On the June 8 edition of All Elite Wrestling (AEW) Dynamite, Thunder Rosa successfully defended her AEW Women’s World Championship against Marina Shafir, but it didn’t come without controversy.
Thunder Rosa was accused by fans of sandbagging Shafir throughout the match, creating a few choppy moments. Thunder Rosa appeared on MMA Fighting’s The MMA Hour Wednesday and denied the sandbagging accusations. She said she has great respect for her opponents in the squared circle and will work harder to have better matches in the future.
“No [the sandbagging accusations aren’t true]… I have nothing but respect for my opponents,” Thunder Rosa said. “Nothing but respect for my opponents. For anyone that dares to stand in the ring with me, I have nothing but respect for my opponents. And I send them nothing but blessings.
“Moving on forward, I will continue to work harder to have the best matches I can bring, and bring the most opportunities to all the women that are behind me, so that when they step in the ring with me they’re like, ‘Ok, cool.’ Like I said, people are gonna talk, and that’s fine. I’m not worried about it. I will continue to move forward, and I will continue to show with my body of work what I am all about. That’s all I have to say.”
In one of the spots highlighted by fans, Shafir attempted to execute a standard suplex, but appeared to have trouble hoisting Thunder Rosa up to deliver the maneuver. She eventually hit the suplex, although it hardly resembled the iconic suplexes done by the late great Eddie Guerrero.
Shafir and former AEW Women’s World Champion Britt Baker stirred the controversy up further after they each liked a fan’s tweet accusing Thunder Rosa of sandbagging. Thunder Rosa was asked about her relationship with Baker and said the two have always had great matches together. Thunder Rosa defeated Baker inside a steel cage to win the title on the March 16 episode of AEW Dynamite.
“I have respect for my opponents, every single opponent I meet in there,” Thunder Rosa said. “Every time we’ve been in the ring, we’ve been fine. We’ve had great matches.”
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