There’s no doubt about it, Anna Jay has taken the world by storm in AEW – arguably being one of the company’s breakout stars in 2020 as part of the Dark Order.
However, it’s been uncovered that The Queen Slayer’s run could have been very different – with Number 99 originally planned to have been “shamed for being pretty” and thus put under a mask.
While talking with Chris Jericho on Talk is Jericho, both Anna Jay and Chris Jericho discussed how the original plan was to have her full face covered, but they switched it for a masquerade mask instead.
Jay: “The original mask was actually one that you see all the other guys wearing. So the full-on mask, the tie in the back and everything. I still have it at my house, they bedazzled it for me and everything, and then as soon as I went to wear it they were like ‘no, don’t do that, we’re gonna do a different one’. So then, I think Charlie Ramone went to some store to get me one of those cardboard masquerade masks. They bedazzled that for me, I wore that I think once to the ring, or twice maybe. I think Tony Khan ended up being like ‘no, this is not…’”
Jericho: “I think one of the ideas originally that I remember hearing was that, rather than bringing you in as a typical ‘Diva’ or whatever the word is, they were gonna shame you for being a pretty girl, so put you under a mask.”Jay: “Yeah, no actually I did hear that, you’re right. And then they ended up doing a vignette that was kind of going along with that and me being the ‘typical Diva’ or whatever, and then they scrapped that. So it kinda ended up making sense for them to scrap the mask too, because it kinda went a different direction.
Anna Jay would go on to become a protege of the late Brodie Lee as part of Dark Order, with Lee even bestowing the number 99 upon Jay as an homage to hockey legend Wayne Gretzsky.
“I didn’t even know he was going to call me the Queen Slayer until we were live and he did it in the ring, and it just kind of caught on. I didn’t even know about [number ’99’ ] until his Unrestricted interview came out. He literally said, “It only matters to me.” It is a reference to number 99, Wayne Gretzky, the hockey player, ‘The Great One.'”