Interviews

Published on July 15th, 2019 | by Landon Buford

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WWE Superstar Sonya Deville Talks About Having Her Own Float During Pride Month & Her Interest In Broadcasting

Courtesy of WWE

Daria Berenato better known as WWE Superstar, Sonya Deville is in a lane of her own. The WWE Superstar has been championed the first-ever openly Gay member of the LBGTQ community to be employed by the wrestling and entertainment conglomerate.

Earlier this year, Berenato along with the WWE partnered with the Ft. Lauderdale 2019 Pride Parade and led her “Sonya Deville” parade float during the festivities. She also has aspirations of following in the footsteps of WWE legends turned mainstream actors Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena, as she pursues international stardom.

Following her appearance on the reality competition show known as “Tough Enough,” featuring 11,000 girls competing for 13 elite spots, and also her venue where she decided to come out on National Television, where she would meet her future teammate partner, friend, and travel buddy Mandy Rose. The two WWE Superstars share East coast roots and their love for wrestling have made them inseparable on and off-screen.

When they are not wrestling the duo produce a bi-weekly web series on YouTube entitled “DAMANDYZ DONUTS,” which is a show where the two WWE Superstars review donuts in each city they travel to throughout the year. They are very aware of the extreme pressure of sticking to a routine of a healthy diet for women to contain a certain look and combat those stereotypes by showing that you can maintain a well-balanced diet, and be in excellent shape.

Berenato spoke with The Hype Magazine about how the process between WWE and the Ft. Lauderdale Pride Parade came together. She also hinted about possibly pursuing a career in broadcasting once her career in wrestling is done.

You led her own “Sonya Deville” parade float at the Ft. Lauderdale 2019 Pride Parade earlier this year. Can you talk about how that came about for you?

Being a part of a pride parade, in general, is something I wanted to do for a couple of years now.  I always wanted to collaborate with WWE on it. It was just something special that home town parade happened to be coming up when I was looking into it. I think it would just be exciting if I could be part of it somehow, and never thought I would get my own float. As we started to reach out to the person in charge of the parade. He was very excited, loved wrestling and thought it would be a great message to have the first openly gay WWE Superstar in the parade and then proceeded to ask if I would like my own float? I was super excited and I rallied my friends and family along with my girlfriend to come down to help me decorate the float.  It turned out to be such a fun experience.

Last month was “Pride Month” can you share what it means to you being a part of the LBGTQ community?

It is super cool to be apart of the LBGTQ community working side by side with WWE to make big strides. This year was the first year WWE participated in “Pride Month.” They did a whole package on Pat Patterson that was beautiful. They also did a rainbow photoshoot that 80 percent of the  WWE Superstar participated in, whoever was around jumped in the shoot and was glad to help. I was also in the New York City Pride Parade called the “New York World Pride March” on the Glad Float. It is very exciting to be working with a company, that is open to so much diversity and it is pioneering the movement for equality inclusion and WWE is at the forefront of it. Wrestling is the land that everyone fits in and glad to now be working with them to make all of these changes.

Mandy Rose and yourself, have a YouTube series called DAMANDYZ DONUTS. Can you share how you both came up with the concept?

Mandy and I are extreme foodies and we don’t believe in depriving ourselves. We are firm believers that life is all about balance and the same goes for fitness and health. So, we don’t believe in counting every macro-nutrient that we eat, which consists of a well-balanced diet. Donuts has been one of our cheat meals since we first met in NXT and Tough Enough four years ago. When start going on the road for Monday Night Raw, we eat donuts bi-weekly, why not start a YouTube series where eat donuts and we rate them. It would be something fun to do while on the road. Didn’t really take it that series, in the beginning, we just thought it would just be fun to do, and then it manifested into this huge online YouTube series.

I swear I feel I am more known for our donut series than my wrestling, which is crazy, but I was doing a signing event during WrestleMania week in Brooklyn.  Most of the fans that came up to me and said I love your donut show and  I think it has a mind of its own. Now, Mandy and I have made it into a side venture for the two of us. We are really excited about possibly expanding in the future turning “DAMANDYZ DONUTS” into a brand of our own. But, for right now we are on the hunt for the best-glazed donuts and that’s where it all starts.

Do you plan to expand by bringing on WWE Superstars?

We had The IIconics on, The New Day, Lana, and a bunch of WWE Superstars on and that’s what makes the show super exciting because every week is something different. Every week is a different town and a different vibe because sometimes we are in small towns. However, there are so many great mom and pop donut shops and other times like when we went to Chicago and were able to find a donut shop while we were there. So, we decided to do a deep dish pizza episode instead.  So, it really allows us to keep things fresh and different every week. It is something to do on the road while we are traveling city to city.

Which city, state, or country has had the best donuts thus far?

Lafayette, Louisiana by far has the best donuts and I will never forget it. It was pouring rain and it was one of those Mandy run in and get the donuts and I stay in the car or vice versa. It was also in a bad area too, and we were like I don’t know about this place. She comes back with the donuts, and literally, the best have we ever tasted. We are more into the airy-fluffy donuts compare to the cake donuts and that’s what these were.

Courtesy of WWE

You and Mandy debuted on Raw back in November of 2017 as a part of Paige’s return. Things with her in-ring career didn’t go the way she wanted, but if you could have one last singles match with Paige what would it be?

I would say falls count anywhere match because Paige is like a secret brawler. She can get down and nasty. I think if we had a falls count anywhere match, we would have some vicious strike exchanges.

You and Mandy have been in numerous tag team matches in the past, when do you think we could see in the title picture?

The cool thing about Mandy and I, we’re fierce and are strong competitors individually. However,  we are even stronger when we come together. So, whenever we get our chance to get our hands on those tag team titles they will be ours. So, maybe they are looking out for what’s best for them right now, The IIconics are being smart and strategic by not getting in our way.

What our title would like to see in the women’s division?

I never thought about, but maybe an International Championship because we have a diverse roster of women between NXT, Raw, and Smackdown. I think an International Championship would be cool.

Where would like to see your storyline in the future?

Sonya is in a place where she is always evolving and there is a lot of depth to her that people haven’t seen yet. I would like to see her come into her own in the future. She has been a part of the faction Absolution and now she is with Mandy Rose. Sonya has no intentions of getting rid of Mandy, but I think in the future, she will spread her wings and fly.

You said in the past, your dream match would be against Asuka. Is that still the case and if so what type of match will it be?

Yeah! Asuka has been my favorite opponent since I started wrestling in NXT. Our striking styles just match up very well with one another. She is also a grappler and can work with me on the ground as well. I just want time with Asuka 15 to 20 minutes inside the square circle and that’s it.

What type of storyline would like to have with Ronda Rousey if she returns to WWE? Since you both have an MMA background?

I would like to kick her a** for trying to take my spot. Period!

You were the host of your own podcast on After Buzz TV during your MMA days. Have you thought about going into broadcasting after time in wrestling is over?

It’s funny because broadcasting has been something I always enjoyed doing. It has always come naturally to me and is something I really enjoy doing. I really want to thank After Buzz for being there because of the experience they provided me. When you are an on-camera interviewer, it takes a certain poise, confidence, and intelligence to do something like that. It was really difficult at first, but helped get me to where I am today.  So, I definitely attribute a lot of my success to After Buzz, but I won’t rule anything out. Acting is something that I wanted to do since I was 14 years old. So, Hollywood is definitely not a far fetch idea post-wrestling.

What are your thoughts about Kevin Owens segment at the beginning of Smackdown Live?

I love it! I love stuff like that raw and real stuff that the fans can watch and say ” wait is he serious?” That’s the stuff that I want to do and the stuff that I like. It is something that I have always enjoyed about wrestling and Kevin Owens, in my opinion, is one of the most talented Superstars inside and outside of the ring because he is so believable. I feel like he is the fan and what I mean by that is, he can embody the voice of the people watching on television and in the audience. So, yeah, I thought it was awesome!

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About the Author

Washington State Graduate Past Interviews include Grammy Award Winner Kenny G, David Banner, WNBA President Lisa Borders, What's Trending's CEO Shira Lazar, Ice Cube, NBC's Chicago PD LaRoyce Hawkins, Family Matters Darius McCrary, En Vogues Maxine Jones, Team USA Track & Field Member Norris Frederick, James Kyson, WNBA Great Lauren Jackson, and more.


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