Ruby Soho Explains What Makes AEW Different and More in B/R Exclusive
When Ruby Soho made her debut for All Elite Wrestling at All Out on Sept. 5, she instantly became one of the women's division's top stars by winning the Casino Battle Royale.
Two weeks later, she worked the main event of the most important episode of AEW television, the Grand Slam edition of Dynamite.
Following her release from WWE, Soho created a series of videos hyping her next move in pro wrestling. Fans watched each installment trying to pick out clues to figure out where she might end up.
Not only did she get a hero's welcome in Chicago, but she also made her entrance to the Rancid song that inspired her name.
We had a chance to speak with Ruby Soho ahead of this week's Dynamite to talk about her AEW debut, tattoos, what she was up to during her time off, the AEW roster and much more.
Her Debut at All Out and Grand Slam
Soho's debut at All Out was just one of many special moments to take place that night. The Chicago crowd made it feel even more special for the tattooed grappler by chanting her name before she even made her entrance.
"It was the most spectacular moment in my career," Soho said. "There had been a lot of anticipation building up to that on my end and being worried that I may not be accepted in this new place and that people will maybe be disappointed if I was the Joker or anything like that were a lot of things that were in my mind.
"But when they started to chant "Ruby Soho" before I even came out, it was an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and excitement. I stepped on the stage and immediately felt like I was home, I felt accepted and I had never been so excited about the future of my professional wrestling career."
Winning the Casino Battle Royale gave Soho the right to challenge Britt Baker for the AEW Women's World Championship. She didn't wait long to cash in on that opportunity and fought DMD for the title at Dynamite: Grand Slam. Soho spoke about being put in such an important spot so early in her AEW career.
"It's surreal. I've only been here for a few weeks and I've already accomplished these incredible milestones and been so honored to be in these huge moments that are a part of the company's history now.
"I feel like I have accomplished so much, even though I didn't walk away as the champion on Dynamite. I feel like I've accomplished so much in such a short period of time that I just can't wait to see what else this place brings and what else I can be a part of. I'm just so excited about the future."
The AEW Women's Division
Moving to a new promotion creates the opportunity to work with new talent. Soho has experience with some of the women on the AEW roster, but many of the younger names are new to her.
The Runaway talked about who she has her eye on and who she wants to work with in the future.
"I have a history with a lot of the women there," Soho said. "I've either known them for quite some time or I have worked with them previously.
"As far as people that I haven't got a chance to step in the ring with, one of the people I noticed right off the bat is Nyla Rose. Her presence in the ring is just astounding to me. When she's around, she makes her presence known. And she has carried herself incredibly well. I am super-impressed by the work that she's done here in AEW. She's definitely somebody I would love to step into the ring with.
"Serena Deeb as well is somebody I have followed for the majority of my career, and she's somebody I look up to quite a bit. So she's somebody I would love to learn from. Taynara [Conti] is somebody I've known since she started, and she's someone who has continued to impress me each time she stepped into the ring.
"So any of those women, any of the women on the roster in general, are people that I'm a huge fan of, so I'm just excited about stepping into the ring with any of them."
What Makes AEW Different
Soho has worked for the smallest indie promotions and the biggest companies in the industry, so she has a lot of experience in different locker rooms and environments. However, AEW stood out to her as different than the rest for a couple of reasons.
"The thing that I noticed the most about this place is that AEW is different," she said. "And I know people say that a lot, but the reason that I feel like we have such incredible fans is that the roster is the most authentic version of themselves. They are who they are truly to their core, and the fans see that and relate to that.
"That energy is kind of infectious because they see these people who are at their happiest or at their peak. I think that's the most incredible thing about it. I believe we have probably some of the best fans in the wrestling industry because they are excited that we get to be true to ourselves."
How She Spent Her Time off
Like anyone who is released from a main roster contract in WWE, Soho had a 90-day no-compete clause to wait out. It might surprise some people to find out how she spent her time off.
"I built a farm," Soho said. "I have three horses. I've wanted horses since I was a kid. Basically, the one thing that you would expect me not to have, like the lifestyle that you expect me not to live, is the lifestyle I actually live [laughs]. I bought a house right before I got released and it had a farm on it.
"I managed to come across some horses, so I kind of remodeled a lot of stuff and did a lot of things with that. So, that was something I kind of focused on. Sarah Rowe actually started it and then she kind of spread the farm bug to all of us."
Now, all three members of The Riott Squad have made farming a part of their lives, which just goes to show you that people are full of surprises. During her time off, Soho also took time to focus on her own well-being.
"I really focused on my mental health a lot during that time," she said. "Because, you know, it was very difficult after I got released. It was very, very taxing on my mental health. And so I focused a lot on going to therapy and really just making sure that I was in the right headspace and the healthiest headspace for me to return back to pro wrestling."
Becoming Ruby Soho
A lot of pro wrestlers use their real names or come up with something original, but Soho was given the opportunity to use her current name by one of the men responsible for the song she got it from.
She talked about other options she considered before settling on Ruby Soho.
"I wanted to stick with Ruby because Ruby was sentimental to me because it did, in fact, come from the song," she said. "It just felt more like me than even indie name did."
Before becoming Ruby Riott, she went by the name Heidi Lovelace on the independent scene. When Lars Frederiksen from Rancid suggested she use the name Ruby Soho, it all fell into place.
"I had thought about Ruby Ramone. I had a list of them," she said. "That's the one that I can remember. One of my original pitches in WWE was Ramona Riot, so I liked the Ramone one because I like The Ramones.
"The moment that Lars had suggested [Ruby Soho] to me, I really kind of tunnel-visioned onto that because you got the coolest dude in the world bestowing this amazing name on you with this amazing song. Their sound is timeless. It doesn't sound like an old punk song. The sound is so timeless that it just sounds like it's always current."
How Her Goals Have Changed
When people first break into pro wrestling, they usually have a list of goals. They want to work for specific companies, win world titles, work in big stadiums and face the biggest names in the business.
Time and experience have changed how Soho looks at her future in the industry. She now approaches it with the viewpoint of simply wanting to enjoy each moment and focus on having fun.
"I am very goal-oriented person," she said. "I have things that I picture in my mind that I'm headed toward all the time. I think that is, though, something that has kind of distracted me from just having fun. In wrestling, I think sometimes I get so focused on these goals or these things I want to accomplish. I forget about that aspect of pro wrestling.
"I'm just enjoying myself. This is something I'm not going to be able to do for the rest of my life. My goal is just to enjoy myself as much as humanly possible and push myself past the limits that I thought I could go. So I think those are really my goals right now and to just try to not focus so much on the things I need to get done, but enjoying the things that I'm doing while I'm doing them."
Creating Videos to Hype Her Next Move
Before she arrived at All Out, The Runaway released a series of videos showing her on a new path. The clips garnered a lot of attention on social media and helped create a lot of speculation from fans and the media about where she might end up.
One of her friends had the idea of making some short films to showcase her character and the whole thing grew from there.
"His name is Giancarlo Dittamo," she said. "I've actually mentioned his name before and I think they called him John Carlos and I was like, 'Oh, no.' He and I have known each other and worked with each other in the past.
"He kind of approached me shortly after my release and had mentioned to me the idea of doing some videos, and then we kind of collaborated on the ideas and the feelings and the experience I had post-release and how I would like to represent that.
"He just took the ball and ran with it and created this beautiful art that he had created with the videos. He captured those moments and those feelings so well. I just couldn't be happier with them."
When the first video hit social media, the Twitterverse went into a frenzy. People were looking for clues on everything from her clothes to the ticket she was holding in her hand.
"One of my favorite parts of the whole experience was the reaction. Because to me, that's what art is. Interpretation," Soho said. "And there were so many different interpretations to a lot of the Easter eggs that we left throughout the videos.
"A lot of people were reading into things that weren't necessarily Easter eggs but they kind of wanted them to be. It was really cool to see the close attention people paid to the videos once they realized there were little Easter eggs left for them.
"I wanted to do [the videos] because I didn't do any interviews aside from Lars' podcasts. I was pretty social media silent after I had gotten released because I felt like that I wanted to take that time for me. I wanted to take that time to just kind of process everything, and I wanted to speak out when I was ready.
"I think one of the things that I loved about it is that I was social media silent and people didn't really know what the process was after my release or how I was feeling because I wasn't really vocal about it. Those videos really took you on that journey with me of how I was feeling and what I had gone through without me actually having to say anything, which I think is really beautiful."
Her Approach to Tattoos
Aside from her skill in the ring, one of the things that makes Soho stand out is her look. She has a punk-rock aesthetic with colorful hair, unique clothing and more tattoos than even she can count at this point.
"I honestly couldn't tell you how many tattoos I have. I've lost count," she said. "I approach them kind of based off of where I'm at in the current stage of my life. A lot of the ones on my right arm are things from my late teenage years and early 20s that kind of express who I was at that point.
"I think my neck is probably my favorite. The women on my neck that I have done are amazing. But one of them was actually an idea that Sarah Rowe had given me that we came up with together, I have a bit of, this is kind of dark, a fear of death. And time kind of freaked me out a bit because I just always want to live in the moment and stay in this whirlwind of a life that I get to live.
"I have a Medusa on my neck. You can't really tell but if you get really close, she has a clock in her eyes. So obviously, Medusa froze men but it was more of a metaphor for freezing time, I guess. So it has a bit of a deeper meaning, but it's also really cool looking.
"I have gone to a bunch of different people. The one that I migrate back to a lot is a girl I went to high school with named Amber Olsen. She's an incredible artist out of Enamored Arts in Mishawaka, Indiana. She's the one that I if I can get in with her, I always try to."
AEW Movie Reviews
To wrap up our recent interviews with AEW stars, we have been asking them to review a movie they have seen. Soho picked a remake of a classic Italian horror movie released in 2018 titled Suspiria.
"There's one movie that I've seen recently that blew my mind," she said. "So I have a tendency to watch horror movies and then I will do research on them afterward and read what the director kind of meant for things to symbolize.
"I just watched the most messed-up movie of my life called Suspiria. And it was a 1970s movie but they remade it in 2018. It’s crazy and it's really good. I liked it a lot. One of the things that I thought was super-interesting was this doctor that I thought looked like he was in makeup, but I couldn't tell why or who he was.
"If you look at the credits and then you Google [Josef Klemperer], his bio said he was a German psychologist from the 1940s. Then, you come to find out that it's Tilda Swinton, the woman who played the headteacher [Madame Blanc] and she's dressed up as the male doctor in the movie, but they didn't tell anybody.
"It gave me this little Easter egg to Google this guy. I just thought that was so cool. It just blew my mind when I finally found out who it was. This is definitely a movie for the older audiences because it is very gory and kind of messed up. The actual movie itself is feminist-driven. It's amazing."