AEW Superstar, Kris Statlander, has been away from the squared circle since June this year after she tore her ACL on the June 6 edition of AEW Dynamite when she hit a suicide dive onto Kip Sabian.
However, the star hasn’t been idle. Since her enforced break from professional wrestling, the woman who inhabits an alien-like gimmick has joined the cast of ‘The Masked Wrestler’ as judge and hopes to return to the ring sooner than originally thought.
In between filming, Statlander took time out of her schedule to speak to The Wrestling Inc. Daily Podcast where, among other things, she spoke about scrapped plans for what would have been a memorable run in WWE.
On April 9, 2019, Statlander appeared in a one-and-done for WWE under the name Kristen. She teamed with Karissa as The Brooklyn Belles to face then WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions The Iiconics on SmackDown Live.
However, according to the star, plans were in place for her to sign with the promotion and make a game changing contribution:
“We were called the Brooklyn Belles, and a little funny story about that. They originally wanted us to be called, ‘The Brooklyn Pizza Connection,’ and our names were gonna be ‘Cheesy and Saucy.’ We would have been the first RETRIBUTION, but I’ll bring it to AEW whenever I can come back.”
Sticking to the subject of women’s tag team wrestling, Statlander was quizzed about the possibility of AEW Women’s Tag Team Championships and whether or not she would like to see them become reality:
“I personally am such a big fan of tag team wrestling partly because one of my trainers, Brian Myers f.k.a. Curt Hawkins, was such a tag team specialist when he was in WWE,” Statlander said. “He had won the titles twice, and he’s hones it in like, ‘this is how you do tag team wrestling’ and just getting to watch him do that, it’s just like a masterpiece to me. So I love it, and I take pride in trying to put together tag matches, even though they’re nowhere near as good as his, but I think it would be really cool to have tag titles for the women. I do feel like we probably need a little bit of a bigger women’s division because anyone that’s going for the tag titles have to do the singles matches because there’s nothing there. It is growing, and there are more people here, but I feel like right now, it would just be so many random, thrown together tag teams. And I feel like we need to build up relationships more to really see why we’re tag teams. Like Diamante and Ivelisse, there’s an obvious connection there with them too, but if we want to have the tag titles and have them mean something, I feel like we would we need to see true tag teams being formed and not just like, ‘oh, you know what, these two look cool together. We’ll make them a team.’ I feel like it’s definitely something that we can accomplish in the foreseeable future.”
After speaking more about women’s tag team wrestling and the partners she’d had through her career, the subject moved onto her current project, ‘The Masked Wrestler.’
Like the British ‘The Masked Singer’, a wrestler appears in front of the audience and judging panel wearing a disguise and people have to guess which professional wrestler it is:
“So it’s basically all just mystery. You don’t know who anyone is. You don’t know who your opponents are. I think part of the charm and the fun of it is that no one really knows what’s going on. I mean, you know there’s wrestling happening in the ring, but you don’t really know who’s doing what, and the only way to tell the difference between the two wrestlers is just the color of the mask pretty much. It’s a really cool concept because I don’t think anything like this has been done in wrestling before. I’ve said this so many times, but I feel like it’s like an extra layer for the super fans to try and test their knowledge based on little body movements and everything to see if they can try and figure it out, but I just think it’s a lot of fun, and it’s something people haven’t seen before.”
Currently, Kris Statlander is four months into a long rehab and is expected to return to AEW sometime in Spring 2021.
The Masked Wrestler can be seen every Wednesday evening at 10/9c on IWTV.live.
Credit for the interview: The Wrestling Inc. Daily Podcast
h/t for the transcription: Wrestling Inc.