Tyler Bate!

The night started with Tyler Bate giving a heartfelt speech, thanking the WWE Universe for their support toward NXT UK over the years. With NXT UK on hiatus until the launch of NXT Europe in 2023, it was a fitting epilogue to the brand that put European wrestling on the map.

Well, it was a fitting speech until Gallus stormed the ring, implying that Bate let the entire United Kingdom down by not coming out of Worlds Collide victorious. A beatdown followed – but to the surprise of the entire Capitol Wrestling Center, Bron Breakker came to save Bate from further punishment.

Naturally, this set up a major main event for later in the night, which put the Coffey Brothers center stage against Breakker and Bate in tag team action:

By the end of the match, it looked like – for the first time in a long time – that Bron Breakker could finally breathe easy. After all, he cemented his place as the unified NXT Champion and the war that he and Tyler Bate went through on Worlds Collide served as the foundation for a very real alliance.

Enter JD McDonagh for another ambush.

At this point we’re not quite sure if McDonagh knows how to confront somebody man-to-man. It always seems like he’s attacking somebody from behind.

In this case, Tyler Bate got the worst of it, with the Irish Ace managing a vicious spinning suplex before cowardly retreating into the crowd.

We’re really not sure why McDonagh did what he did – because Breakker already has beaten him before with the NXT Championship on the line. To pick a fight with this newfound tag team seems … foolish at best.

Nevertheless, we’re sure there’s more to this situation than meets the eye. Is McDonagh going after Bate as a way to get back into title contention with Breakker? Or does he have another goal in mind?

Over in the women’s division, Cora Jade just won’t let her obsession with ruining Roxanne Perez’s career go, will she?

With Roxanne seemingly wanting to move forward in NXT and step away from the drama that happened when they held the women’s tag team titles together – Cora just can’t seem to let things go. Roxanne had just finished polishing her skills in the ring against none other than Meiko Satomura when, well … Cora interjected herself once again.

There’s something to be said about the character of someone who just can’t let things go. After all, Cora already defeated Roxanne in their grudge match just a few weeks ago – what is there left to prove?

The chip on Cora Jade's shoulder is getting bigger with each passing week, and we’re assuming that another showdown with her ex-partner is on the horizon – with stakes that are even larger than they were the first time they went against each other!

All in all, it was another week of exciting action on USA Network – and with NXT 2.0’s one-year anniversary celebration set for next week, the hits are going to keep on coming!

Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to check Mandy’s Instagram and see if she’s still enjoying her vacation.

You can catch WWE Raw Mondays at 8/7c on USA Network, and WWE NXT on Tuesdays at 8/7c. And watch more WWE content on Peacock now. 

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