Zelina Vega overcame a lot to get to WWE including an eating disorder and losing her father at a young age. But she says someone who has helped her through the tough times is The Rock, who she affectionately calls "my rock." Vega talked to Lilian Garcia on the latest episode of Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia about how she first met The Rock and the role he played in her career.
Vega says she saw The Rock a few years before actually meeting him but she didn't have the guts to approach him. Then she saw him again backstage at Raw when she was a Rosebud and he was doing a segment with Rusev and Lana.
That's when she told him her story about her father who worked in the World Trade Center and died in the 9/11 attacks. Both Vega and her father were big fans of The Rock and she expressed how much he meant to them.
"We have all these amazing memories because of you," Vega told the Rock backstage. "I have some of the best memories with my dad because of you and I just want to say thank you so much because those are the ones I hold really close to me along my journey to get here."
The Rock was taken aback by her comments and actually texted Vega a month later that he had read some articles about her late father. Their friendship continued to grow from there and when Rock signed on to executive produce the Fighting with My Family movie which is based on Paige and her family, he helped Vega land the role of AJ Lee.
"[Rock] called me and was like, 'So I know you've been down and I know you've been thinking maybe you should give up on a few things. But I have this really great project that I'm working on and I think you'd be absolutely perfect,'" Vega told Garcia.
When Rock told her it was the role of AJ Lee, she said that role was perfect because she's known both Lee and Paige for a while. As the only two actual wrestlers involved with the film, Rock even had Vega pick out the stunt double for Paige in the movie.
Rock helped out Vega in so many ways that Vega was honored to be able to help out The Rock when his daughter, Simone, expressed interest in following in her father's footsteps.
"His daughter Simone and I have become so close," said Vega. "She's training now at the Performance Center. She's like, 'I want to learn from you. I knew that I wanted to start wrestling, for sure, when I saw you at Raw [filming] the movie.'"
Simone just turned 17 years old in August and it sounds like she's been thinking about wrestling for a while. Last year she told The Hollywood Reporter that she planned on pursuing a career in wrestling after graduating.
Source: Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia