Chris Jericho’s guest on this week’s “Talk Is Jericho” podcast is AEW referee Aubrey Edwards. Fans know her from her work as a referee on All Elite Wrestling shows Dynamite and Dark, plus as a co-host of the AEW Unrestricted Podcast.
Jericho and Edwards talk about her life as a dancer before pro wrestling, why she doesn’t use her real name, working the Mae Young Classic, and more.
On her training school for refs:
“All of my students are female. I train refs up in Seattle. I have a few students. I have one trans, male to female and then two other girls and they are all fantastic. Representation matters. I’m seeing it every day. One of my students drives up from Portland, three hours from Portland to Seattle to train with me because she saw me at Double or Nothing. Hearing things like that is a big deal.”
Her background in dance:
“I danced for 20 years. I did a lot of classical ballet training which there are actually a lot of similarities. There is the whole, being in the theatre aspect, understanding the show, the hierarchy, the direction, and knowing your role and how you are supposed to fit into the bigger picture.”
Aubrey wanted to be a ref:
“I was getting too old. I was tired of waking up sore and it wasn’t my primary source of income. I stepped away from dance and then got super depressed. I did not realize how important performing was to my mental health as a way to express myself. I had a buddy who said we are looking for more refs locally. We think you would be a good fit. I wasn’t a wrestling fan as a kid. All of my friends were into The Rock and Stone Cold. I watched it and knew nothing about wrestling.
I was googling the Undertaker. I thought this is entertaining. Then there was the whole CM Punk pipe bomb. That was the thing that hooked me because I realized it is all storytelling. You are using your body in a new way to tell a story. Immediately, I was hooked. I dove into indies. I started traveling to wrestling shows. I did everything like a hardcore fan. My husband trained as a wrestler.
He had been wrestling about a year and a half at that point, so we worked together a couple times. He recently retired. He’s a lot older than I am. They asked me to try it and I did and I sucked. I needed work. I started training. Two months later, I did my first show in July 2017. I started branching out. I did a lot of work in the Vancouver area. “
Working the Mae Young Classic:
“Their lady ref, Jessica, who just got moved up to SmackDown started reffing the same time I did…We both had mutual friends..They started talking about wanting more refs at the Mae Young Classic. She reached out to me and said if this was something I would be interested in. I said yes. I did a tryout…they like me and brought me in for the Mae Young Classic. I did a road loop with them and then did their all women PPV. I did the Battle Royal. I worked a total of 16 days.”
How Aubrey got her ring name:
“My name is Brittany. One of the things I noticed on the indies is they throw me in the women’s match. There are either people who don’t think that a woman should referee a men’s match or they like the image of only women in the ring. I typically worked the women’s matches. I thought I’m probably going to cross paths with Britt Baker at some point or another. I should probably come up with a different name to limit confusion. I introduced myself as Aubrey, but I prefer Brittany backstage. My dad’s name was Edward Aubert, so my name is Aubrey Edwards.”