Mel Cervantes, otherwise known as Kobra Moon and Thunder Rosa, is an independent wrestler who is known as a late bloomer in the wrestling world and continues to defy the odds of success. Despite her late start, the rising independent star has quickly capitalized on the opportunities she has received in such a short period of time that includes early success in Japan and Lucha Underground.
Cervantes has been referred to as “unstoppable” throughout her journey in the wrestling business based on her pure determination to be the best while battling back from adversity. On one occasion after suffering a concussion in Japan, she came back to the ring even stronger and didn’t let her hiatus stop her momentum. During her early years, she was quick to dispel the notion of her being nothing more than a “Ring Girl” without a direction or a home. Now, several years later, she has held numerous titles in a variety of different promotions all while gaining an abundant amount of respect from her fellow peers.
By following the Independent Circuit and their storied careers, I am able to catch up with some of them and conduct an interview from time to time, which allows them to share with us their story. Recently I was able to catch up with Mel and she was gracious enough to put a halt to her busy schedule to discuss her career, future, and accomplishments. This is what she had to say.
* When did your pro wrestling career begin and at what point in your life did you know the wrestling world was where you wanted to live?
My wrestling career begin in Oakland CA in 2013. Becoming a wrestler was never something I planned to do for a living. I just stumbled upon it, wrestling found me and it made me a different person.
* If your wrestling career never took shape, what was your plan B?
Well I was planning to start my Masters Degree in Social Work. I wanted to become a family therapist and work in the community.
* Of the many different promotions you have worked for along the way, what can you tell us about the differences from one to the next?
Depending on the promoter and the area, some of the locker rooms are very chill and accepting. People get along and there is zero drama. Other places people judge you for no reason and they don’t have to say anything, but you see it in their attitude.
* In detail, how would you explain the life on an independent wrestler?
It is a constant hustle, for some is a real struggle. Traveling many hours for shows where sometimes there is a question as to you getting paid or not. Also you have to sacrifice many things in order to achieve “success” such as money, friends, family, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc. You basically have to be obsessed with this life style and accept it for what it is. At least that is what it is like for me.
I’m lucky I have a very supportive husband who keeps me organized and humble in order to give me the opportunity to be able to do so much in such little time.
* Have you ever worked for a less than ideal crowd? If so, how do you keep the interesting.
Honestly that has happened to me a couple of times. I was lucky enough to have a big mouth and I started interacting with one or two guys in the hopes of getting them involved in the match. From them two it trickled down to more people and to the entire crowd by the end of the night.
* With the constant travel and movement that is equated to the Indy lifestyle, what kinds of stories can you share, fortunate and unfortunate?
I’m really blessed to travel quite often. With that being said, my favorite part of traveling is that it gave me the opportunity to reunite with some of my family and friends that I haven’t seen in years. It gave me time to meet some of my nieces and nephews and learn about their lives. I think that in itself is a fortunate person thing for anyone.
* How do you feel when the public perception of a professional wrestler doesn’t take into account the risks and dangers of the job?
At once I was a fan of wrestling and very few times it came to my mind how dangerous this could be for a human being. I understand that this is entertainment and that it is our job to entertain people. You can’t blame the public/ fans for feeling that way or not understanding. However, we have to be aware of the real dangers of this job and enjoy every moment of it.
* How does a wrestler prepare for a upcoming match? How much time is spent beforehand with the opponent?
It depends on the match. I personally take the time to study my opponent to gain the upperhand on their strengths and weaknesses. I like to tell a good story in every match I have and have my fans to remember the match, not just from the moves, but with the story we were able to tell and convey, before and during the match.
How does a wrestler decide on their gimmick? When was Thunder Rosa, Kobra Moon, and the Twizted Sisterz born?
It depends on each person. For me Thunder Rosa is an extension of myself that we created after working in a rehab facility in Oakland named Thunder Road. As for the Tag Team name, we asked the fans after holiday and I became really close to what the team should be called. Many stated that we should be called Twizted Sisterz and we stuck with it.
Kobra Moon is a sole creation of the writers of Lucha Underground. You will have to ask why they named them that.
* Is it a big adjustment to make when becoming a tag team partner? What was one of the biggest changes in preparation?
When you click with someone it is not that hard. We had to learn tag psychology and to work as partners. Now we both know each other better, we study together and train together when we can. You can see that we work well together in the ring, we trust each other and we vibe together super well.
* Were there any obstacles on your journey to the ring? If so, what were they and how did you overcome them?
I think the biggest obstacle is getting your name out there. Although I had been working on TV for two seasons now, establishing myself as a legitimate contender it is important. I continue to work hard in the indies while building strong relationships with promoters and other workers who make things a lot easier. Having a loyal following and interaction with them is extremely crucial for your development. If they are willing to do the word of mouth for you and share your story it will only help you to get booked in various places.