"The Galaxy's Greatest Alien" Kris Statlander joined Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone on the AEW Unrestricted podcast to talk about her stunt work and her transition into pro wrestling. Statlander talked about how she was able to do some extra work with WWE.
"Well, luckily my trainer Brian Myers f.k.a. as Curt Hawkins [was] a big, big help on any sort of extra work that any of the Create-A-Pro people got, anyone in the New York area," Statlander revealed. "And Pat formerly a WWE producer as well, he wasn't a producer at that time, but unfortunately, we got to do extra work for all of Mania week. That was actually the first time Aubrey ever reffed my match."
Statlander said that during her Shimmer match against Allysin Kay, she injured her foot but still worked her other indie dates and did extra work with WWE. She also said that she did some practice matches on SmackDown.
"In that match, I don't think you know it, but the moonsault that I gave to AK, I like landed on my toe and probably broke my foot, but I never got it checked out," Statlander stated. "So that was, I think, on a Friday. One of the next days, I had to wrestle three times in one day because Mania week bookings, and then I had to do extra work for Mania and then RAW and SmackDown.
"And then for Smackdown, I did two practice matches because there was an odd number of girls, and then I wrestled on TV. So I wrestled three times with my foot like broken basically, so when you talk about people with work ethic, you talk about me because I have no control OK."
Schiavone wondered if Statlander's work with WWE ever led to a tryout. She said it did lead to conversations to the point of WWE outright offering her a contract.
"So that Shimmer match actually because Kanyon was there, and everyone was like, oh he wants to talk to you blah, blah, blah, but I never got a chance to talk to him. So I emailed him back and forth. I've never actually met him even when I was doing extra work at all. So we got into contact after that, and they were kind of talking about bringing me in for a tryout, but it was more like a formality type thing, and I just wasn't available to do some of the tryouts.
"They were like, 'oh we're doing the tryouts in London. Why don't we fly you to the London tryouts?' I was just like, oh my God. I was like sure I'll do it. I think I'd be available for the whole thing, but I'd have to be back real quick and stuff like that, and then it kind of just led to be like, 'you know, we kind of just want to hire you, so why don't we just send you a contract?' So I didn't even have to do a tryout, and unfortunately with timing and everything, they did my background check. I'll say there are a lot of things that you don't expect to get like flagged."
Statlander talked more about being close to signing with WWE, but past tweets caused a delay in her signing. She said that certain words for flagged, but they were taken out of context and weren't as controversial as it may have seemed.
"There was one tweet I made about how my old school got put on lockdown because police thought that a suspicious person was carrying a gun or a weapon at a gas station nearby the school," Statlander recalled. "So my college went on lockdown, but it was just a guy holding an umbrella, and because I mentioned police in the tweet, it got flagged and stuff like that.
"It's very strict. There was like a fire burn thing that got flagged one time. Yeah, it's very strict. So there was like a decent amount of thing that got flagged that was just like weird, just like out of context things [or] things that didn't make sense. So I explain like some of the stuff is stunt stuff. Some of the stuff is not really what you expect it, what you think it is. It just highlights words. It doesn't highlight the whole thing.
"So when I responded, and I was like, 'hey, everything that that you said was inappropriate was deleted. You shouldn't be able to find anything. This stuff was deleted.' I think I deleted it but like deleted it after I had already had submitted the background check, so it might have done. But that was just poor timing on my part."
Statlander said that while WWE were reviewing her profile, AEW came in and wanted to book her for a AEW Dark match. That led to her signing with AEW, and she said that she wanted the blessing of Hawkins and Pat Buck, her trainers.
"Then they were like, 'OK we'll get back to you. It could be a while though,' and during that while period, AEW snuck their little way in," Statlander described. "'We want to book you for a Dark match,' and then I was like, 'oh, OK.' So I did that, and then the contract offering with AEW happened. Then I re I sent an email out to WWE, and I was like, 'hey, unfortunately, I have another offer that works with my overall life schedule a little bit better' because I'm also a massage therapist, and I would still be able to do that and I just got my license like that year. So I don't want to waste that, [something] that I just went to school for two years for.
"They respond with something like, 'oh what are the other offers? Are you making anything like don't accept anything,' and I'm like 'you don't own me.' Even my trainer was like just send them like a 'sorrynotsorry' text, like message. You don't have to go back and forth with them. Just kind of be like sorry, but no thanks. I think my biggest fear about going with AEW as opposed to WWE at first was that both my trainers work for WWE. Would I have their blessing to go here when I have an offer with the company they work for, and they were both like, 'it's a much better fit for you just go for it.' So once I got their blessing, I was like a 100 percent peace of mind that I was making the right choice."
Statlander compared the atmospheres of WWE and AEW. She talked about before about how she was never a big wrestling fan and was only introduced to wrestling because a classmate of hers was an indie wrestler. She talked about not feeling starstruck to meet legends like Dustin Rhodes but also feeling bad for not knowing people.
"It was weird because I was so used to like the big scary, doing extra work for WWE, and AEW wasn't like that at all," Statlander said. "And I was just like, oh, I feel like this is a place that's like super relaxed. I guess I was nervous like you always get nervous going into a new setting, but it wasn't like as intimidating because there's so many people that I knew at AEW from the independents and people that I've worked with before.
"And going to the training, it training. I mean, like I said, the training that I'm used to at Create-A-Pro was a lot different because there's like no girls involved. Not that it's not intense and like informative of what we do with Dustin but it was just kind of like I didn't know what to expect. So I just went in there with an open mind, ample bodied to be thrown around type thing, just go with the flow type thing.
"Not being a big wrestling fan growing up like I don't get as starstruck with wrestlers. So I think that's a good thing, but at the same time, I don't know who everybody is all the time, and that's not a good thing. So I feel really bad about it. I think I've probably seen Dustin before at a WWE extra work, and it's cool to hear everyone's thoughts and like to be able to be like wow, like I'm working with these people now and they're hearing what I have to say and they're here to help me improve. So it's such a cool thing to know that in such a short amount of time, I get to be working with such legends sometimes."
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.