Aubrey Edwards made history this year when she became the first-ever female referee to officiate a major world title match. Edwards donned the black and white stripes for the AEW World Championship bout between Chris Jericho and Hangman Page at AEW All Out.
The day after the match it was announced Edwards had signed to be a full-time referee in AEW. Before becoming a referee, Aubrey worked in software for ten years and danced classical ballet for 20 years. The performance aspect of dance is what indirectly led her into the ring.
"There's a lot of crossover," Aubrey explained to Fightful. "I retired because dance is hard on your body and I had a lot of stuff going on in my personal life. I stepped away from that and found out I was super depressed because I didn't have a performance outlet. I didn't realize how important that was for me. I was into my local Indy wrestling scene, my husband was wrestling on shows and the ref team came to me and said, 'we think you'd be a great ref. You should try out.' I was like, 'what the hell are you talking about?' They said, 'you love the locker room, you're friends with every body, and you have this performance background.' So, I tried out and I sucked. There's a lot that you miss -- when you watch wrestling from the front, moves look a certain way, you read facial cues. The moment you stand behind the wrestlers and try and figure out what they're doing, I just got lost. I was in the way, I didn't know what to do with my hands. It was awful. I think I cried after the tryout. But I stuck with it because you should always try to stick with someone a little bit. Two months later, I made my debut. Two and a half years later, I'm here."
Following AEW All Out, Chris Jericho revealed he picked Aubrey to to be the referee for the match, feeling she was the best choice. Aubrey has since officiated the AEW Full Gear bout between Jericho and Cody Rhodes. As Aubrey explains, she loves working with Jericho due to their interactions.
"I think Jericho and I have a thing going. I don't know where it's going to go from here, but he's kind of a jerk. I worked with MJF before and that was alright. I really like working with Darby. We both came from Seattle. To have Seattle wrestling go from basically nothing to what it is now with 321 Battle, DEFY, and all these promotions popping up. For us to help build that region back up, it's been a blast. Plus, his whole moveset is crazy fast. That's my speed," she said.
Nicknamed "Gearl Hebner," Aubrey has worked with Earl Hebner on occasions as Hebner shows up for major AEW events. She told Fightful that she is grateful to be able to pick his brain during this time when national television and pay-per-view events are new to her.
"Earl Hebner has helped me out a lot," said Aubrey. "There's a lot of things that are big and scary with TV wrestling and a lot of things to keep in mind. He's been a great person to go to with his virtually unlimited amount of experience. To hear what he has to offer and sit under his learning tree, I'm grateful for even just that."