On part one of “Ref Week” on Talk Is Jericho, Chris Jericho brought on AEW referee Aubrey Edwards where they talked about Edwards’ career in software, and her work before joining AEW. Edwards made history by being the first female official in a main even of a heavyweight title match at All Out, and Jericho talked about his thought process of having Edwards in the match, while Edwards recalled being nervous heading into the match.
“It’s kind of funny because, once again, coming here, there’s a lot of people I don’t know,” Jericho stated. “So, I’m sitting and just watching the matches and seeing this vibe, and I said to Cody, ‘She’s really a ref.’ That’s when I was thinking, okay, we’re doing this title match with with Hangman. I want to have Aubrey, the first ever female ref in a world heavyweight title match.
“Which is terrifying. I’m not going lie, I was scared in that match,” Edwards admitted. “People ask me my favorite matches and they assume it’s that one. Oh, no. I was all in my head. I was so worried. It’s my first time working with Chris. Turns out you’re cool, great guy, and super easy to work with, but I’m like, oh god. I’m so nervous. I’m worried I’m just going to drop the belt because it’s 40 pounds. I was so in my head about that whole thing that I don’t think I enjoyed it in the moment. And watching it back after, I’m like, okay, this was good. I’m happy with my performance. I could have done a couple things differently, but I was nerve-racked.”
Edwards was officially hired full-time by AEW after the pay-per-view, and Jericho pointed out that WWE would have promoted having a female ref in the main event heavily before the match.
“I mean I thought that was a pretty big deal,” Jericho said. “It it was WWE, [they] would shove it down people’s throats to where it’s like, oh my gosh, but we didn’t have to. We made a point of it, and once again, now we have another main event ref because that is a thing, a main event ref that works the main event.
Edwards spoke on the goal of working in a pay-per-views main event, but said that one thing that she had trouble adjusting to from the indies to AEW, was timing commercial breaks. She talks about all the variables that she has to keep in mind to keep ad partners and fans satisfied.
“I think the timing of everything,” Edwards said. “It’s the whole commercial, the in-and-out of commercials and knowing we have to go to commercial because the ad partners want us to be at a certain time. We can’t be in commercials during the hour change over because we don’t people to change the channels, but like you don’t want to miss out on the awesome part of the match.
Edwards continued, “You don’t want a big move happening in a picture-in-picture, and with all of the changes happening, if someone runs long early on ,and I’m in a match and suddenly I find out right as the bell rings, oh, we lost two minutes, okay, now we have to figure it out and communicate.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.