Dr. Britt Baker DMD joined Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone on the latest edition of the AEW Unrestricted podcast to talk about her life as both a dentist and as a pro wrestler, which was recorded before she suffered a knee injury on Dynamite this past Wednesday. She also discussed her current heel character and how AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes first envisioned Baker as a heel during Baker's start with AEW.
"The first video package I did which was for Double or Nothing," Baker said. "Cody set up. When Cody watched it back, he says, 'yeah, that was great, but you're going to be a great heel one day.' This was a huge babyface package, like what? Then just naturally, it was kind of heartbreaking to me as the fans kind of turned on, 'oh, she's a dentist,' and it became a joke. And it was like a mockery, and that is crushing when you literally spent blood, sweat and tears, worked your ass off to become a dentist and a professional wrestler.
"And then it's just something. It's just like a meme or something to joke about. That really sucked, and that's something that I was beating myself up over so much like, oh my gosh. Now what? That was my thing. That's what I worked so hard to do. That's why I announced myself as Dr. Britt Baker DMD, which by the way is redundant you don't need the Dr. and the DMD, but I was like, it's professional wrestling. We have to do it we have to do a big."
Baker had been a face for the start of her AEW run, but it was AEW Executive Vice President Kenny Omega who first suggested that she turn heel. Baker said that she was not so sure of well it would work since she had never worked as a heel in the independent scene.
"So that was really hard for me at first," Baker recalled. "There's the joking. Oh, she's a dentist. She's a dentist, and because for me, it's not a joke. Those were the hardest years of my life. That's one of the biggest accomplishments I will ever have, and then it was actually Kenny, we were just training in the ring one day and he said, 'how do you feel about becoming a heel?' Sure, I'm up for anything. With that being said, I have zero experience as being a heel.
"I've been booked as a babyface my whole life. I maybe had like two quick indie matches where they're like, 'hey just be heel today,' where I'm like, oh God. I don't know what I'm doing."
"And then Tony and Cody got on board with it too. We're going to turn you heel, and I was like, oh my gosh, here we go, and I cut a promo on Riho at that Jacksonville show. I had Twitter responses saying like, 'wow, she really resembles Chris Jericho from WCW calling himself a role model.' I was like, oh my gosh, wait. So I went back and watched so much Chris Jericho role model stuff. That is honestly, everything you see me now, I'm getting ideas from Chris Jericho back then, and I went to him right away. I was like, 'hey, Jericho. I have this idea. What do you think?' He's like, 'oh my gosh, you have to run with that. That's perfect. You're the dentist. You're pretty. You're in shape. Rub it in their faces, but you're the role model, and that was it. Then I texted Tony Khan, 'hey, I have this idea since I'm going to turn heel. What if we do something like this,' and that was it. That was history from then, and Cody has been so so instrumental in helping this hell turn be successful because we're talking promo ideas late at night," Baker revealed. "He's coming to the show early to help me go over stuff. Him and Tony both. I can't say enough good things about Cody and how much he's, for no reason, just really thrown himself to and to helping this hell turn be a success."
Baker's heel character got its start from her promos with Schiavone. Baker said that Schiavone was "like a comfort blanket" to her, and they talked about a promo at the Salt Lake City Dynamite show where they had to act on the fly after a missed cue.
"I have to say like having you there, it's like a comfort blanket like I'm just like OK, if this really goes off the wall and this goes downhill quickly, I'm next to Tony Schiavone," Baker said. "He'll get it back on track. We'll be OK. Having you there beside me, for me, that's why I think that I haven't crashed and burned and why these are still being successful because it's in my head. He's here. We're going to be OK.
"Yeah, it's like the last one that you did with Big Swole," Schiavone said. "She missed her cue coming out. We just repeated the line again.
"Literally we're like, 'when's she coming? When's she coming?' For almost a minute, we're waiting for her to come out, and I had to say thank you like twice now. We're just like, well, here we're just going to awkwardly smile. These fans want to kill me out there, just insulted their whole town.
"To be fair, that was not her fault," Edwards made clear. "We were all listening backstage, and there was no speaker set up. So we actually couldn't hear the cue word. We're waiting for someone else in production to give us, 'hey, did they say it? Did they say it? And then eventually like, 'eh f--k it, just send her out. Like we'll make it work.
"I went back. I was like, 'where was she?' And they're like, 'oh, we couldn't hear,'" Baker said recounting the story. "And I'm like, 'well, you had a whole two minutes beforehand to figure out that you couldn't hear to figure out how to here to send her out.'
"Yeah, and you know what, I love doing stuff like that," Schiavone said. "I love doing stuff off the cuff and when things go wrong and trying to pick it up I came so close to saying, well, Dr. Baker, I do know for sure there's lady in the back who has taken exception to everything you've said so let's bring out Big Swole.' I came very close to it."
Another break-out moment for Baker was her match against Hikaru Shida where she broke her nose. Baker says that she was nervous before the match and before the match aired.
"So we filmed it in advance obviously. I was nervous like sick to my stomach for a week, until we knew it was going to air just because when we were there, it had gotten so much positive feedback and the dreadful Twitter trolls, I was like, I felt so good about it now, but then as soon as it air's, they're going to tear it apart. They're going to tear me apart. It's going to be awful," Baker feared. "I just wanted to live off that high of the praise that I got from the actual tapings, but then when it aired and it was such positive feedback, I was like, 'oh my gosh, they like it. This is great. This is great.' I just remember being so nervous. I felt that day, knowing that it was going to air, like how I feel before match. I felt that sick to my stomach nervous to watch myself. Watching myself is so uncomfortable."
Baker went through the match saying that she knew that she broke her nose right away. She also said that she wanted to keep the match going knowing that she could make it something big. The camera captured Baker's bloody nose and expression that become the first female top-selling shirt in Pro Wrestling Tees history.
"That match, I got told the night before, 'hey, we're going to have you go like 12 to 15 with Shida. Is that cool?' I'm like, 'oh my God.' I don't think I had wrestled since the Chicago pay-per-view like the pre-show. I was like, yeah, no problem. Maybe I had another match but I had not had a lot of reps recently at all. Obviously, I was very nervous, and then the nose injury was like, oh my gosh. Red equals green. It was about blessing in disguise because it just made everything. Do I wish there were fans there? Yes, because you feel everything a little bit more. You don't hear like the roar of the audience behind you, but I will say even just having our roster, the eight or whatever of them in the crowd, helps so much just to hear something, some sort of rumbling going on, you know. You don't want to hear your own bumps. You don't want to hear yourself getting blown up in your own breath because then that freaks you out more, but the blood and I knew right away," Baker revealed. "I felt the crunch. I felt it. Right away, I felt the hot blood coming down my face, and I was like lay down. Paul Turner put the gloves on and got them right away. And I thought that they were going to say, 'hey we're going to cut it,' and I was like, don't call it. Don't call it because I didn't want him to. I was like no, I'm OK. I can get through this. This can be a moment, and the GIF, the meme when I look at the camera. I just remember looking out of the side of my eye seeing the camera and the red light's on, and I was like, that's the one. I need to show this blood right now."
Baker offered more praise for Jericho for helping her out in her promos. She also talked about the crazy week that she had that not only involved herself but also involving who she calls the greatest wrestler and commentator of all time.
"I can't say enough good things about Chris Jericho. He helps me so much with with some of these heel promos. Like I'll have an idea and run it by him and he'll tweak it this way. Remember, yo're a role model. You're not just gonna go talk s--t in front of everyone. You're a role model too. So having him with the minor tweaks there," Baker said. "How lucky are we that we get to work with Chris Jericho literally one of the greatest of all time, and then to have him on commentary. He's one of the greatest of all time the commentary too. Also, obviously, Tony we love you too, but it's so surreal. Times are crazy right now, but how is it that I get to wrestle one of the best matches of my career, bust my nose, have Tony and Chris Jericho on commentary and have a top-selling shirt of the week. All in one week. It's pretty cool."
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.