Tay Conti was released by WWE last year, as a result of cuts made due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Conti ended up signing with AEW after her release from WWE, although that was not her initial plan.
Tay Conti was recently interviewed by Michael Morales Torres of Lucha Libre Online. During the interview, she opened up about her initial plans after her WWE release. Conti said that she didn't plan to join AEW, and she considered going to Japan. But she pointed out that she couldn't travel because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"Everything was very natural. I had no plans to get [to AEW.] When I left WWE, I had no plans. I just didn't want to be there (with WWE) anymore, because I wasn't happy. Then I thought that I wanted to go to Japan, because it is a dream that I have. But with the pandemic, I couldn't make it and I was waiting. I received many messages from people I did not know when my release information came out. I was very happy, because everyone was trying to know if I was okay and everything."
Conti called wrestling in Japan "a dream," but travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic prevented her from chasing that goal after her WWE release. She also described how many people supported her after she left WWE.
Tay Conti reveals Kenny Omega's role in bringing her to AEW
Tay Conti also discussed her journey to AEW. She revealed how Luchasaurus, who was previously signed to NXT, reached out after her WWE release. Luchasaurus then tagged Kenny Omega in one of Conti's Tweets. This development led to Omega getting her number and contacting her himself. Conti revealed how this progression led to her signing with AEW.
"Luchasaurus, with whom I am very grateful, sent me a message. He was on NXT. The same thing happened to him. You know, what happened to me. He told me: ‘I congratulate you and wish you success. May you achieve your dreams and maybe I'll see you at AEW one day'. And so we remain. For a long time [I wasn’t ready]. Then I was feeling ready to get back into the ring. I started uploading my videos and seeing what happened. Luchasaurus tagged Kenny [Omega] in my video [Tweet.] Kenny saw my life [story] and asked for my phone number. "
"Kenny contacted me. I could not believe it because I am a huge fan of the Japanese style of wrestling. I've always been watching Kenny's matches. I am not a fan of wrestling since I was little. Because I didn't see it. But since I started [working in the industry], Kenny was always an inspiration. Getting a message from Kenny on my phone was like ‘Wow!’ I was really, really excited. From there we started talking and they invited me to meet and talk about opportunities. The first opportunity did not happened. We kept talking. And Tony [Khan] told me about the tag team tournament when I met Anna Jay. That's how it all happened."
After she signed with AEW, Tay Conti made her debut in the Women's Tag Team tournament, teaming with The Dark Order's Anna Jay. The duo won their quarter-final match, defeating Nyla Rose and Ariane Andrew. But they lost to eventual winners, Ivelisse and Diamante, in the semi-finals.