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By Spencer Love on 1/17/2023 7:43 AM

Gigi Rey Interview w/ Spencer Love: Links & Transcribed Highlights (Released January  17, 2023)  

Independent wrestling star Gigi Rey joined Spencer Love to discuss a number of topics,  including her recent appearances on AEW Dark, her relationship with Booker T and Sharmelle,  the origins of her famous /\/\ \/\/ sign, and more! Select highlights from the interview can be  found below.  

Apple Podcasts: i=1000594849055


Her experience working closely with Booker T and Sharmell (10:20)  

Gigi Rey: “I really wanted to bet on myself to see how far I could take this wrestling thing.  Obviously, I had known about Reality of Wrestling, just because of being a wrestling fan my  whole life, [and] knowing about Booker T and his promotion down there, seeing it on YouTube  and just seeing how well produced it wasn, seeing the talent that they have there and thinking  'it'd be really cool if I could wrestle with these people.' I just went to their website [and] called  the phone number. I think Sharmell answered! I'm pretty sure it was Sharmell who answered  the phone!" 

SL: “Which would be pretty surreal in and of itself!"  

GR: “Like, I have her number in my phone! She checked up on me all the time when I hurt my  wrist, so it's like I have a nice little connection with Sharmell now. It was cool that back two  years ago, I guess now two and a bit, I just called their and said 'hey, I really want to come  down to the school. What's the process?' They told me the pricing for it. They're like, 'just  bring your deposit the first day, and then you're enrolled in school and you just pay monthly.' I  think that was probably I want to say in January of 2021, I guess, and then I officially moved  down there, July of 2021. I started up in the school, maybe [at the] end of July, early August,  and kind of never really looked back. I kind of just became part of the R.O.W family, which was  kind of nice." 

SL: “Were you a fan of Booker T growing up?" 

GR: “Yeah, of course! Who's not a fan of Booker T?! He's so cool!" 

SL: “The immediacy! I love it." 

GR: “Yeah, of course! It's really cool now, just seeing him at shows. He's kind of a little bit of a  father figure to a lot of the talent there. [When] I get there, he'll always give me a big hug. It's 

cool that - I don't know, I don't want to say friends, but I have a connection with Booker T and  Sharmell! It's really, really interesting. It's really cool." 

Her experiences working with All Elite Wrestling (17:56)  

GR: “Being at AEW, there are definitely people there that they encourage you to go and talk to.  You'll always have an agent who's gonna kind of oversee your match. I've been so fortunate,  because I think every match that I've had there, maybe except the last one, my agent was  Dustin Rhodes. Amazing.” 

SL: “[He] might know a thing or two about pro wrestling!" 

GR: “Just a couple things! He’s so knowledgeable, and just a giant of a man. He's a lot bigger  in person!" 

SL: “He's like, 6'7 or something, isn't he?" 

GR: “He's huge. He's so tall!” 

SL: “It's nuts. [It's] almost like a Randy Orton sort of thing too. You don't realize how tall these  guys are!" 

GR: “When we did RAW in Winnipeg with the crew, with [Michael Richard Blais], Zoë [Sager],  [Taryn From Accounting] and stuff, I remember we were in the hallway and I was like standing  next to Randy Orton. I was like, 'Oh my gosh, this man is huge!' He's a lot better than you  think.” 

GR: “Same with Dustin Rhodes. He's a very, very tall individual, but so amazing. [When] you  would tell him ideas for the match, he was like, 'Oh, well, how about you try this? What about  this?' Of course, you're not gonna say no, because he obviously knows what he's talking  about. Even after the match, to kind of get feedback from him was really amazing. I'm so  thankful for the opportunities that AEW has been able to give to independent wrestlers and be  able to make those connections with people. It's been really great anytime I've been there. I  have nothing but good things to say about AEW.” 

Her favourite of her three AEW Dark matches, her match with Toni Storm (20:29) 

SL: “[You had] three very different matches. You wrestled a singles, you wrestled a tag team,  you wrestled in a trios match. Do you have a favorite, and why?" 

GR: “Being in a singles match against Toni Storm, like, you can't ask for anything more than  that, right?! So, that was probably my favorite, most memorable moment [or] matches at AEW.  Obviously, the ones being able to tag with like Lady Bird in them is also very special, too. Like  you said, we're both very sentimental people. To able to do that with someone who's your best  friend is a really, really cool experience. I don't think a lot of people are able to to say stuff like  that, you know, that they got to tag with their best friend in front of like a huge crowd in Texas.  Lady Bird, she's from Dallas, and the matches that we had were both in the Dallas area. It's  such a cool experience. But then, to be able to have a singles match against Toni Storm was  just really, really amazing.” 

The birth of her famous Mill Woods hand gesture (21:14) 

GR: “That [match against Toni Storm] was kind of like the whole birth of the whole Mill Woods  thing!” 

SL: “Was that the first time you did it? Or, was that just the first time you were given that  platform to do it?" 

GR: “That was the first time I did it! It was the first time I had a platform." SL: “So, what sparked it?" 

GR: “One of the greatest things I've learned from Booker T, especially, was that wrestling, it's  not about the moves, it's about the moments. It's about the things that you do in-between the  moves that make you stand out. Think about Booker T doing the spinneroonie, and his  mannerisms. The way he wrestles, he'll do a hip toss and pose after it. After a hip toss!" 

SL: “He's pretty well the perfect example of the in-between of the moves. As great as he  moves, that that isn't necessarily what you remember him for." 

GR: “Anyone can do the moves. You can train hard enough, and you can do the moves. But it's  all the little - it's the seasoning! If you have a chicken breasts with no seasoning, it's just a  chicken breast!" 

SL: “I like that. I’m totally going to steal that.” 

GR: “But that's what he said, and I always think about it. It's the seasoning. It's the stuff you  put on the chicken breast that makes it good! So I remember I got to go to AEW again. Lady  Bird wasn't there with me that time. I think maybe some of my friends were there, but I kind of  felt like I was on my own that time. When you go there when your booked as an extra, you  don't know if you're gonna get a match or not. They kind of write up the board halfway through  the day, and if your name is on it, you have a match. If your names on on it, you're kind of just  on hand in case something happens. But, it's really great when you see your name on the  board. So, they start writing up the board, and I see 'Gigi Rey versus Toni Storm,' and I kind of  just like, paused." 

SL: “Were you waiting for more names to be added?" 

GR: “I was waiting for my name to be erased! I was like, 'please don't change it. Please don't  change it. Please don't change it.' I remember I texted all my friends and was like, 'holy shit. I  think I'm wrestling Toni Storm!' So, when you find your name on the board, they tell you to get  together with your opponent, find your agent, and kind of figure it out. Toni Storm was kind of  

standing right beside me. You always want to be polite. You don't want to be too zealous or  anything, so I kind of tapped her on the shoulder to be like, 'hey, I'm Gigi,' and she gave me a  huge hug. She's the nicest person in the whole entire world." 

SL: “Oh, that's wonderful to hear." 

GR: “She is just so nice. I was like, 'How can you be this nice? Are you really this nice?' She is  that nice! We kind of spent the afternoon together just planning out our match and working out  some things. The whole experience was just so amazing. I can't say enough great things about  it."

GR: “So, to get back to your question, what Booker T had told me, he was like, 'if you have a  moment to make yourself stand out, make sure you take that moment.' I had remembered  before at the my last AEW match, before the match starts, they show you, they have your  name at the bottom, and that's your moment to stand out in front of the camera. It's kind of  just you." 

SL: “Not the titantron, but the little graphic at the bottom?" 

GR: “The little graphic at the bottom. I remember with the last one before that it was the trio, so  it was the three of us. You don't really have a lot of - obviously, I was there, but it's not really  just about you. But, I knew this time, it was just going to be me. I knew I had to do something  to kind of make me stand out. Something that could be memorable. At the time, I didn't really  have anything. I wasn't doing the Mill Woods thing yet. I think I kind of had some ideas about  doing it, but I hadn't had the opportunity to do it anywhere yet. So, I was like, 'Well, we're on  AEW, we might as well do it this time!' I knew that when they were going to introduce me to the  crowd, I was like, 'Okay, well, this is my chance to do something, throw up the MW and see  what happens.' So, I did it. I was really, really glad that I did. It picked up steam online.  Thankfully, Thaddeus Archer had a lot to do with kind of getting the ball rolling on that because  he's one who had hashtagged it like Mill Woods, YEG, all that stuff. It just kind of really  exploded from there, which was really, really cool to see."