Thunder Rosa, AEW Dynamite coming to Charleston

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Aug. 16—All Elite Wrestling was founded in 2019, and when it launched its first weekly live television show — AEW Dynamite — that October, among its first venues was the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.

Nearly three years later, the show will return. Dynamite will take place live on TBS Wednesday night. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with dark matches starting at 7 p.m. The live broadcast will hit the air at 8 p.m.

Many of the same wrestling stars AEW fans see every Wednesday night will be there. Among them will be Thunder Rosa, the AEW women's world champion. She made her AEW debut in 2020 and is excited to be part of the brand and its potential.

"We've been at this for three years, we're building it together and we're getting really good players in our division," Rosa said in a phone interview. "I am very proud of all the ladies that are working at AEW and all the excellent work that they are doing. Everybody in their way is trying to make the division better and we're always ready to work together."

Rosa didn't need long to make her mark there. She debuted in August 2020 as the reigning NWA women's world champion. She defended the title twice on AEW television, dropping it to Serena Deeb that November due to interference by Dr. Britt Baker.

Baker won the AEW women's world title the following May, then lost it to Rosa in a steel cage match this past March.

The title win was just the latest in a long line of success in a short amount of time for Rosa, who broke into pro wrestling in 2014 and has won 13 championships in eight years.

Rosa definitely paid her dues and, as is often the case, met her share of doubters along the way. It carried her at the start and still does today.

"Nothing was given to me," she said. "I was told so many times that I didn't belong, and that made me even more mad about it and more upset about it. Having so many people not trusting in what I could do really (ticked) me off and I was like, 'Yep, I'm going to go do it and shut everybody up.' ... Just think about it. There is people that have been in the business for 15, 20 years that have never achieved the amount of success that I have achieved in the last eight years.

"You can't compare yourself with anybody's journey, but this is my journey. And my journey from the get go was that I was going to be the most successful I could be because I was older. I already had a career before so I kind of knew what I needed to do to be successful, but I always took advantage of every single opportunity."

Rosa was actually in social work as a therapeutic behavioral counselor after graduating from UC-Berkeley. She worked with young adults from the ages of 18 and 26 who were struggling with mental health problems, alcoholism and drug addiction.

Life was actually going in a direction she wanted, and she was even working toward her masters degree in social work. But she couldn't resist the call of pro wrestling, both for the fact it was something she loved ("It became like a drug, kinda/sorta," she said) and for the financial benefits.

"'Oh, I can pay my bills with wrestling? OK, never mind. I'm just going to do wrestling,'" she said.

But it's about far more than the money for Rosa. She said with her success and with being champion comes responsibilities that she happily accepts.

"Every time that I meet with fans, especially Latina girls and Latina women of all ages — even the men — the fact that they comment that, 'I am so happy that I have someone who represents me, who looks like me,' makes me so proud of who I am and where I come from," she said.

Wednesday promises to be a memorable night for AEW fans in the Mountain State.

Bryan Danielson and Daniel Garcia will meet in a rematch from their first bout on the July 27 episode of Dynamite that ended in an upset win for Garcia. In a World Trios Championship tournament match, the Young Bucks have been trying to recruit a partner for their bout against Andrade El Idolo, Rush and Dragon Lee.

AEW world champion CM Punk made his return from injury at last week's Quake by the Lake episode of Dynamite and the show ended with him going face-to-face with interim world champion Jon Moxley.

Then there's Thunder Rosa, who recently has been working with Toni Storm to form the team of ThunderStorm. Last week it was revealed that Storm is the No. 1 contender to Thunder Rosa's championship now that Kris Statlander is out of action due to injury.

Tickets are still available at starting at $29. There will also be tapings for AEW Rampage, which appears on TNT Friday nights at 10 p.m.

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