Video: Raquel Rodriguez Wins WWE SmackDown Debut

Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX saw Raquel Rodriguez (fka Raquel Gonzalez) make her official blue brand in-ring debut.

Rodriguez defeated enhancement talent Cat Cardoza in a match that was dominated by the former WWE NXT Women’s Champion.

Cardoza was actually current OVW Women’s Champion Leila Grey, competing in her first match for WWE. Grey has worked 15 AEW matches, 14 being on Elevation or Dark, since debuting with a loss to Tay Conti in March 2021. She has lost all 15 matches. Her last AEW match was her Rampage debut on March 6, where lost Serena Deeb’s 5-Minute Rookie Challenge.

Grey tweeted after the match and called it a dream come true.

“DREAM COME TRUE TONIGHT [exclamation emoji] I made my #WWESmackdown debut and it was nothing short of AMAZING! Thank you @WWE for giving this little girl from Queens, NY an opportunity to perform on the grandest stage. It was truly an honor. #LeilaGrey #CatCardoza #WWE #Smackdown,” Grey wrote.

As seen in the video below, Rodriguez was interviewed by a WWE camera man after the win. She was asked how it feels to be able to say you’re now a SmackDown Superstar.

“Words can’t even describe it,” Rodriguez said. “All I can say is, like, for the past years that I’ve started at NXT and been with WWE, I have literally dreamed of this moment, I’ve dreamed of this match, I’ve dreamed of walking through the curtain, hearing my music and looking around in a giant coliseum, at thousands of people and just seeing them just smile and cheer for me. I looked in the mirriro before walking out and I was like, ‘You did this, you got here Raquel!’ You’re here because of you, and because you never quit.'”

“Never say never, it’s freakin’ awesome,” Rodriguez added at the end.

Gonzalez debuted on the April 8 SmackDown episode, and has teased a potential feud with Natalya. There’s no word on what WWE has planned next for her, but we will keep you updated.

Below is footage and a few photos of Rodriguez and her post-show interview, along with Grey’s full tweet: