AEW star and current NWA women’s champion Serena Deeb spoke with Steel Chair Magazine and was asked about potentially transitioning from being an in-ring competitor into a coach for AEW, much like she did at WWE.
Serena emphasises her love for helping out with new, upcoming wrestlers. Being able to scout and improve women from the independent circuit is something she’s looking forward to doing once COVID is a thing of the past:
Absolutely, that has been discussed, and it’s something that I feel great about. I love coaching, and I love helping. I’ve always thought, even in my time coaching at WWE, before this, it would be really cool and really powerful to take on a player-coach role where I’m able to wrestle and get in the ring, do that part of it while also helping out a little bit more behind the scenes and kind of helping scout for women that are out there that might not have been seen yet. I think taking on that role especially when independent shows start running again, pending the whole COVID situation.
I’m hoping that I can step into a little bit more of that player-coach role, and I can continue contributing in that way. To touch on your point, that is something that I’m really interested in doing, and I think the feeling is mutual from AEW. The women’s division is in a really amazing growth period right now, where the women are stepping up, and there are more women coming in, and there are hungry women who are working really hard to improve. I would love for my matches and my ring work to just help accelerate that process.
On Day 2 of AEW’s New Year’s Smash, Serena successfully defended her NWA Title in a fiery encounter with Tay Conti. As the current NWA Women’s Champion, Serena discussed how she’s able to juggle that Championship along with her AEW commitments:
It’s a great question, and I know a lot of people are trying to understand it. I am the NWA champion, so obviously, I expect in the new year when NWA starts running again, that I will be competing on their roster, on their show, hopefully getting some more successful title defenses under my belt.
I’m looking forward to that because it’s a whole other roster of women over there, and I love the product that NWA puts out. I’m very old-school in how I came up in wrestling, so I love that they kind of honor that feel, so looking to the future, I’m definitely very proud to be a representative of that company, and I’m looking forward to doing work with them in the new year, but I am also under contract to AEW.
She went on to describe the relationship Tony Khan has with the talent, and how important it is that he allows flexibility for all the AEW talent and those from other promotions:
One of the most amazing things about Tony Khan is that he’s open to talent trading, and he was very open to bringing people in from other companies and having these working relationships that really haven’t been around in wrestling for a very long time. I really admire that in him, and I think he’s doing a lot for professional wrestling just in having that openness. My loyalty is obviously at AEW, where I’m a contracted wrestler, but I also expect to do a lot more with NWA in 2021.
Interestingly, Serena spoke about her time with WWE. She signed in 2010 and was a part of CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society before leaving WWE to wrestler for Shimmer. In 2017 she made a return as part of the Mae Young Classic where she defeated Vanessa Borne in the first round before being eliminated by Piper Niven.
In February 2018, it was announced that Deeb had signed to become a WWE coach at the Performance Center. Two years later she was released amid the company-wide cutbacks due to the Covid pandemic in April 2020:
Transitioning into the coaching position, I was trusting the process of my life, and I was embracing that position because I thought it was really amazing to be able to give back in that way and to take on the responsibility of helping others. I’m really grateful for it, but I definitely had a lot of varying emotions about it where, on one hand, I was really loving the job and enjoying the process of stepping into that role, but on the other hand, I believed that I still had more to give in the ring, and in my heart, I didn’t feel like I was done with wrestling.
When I lost my coaching job at the beginning of the pandemic, it was an interesting time because, when you lose your job, it’s a traumatic experience, it’s stressful, there’s a lot of things going on there mentally, but it was also such a blessing. I think I could recognize that I think this is going to be the biggest blessing I’ve ever had. I just have to wait and be patient so that I can see that transpire, and so everything with AEW and getting back in the ring has really been for me what I really wanted to happen.
After her successful defence of the NWA Women’s Championship, Serena now looks forward to working full-time as an AEW star and will surely make her comeback in NWA to represent the women’s division once safe to do so.