American professional wrestling referee Aubrey Edwards was born Brittany Aubert on March 9, 1987. Aubrey Edwards is currently signed with All Elite Wrestling (AEW), her contract began with AEW on September 1, 2019, becoming the promotion’s first full-time female referee. She is also the promotion’s project coordinator and the co-host of AEW Unrestricted with Tony Schiavone. In August 2019, this female referee made history at AEW’s All Out, as the first woman to referee a professional wrestling world championship match on pay-per-view.
Most interestingly, this hardcore ref practiced classical ballet for 21 years.
Before becoming a professional wrestling referee, Edwards also had a background in software engineering and computer science, as she was previously working in the video game industry as a producer, she is currently working with the development of AEW Games. Here are 10 super cool facts about Aubrey Edwards that will make you want to blow the whistle on her haters!
10 Things About Aubrey Edwards From AEW That You Probably Didn’t Know!
1. Name Change:
AEW referee Aubrey Edwards revealed in an interview that she doesn’t go by her real name in AEW, with two very good reasons for the change. Talking on Talk Is Jericho, she explained that she changed it to avoid confusion with Britt Baker, and that her ring name was inspired by the real name of her late father.
“My name is Brittany. One of the first things I noticed on the Indies is, anytime I work with a promotion, they’ll throw me in a women’s match because there are people who don’t think women should ref men’s matches or they like the image of only women in the ring. I thought, ‘I’m probably going to cross paths with Britt Baker, I should probably come up with a different name, just to limit confusion. I show up [to AEW] and no one knows who I am. I introduce myself as Aubrey everywhere, but I prefer Brittany backstage, which causes confusion because Britt [jokes], ‘you’re not allowed to have that name.’ ‘Bitch, I’m older than you, it was my name first’ [laughs]. My dad’s name was Edward Aubert, so my wrestling name is Aubrey Edwards. He passed away when I was 12. He never saw any of this, but he’d get a huge kick out of it. I wanted something that was important to me.”
2. Before wrestling, she was a gaming producer:
In AEW, Aubrey Edwards happens to be one of the toughest and most popular referees in pro wrestling today. Her penchant for not taking any nonsense from stars like Chris Jericho has made her as beloved as the wrestlers themselves,
AEW fans who have paid attention may have heard referee Aubrey Edwards express her love of gaming in interviews, but did you know that before she was laying down the law on AEW Dynamite on TNT, Aubrey Edwards (whose real name is Brittany Aubert) spent 10 years helping bring digital worlds to life in the game industry? That’s right, during her time in the industry, she worked in a variety of roles for several studios, most notably as a producer for the Scribblenauts franchise. With the recent announcement of AEW’s first foray into video games, Aubrey Edwards finds herself back in the world of game-making, combining her two dream jobs into one.
3. So what type of video games does she enjoy?
“I’ve actually been playing video games much longer than I’ve been watching wrestling,” Aubery said to Game Informer in 2020.
“I started playing video games as early as I can remember. My house was always very much a video game household. There’s pictures of my mom playing Duck Hunt pregnant with me. I played Sonic the Hedgehog with her when she was pregnant with my sister. I played NBA Jam with my dad, so it’s like gaming’s always been a big part of just my life in general.
She also said to Gameinformer.com: So when I was growing up I played Ocarina of Time in 1998 and was like ‘Oh man, there’s people in an office somewhere who made this thing! That’s something that I could do for a living.’ So from that moment on, I’m like ‘I’m going to make video games, and that’s gonna be what I do with my life!’”
In her youth, referee Aubrey Edwards adored JRPGs such as Final Fantasy VII, X, and Kingdom Hearts (“The original one, before the story got really wacky,” Aubrey Edwards stated) but her taste shifted as life got busier.
In college, the future WWE referee fell in love with the shorter indie experiences. Aubrey Edwards cites Braid, for example, as one of her all-time favorites. “My favorite game in the last year that I’ve played is Untitled Goose Game just because it’s only four hours and you get to be an a–hole goose. It’s fantastic.”
Since the wrestling business requires constant travel, the Switch has been Aubrey Edwards’s “savior” for satisfying her gaming fix. She considers herself a Nintendo kid and is a huge fan of The Legend of Zelda and Pikmin franchises in particular. Clearly, Aubrey loves vivid colorful games that highlight lighthearted imagination over hardcore violence. “If it’s cute, adorable, and has bright colors, I’ve probably played it,” she said to Gameinformer.com.
4. Aubrey Edwards didn’t play WWF No Mercy before joining AEW:
Since Aubrey Edwards became a wrestling fan much later in life, she didn’t grow up playing beloved classics such as WWF No Mercy. That’s why she’s made it a priority to dust off the N64 and study No Mercy to figure out why it sells.
“We really want to make sure that what we’re making is what wrestling fans want. So as someone who makes games – and this has always been the case – if I’m building something and we’re trying to hit a particular vibe or a particular market, it’s my job to do the research to make sure we’re achieving that.”
5. She loved gaming so much that she did a Computer Science course:
Referee Aubrey Edwards chased her game-development dreams by attending DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, WA, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. After graduation, this future WWE referee spent the next decade working in a variety of studios in both development and producer roles. Aubrey Edwards’s longest tenure at a studio came at 5th Cell, where she was employed under the Scribblenauts franchise for more than six years. Given referee Aubrey Edwards’s love of whimsical games, the studio seemed like a perfect fit.
“I guess that’s part of the reason that drew me to the franchise in the first place,” she said to Gameinformer.com . “I was a Nintendo kid growing up, so hearing that 5th Cell was continuing to make Nintendo games and they were making something that was cool and unique and had never been done before, I was like, ‘Well, yeah, I know I’m going to apply here.’”
Referee Aubrey Edwards worked as a tool programmer for the first Scribblenauts, then shifted to the role of producer for Super Scribblenauts, and, finally became a lead producer for Scribblenauts Unlimited, a launch title for the Wii U. Additionally, the future AEW referee oversaw development of the game’s iOS port. Helping bring Maxwell’s adventures to life for so long has penciled a permanent spot for the franchise in Aubrey Edwards’s heart; she even has a Starite tattoo on her arm. After leaving 5th Cell, Aubrey Edwards moved on to WG Cells (a division of Wargaming) to work on a few mobile games, but Wargaming shut down her branch before any of those projects saw the light of day. She moved on to City State Entertainment, a studio made up of Mythic Entertainment alumni, to help launch its West Coast studio.
Aubrey Edwards then moved on to Vreal, a now-defunct VR game-streaming platform. Despite helping to develop a functioning alpha build, the studio eventually ran out of funding and Aubrey Edwards was laid off.
6. From going broke in gaming to pro-wrestling:
Losing two jobs out of four started to sour Aubrey Edwards on the gaming industry, “I hadn’t actually shipped a game since 2012 outside of a couple early alpha versions of things, so it kind of just wears on you a little bit” Aubrey Edwards stated.
Thankfully, an unexpected opportunity appeared in the form of pro wrestling. Not only did it provide a welcome change of scenery, but eventually served as a roundabout way back into game-making. Aubrey Edwards became a fan of wrestling in 2011, kicking off an obsession that led to Aubrey Edwards learning how to referee in 2017. Though she still worked in games full time, Aubrey Edwards refereed on the indie wrestling circuit as a hobby on weekends.
Thankfully, as her love for the sport grew, so did the opportunities; Aubrey Edwards even had a brief stint in WWE as one of the referees for the 2018 Mae Young Classic, a women’s wrestling tournament (referee Aubrey Edwards officiated the infamous bout in which Tegan Nox tore knee against Rhea Ripley). When All Elite Wrestling formed in 2019, the fledgling organization approached her with a full-time gig.
“Eventually it ended up growing very large,” Aubrey Edwards stated on Gameinformer.com “It kind of just got to the point where I said, ‘I can keep going with this games thing full-time, or I can chase this AEW thing.’ Because at that point it’s early 2019, we’ve got Double or Nothing coming up, no one really knows what to expect. But they’re talking about changing the world, and that always sounds like a really fun thing. So I took a risk, and I left games, and I joined AEW.”
7. Signature style:
When referee Aubrey Edwards joined AEW, she quickly gained a following for not only being one of the few female referees in mainstream wrestling, but for her penchant for keeping the men in tights in line no matter how imposing they are.
8. She’s actually great friends with Jessika Carr:
“So Jessika Carr, who’s now on Smackdown, she was their first full-time female referee, she started reffing around the same time I did,” Edwards stated in an interview with AEW Unrestricted. “She had been wrestling 10 years prior, but we had gotten in contact with a mutual friend of ours, Brutal Bob. We kind of touched based every now and then, see how we’re all doing. She watched my tape, gave me some feedback and whatnot. There’s not a lot of women in this business so we kind of have to all support each other.
9. Aubrey Edwards and AEW partnered up in, you guessed it, developing games:
AEW has gained a passionate fanbase, and a video game was among the first things that diehards begged for once the company got rolling. Their wish came true and then some when the company unveiled AEW Games in November (via a satirical press conference) with three games in the works: a No Mercy-inspired console game and two mobile titles.
Of course, given Aubrey’s background, it was a given that she would be involved with AEW Games. “At some point or another, someone found out that I had a tech background,” Aubrey Edwards explained. “And I sent my resume to various executives at our company and they’re like, ‘Oh, you worked on games for a very long time.’ So when the conversation about AEW Games started to come about and [started] to actually develop games, it was kind of a no-brainer that I be involved with that.”
Aubrey Edwards primarily focused on overseeing AEW Elite General Manager, a mobile game that allowed gamers to book shows and manage the roster. However, she has her hands full assisting production for all of AEW’s titles in a role that combines her experiences as a hands-on developer and producer.
“It’s almost like a hybrid role.” she stated. “
I’m doing development things in the way that I’m working with art and making sure that all of our characters are represented properly, that our brand is represented properly. I’m working with the team to work on different features and follow the game design that we’re building with this game. I’m currently writing some narrative stuff for tutorials and whatnot. So I’m doing a lot of random day-to-day development stuff, but at the same time kind of acting as that publisher role as well, working with marketing and trying to figure out what our timelines are there and working with budgets and all these different things.”
10. Wrestling and game development are two of her passions, but separate:
“With games you’re building something for potentially years, and then the fans get to play it when you’re done with it.” she explained to Gameinformer.com.
“You get to see this amazing reaction to what it is that you made. With wrestling I get that multiple times every Wednesday. That we have a group of people that are telling a story and, 15-20 minutes later, we know exactly how that story was perceived, and even in the moment we get the fan reaction to something. Are they liking it, are they not liking it? And that’s something that is completely unique to any other performance media.”
“I always wanted to announce a video game in development on a stage,” she says. “That had been one of my goals in games forever. So I only needed to leave games and join a wrestling company in order to pull that off” she jokingly added.