Chris Jericho interviewed Britt Baker on his latest podcast, where she told a story from her early career about how one patriarchal WWE gatekeeper prevented her from getting a developmental deal. Back before Baker even had a single match, she told Le Champion, former ECW star Rhino convinced her to try to obtain a tryout with WWE. At the tryout, Baker as green, but still caught the eye of the Fed.
"I had to tell a lot of lies to be able to get out of school for that weekend because that's a couple days," Baker said, as transcribed by 411 Wrestling. "My tryout was actually pretty stacked with talent. It was…Bianca [Belair] was in it, Lacey Evans, Velveteen Dream, Sonya Deville, it was a loaded class. All those names I mentioned, plus myself, at the very end, got pulled aside to do like this extra physical with the doctor and I asked, I'm like, 'What is this for?' 'Oh basically the people on this list have intentions of being hired.' So I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm gonna get a job with WWE!'"
Britt Baker Smashes the Patriarchy
But there was one obstacle: Senior Director of Talent Development Canyon Ceman, who, "as a father," just couldn't handle the idea of Baker dropping out of dental school to pursue her passion.
"I'll never forget at the very end of the camp, Canyon Ceman pulled me aside," Baker continued. "If you're an independent wrestler, Canyon Ceman is the gatekeeper. He is, 'You shall not pass or come on in to the WWE.' And he told me, he was like, 'You really impressed a lot of people at this tryout.' I was like, so excited, so excited. But he said, 'As a father, I have a really hard time pulling someone from a professional degree for this business.' And my heart just sank."
Fortunately, the WWE rejection wasn't the end of Britt Baker's career, and now, she's a top star for AEW and a dentist at the same time. "So a couple of weeks later I got an email from him saying, 'You have a lot of the qualities we look for, however we don't have an opportunity for you at this time, but if you have the passion to succeed in this, you'll find a way to make this work throughout dental school.' And I never forgot that. Didn't work out for WWE but it worked out to my advantage even better because I'm able to do both careers. I'm a dentist and a professional wrestler on TV."