After her swan song as NXT women's champion, WWE abruptly released Mandy Rose, leaving her pro-wrestling future in question.
On the latest episode of NXT, Roxanne Perez ended the head of Toxic Attraction's 413-day reign. It was a monumental achievement for The Prodigy that marked a changing of the guard for the developmental brand. Unfortunately, Rose's controversial exit dominated the news cycle on Thursday.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter: "She's had the subscription service, and it got popular and lucrative. She went further and further, and the feeling was that she way, way, way crossed the line. They believe that they had absolutely no choice but to get rid of her in that situation. Again, everyone's situation is different. They promised sponsors a cleaner product as far as who the people are."
A major title loss would usually signal an end to someone's time with NXT. Apparently, Perez was a last-minute decision because WWE had already planned to release the former champion.
It's an abnormal situation, but Rose is seemingly still in good spirits. PWInsider reported that she posted the following message on her FanTime account: "Hey guys, thank you for all the messages. I am overwhelmed with all the love and support from you guys. And don't worry the page is still up! ;)"
We should also note that the woman Corey Graves deemed "God's Greatest Creation" could potentially return to WWE someday. Bryan Alvarez stated that he was under the impression that the company hadn't closed on the idea.
There is even a precedent for this because Zelina Vega went through a similar situation in 2020. Although her third-party content wasn't explicit, she was welcomed back eight months later.
Stranger things have happened. If she doesn't end up back with WWE after the dust settles, let's look at two more options for Rose.
An Unlikely Call-up to Another Brand
The former NXT women's champion is in a better position than some fans might initially think. Her character change may have been divisive, but it's impossible to deny that going back to the developmental stage was a successful move.
The 32-year-old auspiciously reinvented herself and essentially became the face of the brand. Many on-air segments centered around Toxic Attraction, and the stable held all of its women's titles.
As such, the trio seemed destined to finish up and make a big splash on the main roster next year. Instead, Rose is in a unique situation as a wrestler who just experienced the best run of her career.
Her stint with NXT proved that she could thrive given the right opportunity and environment to continue to grow. Even more, the controversy ironically allowed her to leave before WWE booked her in a smaller role, and she's probably more popular than ever.
This would make her an intriguing addition to All Elite Wrestling's women's division. She could immediately offer the company someone with name recognition and significant buzz. Even more, Rose would add variety to a roster that primarily focuses on work rate and grounded characters.
Some of AEW's core fanbase may reject her. However, it would give Tony Khan the chance to introduce a heel character that immediately clashes with his established babyfaces and subdued presentation.
It wouldn't even be a bad idea to lean into her superficial traits and play up the fact that she would be coming in with more success than other women he signed. Rose would probably stand out like a sore thumb, but that could be an advantage because she brings something drastically different to the table.
There is also a bevy of fresh matchups for her and names from WWE she has experience working with. Given their time together as Absolution, Saraya quickly comes to mind as a potential opponent.
Could Mandy Rose Enter the Impact Zone
Impact Wrestling would also be a terrific option for the Yorktown Heights, New York, native. The Knockouts division is consistently a highlight of its programming.
The company also utilizes most of its women better than its competitors, so Scott D'Amore and Gail Kim would likely find an ideal spot for her. Her persona would also be a more natural fit because Impact has done other acts in that wheelhouse.
This may not be the most glamorous move for Rose, but it would allow her to continue to build up a substantial body of work. Working with names like Jordynne Grace, Masha Slamovich, Killer Kelly, Su Yung and Giselle Shaw could be a nice change of pace as well.
Signing with Impact helped Deonna Purrazzo turn her release into a remarkable success story in 2020. It could be just as beneficial for Rose. In fact, she has a bit of a head start because she doesn't have to recreate her mystique as The Virtuoso did.
Wherever she goes, Rose can say she went out on top as the third-longest reigning women's champion in NXT history. More to the point, she can legitimately claim she redefined the brand in her image.
Her status may seem dire now, but the NXT star will land on her feet. It's a safe bet that she will eventually head back to WWE. Regardless, she will find a way to get back on TV in 2023 even if it's with a new home. She has proved she is willing to take setbacks in stride and exceed expectations, which makes her valuable.