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Sometimes the biggest heartbreaks in a WWE Superstar’s career exist not inside the squared circle, but outside of the ring.
USA Insider has extensively covered the remarkable career of Mandy Rose over the past few months. And it’s with a heavy heart that we give our condolences to Mandy Rose, as she recently has been grieving the passing of her older brother Richie. Mandy recently released a statement thanking the countless members of the WWE Universe who sent along well wishes to Mandy and her family.
“I just wanted to thank everyone who paid their respects for my brother,” Mandy wrote in an Instagram story. “The last few days weren't easy but we're so thankful for all of our family and friends who supported us in this tragic time & celebrated Richie's life. I know Richie would even be surprised to see how many people cared about him and loved him. Still feels like a bad dream. RIP Richie.. we love you.”
For the past few weeks, fans were unable to piece everything together – Mandy Rose has not appeared on NXT television since her dominating win over Fallon Henley on the September 27th episode. Now, it becomes clear. While Mandy has put the NXT locker room on notice ever since she captured the women’s title, real life can still bleed into the life of a champion, and now the WWE Universe knows that she has been off television for reasons that don’t need to be delved into.
In our exclusive interview with Mandy that took place in August, she specifically mentioned the impact that her family had on her, which makes the recent news of her brother’s passing all the more heartbreaking. It’s clear that her brothers have been big supporters in her endeavors throughout her journey to the NXT Women’s Championship, and it makes her absence recently all the more explainable.
“So I have three older brothers. And my brothers would kinda make fun of me here and there — like, you know, as a joke — because I would do little marketing stuff,” she told USA Insider. “For instance, I would do this seasoning thing and they used to make fun of me because I would be doing little videos with it. And you know, between the selfies and the bikini videos or whatever — they would laugh but I would always tell them, ‘Hey guys, you’re laughing but I’m doing this for business. I’m going to make a lot of money one day, just wait!’ And you know, nobody really believes you in that moment but now obviously, my brothers are super proud of me and now we always joke around about it.”
It’s unfathomable to lose a loved yet, let alone a loved one who was an intricate part in crafting the Superstar that has graced our television screens since 2015, when she competed in WWE’s “Tough Enough” reality competition series.
As Mandy Rose rapidly approaches one full year as champion — she currently sits at 356 days — the respect from the WWE Universe, both as a performer and as a person, becomes more and more apparent. It seems that with each passing day comes another successful title defense, and another proud moment for herself and her family.
If there’s one thing Mandy has taught us, it’s this: She will overcome the adversity that presents itself before her. She will overcome. She’s run through all obstacles in her path for nearly an entire year, and her fans have faith that she will continue to do so moving forward.
Wade Barret, a current member of the SmackDown announce team, may have put it best when he commented on a recent episode of NXT, with adoration and respect falling into step with each word: “Mandy Rose is the constant around here.”
It’s true. For nearly an entire calendar year, Mandy has been the constant of NXT, delivering unforgettable moments filled with passion and inspiration. The entire WWE Universe stands beside her during the difficult time, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for the arguably the greatest NXT Women’s Champion in history.
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