Versatility is integral in professional wrestling, and Barbi Hayden knows that.
The longtime indie wrestler known on WOW Women of Wrestling as Abilene Maverick has stepped outside the ring to expand what she brings to the table. When speaking with Fightful recently, Hayden discussed how important her work with and at Title Match Wrestling was to her making that call. Title Match promotes the popular Ladies Night Out series, which books some of indie wrestling's top names to perform.
"I've now become an interviewer from it, I've become a commentator from it, and that has trickled over to TV," Hayden told us. "I also wrestle for WOW as Abilene Maverick, it's really cool. Because of Title Match Wrestling Network doing Ladies Night Out, I've done commentary on WOW. It's opened up doors. I've actually been in talks with companies outside of wrestling. I'm trying to intertwine the worlds. I wasn't a wrestling fan because I wasn't allowed to watch it. The world outside of wrestling is huge, and I want us to start trickling into it, and Ladies Night Out helps us do that."
Her job with WOW isn't exactly a new one, but it was a new exposure for Hayden on national television. After years with the David McClane-led brand, Hayden said that the news of a television deal was emotional for her.
"We actually knew a little bit ahead of time, but I cried when I heard the news. Honestly, the news of going on AXS made me cry. I've been in that company for 5-6 years now, a really long time. Then we finally get that platform to show all of women's wrestling, it's crazy. In wrestling, there's always been tiers. You can see it here and here, and for women's wrestling it's always (been lower)," Hayden said.
Hayden has also caught the eye of wrestling juggernauts WWE as well. She's been brought in for numerous tryouts, and competed in a dark match for the company. Hayden looked back at those experiences, but admitted that she's more dedicated to her new work than trying to gain employ in WWE.
"I feel like I got really good feedback there, I ended up having three tryouts at the Performance Center. I went there when they first opened, they gave me some feedback on what to work on, then they brought me back another time for the Mae Young Classic. I ended up being pushed to alternate unfortunate, so me, Rachael Ellering and Deonna Purrazzo were alternates. That's wrestling. I did well enough in the tryout that they've had me there for that. I haven't really been in talks with them as much because I've been so focused on WOW, now I'm pretty much transitioning over to that and Flagged Sports as one of their interviewers. That's where I'm letting my ball roll," Hayden told us.