WWE wrestler Zelina Vega.

WWE wrestler Zelina Vega. Credit: WWE / MIKE MARQUES

There are several reasons why WWE’s return to Madison Square Garden this Sunday will be extra special for Zelina Vega —not the least of which is the uncertainty over the future of live events in the building amid the latest COVID-19 spike.

"I think it’s in the back of everybody’s mind," Vega said of the pandemic, which has again triggered the cancellation of several live events in New York. WWE’s "Holiday Tour" event remains on MSG’s schedule, with all entrants ages 5 and over required to show proof of vaccination.

"With everything going on, we’re just trying our hardest to be as safe as possible," said Vega, who hopes WWE can remain on the road, but is bracing for all possibilities. "And if things are closing down, you’ve got to abide by those rules and just do the best that you can, because ultimately, it’s not up to us. If it would be, everybody would be healthy and we’d go do these shows like we always do."

As a Queens native, Vega has other reasons to be motivated about performing at the Garden on Sunday. She was originally scheduled to take part in WWE’s Sept. 10 event at MSG, which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center that took the life of her father, Michael Trinidad. But her segment had to be cut from the show because of time constraints.

"You can’t really predict what’s going to happen. It’s part of the business," said Vega, who has previously disclosed receiving an apology from WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. "It’s nice when you have that kind of perspective and understanding, and you also have a boss that is understanding of your feelings, even well after the fact."

Since that date, Vega has achieved several career milestones—in October winning the first WWE "Queen’s Crown" tournament, and last month capturing the women’s tag team championship in Brooklyn with her partner Carmella.

On Sunday—the day before her birthday—Vega said she’ll celebrate her accomplishments, and the holidays, with several family members from New York at ringside, and her dad on her mind.

"Any time I’m in New York, I’m always thinking about that," she said. "It’s always about my family when I go there."

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LI unemployment rate up . . . Day trip to Ocean Beach . . . Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV

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