Zelina Vega aka Thea Megan Trinidad Budgen (born December 27, 1990) is an American professional wrestler. Zelina Vega is not only fantastic as a manager but also a trained wrestler and when needed, she can lace up her wrestling gloves and step into the ring to even the odds that her clients face. Working for both Impact Wrestling and NXT, she is now making a name for herself on Monday Night RAW. Zelina Vega has quickly emerged as arguably the top manager in WWE today.
Zelina Vega: 27 Interesting Facts
1. She Is Best Known For Her Time In WWE:
In WWE, she performed under the ring name Zelina Vega. The WWE wrestler previously worked in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) as Rosita, and for various independent promotions under her real name. In TNA, she was a one-time Knockouts Tag Team Champion with Sarita.
Today, Zelina Vega has become one of the most recognizable female stars on WWE TV especially since she’s been able to guide Andrade to a United States Championship reign, as well as bring to the stage Angel Garza and Austin Theory in the main roster.
2. She Was Trained by TJP:
This might be one of the most interesting facts about Zelina Vega since TJP is only thirty-three years old! However, his skill cannot be denied when it comes to whipping up numerous new wrestlers over the years. Zelina Vega is one of those wrestlers.
3. She Has Acting Aspirations:
Zelina Vega, the WWE star, has appeared in some movies; this includes Dorothy and the Witches of OZ, Chilling Visions 5: Sense of Fear, and the Army of the Damned. She is also set to play AJ Lee in the film Fighting with My Family about Paige’s life.
4. Wrestling Helped Her Out As A Child:
Most wrestlers don’t start training until reaching their 20s, but Zelina Vega wanted to start as a teenager due to her love for the industry. The childhood of Vega had a few tough moments that always saw wrestling there for her.
Multiple wrestlers share that sentiment regarding their passion starting at a young age. Vega was not going to be told no when starting her journey due to the belief in wrestling being the right industry for her career path.
5. Lost Her Father On 9/11:
The saddest story about Zelina Vega’s life before WWE featured the heartbreaking moment of losing her father in the World Trade Center during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Vega’s dad called her when trapped on the 103rd floor to say his goodbye.
Any child having to talk to a parent on the phone as they were minutes away from death would have a tough time handling it. Vega has shared this story with strength and poise to give us a look into a tough part of her backstory.
6. She Was Engaged to Austin Aries, Now Married To Aleister Black:
It has become a well-known fact that Zelina Vega is now married to fellow WWE star Aleister Black, but the former NXT Champion came to WWE a few years ago while she was in a relationship with Austin Aries. Aries worked on both NXT and 205 Live during his time in WWE before departing the company after just a few years on their payroll. Zelina Vega has always been private about her personal life and it’s unknown what happened in her relationship with Aries after he left WWE. A few years later it was revealed that Vega had married Aleister Black, which means that the former Impact Wrestling star decided to move on. She currently works alongside both Andrade and Angel Garza but she has made it clear a number of times that she isn’t in an on-screen relationship with any of the men. Zelina is their business associate and is only by their side for their matches.
7. The Wrestling Couple Recently Got Tattoos Together:
Aleister Black and Zelina Vega recently made news when getting tattoos together. Vega added a few new tattoos that were relatively small, including one dedicated to her mother. Black wanted to retouch some of his prior tattoos and added some more artwork to his already impressive list of body art.
8. They Didn’t Really Know Each Other Before NXT:
The careers of Aleister Black and Zelina Vega never crossed paths much in their journeys before getting to WWE. They likely met in passing, but they didn’t have a relationship or friendship entering the company. Vega joining NXT as the manager of Andrade saw them on the same roster for the first time.
9. Zelina Was In Another Relationship When Signing:
Zelina Vega was actually dating someone else at the start of her WWE career. Austin Aries and Vega got together during their time on the independent circuit after working in TNA around the same time. Aries was on the WWE roster when Vega signed, but their relationship ended before they ever worked together in NXT or on the main roster.
10. Got To Know Each Other While Working Against Each Other:
The feud between Andrade and Zelina Vega is what truly brought her together with Aleister Black. Vega was cutting the promos for Andrade and getting involved in the matches. The work in such an important program for the NXT Championship saw them realizing they connect as they started to fall for each other.
11. She Has A Friendship With The Rock:
The Rock put a lot of time and effort into the making of Fighting with My Family showcasing Paige’s life in his film. Zelina Vega was cast before even signing with WWE to play the role of AJ Lee during Paige’s debut match.
Impact Wrestling star Tessa Blanchard was cast too, but she only was a stunt double for Paige’s in-ring moments. Considering AJ’s character only had in-ring moments, the role was given to Vega. Zelina revealed that The Rock still gives her advice and helps her out regarding wrestling and acting.
12. She Is Inspired By Rey Mysterio:
Zelina Vega may look fierce and big on heels, but she is actually quite short. So, it is no surprise that Zelina lists Rey Mysterio as her inspiration. This is what she had to say about Rey:
“Rey Mysterio was my inspiration when it came to that. He was someone that I looked at… He’s so small, but he can do so much… I want to be the female Rey Mysterio. Whether it’s with a mask or not, I want to be him.”
“I have a double whammy, I’m a woman and I’m small. I have both working against me in a way, so for people to say ‘I like her because she’s like me’ or ‘that’s cool that somebody so little can do that’, I’m hoping to break that mould and give women’s wrestling a different look.”
13. Marriage Came Fast For Zelina:
The marriage of Aleister Black and Zelina Vega came faster than the average wrestler. When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, it’s often ideal to just go for it. Vega and Black tied the knot in late 2018 just under a year into their relationship.
14. WWE Doesn’t Hide Aleister Black and Zelina Vega’s Relationship:
One unique element of Aleister Black and Zelina Vega’s relationship is that they have completely different characters on television. Despite having no ties in the storyline, WWE does occasionally reference their relationship on social media and the occasional WWE Network show like Ride Along. The reality is something they embrace since most fans know already.
15. CM Punk Loves Her:
CM Punk has gone out of his way to praise Zelina Vega multiple times on the WWE Backstage talk show. Vega took the role of his wife AJ Lee in the Fighting with My Family endeared her to Punk and Lee.
Punk admitted without any hesitation that he does have a bias towards Vega, but he also believes she’s a great talent outside of that. The rise of Zelina during a tough time for WWE confirms Punk’s beliefs that she’s a huge asset for WWE.
16. CM Punk Wanted To See Them Feud Going Into WM:
CM Punk’s occasional presence on the Backstage talk show for Fox Sports sees him pitching his ideas and adding insight about the WWE product. One fun idea Punk had was wanting to see Aleister Black feud with Andrade for the United States Championship heading into WrestleMania 36. Punk specifically wanted to see the dynamic of Black vs Vega on television.
But if you think about it, Aleister Black and Zelina Vega are one of the most fascinating couples in WWE. Both wrestlers have been around the business for many years and fell in love along the way. WWE doesn’t utilize them together on television like they do with most other couples. Even when storylines don’t really match, relationships like Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins or Naomi and Jimmy Uso are typically referenced.
17. Aleister Black and Zelina Vega Train Together:
Aleister Black and Zelina Vega don’t hide their relationship from the public, but they also don’t post about everything they do together on social media. Both wrestlers have shared one aspect of their life together with workout photos. Black and Vega have strong workout regimens they each stick to while pushing the other.
18. She Had A Small Wedding:
The wedding of Aleister Black and Zelina Vega was quite small given their fame. Neither person wanted an extravagant wedding with cameras filming it for WWE like other couples in the company.
Total Divas has showcased the real weddings of many couples in WWE to make fans assume all wrestlers are going all out. Vega and Black opted for the subtle joy of only spending the day with each other and their closest loved ones. Despite the issues that can come from a couple working in the same company, the new husband and wife seem to be on cloud nine.
A few photos have circulated from the wedding with everyone looking as happy as can be, especially the couple.
19. She Took His Last Name:
The choice of one partner taking another’s last name is always unknown until after the wedding. Zelina Vega has taken Aleister Black’s real last name according to her Instagram. The listed real name of Thea Budgen sees her happy to have her loved one’s last name. A WWE name change is unlikely since the two aren’t even linked in storylines.
20. Travel Together:
Married couples working together for the same company and on the same show in wrestling are hard to find. Aleister Black and Zelina Vega lucked out as both have all the same events together on the WWE schedule. The couple can travel together with some other peers joining them if the journey makes sense.
21. She Owns Six Cats:
Zelina Vega is one of many cat owners on the WWE roster. Everyone thinks of Natalya as the top feline fanatic, but Vega has 6 cats! The couple (Zelina and Aleister Black) owns a total of six cats as showcased on Instagram.
Presumably, their traveling schedule working as wrestlers likely made it easier to own cats as their pets rather than dogs that typically require being walked on a daily basis.
22. Have A Few Fellow Wrestling Couple Friends:
The close friends of Aleister Black and Zelina Vega have seen them forming friendships with multiple couples in WWE. Vega managing Andrade made them close enough for Andrade and Charlotte Flair to become friends. Black’s short-term team with Ricochet led to Ricochet and Kacy Catanzaro becoming close with them as well.
23. The Husband-Wife Duo Have Overwhelmingly Positive Reputations Backstage:
The wrestling reputation can see talents have their careers suffer for regretful actions. Zelina Vega and Aleister Black are each known for having great personalities and respect from their peers. There have been zero reports of either wrestler ever having issues with other talents in the locker room and everyone is happy for their love.
24. Don’t Want To Become Item On Screen:
Many wrestling couples want to bring their love to the television show, but Aleister Black and Zelina Vega are an exception to the rule. It would make little sense since they are each thriving on their own. Vega is arguably the best manager in wrestling as a heel with Andrade. Black has the potential to become a main event face. The characters just wouldn’t mesh together.
25. WWE Kept Them Together After Brand Split As Kind Gesture:
The brand split can make it hard for couples traveling on separate shows. Raw and Smackdown not only air the television shows on different nights, but the road schedule sees them in different cities each weekend. WWE moved Aleister Black back to Raw when Zelina Vega was moved with Andrade to the brand as an act of kindness.
26. Zelina Accidentally Helped Black Win NXT Championship:
The incredible match at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans saw Aleister Black win the NXT Championship from Andrade. Prior title defenses saw Andrade winning thanks to the interference of Zelina Vega. On this night, she missed the mark with Andrade catching her. Black had the opening to knock Andrade out with a kick thanks to the unintentional distraction from his future wife.
27. She Has An Impressive Indie Record:
If you do not follow the indies, you might not be aware that Zelina Vega has quite an extensive and impressive track record in indie wrestling. Zelina had an impressive run in TNA, which she joined after being discovered by Tommy Dreamer. She was a big hit in the Impact Wrestling Knockout Division and even became the Knockouts Tag Team Champion.
When you look back a little further than Impact Wrestling, you will find more indie experience. Aside from Impact Wrestling, Zelina Vega has been in countless other promotions; this includes Ring of Honor and the Stardom Promotion.
WWE’s empty venue shows have seen Vega step up as a top talent delivering some of the best work of her career. Zelina is more pivotal when it comes to promos to help set up matches with the available talent. Many wrestlers have struggled without the option to feed off a live crowd, but Vega sets the tone for her wrestlers.