Posts Tagged ‘Julia Hart’

The AEW women’s roster received a major upgrade recently when Madison Rayne, a former TNA Impact Knockouts Champion, joined the company as an in-ring talent and coach.

Rayne was recently interviewed by Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards for the “AEW Unrestricted” podcast, where she talked about how she got started with the company. The former five-time Knockout’s Champion also mentioned some members of the AEW women’s roster that she’d like to wrestle.

“I’ve never been in the ring with Toni Storm. I’ve never been in the ring with Nyla Rose. So, it’s literally like all of these dream scenarios in my head … I would see Anna Jay or Julia Hart walking down the hallway, and I feel like me and Julia could really make magic together.”  

She added, “There’s so much potential to some of these younger athletes. And I feel like, at this point in my career, those are the matches that I want to have. The matches with younger talent who, hopefully, I can help elevate.”

Rayne then went on to discuss the rising stars who’ve stood out to her since joining AEW. “There’s just endless amounts of talent in the locker room. I feel like people haven’t even started to see the depth of Penelope Ford. Wait to see Bunny come back and, you know, she’s another one who once she really taps in and gets the minutes, and the things she can do with those match minutes are just insane.”

Rayne made her official 2022 debut with AEW on the August 5 episode of “Rampage” facing Leila Gray. She also participated in a TBS Championship match against the current champion, Jade Cargill, and faced Serena Deeb on the September 9 episode of “Rampage,” losing by submission.

Having recently lost Julia Hart to the House of Black, the latest comments from Brian Pillman Jr. seem to indicate that the Varsity Blonds are no more.

Speaking on the latest episode of Café De René with René Duprée (via Wrestling Inc.), Pillman very much talked about the Varsity Blonds as a thing of the past and cited how the loss of Hart took away the group’s edge.

“As soon as we lost her, we lost our edge and our spark that made us a good babyface group that could’ve gotten over. But somebody came in and decided she would be better with [House of Black]. That’s just how it goes. I definitely wasn’t happy with it, to be quite honest. It is what it is. It’s business. I thought probably what really stopped us from seeing the true potential of the Varsity Blonds was that we lost her before we really got going.”

Pillman continued:

“To have that taken apart was kinda rough for me at that point in my career, but I’m very happy with how it turned out. Really happy with the moment that she had at the pay-per-view. Very happy with being in AEW in general. I don’t think that the Varsity Blonds was the fullest creative extension of myself, but I think people will look back at the Varsity Blonds quite fondly, actually. Who knows what’s next for us?”

Brian Pillman Jr. made his AEW debut back at Double or Nothing 2019 – the company’s inaugural PPV – as part of the Casino Battle Royale, whereas Griff Garrison debuted in a losing effort to Jimmy Havok on the 10 June 2020 episode of AEW Dark.

Pillman and Garrison first teamed together on the 29 July ’20 edition of Dark, where they lost against FTR. The tandem most recently paired up on the 30 August 2022 outing for Dark, where the Varsity Blonds picked up a win over Dean Alexander and Rosario Grillo.

Whether the Blonds really are done remains to be seen, but Pillman’s comments sure do seem to indicate that he and Griff have gone their separate ways.

At AEW Double or Nothing, fans finally got what they’d been waiting months to see when Julia Hart revealed herself as the newest member of the House of Black, helping Brody King, Buddy Matthews, and Malakai Black defeat Death Triangle (Pac, Penta Oscuro, and Rey Fenix) in trios action. Since then, Hart has been on a winning streak on “AEW Dark: Elevation” and “AEW Dark,” where she’s sported a new look and a more cerebral, sinister side.

In a live signing with Captain’s Corner earlier this week, Hart discussed the backstage dynamic between herself and the other members of the House of Black.

“I would say Malakai is like my mentor, my coach,” Hart said. “He’s always giving me critiques and gives me homework to do. Brody is like my dad. He’s the guy that takes care of me and makes sure everything’s okay. Buddy is like a brother. He still just wants to joke around and have fun and a good time.

“I got locked out of my car the other week. He [Brody] helped me with my keys, he helped me with my mask. His wife is great too, she’s like my mom. And his kids are adorable. They’re all great. The House of Black is really like a big family. Everyone is great. I couldn’t ask for anyone better to help me with stuff. They’re always there with advice.”

The House of Black is currently looking to expand their ranks from four to five, with Malakai Black attempting to steer Miro towards the group last night on “AEW Dynamite.” Many will note that Miro was sprayed with Black’s mist at AEWxNJPW: Forbidden Door, which has served as a precursor to wrestlers embracing their darker tendencies. Hart herself was hit with the mist shortly before her heel turn.

Meanwhile, Brody King continues to be embroiled in a few with Darby Allin, and last night challenged Allin to a Coffin Match. Allin has yet to accept the challenge, and the match hasn’t been scheduled as of this writing.

Julia Hart turning heel and aligning with Malakai Black was a slowly-built situation but one fans did see coming, and even though Griff Garrison was on the other side of the turn, he has confessed that “it’s a good move for her”.

Garrison has been teaming up with Brian Pillman Jr. since early in his AEW career and Hart was a big part of their overall gimmick as she accompanied them to the ring with her cheerleader character. But her personality began to change after she was sprayed in the face with Black’s mist. This ultimately led to her joining forces with him and his darker faction.

The entire storyline was the biggest opportunity The Varsity Blonds have had thus far in AEW, and he admitted to “The A2theK Wrestling Show” that he doesn’t “want to believe something is happening until you do it,” which is why he was reserved about the idea of working against the former “NXT” Champion until it actually came to fruition.

“It led to probably the coolest moment of my career thus far, which was being able to wrestle him [Black] one-on-one on prime-time television in my hometown, at the Greensboro Coliseum,” he said. “Just because I went to every wrestling show that there was at the Greensboro Coliseum when I was a kid, just to be able to go back and have a singles match on national television against him in front of all my family and friends, it was probably the coolest moment of my career.”

Hart eventually turned heel at AEW’s Double Or Nothing, which took place six months after the first interaction she had with Black. She appeared as a surprise in the middle of the ring, spitting mist at PAC in order to help the House Of Black pick up a victory, and since then, she has been working with them, signified by the paint to her eye.

She has completely changed up her look since turning heel, with the current character being a far cry from the happy-go-lucky cheerleader she was previously. Garrison weighed in on the opportunity that Hart has been given and how the darker elements actually suit her as a person.

“I think that fits her, honestly. Yes, she’s a cheerleader but I think that fits her, knowing the real Julia Hart. I think that gimmick fits her and I’m happy for her,” Garrison said.

On AEW Dynamite, the longest reigning AEW Women’s Champion in history, Hikaru Shida, qualified for the Owen Hart Foundation Women’s Tournament. She defeated Julia Hart in a competitive, back-and-forth match, ultimately securing the victory with her falcon arrow finisher.

She joins Toni Storm, who won her first qualifying match against The Bunny on last week’s episode of AEW Dynamite, and Jamie Hayter, who defeated Skye Blue in a qualifying match on last Friday’s Rampage, in the tournament.

Early in March 2022, Hikaru Shida made her return to action on AEW Rampage after Serena Deeb defeated Leyla Grey in a “Professor’s 5 Minute Rookie Challenge”. Deeb continued to attack the up & coming wrestler until Shida ran down to make the save with her kendo stick.

The two rivals almost came to blows after Shida’s victory tonight, as Serena Deeb surprised her from behind with a steel chair. Instead of getting attacked, Shida caught Serena Deeb in the act and put up her kendo stick to defend her. This seemed to thwart off “The Professor of AEW” for the time being.

It was announced tonight that the next qualifying match for the tournament will take place during this week’s AEW Rampage. Willow Nightingale and Red Velvet will face off to join the aforementioned women in the tournament field.

In an interview with Frances Lillian Bynum (via Fightful), Julia Hart spoke about making her AEW debut and how it was Brian Pillman’s idea to put her with the Varsity Blonds.

She said: “I wasn’t too nervous. I never get nervous in front of crowds just because I grew up in competitive cheer and you’re always in front of people. I knew I loved the crowd. I wasn’t necessarily nervous about the crowd. I was more so nervous about the people in the back seeing me for the first time; Tony Khan, Cody (Rhodes), all the wrestlers that know wrestling and know when I’m going to mess up. The fans don’t know. They just see wrestling. The people in the back, when you come back, they’re gonna be like, ‘You did this, this, and this wrong.’ I’m like, ‘Oh Gosh.’ I want to be as good as I can be. I don’t want to disappoint Cody. He just brought me in as one of his students. I don’t want to disappoint him. I want to impress Tony Khan and I want to impress myself. I was more nervous about the people in the back than being in front of people. I’m pretty sure my first match went pretty good. I remember Cody made me talk to Tony too. I was so nervous, ‘why is he making me talk to Tony? It’s my first day here.’ Pillman, part of the Varsity Blonds, he saw me and was like, ‘She’d be perfect to fit in our group. She should be part of our group.’ That’s how it came about. ‘She would fit in that group. She should work here so she can be with them.’ It made sense.