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She’s All That: Yaide, Female Pro-Wrestler and the Fight Scene for Women in Puerto Rico

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Don’t be fooled by her charm. Yaide may seem fragile, but she is a tough pro-wrestler that will take you on a ring any day. With her energy, charisma and talent, Yaide has won the heart and respect of her audience and colleagues very early in her career. Starting out in October 2018, Yaide’s growth in the wrestling scene in Puerto Rico has been nothing but admirable. As a coping mechanism to tackle her diabetes and stay active, Nicole Yaide Romero, started training in Espíritu-Pro-Wrestling Dojo by Mike Mendoza,  where she quickly found in wrestling something more than just a way to keep healthy. Upon noticing her growth and the strength she had acquired, Yaide decided to continue training. 

When she arrived at the Dojo, she felt a bit intimidated, specifically after realizing she was surrounded only by men. She didn’t know anyone there, but confessed that having a familiar femenine figure to look up to would’ve been nice for her.  During her first training session, Yaide explained how she barely made it through the warm up. It was Manny Mendoza’s words, her coach, that motivated her to push through and continue. “Don’t worry, everyone here gives up from the start,” Mendoza told her after he saw her struggling and wanting to quit. This was enough for her to finish her workout because she did not want to be like the rest. Next day of training she was there, ready to keep on going. Eventually, she earned the respect of her male peers, and became close friends with them.

“Wrestling is a tough sport for both men and women. The training is intense and it’s a discipline that requires much more than what you could see on television,” Yaide said.

After only six months of training, an opportunity to debut in the World Wrestling League (WWL) was presented to Yaide. This meant competing against the veteran wrestler  Swing Nancy. When no one else wanted to contend against her, Yaide rose up to the challenge. Although she believed in her training and potential, she did not feel prepared. Yaide knew she still had a lot to learn, but decided to make the best out of the opportunity. After all, experience is the best teacher. In that fight, Yaide found success. She felt the audience’s support and acceptance, despite being new in the game. 

With this experience, and because of her impact on the audience, the WWL continued to call Yaide for more fights. However, Yaide was unavailable after breaking her clavicle, an occurrence that forced her to take a break and recover for a while. Despite being injured, she found ways to continue growing. Sitting down was never an option. After being offered a chance to work with the company backstage, she realized her love for wrestling was much more than her being in the ring. It also proved to her how versatile and talented she is, being able to bring it to the ring, while also being able to help run things behind the scenes. 

Despite dealing with the public eye and its acceptance, Yaide has faced a lot of backlash from other female wrestlers. Between the generational gap, and being a fresh face, she struggled to get support from veteran female wrestlers who might have felt as if she was taking their place. Yaide also felt the need to constantly prove herself to other wrestlers, both male and female, to show that she is more than just a pretty face, and that her abilities and talent are just as strong despite the timing of her entering the wrestling industry. 

“A lot of us (girls), don’t make it in just because we’re pretty. We also have talent. And that is what I want to show,” Yaide believes.

Wrestling in Puerto Rico is not in its best moment ” Wrestling in Puerto Rico is not in its best moment Yaide claims. While wrestling has always been one of Puerto Rico’s main sources of entertainment, it has recently lost funding and interest from the public’s eye. During the 1980’s, wrestling was at its finest. However, she went on to explain that the main issue is how the industry is handling dilemmas and competitions throughout the sport. “Everyone wants to stand out and be the best. However, the most effective way to do that is to be of help and also allow yourself to get help as well,” Yaide commented on the industry. Stepping down on teammates to level up is something that the industry has not recognized that does, in fact, happen and that should be eliminated. Ignoring this problem has led to weakening the industry and wrestlers. Women, specifically, have lost interest in it because these types of problems are not often addressed. 

However, this new generation of both female and male wrestlers are looking to change that. The industry is always on the lookout for new talents, specifically women. There are little to no females right now. There are no girls motivated enough to take wrestling to the next level. “In this industry you have to keep going and keep trying,” she mentioned. Everything Yaide has achieved has needed sacrifice and hard work. Some girls think that, just because they have the face or charisma, it is enough to get them to the ring. However, actually entering the ring as a pro wrestler is also a sacrifice that requires training and bravery.

“Respect is earned. You must respect the industry, for the industry to respect you,” the wrestler stated. 

You can expect anything for Yaide, whether it be on the ring wrestling, hosting fights or even working backstage. Yaide is in love with her sport and aspires to excel in everything that she can. Recently, she was offered the opportunity to be a presenter in  Carlitos Colon’s league  This put Yaide in the spot, where of course she has shined thoroughly. Being the second female presenter to have ever presented in the league, after Lilian García, was a huge honor that came with a lot of pressure. She was thrown on the spot, without clear directions or knowledge, and once again, Yaide transformed a tricky situation into a triumph. 

Although she has worked hard, Yaide recognizes she has not been alone in her journey. She acknowledges the role of Hijo del Enigma, Android 787, among other wrestlers and members of the industry in helping her to get to where she is. You can see more of Yaide through her social media, and in October at Florida presenting various events. Yaide is living in the moment by taking over the wrestling world with her charm and smile, and loving the process by doing so.

José is majoring in Public Relations, Publicity and Journalism. This communication undergraduate student from the UPR Río Piedras campus is an energetic Pisces with a passion for fashion, coming of age films, books, crossfit, and dance. Currently, José is a writer for HerCampus, the Public Relations director at Pulso Estudiantil, and a Account Manager Intern at celevideos.com.
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