Following her work at AEW and Impact Wrestling, Alicia Atout officially joined Major League Wrestling as a backstage interviewer late last year. She discussed the culture of MLW when she joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
"It's fantastic. I feel like I have such a great boss in Court. You never know what you're gonna get, whether it's a boss or the environment around you or your fellow wrestlers. I've never been so comfortable in a locker room than this MLW one," revealed Atout. "Whether it's dealing with creepy people or people that look down on you or think you have no talent, I've never dealt with any of those things with any of those guys. That just gives me comfort and warmth and it makes it fun for me. I'm not looking over my shoulder thinking, 'Oh, what are they gonna critique?' It makes it so positive.
"We can knock out promos in one take and they're good. Or, if we think we need to polish it, we take our time with it. It's always for the best product, which I appreciate. I think my favorite thing, other than people, is the fact that I can speak up and give advice or want to change an angle on something and they'll listen. It's amazing – they don't just hush you up and say, 'No, you're not an agent or producer. Go just hold the microphone.' They're not like that at all. They will literally take into consideration and often use the advice that you gave them. It's been so positive and fantastic; I love working with them."
Atout seems to be enjoying being a part of the creative process at MLW. The Wrestling Inc. Daily host Nick Hausman asked if she was interested in pursuing a more regular creative role in pro wrestling.
"It's interesting when you word it that way because it was never something that I've actually been interested in learning about," said Atout. "But as I'm holding the mic or hearing something be delivered in a certain way, I'm always overanalyzing to make sure whatever we put on TV is the best. So, I'll hear something be said, whether out of my mouth or the wrestler I'm interviewing, and I'm like, 'Oh my gosh! If we reworded that, then that would make like gold.' And they'll listen. I love that comfort level that I have with everyone because if the wrestler doesn't get offended, I'm not coming off like a 'B' because they're like, 'Oh, she thinks she knows everything.' Everyone gives their input because we just want everything to be the best.
"Then we have those moments where we watch it back together hovering around the camera, and we're all just watching the promo and we're like, 'Oh my gosh! Yes, that was so good!' So, I love moments like that. As far as me wanting to be a producer or agent – not really a goal – but if it was ever like, 'Hey, wanna write something up?' I'd be like, 'Yeah.' I'm always up for learning new things."
There aren't very many women involved in producer, agent or creative roles in pro wrestling and Atout spoke about that.
"With MLW we're definitely growing our women's roster and we do have Salina de la Renta who I'm working really closely with on some stuff and she was the first Latin producer to do anything on TV for a wrestling company," Atout said before adding it's empowering to see women like de la Renta in these positions.
"If you look around, there are lots of people now with podcasts that are women and people doing more backstage stuff and starting to promote. I think if you have a passion for it then just go for it and see what happens."
De la Renta is not only a producer for MLW but she's also a manager and Atout was asked if she would be interested in going down the manager route.
"For me, anything that's thrown my way, if someone wants me to try it, I'll try it. I literally started off just doing my YouTube interviews then a local promotion goes, 'Hey, do you wanna be a backstage interviewer?' 'Sure.' Then, 'Hey do you wanna try ring announcing?' 'Why not?' Then, 'Hey you wanna host this panel?' 'Hey, I'm your girl!' So, if you don't take any chances and try new things then you're never gonna know what other opportunities are there and what those other opportunities can lead to," stated Atout.
She added that if MLW came to her about managing, then she would be interested. However, she isn't as keen on stepping into the ring for a match but would be open to taking a bump.
"If I had to learn how to take a bump or two, I definitely would. But being a full-on wrestler? I only want to do things I'm passionate about and I don't wanna half-mess with something. So, being a wrestler? Not really my vibe but taking a bump or two to sell a story or have some fun, I'm down," said Atout.
"I don't wanna be one of those phony people that walk in – and we've all seen it – where they're put in a situation where they have to try and wrestle but they suck. Then they're like, 'Man, you should have just stuck to what you were doing before. You've got nothing to prove.' So, I just wanna be passionate about everything I do and put my all in it rather than suck at something, which I think I would not be a great wrestler. I'm just being honest."
Unlike most other wrestling promotions, MLW has remained dark during the pandemic and Atout discussed that decision.
"It's interesting because when you hear about the behind the scenes of a lot of those companies, most of them aren't testing properly. So, that's why we have had outbreaks in certain brands which is awful. I never want anyone to have something, especially something that could be deadly like this. I think it's horrible," said Atout.
"So, as much as I would love to be back out there and love to see fans, perform and see my friends, I don't want to go out, by fluke, meet someone with the virus and bring it back home to my family. It's not safe; it's really not. I think when they say it's a deadly virus, you have to take those words really seriously. So, I appreciate the fact that Court's waiting. We're keeping dark and doing a bunch of stuff behind the scenes which will hopefully premiere really soon. We've really been working our tails off – you just haven't seen it yet. I'd rather do that kind of stuff in the meantime than risk it and have one of those outbreaks or unfortunate problems that a lot of places are now dealing with because they didn't take the precaution."
You can follow Alicia on Twitter @AliciaAtout. Alicia's full interview aired as part of today's episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.