Serena Deeb has been one of the most talked about women's wrestlers in the year 2020.
Since being cut by the WWE earlier this year, Deeb has become a regular on both NWA and AEW programming. Speaking on Women's Wrestling Talk, Deeb discussed her match with Thunder Rosa that saw her capture the NWA Women's Championship.
"I think with someone like Thunder Rosa, it's really easy," Deeb said. "It's just little things such as timing and just how you connect in the ring with somebody- those are easier with someone on her level. In ring communication through your body and through your voice and all of that. When someone is super experienced and awesome such as she is, the communication is smoother and just more simple."
Deeb worked in the WWE Performance Center as a coach before the pandemic got herself and a plethora of others cut. While Deeb's in-ring future was put on pause during her coaching days, she says she always knew she would return to the ring.
"To be honest with you, while I was coaching- - and I absolutely loved my coaching job. It really let me grow as a human being so much, so I'm super grateful for it," Deeb said. "But the whole time I was coaching, I had a feeling that I may not be done wrestling. But obviously, I was embracing that chapter and that role in my life. So there was this part of me that was like, 'I don't feel done.' Like in my heart, I don't feel done.
"And there was this other part of me that was trying to be super present with that job and embracing what that was bringing to me in my life. So, I think there was always a large portion of me that didn't feel done and still had something to contribute in the ring. And all of this with AEW and NWA has really happened so fast, and it has been great."
During that training time, Deeb mentioned a former NXT Women's Champion as someone who really impressed her.
"There are some who are naturals and wrestling just clicks with. Rhea Ripley is an example of that. She was somebody that from the second I saw her, I was like, 'ok, the girl is going to be a star and do big things in this business.' And watching the growth of someone in the time I was there was really rewarding, and I'm just proud."
When Deeb returned to the ring this year, the women's wrestling landscape looked significantly different than when she first broke into the business.
"I mean, from a female stand point, the business is a completely different place," Deeb said. "As you guys know, I started my training and it was still like the Diva's era, and they were doing the Diva's search every year. The qualities in performers that they were looking for were very different. So, if you were about the wrestling, it wasn't always the best environment for that or the most conducive to growing in that area. It's weird being out of the ring for as long as I was, almost 5 years, and then coming back into that role and seeing all those changes. To even have a women's match on the card, let alone an awesome women's match, is huge compared to 15 years ago."
Deeb won her first post-WWE title in October on the United Wrestling Network's PrimeTime Live. While the event ran in an empty studio, Deeb still says the moment was special.
"It was really interesting. There were obviously no fans there, and that's just the signs of the times right now," Deeb said. "But I think that was my first time being in a studio like that because at Daily's Place, we always have-- at least there are people ringside and there is a little bit of noise. And the nights we get to have fans, there is a lot more noise. But that was my first real experience in the COVID era of working in a studio, so, it was really interesting. And I felt like I was really present in the match."
After becoming NWA Women's Champion, the door was unlocked for Deeb to jump over to AEW TV with the title. Speaking on getting that call, Deeb says the opportunity came at the last minute.
"The call from AEW was, I mean, when I say last second, it was like about 48 hours before the Dynamite match," Deeb said. "It was sort of like an inquiry as to would it something I'm interested in, is it what I'm prepared for and looking for at the moment? I went into it with this mind set of, I'm going to make the best of this opportunity, you know, and try to go out there and have a great match. And I didn't foresee anything coming because I was just focused on that experience and making that as awesome as I could. Obviously, it went really well and things were really positive moving forward from that. So, like I said, everything else that happened since then has been happening really fast. The opportunity to work with NWA was absolutely, like, just an honor and amazing."
While Deeb already has gold around her waist, she isn't satisfied with just the one title. Deeb says she has her sights on the AEW Women's Championship.
"That is absolutely what I'm gunning for," Deeb said. "I think, you know, it would be really powerful to hold two championships at the same time, especially for two of the top companies in the world. When I first joined the AEW roster, I 100% had my sights set on being the champion. Then there was a crossover with NWA and I started doing stuff with them. So, it's 100% what I'm looking at and where I'm looking at going."
As for who is in her immediate future, Deeb says she is dead set on mixing it up with the AEW Women's Champion herself, Hikaru Shida.
"I mean, there is an entire roster of women that I haven't had the chance to get in the ring with before. But I would say, first and foremost, Hikaru Shida, the AEW women's champion is someone that... I really like her wrestling style, and I think she has been a great champion."