Rosa Mendes was a mainstay in WWE for nearly a decade before the vivacious wrestler/manager announced her retirement a year ago.
Some of the highlights of Mendes' career in WWE include managing tag-team champions Primo and Epico, serving as Fandango's dance partner and being a cast member for a couple seasons on WWE's "Total Divas" reality series on E! She also won a Slammy Award for Best Use of Exercise Equipment (remember the
These days, Mendes -- whose real name is Milena Roucka -- is focused on raising her 2-year-old daughter, Jordan, and growing her business,
Totally Fit Mama
, which offers healthy meal plans and at-home workouts.
I recently caught up with Mendes, who will be appearing at MCW Pro Wrestling's
show at the MCW Arena in Joppa, Md., Feb. 17.
It's been one year since you officially announced your retirement from WWE. Do you miss performing and being in front of a crowd?
Rosa Mendes: I miss the WWE fans and my co-workers more than anything. Deciding to retire was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make in my life.
Do you still watch WWE? If so, what are your thoughts on the "women's revolution?"
RM: I absolutely love it. My daughter is only 2 and she's watching these strong, athletic role models. I'm happy that she will grow up looking up to them. She loves the matches and jumps up and down with excitement.
What are some of your favorite memories from your time in WWE, and who are some of the people you especially enjoyed working with?
RM: All of the girls are so unique and different that I can't pinpoint one match and one particular moment, because I had so many great experiences. WWE female superstars are extraordinary women. WWE has done such an amazing job finding women that have the most unbelievably dedicated work ethic and knowledge. The sacrifices and hard work that it takes to become a superstar and to make it on TV, it's more than a lot of the [fans] know about. I'm glad that "Total Divas" and "Total Bellas" can show them a bit of what it's like behind the scenes. My favorite memories in WWE? I feel like I need to write a book, because I've had so many amazing memories and funny stories that I would love to share -- 10 years of them! (laughs)
Do you still keep in touch with any of the people you worked with in WWE?
RM: I pretty much stay in contact with everyone I've worked with. They have been such a big part of my life.
Paige said on Lilian Garcia's podcast recently that you reached out to her when she was having a tough time and got her in touch with a therapist. Can you talk about that and what the status is of your relationship with Paige today? Was your friendship strained at one point?
RM: Paige and I are soul sisters. She has a heart of gold. When friends go through hard times, it's important to be there for them, but it's also important to step away when they need space. If your friendship is strong enough to withstand obstacles, then I feel that those obstacles will bring you closer together. I'm so happy that her and I reconnected. When I was going through my own problems, [Natalya] was there for me, and I don't know what I would have done without her at that time in my life. She's been a true friend for so many years. That's what being a true friend is all about -- being there when someone needs you, not when their friendship can benefit you.
What was it like being on "Total Divas" and having a camera following you around all the time?
RM: I loved it! I would love to return for a cameo. I love sharing my life with the world. My life hasn't really calmed down since my retirement, so I would welcome the cameras back any time.
Tell us about your life post-WWE. Has motherhood changed you or your perspective on things?
RM: Absolutely. I had this discussion with Brie [Bella]. To be a WWE superstar, you're a Type A personality, which means you turn into a Type A mom, housewife, homemaker, business woman. I want Jordan to always be comfortable, to always be happy, to always have everything she needs. At first, I put so much pressure on myself, because your baby isn't always going to be happy and comfortable, and you have to learn to emotionally accept that and do the best you can. Brie is an amazing mom, and I know that Maryse is going to be a supermom, too. It's embedded in us.
Have you and your fiancé (musician and clothing company owner Bobby Schubenski) set a wedding date?
We haven't. Bobby and I are so focused on our careers and Jordan that we have decided that maybe marriage isn't for us at this time. My business partner Courtney and I are working hard on so many projects for Totally Fit Mama. 2018 is a big year for us. We are launching our e-book in a couple of weeks and experimenting with a lot of different recipes. I've connected with an extremely talented fashion director and we are working on completely revamping my brand. Being a mother and having a business that you're so passionate about doesn't really give you time for anything else. Bobby just launched the
with Paige, and it's exploding. They are also working on some more launches for the brand. We have literally been immersed in our daughter and work. It's so hard to balance a relationship at the same time. Building a foundation for Jordan means everything to us. She is our No. 1 priority.
How often are you doing appearances on indy shows, like the one you have coming up on Feb. 17 for MCW Pro Wrestling?
RM: I absolutely love them, but I need to be selective because it takes time away from my daughter and my business. The Four Horsemen will be there! I couldn't pass this opportunity up for a second. I can't wait to see them again.
Will we ever see you back in the ring one day?
RM: Never say never!
Any final words for your fans, especially those who will be coming to meet you on Feb. 17?
RM: This show is going to be epic. I can't tell you how excited I am to see all of you and meet you. Thank you for always supporting me and loving me since Day One. Your love has motivated me to be the best role model for my little girl, and I can't thank you enough for that.