AEW star and current judge for "The Masked Wrestler" Kris Statlander was on a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast where she discussed her WWE SmackDown match with Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman. Statlander teamed with Karissa Rivera to take on the IIconics, and Statlander revealed the original name of their tag team.
"We were called the Brooklyn Belles, and a little funny story about that," Statlander stated. "They originally wanted us to be called, 'The Brooklyn Pizza Connection,' and our names were gonna be 'Cheesy and Saucy.' We would have been the first RETRIBUTION, but I'll bring it to AEW whenever I can come back."
Hausman asked Statlander if she would want to see tag team titles introduced to the AEW Women's Division. Statlander said she does but noted that the division is still growing and would need to have a deeper roster in order for tag team titles to be introduced.
"I personally am such a big fan of tag team wrestling partly because one of my trainers, Brian Myers f.k.a. Curt Hawkins, was such a tag team specialist when he was in WWE," Statlander said. "He had won the titles twice, and he's hones it in like, 'this is how you do tag team wrestling' and just getting to watch him do that, it's just like a masterpiece to me. So I love it, and I take pride in trying to put together tag matches, even though they're nowhere near as good as his, but I think it would be really cool to have tag titles for the women.
"I do feel like we probably need a little bit of a bigger women's division because anyone that's going for the tag titles have to do the singles matches because there's nothing there. It is growing, and there are more people here, but I feel like right now, it would just be so many random, thrown together tag teams. And I feel like we need to build up relationships more to really see why we're tag teams.
"Like Diamante and Ivelisse, there's an obvious connection there with them too, but if we want to have the tag titles and have them mean something, I feel like we would we need to see true tag teams being formed and not just like, 'oh, you know what, these two look cool together. We'll make them a team.' I feel like it's definitely something that we can accomplish in the foreseeable future."
When asked if she has a partner in mind if she were to be part of the women's tag team division, she noted that she has tagged with AEW Women's Champion Hikaru Shida and Big Swole in the past. However, she also noted that she is able to adapt her style with whoever she works with.
"I don't really know because I've tagged with Shida like five or six times already. So I feel like that would already be like, 'hey, you two are perfect together,' but at the same time, there's so many other women on the roster that I would love to get a chance to find that chemistry with. I know my first my first match with AEW, it was on Dark. It was me teaming with Swole, and I would team with Swole again because we are just two giant goofballs.
"I feel like I could probably find a good connection with anybody that I would tag with because I have such a random style myself that I could find a way to make it fit with anybody that I'm put to team with because that's just how I'm gonna go about it. Besides Swole and Shida, I don't really know specifically who else would be a good partner for me at the moment, and I haven't even been there in a while. And I haven't wrestled in a while. So who knows what I'll be like when I get back."
Statlander described the concept of "The Masked Wrestler". She said she enjoys the mystery behind everything and said that it gives fans a chance to test their wrestling knowledge to see if they can determine the wrestlers behind the masks.
"So it's basically all just mystery," Statlander described. "You don't know who anyone is. You don't know who your opponents are. I think part of the charm and the fun of it is that no one really knows what's going on. I mean, you know there's wrestling happening in the ring, but you don't really know who's doing what, and the only way to tell the difference between the two wrestlers is just the color of the mask pretty much.
"It's a really cool concept because I don't think anything like this has been done in wrestling before. I've said this so many times, but I feel like it's like an extra layer for the super fans to try and test their knowledge based on little body movements and everything to see if they can try and figure it out, but I just think it's a lot of fun, and it's something people haven't seen before."
Kris Statlander serves as one of three judges for the debut season of The Masked Wrestler. #MaskedWrestler streams every Wednesday night at 10/9c on IWTV.live. You can follow Kris on Twitter @callmekrisstat.
Kris' full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.