Well, after a few months, nay years, of uncertainty for Ruby Soho, it’s now very much destination known. Not just with regards to the punk star joining another Punk in becoming All Elite, but that destination very much looks set to be the summit of the industry after an incredibly impressive introduction to life in AEW.
Your run in AEW so far has been like a breath of fresh air. Can you talk a little bit about the initial negotiations of you going to AEW and what made you feel that it was the right fit for you?
Honestly, it was probably the moment… I’ve always had a good feeling, a lot of my friends have worked in AEW and they’ve always said wonderful things about it. To be honest, I’m just waiting for something to [go wrong], because it’s just too good to be true at this point. This place, it’s so rad, and it’s just so much fun.
I love coming to work and everything like that. But they have always had such good things to say about it, I’ve always been a fan of the product. But the moment where it was like, for sure, this is meant to be, was at All Out.
When I debuted and came out to the amazing reception in Chicago, there was not a doubt after that. It was like this is where I am meant to be, this is home for sure.
When you came out, were you nervous at all about the reaction was and how loud it was going to be? I’m guessing that all those worries would have been gone when all those people made the noise that they did for you.
Oh, yeah, I was so nervous, so nervous. I had no idea how the crowd was going to respond. To me, I knew that it was a really big night, and I was worried. I hoped that they were going to welcome me with open arms, and when they started to chant “Ruby Soho” prior to me even coming out, it was real to me in that moment.
I started crying, I was like, “Okay, I’ve got to pull this together, I’ve got to go and wrestle.” But it was everything that I wanted it to be and more, it was more than what I expected. I was nervous before that, but that crowd that night was such a special moment.
That was the best moment in my career to date, because it was a culmination of 11 years of work that I had done, and a lot of nervousness coming into it. I was so grateful to the fans there for their warm welcome, it was awesome.
And when you win the match and everyone is going crazy for you, what’s going through your head?
I was ecstatic, that was a huge opportunity for me to gain the moment I got there. I didn’t waste any time and I didn’t skip any steps. I just was granted the opportunity to a AEW Women’s World Championship match on my first night. There were some amazing women in the ring with me prior to that, so it was super overwhelming because it was like, OK, it’s time to get to work.
But my favourite part of that whole moment to me was I won the match, I am so excited, then I look to my left and I just saw a referee shirt. I was like, “Please be Bryce [Remsburg].” I looked up and I just see Bryce’s smiling face and I was just so happy. I was like ‘Hi, Bryce!’ and I just hugged him. I have known Bryce for a long time, I’ve known him since the independents. He’s seen all of the gradual advances in my career and all of the steps I have taken to get to this point. So he knew how hard I worked to get here and how true and happy my emotions were. So to celebrate with him in that moment was a memory that I will literally cherish forever.
I’ve also got to ask you about the Rancid song. I know you’ve kind of talked about it a little bit, but how did it come about? It feels perfect. And I’m not even joking when I sayg, I genuinely find myself walking around the house going ‘Ruby Soho!’ Just involuntarily, it is stuck in my brain.
You’re welcome! Everything just fell into place so perfectly. I honestly couldn’t be a luckier girl if my life depended on it. I am fortunate enough to call one of my heroes, somebody that I admire very much, a friend now, which is Lars Frederiksen from the band Rancid.
After I was released, I wasn’t planning on doing a lot of media, I just wanted to kind of stay off the grid for a little while. But Lars has a podcast, and when Lars Frederiksen asks you to do a podcast, you do a podcast. It had been brought up what I was going to be called going forward. I had told him that I wanted to keep Ruby, because that was where Ruby came from, that was the inspiration behind the name, because of Ruby Soho. So he was like, “Well, why don’t you go by Ruby Soho?” I’m then like, “I’m sorry, what?”
He said “Just go by Ruby Soho.” I’m like, “I didn’t know that it was an option.” Then he says, “Yeah, let me get on the phone with the band and see if we can make it happen and we will see if we can get you the rights to the song.” I’m there melting, being like, “Oh, my God, what?” So he just bestowed this amazing gift to me of allowing me to utilise this, and I told him afterwards people are going to respond, whether they like me or not, because they like the song. So I was like, “Thank you for allowing me to ride your coattails of coolness for the time being.” But it’s been surreal and it’s been awesome.
Then we heard the song when you and Britt Baker main evented Grand Slam in New York. What was that like to kind of go from All Out and the big reaction? And how do you find out? Who tells you that you are main-eventing Dynamite in front of the biggest crowd that they have had so far?
I found out when I got there. I found out when I got there and I looked at the card.
I was like, “Hold on.” I’m trying to find a match after us, and there’s not one. I’m like, “Oh, my God,” and I am staring at it for an absurdly long time, I’m like, “This has got to be some sort of typo, there’s no way.” I had seen the other matches on the card and I was blown away.
I double checked, I was like, “Tony, [Khan] are we the main?” He was like, “Yep, main event.’” It was at that point in that moment where I was like, “I don’t know how much more my heart can take. I’ve been here for three weeks, I’m able to debut on our most historic pay-per-view that we have ever had.”
By the way, I love saying wewhen I talk about AEW. It makes my heart happy. But now, on a card of legendary performers, I get the honour of having my very first title match as a main event of our biggest Dynamite to date.
This was the first time that wrestling had been performed in that building. It happened already and I am still in disbelief, because it has just been one amazing thing after the other, I don’t know how we are going to top this. Now we have the TBS Women’s Championship and I’m like OK, I guess it’s just another amazing milestone that I get to be a part of. I just feel crazy, crazy lucky, Kenny, to be a part of this and to be a part of these monumental moments in AEW’s history, I’m just very grateful.
“Well deserved” is the two words that I would use. So you have the match with Britt Baker, and you are not successful in terms of becoming the champ. Where do we go from here? I know that some people in WWE, they get a title shot, it doesn’t work out and then you’re back down the card. In AEW, how does that differ and what’s next for you?
It was definitely hard. I think I have a lot coming here and having the history that I do and the experience that I do. I have a lot to prove, more so to myself than to anybody else about what I am capable of as a performer.
I think, right now, I have the most freedom of who I am. As a performer and as a wrestler, I have the most freedom and the most control. I am trying to map out my steps most carefully, because I want to set myself up for success and I want to prove to myself that I can still do it and I can still go.
I have such amazing competition, I have these women that are going to push me. They are going to bring something out that I didn’t even know existed, I’m fully aware of that and I have experienced that in that match with Britt Baker. I didn’t even know that I could do that anymore, and I think to take something positive out of not becoming the AEW Women’s Champion, I proved that I could do it.
Now it’s about, “Okay, you can do it, now what can you do with it?” Obviously now that is geared towards my main focus, which is making history in this company as the first TBS Women’s Champion.
In order to do that, I’ve got to go through a lot of women in the tournament to make that happen. So that is my main focus right now, and it’s to get to know the women that I don’t know as well, and to re-refresh on the women that I do know, so I can be as prepared as I possibly can be, so I can really hit the ground running.
We’ve heard kind of publicly that Kenny Omega is involved in the women’s division, I know that Tony Khan is very hands on. What has the kind of experience been like for you working with people behind the scenes in the women’s division so far?
It’s been amazing, it’s so great. Tony is the best boss, like, he’s the best, honestly. His excitement and his passion for professional wrestling is infectious throughout the locker room. When he comes up to you and he is excited about something, you’re excited too.
You haven’t even heard what he has to say, but you can feel how stoked he is about stuff. It’s amazing, it’s such a positive and inviting energy, and a productive one that makes you want to work hard, it makes you want to go that extra mile. Because your boss is so excited, you want to do well for him, your product, your peers, you want to do well overall, it’s a very encouraging environment.
Like I said, a lot of these people I’ve worked with years ago. Granted, it feels like a lifetime ago when it was five years ago. But they are still friends and people I still road tripped with and stuff. So it felt new, but it kind of felt old if that makes sense.
I do want to ask you, just to go back to All Out for a minute. When you win, you hug Bryce after the match and you soak in all the adulation. When you go backstage, who is there to greet you and what moments do you have as sort of celebration? What’s the celebration like when you get back there?
It was awesome. I had a lot of people in the back and I just kind of broke. There was so much emotion and so much time had built up to that moment.
Like I said, it was overwhelming and more than I could have ever expected or could have asked for. I just broke. A lot of people were there to hug me, Tony was one of them, Eddie Kingston was one of them, who I have known for a long time.
But the one that still warms me to my heart was Sarah Rowe. My best friend flew in from Ohio with her 6 month old child to be there for me on the biggest day of my career. She was there, and had tears in her eyes and I had tears in my eyes, Cash probably had tears in his eyes too but he was smiling.
I just hugged them so tight. She’s been there every step of my career and the same with her. It really meant a lot to me to have her there and it just made that day perfect, honestly.