On a recent episode of the Talk Is Jericho podcast, Chris Jericho interviewed AEW referee Aubrey Edwards as part of “Ref Week”. Jericho asked Edwards who she liked working with at AEW, and she talked about why she likes working with Jericho.
“I like working with you,” Edwards stated. “You’re super easy to work with because you don’t f–k around. You just want to tell a story, and you’ve got your reasons. It’s so easy.”
Jericho then told a story from AEW Revolution where in his title match against Jon Moxley, Jericho was pushing Edwards aside to get the story beats and camera angles correct. However, Edwards said she couldn’t hear Jericho so it looked like Jericho was trying to get disqualified. Jericho noted that was not what he intended and how that turned out to be a nice little story from the match, and Edwards said that she was able to get her moment when she threw out The Inner Circle.
“It was funny though, the last match we had with Mox because we’ve done spots and sometimes we switched it around. The one where I was trying to get you to move around,” Jericho recalled. “I kept hitting you, kept pushing like stand around this way. The best part of all was people are like Jericho kept pushing Aubrey trying to get disqualified.
“What a great story, but it’s not what I was doing. I was trying to get you to move over into the corner to turn around, but what a great story to tell. I should have thought of that, but it worked because I kept nudging you but not moving. I just thought that was cool, that little story.
“It ended up working out great because I end up getting my comeuppance with throwing out The Inner Circle,” Edwards explained. “I had a lot of people like why didn’t you push back? I’m like I got something going on. I got a spot. I don’t need to like take this moment.”
Jericho explained the psychology behind not ending a title match on a DQ. He said that he likes that in pro wrestling the rules can be used to tell a story in the ring.
“There has to be that kind of psychology behind it where it’s like, why wouldn’t she DQ him? Well, it’s like a title match or a boxing match,” Jericho explained. “It’s like a knee in the in the groin for example, maybe if it was an earlier fight, a prelim fight, there would be a DQ, but in the main event, that people paid millions to see, you got to let these guys fight.
“That’s one thing that I love about wrestling. We’re not bending rules, but like you said, we’re telling the story and making things fit into what we need because we have the right to do that.”
Edwards also gave another reason why she likes working with Jericho. She told a story from Jericho’s no-DQ match against Darby Allin.
“The other thing I like [about] working with you is that you have a lot of respect for the referee that even if it’s a no-DQ match, you’ll make sure that I still don’t see interactions like with the Darby match,” Edwards said. “Like Jake was involved with it, but I never saw Jake because of the way that we had structured it. So that’s always super nice because it’s like cool, I don’t have to worry about like looking like an idiot.”
Edwards revealed that she has been working on the official AEW rule book. She said that she has gotten approval from AEW President Tony Khan to have a rule book similar to how other leagues have an official rule book that is public.
“Well, one of the things that I ended up doing when I first took the Project Coordinator job and it’s not out yet but I basically wanted to have our rules written down,” Edwards revealed. “I heard Tony Khan say in an interview once like, ‘oh, yeah, we should have our rules public if we’re like a sports company. We’re treated that way,’ and I’m like, yeah, we should actually.
“So I started writing everything down and realize there’s all these holes of like what happens if the illegal person hits a legal person. How do we treat that at AEW? It was funny. I had like the rules printed out. We’re talking about it. Hangman comes and goes over, ‘oh, are the refs meeting to talk about the rules? Actually, we are, but we talk about things and figure out how do we want to treat this situation? How do we want to treat this? And I got a thumbs-up from boss man. So hopefully that will come out soon.”
Edwards shared details that she and the other AEW referees have discussed in regards to how to treat certain match types and situations. One idea that she pitched was to make any intentional groin shot illegal regardless of gender since AEW has made diversity a top priority.
“So one of the things that was a big question is how do you treat like four-way tag matches like one team vs. another team vs. another team vs. another team because typically, anything more that’s a singles matches is a no-disqualification by just default. So triple threats are no disqualification,” Edwards pointed out. “But why do you have the structure of a tag match then? It doesn’t really make any sense. Why is somebody waiting to tag if it’s technically no-DQ? It kind of just doesn’t really serve the purpose.
“So I think was actually Rick Knox had the idea of what if it basically becomes if one guy is DQ’d, that team is eliminated and the match continues. It’s probably something that we’re going to maybe use once if ever but having that understanding. I also personally really pushed for intentional groin shots are illegal independent of gender because I mean that’s something that’s really important to us is having diversity, ultimately, it shouldn’t matter what is in your pants like it hurts when I get kicked in the box. It should be illegal regardless.”
Jericho noted that it’s important to establish the rules for fans to follow. He said that he convinced Khan to gave at least one DQ in a match pointing out that the Iron Man match with Pac and Kenny Omega had a DQ, and Edwards pointed out that time limits matter because some matches have gone the official time limit like Cody vs. Allin.
“It’s important to establish that. It’s like I was telling Tony for weeks, and he didn’t want to do it,” Jericho recalled. “I said we have to have a disqualification. Just one because then you’ll always know June 5th 2020, so and so got DQ’d.
“Even the match time limits,” Edwards noted. “A match has to hit a time limit every now and then for those to actually matter.
“That’s why when Pac got DQ’d in the Iron Man match, it was the perfect place for it,” Jericho said. “We showed and established that you can get DQ’d, so that there are, once again, rules, stakes [and] consequences when you do things.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.