Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville were often rumoured to be in a relationship, although they were never shown to be together on TV.
However, the former Fire and Desire team were planned to be put together in a lesbian storyline, culminating in a huge kiss at WrestleMania 35.
Former WWE creative team writer Dave Schilling recently spoke with Fightful to discuss a variety of topics, including some of the less impressive storylines suggested by WWE writers.
One of these was a lesbian relationship angle between Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. The pair have always been close on-and-off screen, and with Deville being an open bisexual, there were always rumours about the pairs relationship status.
According to Schilling, the WWE had plans for a triple threat match at WrestleMania 35. The Smackdown women’s championship would be defended by Asuka, and she would take on Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose in a three-way for the title.
The match would have ended with Deville laying down for Rose, allowing her to win the title before sharing a kiss to close the match.
“On TV, the Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville storyline. That was supposed to culminate in a romance between Sonya and Mandy at WrestleMania 35 where it was a triple threat for the SmackDown Women’s Championship and Mandy was going to win because Sonya would lay down for her and they would embrace and kiss in the middle of the ring. I said, ‘Oh boy.’ If you’re going to do this, I understand why it could be great because it’s a representation and it’s necessary.”
Stephanie McMahon was a big fan of the idea, although they had worries about the fan reaction. Asuka was a fan-favourite, and they did not want 60,000 fans being the pair embracing in the ring, in what should have been a huge moment.
She went to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) organisation for assurance, and it was decided the angle would be scrapped.
Instead, the title was put on Charlotte Flair, who defended the championship in the main event, against Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey.
“To WWE’s credit, they went to GLAAD. Stephanie McMahon was on the phone with them. ‘Can we do this? Can we make this palatable and sensitive to the situation with queer people in America? Can we make this a good angle?’
The thing that I said was, ‘At WrestleMania, 60,000 people are going to be rooting for Asuka, and they’re supposed to be the babyfaces? They’re going to be booed out of the building and you’re going to have two women kissing in the middle of the ring and people booing because they love Asuka so much.’
People do love Asuka and every time WWE thinks they can beat her and ‘who cares,’ they forget people have a positive, intense relationship with her, even when they try to make her a heel, they root for her. Eventually, that storyline didn’t get done because they decided to put the belt on Charlotte.
The pair had a good relationship on and off-screen, but were never in a relationship of that nature.
The idea from the writers wasn’t an original one – Mandy Rose admits she pitched a lesbian angle back when she was in NXT.
Speaking with TalkSport, the former NXT Women’s Champion revealed that a lesbian angle was something she pitched in NXT, but was just one of many storylines she thought of during this time.
We’ve always pitched different things, always thinking of different ideas. Just like everyone should be; you always want to give the writers and the producers ideas for your own character, because you know yourself best.
Yeah [the lesbian angle] was definitely an idea that we pitched ourselves – it was actually a while ago during our NXT days we thought about that. But, you know, things happen. Things change. Might be suited better for other people, whatever it may be.
Mandy Rose was eventually released by the WWE in 2022, due to her refusing to stop posting explicit photos on OnlyFans.
You can read more about that firing down below.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.