Zelina Vega Explains How She Sold Vince McMahon On Anime Reference

WWE star Zelina Vega is very open about her anime fandom, from her various cosplays to actually incorporating elements of anime into her onscreen presentation. During an appearance on the "That's Dope!" podcast, Vega elaborated on how her love of anime had bled over into her WWE character.

"I had Neil Kaplan, who's the English voice actor for ["Naruto" character] Madara [Uchiha] — I had him do my entrance music," Vega said. "When you hear the music start, you hear his voice as Madara saying, 'All hail the Queen, Queen Zelina,' and then the music would start."

Vega also revealed that there was a particular way she had to sell Vince McMahon on getting Kaplan involved. The Queen of the Ring winner told McMahon it was an opportunity to connect the world of WWE with anime and gaming, but that still wasn't enough for the former head of creative.

"'Naruto' is like the WWE of anime, and he's like 'Okay, I like 'Naruto,”" Vega continued. "So I was like 'Madura is kind of like what Paul Heyman is to Roman [Reigns],' and he was like, 'We need it.'" After only a few days, the arrangement was struck, and Vega's entrance subsequently featured the voice of the "Naruto" villain.

Vega also shared that she once asked McMahon if she could "Naruto run" to the ring, referencing the specific way the anime character raises his arms behind his back as he runs. That element of the show, however, did not wind up being incorporated in Vega's character. According to Vega, McMahon also thought CrunchyRoll, the popular anime streaming service, was a type of sushi.