AEW star Kris Statlander was the latest guest on the AEW Unrestricted podcast to discuss a number of different topics, including how difficult recovering from her ACL injury was and getting paired with the Best Friends and Orange Cassidy on weekly television. Highlights from the interview are below.
Says how she was told that her and Orange Cassidy would never be paired on television:
When I first got signed, we [herself & Orange Cassidy] were doing a whole lot of skits on BTE and everything and we were told it would never happen on TV. This is gonna stay on BTE just because of, you know, personal reasons and whatnot. Not our reasons but it was just something that wasn’t wanted for TV and then, the fact that how we made me joining them my actual return is still incredibly mind-blowing to me. How often do you see a woman wrestler return in a men’s main event gimmick match to team up with them and save them? When does that happen? Never does but it was kind of a huge moment for me but I didn’t realize. I was just like, ‘Oh, I’m just doing a goofy ass spot right here,’ but it’s to make amends with friends that I hadn’t been here for this whole time and stuff so I think it was really cool how it all actually happened.
Says her ACL injury was tough and she was quite emotional during her recovery period:
You know, there’s one thing if you’re never not sure about yourself in a career, have it taken away from you unexpectedly and then you’ll see where you stand and being injured as badly as I was made me want to wrestle and get better and be the best more than anything ever could, because I couldn’t do it and I literally cried every single day for three-to-four months straight, because I was so upset that I couldn’t participate. I was so upset that I couldn’t help out, I felt that I had failed everybody and it just felt like it was all on me and it’s like I would watch AEW and I would get upset because I couldn’t be there and I’d get upset that I couldn’t help out and I’d get upset because I was like, ‘Oh, everyone’s doing great without me. Do they even need me back anymore?’ I’d try to work out and I’d start crying because I can’t do anything, I’m useless. I just wanna do everything, I just wanna be better and I can’t and kudos to my boyfriend for putting up with that because it was a long, a long time that I was crying every single day and that’s not an exaggeration. There might have been like one day or something where I didn’t get upset, occasionally throughout that time period. It was rough.
How she still has pain in her knee:
Now looking back in retrospect, I don’t mind that they made me wait as long as I did because I probably wouldn’t come back from each match feeling as good as I do if I came back earlier, if that makes sense. Like I still get achy in my knee from walking around all day. We have long days when we’re there, standing on concrete and I have to tell myself to sit down more because I just got back from knee surgery but it’s not as bad as it probably would be if I came back earlier than I did. So I’m very happy that they made my stubborn ass sit down and be like, ‘No, don’t do it. Don’t do it.’ So, yeah. It was just frustrating for me because I mentally and physically felt ready and I was like, ‘It’s been long enough.’ I had almost two months before the surgery I had to wait and I had these seven-and-a-half, eight months after. I think I’m good to go. Please let me go. It’s just more mentally frustrating than anything where I know in my heart that it’s better for me to have stayed out as long as I did.
Talks returning at the Arcade Anarchy:
Well okay, so, I don’t even know where to start with that because I know that was originally supposed to be Orange Cassidy’s spot [pop out of the machine], which that, I don’t get because he was in the match. So if you kind of think about it, how would he just not be a part of the match and the entrance and then Chuck [Taylor] would just be getting double teamed the whole time then Orange Cassidy pops out of it. To me, that didn’t make sense but, you know, I don’t write or book anything so it’s not my decision but, when I got cleared that week and was told I was doing something that week, I was like, ‘Oh…’ I got cleared the Tuesday I believe that we fly out to go to tapings and then I was not expecting anything at all to happen because it’s like you gotta build up storylines and stuff like that. I know they were talking about teasing a return and everything and I don’t know. I just got told that I was gonna be in the claw machine and I was just like, ‘Okay. That’s cool’ and then I was so worried that the plexiglass wasn’t gonna come off that I was like, I had to — me and Penelope [Ford] were like, ‘It’s just gotta be full force. Just gotta do it’ and then I was worried that I was gonna Shockmaster myself getting out of the claw machine, because it’s pretty tall to get over there so I was like, ‘Great, I’m gonna make my big return,’ because my leg can’t bend all the way with the brace on so I was like if my foot gets stuck and I f*cking eat sh*t, oh God. Like I was so worried that I was just gonna faceplant but then they told me they were gonna put a step in there for me and I’ll be able to grab onto the top so I was like okay.
(H/T and transcribed by Post Wrestling)