By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Janai reflects on her AEW Rampage match with Jade Cargill and trying to make the most out of the time she had: “Yeah [the AEW Rampage spot gave me more exposure] and this is actually another thing I learned from Santana [Garrett] is that when you know you’re not gonna get a lot of time, make the most of it and so, the way that I handled myself and did everything in the ring for that little time, that was all Santana in my head telling me, ‘Okay, make sure you pose well. Make sure you circle the ring how you usually circle the ring. At least circle your style in one way and that will get some sort of attention’ so that’s what I did and it honestly worked because if I had not did the pose or circled the ring like how I usually [do] then I just would have been another random person to be honest, because when I go on Twitter, everyone was saying how cool I was. I was like, ‘I have like three seconds in the ring’ but they were just talking about everything else detail-wise. I was like, ‘Okay. So this is what Santana meant and this is how it actually does work out,’ so, yeah. I think with that overall experience, you know, it is what it is but I’m so thankful that I knew how to handle it.”
On hoping to work with AEW when they come to Washington DC next week: “I really hope now [that] I do come back [to AEW] and really showcase what I’m all about because that was just of course like nothing, man. That was nothing. So yeah, I really hope I do come back. I know there’s people that did express that too that wanna see more and yeah, it should be like — it should be super crazy to come back because I know they’re coming to D.C. soon so I hope that I’m part of that. So if you come to D.C. man, let me tell you, it’s gonna be on, it’s gonna be on.”
On being a part of the ‘Black Girl Magik’ show that spotlighted Black women in pro wrestling: “Yeah, most definitely [we felt like we accomplished something special with the Black Girl Magik show] and if anyone watches the show, you can see how there are different styles represented within our community, so this is like a great show to present that and really showcase that and to really put more eyes on more Black women in wrestling, so I definitely recommend those who haven’t seen it to watch it and I know for sure that we’re gonna be coming back this year.”
Her short stint with Ring of Honor and how the women’s locker room felt like a family: Yeah, so from what I can say, so the first day when I got there [Ring of Honor]… this was legit after the cuts happened [ROH’s hiatus announcement] that I was there and so it was already kind of like that type of situation where I really don’t know what’s going on and then I’m new and I don’t know what’s going on with how they’re gonna be treating the women’s division and what’s gonna be moving forward so the first day when I got there, there was like a full meeting with the women only and Maria [Kanellis-Bennett] was there, Bobby [Cruise] was there so we’re just talking overall about just different things like they don’t know which way things are heading but it really did seem like it was a tight family and I felt welcomed.
“Everyone just had this special kind of love and it was a very emotional moment too as like you’re going around and sharing different things and different stories and just, you know, really hoping that this is not the end of all of them together. Yeah, I kind of felt that for sure, but you know, it’s unfortunate but at the same time, we hope that this is definitely not going to be something that is just over with because the women’s division was really building up to something special in Ring of Honor to where it finally seemed [like] something more of a focus and we really have to thank Maria for that too and Bobby, and Maria, she feels very strongly about this so, yeah. I overall just like the experience there, just being around them. They really made it feel very comfortable.”
On hoping to work with Thunder Rosa’s Mission Pro promotion again and the professionalism within the promotion: Oh yeah, 100 percent [I could feel the camaraderie at Mission Pro Wrestling] and being a part of that locker room, that whole experience overall was just very professional, very welcoming. It was definitely like a family right off the bat. It was just kind of crazy to even experience it that way because I haven’t really experienced locker rooms in that way. It’s always just been like, ‘All right,’ just show up. ‘Okay, you’re good, you already wrestled, leave. We’ll pay you.’ Just being over there, it was just like — we were all just like — it was just way too tight in a sense. It was definitely like a family and [Thunder] Rosa really — I know it’s obvious that she feels strongly about women’s wrestling but like, from the beginning to the end, it’s just been like I felt that and I believed it and I believe that Mission Pro is really heading to like maybe even a top-type of promotion in the future if it keeps going on this way because it’s just way too special and being around the women there is kind of like the same type of situation when I was at Ring of Honor, but like it’s like these women that are just starting out at Ring of Honor, most of those women already have that kind of face, they already have been places but, over in Mission Pro, it’s mainly women that are just kind of starting out.
“They’re like — we’re all kind of like around the same range when it comes to how many years in we’ve been doing this so we’re all trying to build and to try — we’re trying to, you know, make a name for ourselves so, being in Mission Pro is that stage for us to learn and to develop each other so I appreciate that because there’s not many promotions like that, especially all-women’s promotions and it’s great and they already started traveling. They’re not staying in one spot so, the fact that they’re new, an all-women’s promotion and already traveling, that’s great. That’s better than most that have been around for a while so, I know for sure this year, there’s gonna be a lot more craziness. Just craziness in a good way. Just great stuff coming from Mission Pro so, I’m looking forward to it and I’m looking forward to actually coming back in the future because this is a very special thing going on.”