Former WWE Superstar Ariane Andrew stopped by The Wrestling Inc. Daily to chat about her AEW appearances as well as the negativity that comes her way on social media. Andrew's appearance on AEW Dynamite was her return to pro wrestling since her WWE release in 2016.
However, Andrew was always slated to return at WrestleMania weekend at indie star Effy's "Big Gay Brunch" event for Game Changer Wrestling. She talked on the podcast about how much that return would have meant to her but never happened since all events at WrestleMania weekend were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Yeah because when the opportunity came around, I was like, 'I do miss the ring,' and the LGBTQ [community] is a big part of my community," Andrew noted. "I have lots of friends [in that community], and I was like, 'you know what? There's no better way than to make an in-ring debut in that community.' So that was my way of getting my feet wet, but of course, Corona hit, and it killed everyone's 2020 so far."
Andrew opened up about the toxic hate thrown her way by wrestling fans. She admitted that it did bother her, but she said she came to realize that those people don't really know the person that they are attacking. The important thing for Andrew is to understand that you can't please everybody and the only thing that you can focus is your own personal well-being.
"You know, initially it used to bother me because no one knows your story like what you've been through in your life," Andrew pointed out. "Because I feel like I wasn't an avid wrestling fan growing up, it's just automatically like, 'you don't deserve to be here,' but again, you don't know someone's story, and I feel like it's when you're given an opportunity, [it's] what you do with it. So initially, it used to hurt my feelings because obviously, I'm a human, and I know I'm a good person.
"Yeah, my character is a lot, but who I am as a person is a very caring person. But now I just don't care because I feel like when you really truly embrace who you are and love the skin you're in, you're never going to please everybody, and when you decide to put your life in the entertainment world, you just have to know that there's going to be people who have something to say and you just have to be OK with that."
Andrew continued saying that as long as the people close to you know who you are as a person, then that's what truly matters. She admits that she just takes in all of the hate that comes towards her, unless someone goes too far. She challenged those that questioned her work ethic in the ring.
"I feel like as long as you know what you're doing behind the scenes, your family loves you, your friends love you and the people close to you know who you are," Andrew stated. "You're never gonna please everybody so you just gotta be like, 'let me take it. Let me take all the hate. Let me take all the love' because people who are telling you things that you could work on [or] what you could be, like, 'ah, maybe I could do this better.' I think it's just about how people say stuff.
"That's the hurtful thing because it's like, 'whew, that's a bit much.' Like how would you feel if I said that about you? And people don't realize that being in the ring and slamming your body against wood for someone's entertainment, I'm like, 'you take your motherf--king ass out there and you go do it, and then you let me know how your body is feeling.' OK? So thank you. Don't come for me, unless I call for you."
Andrew was later asked about the differences between the WWE environment and the AEW environment. She said that WWE is much more of a competitive environment than AEW. She said AEW is a place where everyone works together to put on the best show possible with other talent willing to elevate others at the bottom.
"I think in WWE, it's more of a competitive environment, where at the end of day, still, there's only a few spots, but I feel like with AEW, it's more of a how do we work together to make sure you put on the best show, and it's not about who's here or who's there," Andrew described. "It's like how does everyone help elevate [each other] because even if you're starting at the very bottom, you still need someone to be like, 'hey, let me build you up because this is how it works.
"For instance, when I used to do track and field, it's you against you. It's like this is a team effort because if we don't work as a team, then how do we put on a show if people are on different pages, and what I really do like is I've always been a huge advocate for equality and stuff like that."
Andrew was paired with Nyla Rose in "Women's Tag Team Cup Tournament: The Deadly Draw" where the two lost in the first round. Andrew complimented AEW for pushing Rose, a transgender woman, as one of the top women's stars of the company, and she also complimented AEW for having an owner like Tony Khan who is willing to support progressive issues like Black Lives Matter.
"So to see someone like Nyla Rose and her position to be able to have that spot as a top person, like if you would have said that years ago, that would have been like no. I haven't really seen that development quite yet in the WWE," Andrew noted. "Not to say that that's never going to happen, but I feel like AEW has a little bit more of a broader scope.
"Even with the owner doing Black Lives Matter and stuff like that, and yes, it's going to be controversial, but I think it's also evolving with where the times are because there's always going to be different chapters of life and you have to be willing to evolve. And even if you don't agree, just to be able to hear, to understand instead of listening to respond."
Ariane can be heard every week via her Sippin' The Tea TV Show. For more information on that and all of her projects please follow her on Twitter @ArianeAndrew. Ariane's 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.