All Elite Wrestling CEO Tony Khan explains how the AEW Full Gear dream match between Saraya and Dr. Britt Baker, DMD, is more than just AEW vs. WWE. Saraya officially debuted in AEW at Grand Slam in September, marking her return to wrestling after 5 years away. When she was Paige in WWE, Saraya suffered a career-ending neck injury, but she is now cleared for in-ring competition in AEW.
Saraya is a world-famous superstar whose life story was made into the feature film, Fighting With My Family. However, Dr. Britt Baker is the recognized face of AEW’s women’s division, and she has beaten other former WWE stars like Ruby Soho. But Saraya is the biggest ex-WWE female star to join AEW, and the battle lines between Baker defending AEW’s reputation against the most high-profile former WWE invader yet have been drawn.
At AEW’s Full Gear media briefing, Screen Rant asked Tony Khan his thoughts on Saraya vs. Dr. Britt Baker, and AEW’s CEO and head booker highlighted that the story of the dream match goes beyond AEW vs. WWE. Here’s what Tony said:
Screen Rant: Saraya vs Dr. Britt Baker is probably the biggest women’s dream match AEW has done, and it has an interesting story of Saraya making her comeback vs Britt kind of defending the reputation of the AEW women’s division. I’m wondering where your sympathies lie as the head of AEW and as the booker?
Tony Khan: [It’s] not like everyone coming in [to AEW] are the terrible people and everyone here is the greatest. [There are] very compelling people in this match. I think we have every reason to expect something great when Saraya returns to the ring. It’s a great story. She’s been out of wrestling, and many people thought she would never return to the ring. It’s very compelling. And it was amazing news that Saraya was cleared to wrestle and that she’s going to go one-on-one this Saturday night with Dr. Britt Baker at AEW Full Gear.
Dr. Britt Baker, DMD is one of the great homegrown stars of AEW. She is somebody who’s really worked her way into this position. When AEW started, we saw firsthand that Britt was willing to go the extra mile, and she’s been injured at times in matches and fought through. She’s had her nose broken several times. She’s been in some of the bloodiest, most barbaric matches in pro wrestling. Dr. Britt Baker is savage. And she’s somebody that’s willing to go to war for AEW.
Saraya is frankly one of the biggest, most recognizable faces in all of pro wrestling, and has one of the best known stories. People around the world know Saraya’s story, and what she’s overcome to get to this match. And I think that’s really compelling. And that’s why it’s cool she’s in AEW, and it’s awesome she’s making a comeback at AEW Full Gear.
What Saraya Vs. Dr. Britt Baker Means For AEW
Saraya’s comeback to pro wrestling is certainly a compelling feel-good story that would be completed by a win in her first match back in 5 years. However, her story with Dr. Britt Baker has evolved beyond AEW vs. WWE. Saraya’s promos that Britt “doesn’t have what it takes to be a star” cut the former AEW Women’s World Champion deep since she has worked since AEW began to undeniably become one of the pillars of the company. Saraya had an incredible WWE career, and many years of pro wrestling experience before that, but she is now unproven after her neck injury forced her to retire for five years.
AEW’s reputation is on the line at Full Gear, but the more interesting story is whether Saraya can perform at the high-level AEW demands. Dr. Britt Baker is a proven commodity when it comes to main events and brutal, bloody, hardcore wars in AEW. As Tony Khan explained, what’s personally on the line between Saraya and Dr. Britt Baker at Full Gear is more interesting than the AEW vs. WWE angle.
Next: Saraya Vs. Britt Baker Might Be AEW’s Most Important Full Gear Match
AEW Full Gear takes place on Saturday, November 19th, 2022, on pay-per-view and Bleacher Report.