Zelina Vega reveals apology phone call from WWE chairman Vince McMahon after her match was cut from 9/11 anniversary SmackDown

When Zelina Vega departed WWE in November 2020, it was hard to imagine a year later she’d return to the company and become their inaugural Queen’s Crown winner.

But that’s exactly what the New York native did and now she heads into Survivor Series this weekend with arguably the biggest momentum of her entire career.

Zelina Vega made an unlikely climb back to the upper echelons of WWE

Speaking to talkSPORT ahead of the last of WWE’s ‘Big Four’ in 2021, Vega explained how surreal the turn of events have been.

“To say I wasn’t with the company last year and now I’m here and the Queen of all things in WWE, if that’s not proof that anything in this world can happen, I don’t know what is! 

“Never did I think that was going to be possible and WWE did such a great job of making opportunities for not just the men, but the women too. 

“Since I was four years old I wanted to make history and be in WWE. Now to sit here and say I’m actually doing that is mind blowing,” Vega explained.

There was certainly magic between Andrade and Zelina Vega from NXT up to the main roster

The 30 year old has always wanted to wrestle more, but her excellent promo abilities captured everyone’s imagination before she had a chance to in WWE – including Triple H.

“Back in NXT, Triple H said ‘I know you want to be a wrestler and it’s something you’ve wanted for a long time, but I think we start here. We start here and then this will evolve and you’ll get the opportunity to do that too. I just see something with you and him [Andrade], lightning struck and we need to explore this.’ 

“I’m so glad that I got that opportunity to work as a manager, get the experiences I had and the advice from people like Paul Heyman. It’s been amazing,” Vega said.

Vega tragically lost her father during the 9/11 terrorist attacks that transpired in New York back in 2001. WWE ran a show at Madison Square Garden in New York on the 20 year anniversary of the attacks this year.

Vega paying tribute to her father

On the show, Vega had been slated to compete and fans everywhere were excited to show their support for Vega on a difficult day, in her hometown no less. But, at the last minute, Vega’s match was cut from the show and fans were upset the superstar could be treated in such a way given the significance of the date.

While disappointing, Vega told talkSPORT that McMahon went out of his way to apologise for the last second change and it purely came down to time.

“A lot of people were really upset, but I felt like a lot of the anger was misguided,” Vega explained. “I was disappointed, but I also knew it wasn’t a personal thing. 

“If you knew, and obviously a lot of the fans don’t know that the show goes in an order, the way that it went timewise, it got too close and they had to cut it. 

Zelina Vega has surged forward every since the missed 9/11 show

“When it got cut, Vince called me and apologised because he wanted to make sure that I knew ‘listen, this wasn’t done to you personally or anything, it was literally just this [the time], I had to make that call and I’m so sorry.’ And people don’t know that side either.

“I love and appreciate my fans so, so much. I wish I could just squish their little faces. Because sometimes people can feel like they’re part of the machine and it’s no big deal and the fans probably don’t give a crap, but the outpouring of love I felt that day – and a bunch of other days to – is incredible. 

“Without the fans we’d literally be nowhere. Just know it wasn’t something done personally to me. To have a boss to care enough to call you and go ‘look I’m sorry’, that’s important.”

Make sure you tune into Survivor Series live on BT Sport from 1am Sunday November 21 and WrestleMania 38 travel packages for April 2 & 3 at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas are on sale NOW