For better or worse, wrestling couples are always compared to one another. Sometimes, these comparisons can persist long after a relationship has ended and linger with a performer throughout their entire career.
Priscilla Kelly, the former wife of Darby Allin, spoke with Vickie Guerrero about the unfortunate hurdles she faced shortly after she and Darby began dating, as everyone assume she was adopting his persona, and how this would cause persistent insecurities for her on her journey in professional wrestling.
“Before I even knew who Darby was, my character was always very daring and I was always the girl that would take the high-risk moves and I was always the girl that would have like the candle-lit goth-esque promos and character,” Kelly began. “It's so strange to me because the moment we started dating everything that I did that I had been doing. People said it was Darby's inspiration or because I was dating Darby, I had this character. I was doing this before I even knew who he was. But that's just how it is though you start dating somebody and immediately you get compared to them I mean I remember doing like a crazy dive on a show not too long after Darby and I started dating and one of my friends or coworkers had said to me, 'oh looks like Darby's rubbing off on you,' and I'm like no. This is who I was before and not only that but I've had promoters that I've worked for tell me, 'you should be more like Darby. You should watch his work.' No, we've always been similar but we are different. I don't think -- especially when you have two people that have been wrestling the same amount of time and they're both finding their way still, you should never compare a couple. I just think it just creates this weird feeling because it made me have such heavy insecurities for a long time because everything that I did that was my own idea or that was my own creativity, everyone always gave the credit to Darby.”
She continued, “I remember, even wrestling on the cruise, when I had the match with Allie, it was a non-televised match. I remember somebody came up to me and said, 'Oh, wow. Your match was really good. You must be training with Darby. [They] just completely credited all of my work to him. Me and Darby, we roll around together. We'll run some spots, but we don't train each other... But as far as my training and my inspiration, I always look to other things or movies or even older wrestling for inspiration but it sucks, in the world of wrestling it's always the woman if she's good, it's because she's training with her dude. If she's got some creative thing going on, it's probably his idea. But in reality, it's sometimes the reverse. Sometimes the stuff that he does in his promos or songs he uses or stunts he does, actually were my idea, but no one ever would think that.”
Furthermore, Priscilla would discuss how fear of being linked to Darby as a performer would lead her to turning down opportunities to be paired with him on AEW television.
“The thought was thrown around for me to be put with him at AEW. 'Maybe, like you, come in and you'll be the wife and then you get kicked in the face, and then he gets mad or something.' There was a lot of ideas thrown around from this person and this person about this and that and I explained to everybody I said, 'I could come in, I could do a wife spot and that could eventually lead into me having matches or whatever it may be. But here's the problem with that, if I come in and I'm introduced as Darby's wife, I'm forever by the fans gonna be known as just his wife.' From there on out everything I do in the ring or on a promo is going to be heavily, heavily compared to him and I immediately become the Robin to the Batman. So many people don't realize -- and some women would be completely okay with that kind of role. But me personally, when you've worked just as hard and just as long for your career you don't want your entire work and passion to be credited or overshadowed by your partner.
“I always wanted him and I to be seen as the equal powerhouse couple, where we both have our own thing to bring to the table. But like it always happens like that. You know, people want to put you together with whoever you're dating.”
Currently, Darby Allin is the AEW TNT Champion and has caught the eye of wrestling icon, Sting. Learn what Darby thinks of these comparisons to the Hall of Famer at this link.
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