In the modern era of wrestling, few debuts are kept entirely secret.
With the rise of social media and backstage reports, more often than not a wrestler making their first appearance in a new promotion is often known ahead of time. Not so for Taya Valkyrie, who became All Elite on the March 15th episode of AEW Dynamite emanating from Winnipeg, Canada.
Speaking with Chris Van Vliet, Valkyrie discussed how the debut was kept a closely guarded secret, the upcoming match against TBS Champion Jade Cargill at the Double or Nothing pay-per-view, dream matches in AEW and more!
On debuting for AEW in Canada:
“I mean, I was a little bit nervous. I was like, please Canada, please, please be there for me. Like, please cheer for me. You know, you never know, you always have those second guesses, like, are they gonna know who I am? Like, I don’t know. And they were there for me. So, I’m forever grateful. And Winnipeg, thank you very much.”
On how the debut was kept secret:
“Yeah. So, I flew in and was actually flying on like the same flight as a bunch of people coming from LA like The Bucks and everybody. And like, as soon as we got to the Winnipeg airport to get off the plane, like I have put a hat on, I put a mask on, and like tried to like, cover myself up because like, as soon as you walked off, I walked off, like down the escalator and there are fans everywhere. Yeah, I don’t exactly blend in. So, I had to like really cover up and then, they actually had me staying at a different hotel than all of the other people on the roster. So that was a secret hotel, secret location, had a secret SUV pick me up and bring me to the secret backdoor. And yeah, that’s how it went. Everyone is like, Oh my God what are you doing here?! And I’m like surprise! Yeah, so I had a few friends that knew what was going on, but things happen so quickly and sometimes it is more fun to keep it a secret. I love surprising people, and I will lie on a podcast or two to get the surprise to, you know, to work out perfectly. I was so excited that people that were excited to see me, the crowd was great, Tony has been fantastic and amazing to me from day one. And yeah, I am just very happy to be there.”
On facing Jade Cargill for the TBS Championship at Double Or Nothing:
“Yes, Jade has been fantastic. I mean I’ve, you know, wrestled every type of female wrestler, man, everything, you know what I mean. And like, I’ve seen a lot of people commit to something and then, you know, they don’t get to that stage where they want to be in their career, they give up. And Jade obviously has not been in the business in a really long time. But her passion and determination, and her athleticism and like you can tell she’s an athlete, because and she just like, you can’t tell her sh*t either. Like, she’s just like, she really wants to prove herself and I’m happy to be in a ring with someone like that. And, you know, just to see that the business is going in a positive direction. And, you know, I’m excited for Double or Nothing. I’m not gonna take it easy on her.”
On if a return to WWE was ever considered:
“I didn’t really think about it too much. Obviously, I have some friends that have gone back, for example, Chelsea Green is an example and she’s thriving, and she is killing it. I’m so proud of her. But like, I didn’t really think about it too much. I just knew that if it was meant to be, it was meant to be. And also, I was kind of indifferent. I didn’t know if I wanted to subject myself to being in a space like that again. And I mean, it worked out. I couldn’t be happier about it.”
On AEW dream matches:
“I really want to wrestle Ruby Soho. I really want to wrestle Saraya, Jaime Hayter, Britt Baker, I mean, there’s endless possibilities there. And I also just think that I would love to do some mixed tag stuff with you know, Adam and Britt, me and John, me tagging with The Lucha Brothers. There are a million things that I want to do and I just can’t wait to continue doing them and that’s exactly what we’re doing. That’s exactly what Double or Nothing is all about, and you better watch it on pay-per-view.”
Featured image: AEW