Originally published at Kris Statlander says MJF recommended her to AEW: "He’s been there for me a lot as a friend"
Statlander speaks highly of the AEW World Champion.
Since capturing the TBS Championship at AEW Double or Nothing 2023, Kris Statlander has gone on to have over 10 successful defenses of the title. Her most recent bouts were against Jade Cargill and Britt Baker.
After the match with Cargill was taped, Statlander joined Phil Strum on his Under the Ring podcast. As their conversation rolled on, she shared that AEW World Champion MJF vouched for her to get into the company. She added that he’s been there for her a lot as a friend.
Before Statlander had a match in AEW, there were discussions about bringing her in on a full-time basis and she believes if MJF did not recommend her in the manner he did, she would not have gotten the opportunity as early as she did.
I remember I showed up (to my first AEW event), I did some of the training with the girls and I feel like pretty early in the day, they started discussing about possibly bringing me in and I was like, ‘I haven’t even had my match yet.’ If anything, I was like, ‘Don’t you wanna see me wrestle first?’ Because, I don’t know… In my opinion, I’m like, I wanna see how a person works before I bring ‘em into a company but I know that I had some people recommend me and looking out for me. I hate to give him credit but I know MJF was probably the biggest one. So, I do have a lot to owe him unfortunately. But he’s been there for me a lot as a friend, and I think if he hadn’t recommended me as someone to bring in, I probably wouldn’t have gotten that opportunity so early on. I’m sure it would have probably happened eventually. I would hope it would have at least but, yeah, it kind of just happened out of nowhere and it was just like, the first day that I was there, it was kind of like, ‘We’re gonna bring you in’ and I was like, ‘Alright. Let’s do it.’
Circling back to the rematch with Jade Cargill, Statlander said it’s something she’s wanted for a while and feels both her and Jade had something to prove.
I’m glad the match (between myself & Jade Cargill) finally happened. It’s something that I’ve been wanting to happen for a while. There’s been a lot of discourse about me not being the true champion, that it wasn’t a true open challenge that she put out or that Mark (Sterling put out). So I feel like there’s a lot to prove and there’s a lot that we’re going to prove in this match and it’s not just about me, it’s about her also and it’s a special thing. It’s a very special match and I think it’s something that we both wanted. A lot of people wanted to see and I think, yeah, it’s just going into it, we both have something to prove and I think it just helps raise the stakes of it a little bit more…
At AEW All Out, Statlander defeated Ruby Soho to retain the TBS Title. At the pay-per-view, she sported Zoolander-inspired ring gear which drew praise from Ben Stiller. She reacted to catching Stiller’s attention:
Ben Stiller responding (to my Zoolander gear) is like the highest praise anyone could ever ask for. That was so cool that he actually saw it.
In October, Statlander is returning to Create A Pro in New York and she’ll be in action. Both her and MJF trained at the academy.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Under the Ring with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.