During a recent interview with the ‘Sippin’ the Tea’ podcast, AEW Superstar, Sonny Kiss discussed her TNT Championship match against Cody Rhodes and the importance of that match to the wider LGBTQ community.
‘The Concrete Rose’ Sonny Kiss would sit down with Ariane Andrew & Matthew Dillon to discuss her time as a dancer, her positive moments in 2020 and being an advocate for the LGBTQ community within wrestling and beyond.
Discussing her positive highlights from 2020, Kiss would state that the past 12 months had helped mature her in many ways and although she only went from 26 to 27 years old physically, Kiss stated that she felt she went from 26 to 50 years old mentally:
” I felt like it was a great year for me, positively I felt like I rediscovered a lot in myself, I was being very transparent, more transparent than I’ve ever been. I’ve been taking accountability, I always say 25 is my year of accountability and I’ve basically just been doing so much of that, being responsible and basically just growing. It was basically just my year that I’ve literally grown, I went from 26 to 27 but I have also grown just I went like 25 to 50 in my mind.”
‘The Pride of New Jersey’ would continue discussing her 2020 TNT Championship match against AEW’s Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes, before discussing just how important the match, and the representation it provided, was to LGBTQ individuals around the world:
“I heard about it the week prior, I didn’t know it was actually going to happen. I was shocked because I was just doing AEW Dark, which is totally fine because I love Dark and love performing in general, but when they were like, ‘You’re going to face Cody and it’s on TNT and Fight for the Fallen,’ I was shocked and then it died down a little. A few days prior, I could not sleep and kept thinking about it. It was bigger than me. It was amazing for the LGBTQ having a big title match on national television. It was one of the highest-rated segments that night. It was definitely bigger than me and it was amazing. It was Sonny Kiss, but the LGBTQ community was there and it was for us. I’m not exactly super happy with the match because I let my nerves get the better of me at certain points. Overall, it was a moment and it was needed. I know I’ll have one again and it will be even bigger,”
Sonny Kiss, who identifies as Gender-Fluid using He/Him & She/Her pronouns, may have been unsuccessful in defeating Cody Rhodes for the TNT Title at Fight for the Fallen, however, the opportunity and representation the match offered was hugely important for providing representation to LGBTQ viewers [young and old] and showing them that their gender identity should have no impact on their potential in wrestling or the wider world.
During the interview Rhodes would discuss how, as the veteran in the match and understanding how important it was to Sonny and millions more around the world, he went into the ring that night with intention of making sure that community, that audience was represented correctly and to the level they deserve:
I’m almost tearing up as I say this, but it was, she said to me in the hallway, this is a big deal to a lot of people and I, I just, you know, you know I’ve been to the end zone before and I gave her the like, nod and I turned around and I went back and I gave her one of the longest hugs I think I’ve ever given anyone because I got it, and I could feel us in. So with that in mind, I want to make sure that, that I’m responsible for that, you know not only did she tell me that’s important and that’s a big deal, now I have to be responsible for that. Sonny doesn’t have over 10 years of experience like I have, I’ve worked with some of the greatest wrestlers of all time, and if I don’t take that experience in the ring and the match sucks, it’s not Sonny’s fault, it’s my fault. So with that in mind, I really…I was really proud we were able to carry it the way we did.
Rhodes would take to social media in the aftermath of the show, criticising individuals directing hate and abuse towards the match or Sonny Kiss an individual, addressing one particular out-dated ‘fan’ who expressed their equallt out-dated belief that Sonny Kiss should not be afforded championship opportunities because of her gender identity.
Kiss continues to be a rising star on AEW featuring on both Dynamite and Dark against internationally acclaimed opponents such as Kenny Omega, Miro, Fenix, Serpentico and Christopher Daniels.
AEW presents the 2021 Revolution event this Sunday on PPV and features the highly anticipated Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match between Kenny Omega [who defeated Kiss on route to winning the AEW World Championship] and former champion Jon Moxley.