She was born Amanda Saccomanno and is known to WWE fans as Mandy Rose, but the 29-year-old was given a much more embarrassing name by her brothers.
“My brothers nicknamed me ‘Hamburgers,’” said. “I grew up with three older, protective Italian brothers. They teased me a lot, but they helped mold me into the tough person I am today.”
The childhood nickname was given to her at the age of only six, while she was enjoying a McDonald’s hamburger with her family. Her mother was surprised that she was hungry for a second, and her brothers wanted to know just how many burgers she wanted to eat.
“I said I could eat 100 hamburgers,” said Saccomanno. “They thought that was the funniest thing. From then on, I was ‘Hamburgers.’ We still laugh about it now.”
The 29-year-old Westchester, N.Y., native continues to bring a vibrant spirit to her projects, though she has moved on from hamburgers. In addition to their work in the ring, she and Sonya Deville have teamed up to search for the best glazed donut in the world, posting a new video each week. They have also created their own health-conscious donut, and even sell merchandise on their Damandyz Donutz website.
“It’s especially cool for us to show a different side of our personalities to wrestling fans who only see our characters on SmackDown,” said Saccomanno. “This show is more Mandy and Daria, showing people who we are outside of wrestling.”
Food has always been an integral part of life for Saccomanno, from family meals to working with—and tasting—the Italian cold cuts and cheeses in her father’s deli.
“I am a big believer in balance,” said Saccomanno. “I went through all the rigorous training and dieting for my bikini training, but I also want to enjoy life.”
After winning the World Beauty Fitness & Fashion Bikini Championship, Saccomanno competed on Tough Enough in 2015, a series that featured future stars in Patrick Clark (Velveteen Dream), Chelsea Green and Daria Berenato (Sonya Deville). Her work on the show led to her break with WWE. She spent two years honing her craft in NXT before her 2018 call-up to the main roster. Despite the unrelenting travel schedule, Saccomanno has remained active outside the ring, showcasing entrepreneurial skills that only serve to enhance her brand.
She built her own fitness app, Fit with Mandy, and is also in the process of creating a brand new skin care line, Amarose.
“I want to make sure I have plans for post-WWE, which is a long time from now but it’s still good to be prepared,” said Saccomanno. “Fitness is my first love. I’ve been developing this over the past year, and it’s a bunch of my favorite workout exercises. The design is set up for all different skill levels for all different ages. It’s an at-home program. I’m always on the road traveling, so it’s designed for people who can’t get to the gym but still want to work out.
“And the skin care line, Amarose, is launching soon. There will be four different products—a lifting eye gel, lifting serum, a beauty boost cleanser and a boosting moisturizer. I’ve always wanted to get involved in beauty and skincare, and I’m so grateful that I’m able to because of hard work and determination.”
Saccomanno is making the most of her time, especially with a full-time schedule, but the highlight of her life on the road is spending time with tag partner Sonya Deville.
“Our bond was created the day we met on Tough Enough, and it’s even stronger now,” said Saccomanno, who received some quality television time alongside Deville on this week’s SmackDown in a tag loss to the Kabuki Warriors. “We’re best friends, we’re inseparable. We lived together when we were in NXT, and then we were called up together. It’s been an amazing journey, and it’s been so nice that we’ve been able to do it together. It’s a true friendship.”
Working with Deville has allowed Saccomanno a chance to provide a voice to a portion of the fan base that has not always had strong representation.
“Sonya has opened up a huge light for me,” said Saccomanno. “Now that we travel so much together around the world, she’s helped me open up and be so involved in the LGBTQ community. I want to show my support for GLAAD, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.”
Saccomanno is clear about her goals for the Mandy Rose character, which has continued to evolve since her WWE debut. She wants a tag team title reign with Deville, as well as an opportunity to add layers to Rose’s on-screen persona.
“This past year, I was able to show off the seductive side of my character, but that was only the beginning,” said Saccomanno. “Down the road, another goal is to be the SmackDown women’s champion.
“And Sonya Deville and I will keep working until we win the tag team titles. We have really good chemistry, work so well together, and we’re going to keep building our characters until we get those titles. Those are big goals, but they’re attainable.”
Saccomanno continues to set new goals for herself, making a habit of stretching beyond limits that previously appeared unreachable. Her work in the ring is the final ingredient to elevate her into a different range of superstardom, and she plans to seize the moment.
“I didn’t come from a wrestling background, but I’m just as passionate about this even though my path to get here was different than most,” said Saccomanno. “I am extremely grateful for my fan base, I appreciate it all so much, and there is much more to come. I hope people are ready for the ride.”