From the moment Rosa Mendes jumped over the barricade to attack Melina on the Dec. 29, 2008, edition of Raw, it was clear that everything she did would be done with passion and an incredible amount of drive. So now, having made the decision to retire from WWE after a decade with the company, it should come as no surprise that Mendes is applying that same level of determination to her new business venture, TFMama.
Mendes sat down with WWE.com to discuss her decision to retire from WWE, her new business and how motherhood has impacted both.
WWE.COM: Rosa, thanks for taking the time with us today. First off, the obvious question — what prompted your decision to retire from in-ring competition?
ROSA MENDES: So, as you know, I’m a new mom. Well, not that new, it’s been a year [laughs]. But, I just feel like as you get older, your dreams evolve. For years, my dream was to become a WWE champion. And, now that I’ve brought a life into this world, and I’m with the man of my dreams, it’s different.
WWE.COM: You talk about your dreams evolving. What do you see as your next steps?
ROSA: I want to create a legacy by teaching people about nutrition and how to take care of themselves. And I want to be here for my daughter. Realistically, being gone more than 300 days out of the year, it’s hard to be a mother and have your own business at the same time. I think it would be impossible for me to give 100 percent to my daughter and my business. And, you have to give 150 percent when you’re in WWE. So, it was a very hard decision, and honestly, as I’m talking to you right now, it’s hard to not be emotional. I’m staying as strong as I can … but this is such a positive thing. It’s sad in a way because I’m in love with the WWE Universe. I still watch every single week. The girls are doing absolutely amazing. And wrestling has evolved too. It’s evolved so much, and I love that I can watch with my daughter and fiancée in the comfort of my home.
WWE.COM: Tell us more about your new business venture.
ROSA: It’s called www.TFMama.Com. And that stands for “Totally Fit Mama.” First, we started with meal plans. I just found that a lot of people were getting overcharged [for meal plans]. I saw meal plans for $200 a month. And, I learned so much about health in the WWE that I wanted to give back. So, our meal plans are very affordable. They’re only $35 for three months, and it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, recipes. We also have videos on our Facebook and our Instagram where we’re doing live cooking for people and they can ask questions.
WWE.COM: You are also now working with John Cena’s trainer, Rob MacIntyre, on a project, correct?
ROSA: Yes, we just recently collaborated with Rob. We are launching an at-home workout app, which is coming out very soon! I just found that when you’re really busy [or] own a business and you are a mom and love being active, that it’s sometimes impossible to get to the gym. So, I collaborated with Rob MacIntyre because he’s a strength and conditioning specialist and he knows his stuff. He’s an expert. I wanted women to get a challenge with their at-home workout. I didn’t want it to be something super easy for them, I wanted them to see results. So, that’s coming out in a couple of days.
WWE.COM: Anything else you’re working on?
ROSA: We are launching our cookbook! We are taking pre-orders on Amazon very soon. It’s called “Totally Fit Mama: Out of the Ring and into the Kitchen.”
WWE.COM: This all sounds like a lot. How busy have you been with all of this?
ROSA: It’s just sort of been crunch time since I made the decision to retire. I’ve just been working so hard, [but] it’s all really, really cool. There’s a lot going on, [and] it’s funny because I thought after I made the decision to retire I was going to be like, “Okay, I’m gonna be a mom.” But I don’t want to be the mom who just sits around. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, that would be awesome [laughs], but when you’ve had that kind of work ethic with WWE — all of us Superstars are so motivated and so driven. I don’t think any of us can just sit still and just enjoy life and not work. We are so driven that, no matter what any WWE Superstar does after, they are definitely going to be successful at it because our work ethic is just out of this world.
WWE.COM: Even though this is bittersweet, it very much seems like there are no negatives here.
ROSA: This is such a positive thing because I’ve been with WWE, the best company in the world, for 10 years. I’ve been able to perform in front of thousands and thousands of people for so many years, and not a lot of people can say that. I need to thank my family. I couldn’t have made this decision without [them]. I needed them and they were there. And I’ve got to thank Vince McMahon for giving me the opportunity to do what I loved for so many years.
WWE.COM: Speaking of those 10 years, as you begin to look back on your career, what are some of your favorite moments during your time here in WWE?
ROSA: My favorite moment was when I jumped over the barricade. My obsession with Beth Phoenix was just so out of this world that I had to jump over the railing and attack Melina … several times! But then, WWE officials said, “Wow, I think we have a star on our hands.” So that was a big moment.
WWE.COM: Any others that spring to mind?
ROSA: Performing in Costa Rica, in front of my whole entire family. Fifteen thousand people in that arena — I can’t tell you in words what it’s like to perform in front of your family. That was one of my greatest moments.
WWE.COM: What about being on E!’s “Total Divas”?
ROSA: I loved being on reality TV. I loved getting followed around by cameras and everyone staring at me … I gotta say, I just loved the attention [laughs].
WWE.COM: So, obviously your priorities are focused elsewhere right now, but we have learned to never say never in WWE. Could you see yourself returning to the ring one day?
ROSA: Absolutely. Because, I’ll tell you one thing, my passion for [WWE] will never go away, I will always love [it] from the bottom of my heart. It’s something that I’m going to have in my heart forever. You never know, if [my daughter] Jordan wants to be a WWE Superstar … I never got the championship, but I could see her being a champion one day. I’m not going to force her, but I’ll just let her watch WWE. The whole, entire family and I, we watch WWE every week and she jumps up and down [and starts dancing] whenever she hears The New Day.
WWE.COM: Thinking back on the incredible 10-year journey this has been for you, what do you want to say to your supporters in the WWE Universe as you begin this next chapter of your life?
ROSA: I want to say thank you for supporting me all these years. I’m not letting you down, I’m not leaving forever, I’m always going to be around. You can still contact me on Instagram and Twitter. I see all your tweets, and when you were asking me when I would be returning, I didn’t say anything because I wanted this to be a surprise, and this is a positive thing! I don’t want you guys to be sad. I love each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart and soul. Your love has given me the adrenaline rush that I’ve had for so many years walking through those curtains, and I can’t thank you enough for giving me that feeling almost every single day.