Nyla Rose has quietly made history by becoming the first transgender wrestler to sign with a major league in the United States.
Last year, Rose was a struggling wrestler on the independent circuit, largely unknown in the U.S. as evidenced by a mere 600 followers on her Twitter page. Fate smiled on her and Co-Executive Vice President of AEW, Kenny Omega himself reached out to Rose (6 months ago) and asked her if she’s interested in joining the upstart promotion.
During a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Rose revealed that she couldn’t believe that the world’s elite professional wrestler had texted her on Twitter. Skeptical, Rose hurriedly checked and was blown away upon seeing that the message had indeed been sent from Omega’s verified Twitter account.
“I went and had a very quiet heart attack,” Rose said. “Dancing around the house like, What is life right now?”
“A few months ago here you are thinking you’re this little speck on this giant blue planet. Now suddenly you’re thrust into this position like, oh holy crap, I can make a difference. So I don’t take that lightly.”
Rose’s made her AEW debut at last month’s Double Or Nothing event. She competed in the Fatal 4 Way women’s match that was eventually won by Britt Baker. Per Rose’s calculation, she gained about 85% of her 11,700 Twitter followers post-AEW debut as she hit 10,000 followers on Instagram.
While Rose is still getting used to her new level of visibility, she is willing to give her all even if that means going the extra distance so that the next generation of wrestlers can have a better footing.
“If I can bear the weight, if I can hold up all the hatred and everything and carry that on my back, I know that I’m strong enough to do it. If the people out there need to beat me up and I need to absorb that so that the next generation, the youth, can have an easier time, I gladly welcome that.”
“I’m really hoping to set the tone and set the pace and create that environment that’s going to fuel the next generation. Not just trans people, but inspire anybody to say, ‘Hey, these women lit that on fire. I want to be that. I want to do that.'”
Rose capped off the interview by saying that she is willing to win the skeptics over. All they have to do is give her a chance to prove herself.
“AEW has felt that I am worthy of a chance. All I can ask is that some of the people out there, the fans who might be a little bit tight-minded, just give me a chance to show you what I can do in the ring. That’s all.”