Aubrey Edwards has made history during her career as a referee for All Elite Wrestling and she’s the latest guest on Talk Is Jericho. Edwards discussed several topics, ranging from why referees are empowering and how her ballet background helped her transition into her refereeing career.
On why she gets cheered so much:
Edwards: “I mean, you got in my face and I didn’t stand down, and I think, as media, seeing strong women on TV is very empowering. We still don’t get a lot of opportunities to see something like that, and the fact that the referee is the person that has to be listened to, because if you don’t listen to me, I’ll just disqualify you. And that’s the thing, you have to listen to me. There’s nothing more empowering than that. And, I mean, female referees are still very, very new, especially at this higher level, there’s a lot more coming up on the indies.”
On how her ballet background helped her transition into her career as a referee:
Edwards: “I danced for 20 years, so that was the thing, I did a lot of classical ballet training, which there’s actually a lot of similarities. Like, there’s the whole being in the theater aspect, understanding like a show, and the hierarchy, and direction, and knowing your role and how you’re supposed to fit into the bigger picture, there’s all of that. But also like, you’re familiar with The Nutcracker, right? So you’ve got this Waltz of the Flowers, you’ve got all these pretty girls in their flower dresses in the back and you’ve got Sugar Plum Fairy in the front or whoever it is, depending on your version of The Nutcracker, like they’re the person on the poster you paid to see, not the girls in the flower costumes, so I’ve been basically just trained to be a girl in a flower costume my whole life. I know that I’m supposed to stand behind the people that are on the poster, that everyone paid to see. It’s not about me, it’s about making them look good because, from a reffing perspective, it’s the exact same thing. So there was a very easy transition from that aspect because my mindset’s kinda always been the same.”
On the importance of rules in matches:
Edwards: “A lot of us all come from the indies, and that’s what we’re used to, and a lot of the guys that we signed are all from the indies, so we’re like, ‘Yeah, no, this is legit.’ But the expectations for TV are so different, and I think that was the biggest change, of it’s like, yeah, you’re telling a story, but you have to tell a story within a certain box, right? And I think all of us just learning how to best define what that box is, because there’s a point where it’s like okay, everything’s gonna break down, but we still need to have structure. Otherwise there’s no competition. There’s no competition if there’s no rules.”
The full episode is available here: