Melissa Cervantes, better known as Thunder Rosa, is among the most popular wrestlers in the National Wrestling Alliance. She is the new face of the NWA, and arguably, the women’s premier all-around athlete. It took hard work to become their poster girl, though, from her humble beginnings. Through years of blood, sweat, and tears, she finally claimed the title of NWA Women’s World Champion, becoming the first-ever Mexican-born wrestler to achieve this feat.
Despite a late start in the business at age 28, Thunder Rosa quickly capitalized on her opportunities but was a long shot to reach such lofty heights. She spent her formative wrestling years in Lucha Underground, an American professional wrestling promotion and serial drama television series, as Kobra Moon. Cervantes was the runner-up for the 2015 Southern California Rookie of the Year Award, and then won the 2016 Southern California Women’s Wrestler of the Year Award. Throughout 2018 and 2019, she wrestled for Ring of Honor, Shimmer and a litany of other promotions until her dream was realized.
Cervantes had dreamed of wrestling in Japan, a country known for its appreciation of the sport and breeding icons such as Antonio Inoki. She made her dream a reality and wrestled in Japan’s World Wonder Ring Stardom promotion. In 2019, she made history by beating Maki Ito for the Tokyo Joshi Pro International Princess Championship. Thunder Rosa became the first foreigner to win the title.
“I can’t describe how happy I am about being the first non-Japanese champion in this company. I did it because I believe and other people believe in my abilities as a wrestler and as a performer.”
Cervantes is a proud Mexican immigrant who became a naturalized United States citizen in 2019. It took her twenty years to go through the process of becoming an American citizen. She accomplished this through much support of family, friends, and the wrestling community.
“Knowing where you come from and knowing you need to continue to work hard and you need to be dedicated and consistent and you can’t give up, that’s what it’s about.”
Early in 2020, Thunder Rosa defeated Allysin Kay to capture the NWA World Women’s Championship. Thunder Rosa has gained a large following by encouraging and motivating others to be the best they can be. She is the definition of a strong and empowered woman who has worked hard to accomplish her dreams. She is tough, savvy, and doesn’t back down.
“All the years I worked not for the gold and the fame, I worked hard because I want to be recognized as one of the best, as a relentless force in the business, as a positive role model in wrestling.”
Some have even compared her to mega star Ronda Rousey. GoodSport is excited to watch her journey and ascent in professional wrestling.