What We Learned From: Dr. Britt Baker on Oral Sessions

Image Credit: The Volume

Dr. Britt Baker recently guest starred on the Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette podcast. They discussed her brutal Lights Out Match with Thunder Rosa on AEW Dynamite, her praise for the stars and staff of AEW. She also discussed her relationship and friendly rivalry with NXT star Adam Cole. The most notable quotes can be found below:

On initially planning the Lights Out Unsanctioned Match:

“So Tony Khan, who is one of my favourite human beings on the planet, he had this vision for a long time, for like 4 – 6 months. He always says you can plan these things out and sometimes you take it that long because it fizzles out, the fans aren’t into it. So he loosely planned it for that long. We were lucky enough that the fans stayed invested. I don’t know how long the Lights Out Unsanctioned part was planned, but he told me it was about a month or so before we had it that that’s what he wanted to do. I’m like OK, let’s go Hardcore Britt. My view, I was so nervous, because I did not know how to set up a table. I’m asking the crew ‘Should I have to set up this table, how do I open it?’ I’ve never done anything like this in my life. The ladder was so heavy, they [the men] make it look so effortless. I’m already so nervous about everything in this match. It’s the main event, it’s dangerous, it’s this, it’s that. There’s so much pressure on this women’s division as a whole to show the F out tonight. There’s so many things I was worried could go wrong, I’ve never done anything like that in my life.”

On mentally preparing for the match:

“Things change in wrestling. He [Tony] told us that we were going to be doing the main event, but I kept thinking things are going to change. Then on the day of, I see the whiteboard in the back and you see the main event ‘Dr. Britt Baker’ and I’m like holy shit this is happening. That’s for me when it really hit. The night before, I was hyping myself up, I watched the Trish and Lita main event match, I was just thinking oh my God, how cool would it be to one day go down in the history books as something like this match. It’s such a famous match, I’ve memorised the whole thing. I was thinking maybe Trish and Lita will watch this match one day, how cool will that be? But I was so nervous all day. Jerry [Lynn] was our agent, he told us at least 3 times, you ladies have a chance to make history tonight. Every time he said that, I would hype myself up. I’m an anxious person as it is when it comes to wrestling. But I was pumped up anxious and more nervous than I could have possibly been.”

On the opportunity to make history:

“So the nature of the beast of the unsanctioned match. I was nervous because yeah it’s gonna hurt. But I’m telling you [Renee], I was ready to die. I was like let’s F*cking go. I’ve been here from the beginning, I was the first woman signed to AEW. I’ve been through it all, with the Women’s division sucks they’re not ready for TV, they’re this they’re that. I felt like this was the opportunity to prove the legitimacy of the division and and say no we do have a dog in this fight in Women’s wrestling. So I was just so motivated and so ready to go.”

On praise for Thunder Rosa:

“I think we complement each other very well. She’s very passionate, fiery, you know she’s a little badass babyface and I’m the asshole heel that the babyface hates. But I also think that we have such a similar drive and passion for wrestling. We are ready to go, everything we do is a calculated risk. She said in an interview that I’m the Joker to her Batman, that was a really good comparison because it’s true. One can’t live without the other in this story. We both need each other for this to work.”

On who came up with the thumbtacks idea:

“That was me. We got into a couple of disagreements earlier in the day. I’m like no we have to do it, it’s going to be fine just trust me. Just because I trust her so much. I wouldn’t do that with anybody but I trust her and I needed her to trust her and to trust me. I’m not some crazy daredevil but I was ready to go, you have to do it.”

On what it was like bleeding:

“As soon as that blood started dripping I’m like keep flowing man. Paul Turner the ref was like you’re bleeding you have great colour Jerry says pump it. Paul is my angel, because I have anxiety before I go out. he sings songs from A Star is Born to me, there’s a whole talk Britt off the ledge thing that’s he’s involved with. In the ring, every time we go out he talks to me the whole time. In this match in particular he asked me the whole time ‘Britt are you ok? Britt talk to me are you OK?’ Finally I looked at him and said ‘Am I dying or am I ok?’ He was like ‘You’re great, you’re great.’ He was asking me way too many times if I’m OK. I knew I was bleeding a lot because I saw it was dripping on the mat and it was in my eyes. When I’ve bled before it broke my nose. But when the blood runs into your eyes, no one warned me about that. It’s like a red fog or a red filter and you can’t see anything. At one point in the match I say to Paul I can’t see. I ask Reba give me your towel, and she says ‘I don’t have it here.’ She gives me her jacket, and I wipe my bloody eyes off in her jacket. That did freak me out for a second.”

On last minute advice from AEW stars:

“Right before I went out I had seen Mox in the trainers room, that was the last conversation I had before I went out there, and that really hyped me up. He knows a little bit more about this world of wrestling, the hardcore stuff, than I do. I talked to him about how I wanted to use the tacks. He said yeah they hurt but they’re not that bad, turns out they frigging hurt. Christian also told me that the tacks don’t hurt, and I informed him immediately right after no tacks hurt buddy. they hurt. When they pulled them out in the back, I forget what the final total was but they had shaken out when I had took the table bump at the end too. I’ll have to ask Doc Sampson the final count. Another person that really helped me was Kenny [Omega]. Kenny is like really special to me because he’s just been the head cheerleader for the women’s division since day one. And I was so nervous, I was sitting the back on a road case. I was tying my boots up, freaking out and I feel like Kenny can sense when I am about to lose it, he always finds me and has his own way of calming me down. It’s not the typical you got this. It’s a normal conversation, I feel like he prepared me for war. Saying things like ‘this is a really special night’ and ‘you’re perfect for this Britt.’ It’s so cool because Kenny used to be one of my favourite wrestlers ever. New Japan Kenny, I was fangirl, and he was preparing me for war.”

On praise for AEW Women’s division:

“It’s crazy, especially for those of us that have had no TV experience. We don’t have the Performance Center, we don’t have promo class or anything like that. It’s really baptism by fire and of course there are some rough starts and rocky starts, myself included. But I think it speaks a lot that the veterans and the more experienced people that we have. They are helping us and it shows you that it works. People like Kenny, Cody, Dusty, Mox, all those people that have been on TV. They have such an extensive experience on the big stage, it’s such a help. It’s better than any Performance Center can teach you. You get personalised one on one training, you aren’t in a class. I go to who I now is going to help me get better. Jericho is one of my go-to’s, I mean Tony hands down helps everybody more than anybody, he’s the best human being in the world.”

On Tony Khan being concerned about the match:

“So I had so many ideas written down in my notebook for this. Because I knew we had a little bit of time. Jerry is a big phone talker so I was talking on the phone with him a lot. If ever there’s a story of Britt Baker, there’s a chapter of Jerry Lynn himself. Just how much he’s helped me. Even in the last few months with my in ring work and character work. Especially for this match, Jerry didn’t treat us like women. He was like we were just 2 wrestlers putting together a main event. That was really special to me, because I felt like we were main eventers, we’re not Women’s wrestlers. Tony is very thoughtful and very caring and he worries. He is very worried about our safety and getting hurt, so I would always give him an idea one at a time. I didn’t want to throw it at him all at once, because he would be like no way. I saved the tacks for last, I was like I really think the tacks are going to be something that would make this match stick out, because girls don’t take tacks. He was all for it, he loved it. But then right before the match, he pulled me in his office. He was worried, he was like ‘Britt I don’t know about some of these spots. The table bump at the end, the ladder I don’t know.’ I was like just trust me, we’ve got this, we have to do this for this match to be what it needs to be. As soon as the match was over and we stopped filming, he was one of the first ones out there to check on me when I am laying in the table rubble. Tony is a big germaphobe and he hugged me. I was covered in blood, and that’s when I was like man this must have been a good match.”

On the Dave Meltzer star rating for her Unsanctioned match:

“He’s such a sh*thead. 4.75 Dave I mean come on! What do I have to cut my leg off for the extra? But it’s OK we’ll give it another go another time.”

On Adam Cole’s reaction to her match:

“So it was no secret that it was pre taped the week before. As soon as we got to the back, they’re taking the tacks out and everything. Adam is really good friends with Jeff Jones. He had been texting Jeff, he was really worried about me. They went to grab the phone to facetime him, and I’m covered in blood. To prepare him, Jeff told Adam ‘Ok she’s OK…’ Adam goes ‘Let me see her.’ And there I was covered in blood. But he was so happy and he actually watched the match when he was backstage at NXT. He does not miss big moments. He was watching it on his phone in the back. His text almost made me cry. He said ‘Britt you’ve just made history. This is one of the best women’s matches I have ever seen, one of the best gimmick matches I have seen period.’ Just saying how that match will always be remembered. I think that was what I wanted more than anything, to put out something that people will remember. The first of anything will always be in the history books. But something that draws a true emotion out of you, that’s why people remember it.”

On turning heel:

“So that was all Kenny’s idea, to turn me heel. It was like I was scared, but of course I’m going to do it. I’ve never been a heel before, I didn’t know anything about heat. So that’s the best thing that ever happened to me. That and getting injured. Because when I got injured, I got to work on my heel promos. Who better to work with than Chris Jericho. I literally rip off some of his character from WCW and he’s like the role model and the conspiracy victim. He helps me so much. Tony has a great mind for wrestling, I don’t think people realise that. We don’t have a script but we have bullet points that he wants us to hit or stuff to promote. Tony is so hands on with promos and match stuff.”

On how Britt got into wrestling:

“I grew up with a bunch of boys. I have an older brother and I’ve always like id, but later on where I was like OK this is something I can do. I was at Penn State University, finishing my undergrad and moving to Pittsburgh, where it was closer to home, and go to Dental school. My friend was like ‘that’s a big independent wrestling scene.’ I’m like what? I had only watched WWE so I didn’t know what Indy wrestling was. I was like ok I’ll try this. I pulled up to this warehouse in South Pittsburgh and I’m like what the heck is going on. I did some bumps and rolls and I could sign up and give it a try. I would drive 3 hours there and 3 hours back because I hadn’t moved to Pittsburgh yet but the class was starting. It was the best thing ever, I would literally sneak into the ring with the other class to get more training because I was just a little rebellious Dr Britt who wanted to get more practise than anybody else. Until I got into the ring, I didn’t think I wanted to be a wrestler.”

On still practicing dentistry while still wrestling:

“That was a big thing that turned me onto AEW. I always said that it was really important that I went to school for 8 years and I didn’t just have to throw that away. If you don’t practice for x amount of times in a year, you lose your license. I said that it was really important that I keep practicing. Tony said yeah no problem, of course you’re gonna practice.”

On Adam Cole wrestling for NXT while Britt wrestles for rivals AEW:

“It’s like friendly competition. I’m way more competitive than he is so I’m like did you check the ratings last night buddy? It’s fun and I love wrestling. I’m still young in my career, I’ve only been wrestling 5 years. I get a bit more over excited than he does right now, because he’s really into video games and Twitch. We don’t have 2 totally different lives in different companies. It’s a lot of calls, a lot of Facetimes and he comes to AEW sometimes and hangs out, it’s no secret. His best friends are the Bucks and Kenny. He’s got tons of friends there. I know this is going to create a bit of controversy but I would love to work in the same company one day, it would make things a little bit easier. But that being said I’m probably never leaving AEW it’s my home.”

Full podcast audio can be found here.

Britt Baker can be found on Twitter here and Instagram here.

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