AEW’s Ruby Soho Reflects On Her Theme Song & Reveals Which Punk Icon Called Her A ‘Scumbag’ (Exclusive)

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Image Credit: Courtesy of AEW

When you go by Ruby Soho, only one song should play you to the ring. The All Elite Wrestling star — formerly known as Heidi Lovelace and Ruby Riott – evolved into a new form when she debuted for AEW, turning the squared circle into a mosh pit to the tune of Rancid‘s biggest hit. Yet, as Ruby tells HollywoodLife, there “was a little bit of concern” that AEW wouldn’t be able to get the rights to the song. “I think there was a lot of legal stuff that I didn’t understand or was involved in,” she tells HL. It’s [Rancid’s] most successful song, so I think it was one of those things where it needed to be fair for both parties at the end of the day.”

Thankfully, the details were straightened out like an East Bay punk’s mohawk, and in 2022, Ruby arrived in AEW to the tune of “Ruby Soho,” winning the Casino Battle Royale at that year’s All Out. “I was just so honored that Lars [Frederiksen, Rancid’s guitarist] and the band all agreed to allow me to use it,” Ruby tells HL. “[They also] allowed me to use the name. I’m so grateful to them, to [AEW owner] Tony Khan for allowing me to use, in my humble opinion, the most badass entrance music in the world.”

If AEW couldn’t secure “Ruby Soho” (the song), would Ruby Soho (the wrestler) opt for a different name? “It’s funny because I went through pretty much every name. At one point, ‘Lola Blue’ was potentially on the table, but I really think that Ruby just fit me.”

“Initially, when I got the name the first time [Ruby Riott], that’s where it came from was Ruby Soho,” she shares. “I think it was one of those things where just being called anything else, especially after so long, I think would feel weird because it’s one of those things where some people don’t even know your real name. They know you by that name, so you’d have to get re-used to getting called something else. I just wasn’t ready for that, and Ruby just fit me.” She also credits appearing on Lars’ Wrestling Perspective Podcast with her moniker after he suggested she use “Ruby Soho” as her name and theme.

Ruby Soho (Courtesy of AEW)

Music and wrestling have gone hand-in-hand, back to when Gorgeous George used “Pomp and Circumstance” as his entrance theme in the 1940s and 50s, per Bleacher Report. When wrestling began to experience a boom period in the late ’70s and ’80s, performers from The Road Warriors (“Iron Man,” Black Sabbath) to Wendi Richter (“Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” Cyndi Lauper) to Hulk Hogan (“Eye of the Tiger,” Survivor) used popular music. One might imagine licensing costs to be the main motivation to switch to in-house music, a likely reason why organizations like WCW and WWE (fka WWF) switched to original music to accompany the combatants to the ring.

However, AEW has recently begun incorporating popular music with some of its wrestlers. “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry comes out to Baltimora‘s “Tarzan Boy.” The Elite Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks – have used Kansas‘s “Carry On My Wayward Son.” Saraya utilized Falling In Reverse‘s “Zombified,” and Chris Jericho uses Fozzy‘s “Judas” (though, that’s cheating since that’s Jericho’s band.) Hook comes out to Action Bronson‘s “The Chairman’s Intent.”Orange Cassidy used The Pixies‘ “Where Is My Mind” when Jefferson Starship‘s “Jane” — the theme he used on the independent wrestling circuit — wasn’t available (AEW has since acquired the rights to play it. Jon Moxley has used X‘s version of The Troggs’ “Wild Thing,” a nod to his deathmatch hero, Atsushi Onita.

A theme is essential to a wrestler’s presentation. The opening seconds elicit a reaction from the audience – surprise at an unexpected entrance, dread at the arrival of a hated villain, and relief that a charitable hero is on their way to save the day.

“People don’t realize how important that noise is,” Ruby tells HL. “That first three seconds of entrance music can make or break your entrance. Especially with those surprise returns, hearing that — those are moments that everybody stops breathing, if you know what I mean.”

“It’s awesome. Those were always some of my favorite things in wrestling, where somebody came back, and you heard those few first few seconds, and [fans] were shocked. I love that,” she continued. “I live for that in wrestling, and so if you ever see me, and somebody comes to fight me or whatever, and I get that look on my face, it’s because it’s one of my favorite things in the world.”

Ruby in action (Courtesy of AEW)

“Ruby Soho” (the song) is also one of Ruby Soho’s (the wrestler) favorite things. “I was probably maybe 16 or 17, maybe,” she says when remembering the first time she heard the Rancid song. “I was young. I was a teenager. It was one of the first punk rock songs I’d ever heard because I grew up in the Midwest, in Indiana. My parents, especially, loved a lot of country music.”

“I wasn’t really around it or had heard a lot of [punk],” she says. But, one day, she found …And Out Come The Wolves, Rancid’s 1995 album that is cited as one of their best. “It was one of those bands and one of those albums, where I was like, ‘Wow, I really like this. I really like the way it sounds. It’s really catchy, and I like the message. I really like this.’ I didn’t know anything about it up until that point. I kind of slowly tried to find more bands that sounded similar. Then it kind of introduced me to a lot of subgenres of punk rock: horror punk, hardcore punk, ska, and all this stuff. I was fascinated with all the different sounds and all.”

“It also came kind of at a time when I really started to dive deep when I found wrestling because they went so hand-in-hand. With wrestling, it’s the same way,” she explains. “There’s a lot of subgenres. There’s lucha libre. There’s strong style, technical wrestling. There’s a genre out there for everybody. I think I was so drawn to the vast variety of it and how different they all were, but they all came together and made this whole community, basically. Yeah, it was pretty awesome.”

Ruby referencing horror punk is fitting since one of the genre’s godfathers is at the center of her most shocking fan encounter ever. It took place when she was still with the WWE, leading the punk-inspired stable of wrestlers called the Riott Squad. “I was backstage at my former company, obviously, and we had one of the ladies from catering come to me and my friend, Sarah [Rowe, fka Sarah Logan], and came in and goes, ‘Hey, girls, Danzig wants to meet you.’ We looked at each other, and we’re like, ‘Yeah, right. Okay, cool. Danzig, yeah, right. Sure, sure.’ We’re like, ‘Who’s messing with us? Who’s messing with us?’ We walked into catering, and lo and behold, the man himself.”

Glenn Danzig in 2018 (snapshot-photography/R Jaenecke/Shutterstock)

Danzig – aka Glenn Danzig – founded the shock-infused punk band, Misfits, in 1977, alongside Jerry Only. The group’s initial run produced such punk staples as “Astro Zombies,” “Last Caress,” “Skulls,” and more.

“I just about collapsed. He goes, ‘Ah, Riott Squad! What’s up? What’s up? It’s so nice to meet you guys. It’s so cool to see punk rock brought into wrestling. You guys are a bunch of scumbags, man!’” she says, sharing that Danzig’s use of “scumbag” was out of love. “We’re like, “Yeah, we are! Yeah, we are. We’re a bunch of scumbags!’ Oh, my. I lost my whole mind. It still doesn’t seem real to me. I still have the picture that we took. It was one of the coolest moments I ever had.”

The Misfits and wrestling have a storied history, with the group – fronted then by Michael Graves – appearing in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) during the late 1990s. In the mid-2010s, the band reformed for reunion shows, with Glenn and Jerry performing alongside Jerry’s brother (and Misfits member since 1980) Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein. Slayer co-founding member, Dave Lombardo, plays drums with Acey Slade rounding out the lineup dubbed “The Original Misfits.”

“Later, I went to their concert in Chicago,” says Ruby, “and they had me come backstage. Jerry sang to me, and then we saw Danzig again. It was shortly after the Riott Squad broke up. He was like, ‘Why’d they break you guys up?’ I was like, ‘I don’t know. Call them up. Tell them you’re upset. Maybe they’ll change it. I don’t know.’ Then I met Doyle.”

“He’s the most terrifying man I’ve ever met in my life, in the most respectful way,” says Ruby, accurately describing the stoic, muscled guitar player (who, fun fact, is vegan.)

“He’s just jacked, and he’s cool,” she continues. “Then [Glen] introduced me, and they were like, “Well, this is Ruby. She’s a wrestler.” Doyle’s like, ‘Oh, I hate wrestling, man.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, me, too. It’s awful. It’s the worst.’ Whatever you say, I’ll agree with it, it’s fine.’ It’s just those ‘pinch-me’ moments of my life.”

Danzig might have something to say about Ruby’s recent villainous turn in AEW. She’s aligned herself with Saraya and Toni Storm to form The Outcasts, a trio who embraced the attitude and aggression of punk – while brutally attacking the rest of the AEW women’s roster. One thing that has cemented Ruby’s status as a villain is not what she’s done but what she hasn’t.

“Basically, since I joined The Outcasts, I have not used the song,” she says of her catchy theme. “I’ve kind of gone back and forth about whether or not I want to for a little while. There’s no way I can go the rest of my career without using that song — I love it too much, and there was too much work put into it to get me to have it.”

“But, I do love that my first singles match that I had since I joined The Outcasts, I didn’t use the song, and people were pissed. I was like, ‘Ooh, cool.’ It was part of when they saw my face on a match graphic, they knew they were going to get to hear that song. It was exciting.”

“Part of me wants to keep pissing off a little bit and keep it all for myself. But I don’t know how long that’s going to last, but at least for the time being, we’re going to continue to piss people off, which I’m getting pretty good at, actually,” she says with a smile. “I find it harder to get people to like you, but it’s so easy to piss people off, and it’s awesome.

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Ironically, partying from her eponymous song might have given Ruby Soho a chance to evolve even further as a performer. “I do think that there is an element that has changed about how I present myself in the ring, how I present myself on camera, and how I present myself to the fans,” she says of her turn towards the dark side. “I think even this is almost kind of happened personally, where my lack of — I don’t know if the word is compassion — but I guess my lack of compassion for what people think has dwindled greatly. I think that is definitely a tribute to the girls that I come out to the ring with. Toni and Saraya have helped me leap and bounds, especially Saraya — she’s great at that — but to really just let go of that pressure of ‘you like me, you like me, you don’t, you don’t.’ I don’t really care either way. I’m still getting paid, it’s fine.”

Being able to shed that obligation of maintaining that fan support has given Ruby some breathing room. “I think in this industry, that can really kind of consume you because our fans are just as much a part of the show as we are. Without them, we don’t continue,” she says. “If we have no one to entertain, we don’t have a sport. I think it’s one of those things where you get really caught up in the Twitter feedback, what people say online, what people say, and whether or not your merch sales are doing well.”

Being able to disconnect from that, as villains don’t care if anyone is wearing their merch, is freeing. “For me,” the 13-year-veteran says, “I’ve been around long enough to be like, ‘Well, at this point, either you know who I am, probably if you’re a wrestling fan, you know who I am. So, if you like me, then I hope you continue to like me. If you don’t, you probably won’t.’ That’s okay.”

The Outcasts (Courtesy of AEW)

Though she has over a decade of experience, Ruby still maintains the joy that caused her to become a wrestler in the first place. When the topic shifts to the first wrestling theme she loved, she knew it right away. “It’s Rey Mysterio‘s. It will forever be Rey Mysterio’s. To this day, I get so excited when I hear ‘boyaka booyaka!’ I get so excited when I hear that, and I just dance in my seat.”

“It doesn’t help that he’s incredible, in general, a legend and one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met in my entire life and the best-dressed family that has ever existed. It’s ridiculous. I can’t say enough nice things about Rey Mysterio.” She also credits the opening moments to Edge‘s theme (“It’s just specifically, ‘You think you know me’”), giving her goosebumps every time. “It just gets me every time,” she says.

Regarding underrated wrestling themes, she loves Jon Moxley’s use of “Wild Thing” because “it first him perfectly.”

“That’s the one thing, too. I think is very important that entrance music fits the person. MJF is the same. MJF’s music, it’s Max’s. There’s nobody else that can use that because it fits him so well,” she says. “There are certain people that I think their music’s great, but it might not fit them very well… Nyla Rose‘s entrance music is awesome. I love that.”

When speaking of someone’s music not fitting them, a specific “best wrestler in the world” comes up. When asked if she could switch a wrestler’s theme, Ruby has to think about it. “I would love for…” she begins. “I love Bryan Danielson‘s entrance music right now. I just loved his entrance music on the Indies so much.”

Ruby refers to Europe‘s epic “Final Countdown,” a song kicking off with a chorus of synth horns. Bryan used the theme during his time on the independent wrestling scene before joining the major promotions. Since his time in WWE (as Daniel Bryan) and AEW, he’s used a version of Wagner‘s “Flight of the Valkyries.” His current theme — “Born For Greatness,” by Bryan’s friend, Elliott Taylor – used the classical theme as a base.

However, Ruby would prefer “Final Countdown.” Sadly, licensing the song was too expensive, even for AEW. Bryan would reveal in 2021 that the Swedish rock band wanted “several $100,000” to allow AEW to play the song 20 times a year.

“That fits him a lot,” she says of Europe’s signature song. “The entrance music he currently has is great. I really like the song a lot, but it’s almost — this sounds terrible — it’s almost too cool for him. He’s a cool guy, don’t get me wrong. Best wrestler in the entire world, don’t get me wrong. Hands down, one of the best wrestlers in the entire world, if not the best.”

“I like to tease him a lot, but he told me that the first time he heard it, he was trying to walk down to the ring and couldn’t find the beat to it to try and walk. I think I’m like, ‘It’s because the music’s too cool for you, Bryan. You need that da-da-da. You need it. You just need it,’” says Ruby. “I would love for him to be able to go back to [‘Final Countdown’]. But, no hate for [‘Born For Greatness’] at all.”

The same can’t be said of Ruby’s former theme. Oh, she will return to having Rancid play her to the ring, with the crowd singing along to the chorus (“Destination Unknown! / Ruby / Ruby / Ruby / Ruby Soho”) someday. But, she will never return to the music she used when she wrestled as Ruby Riott.

“I hated my entrance music. I hate that song,” she says with a smile, finally glad to admit it. “I will say that. I don’t know if I’ve ever publicly said it, but I hate that song. Love the girls, have no problem, no qualms with anybody or anything over there. That song reminded me of Saved By the Bell, and I hated it [laughs]. I hated that. I tried to get it changed so many times. I hated that song, man. I hated it. It didn’t fit us. It just didn’t. That was one thing that… I tried to change it so many times. It just never happened.”

See Ruby Soho when she and the rest of the AEW roster appears on AEW Dynamite airing Wednesdays on TBS at 8 pm. Check local listings.

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Justin Bivona, Aimee Interrupter, Kevin Bivona, Jesse Bivona. Justin Bivona, from left, Aimee Interrupter, Kevin Bivona and Jesse Bivona of The Interrupters pose at the 2018 KROQ Absolut Almost Acoustic Christmas at The Forum, in Inglewood, Calif KROQ Absolut Almost Acoustic Christmas 2018 – Day 1, Inglewood, USA – 08 Dec 2018

The Interrupters – Justin Bivona, Aimee Allen, Kevin Bivona and Jesse Bivona The Interrupters visit Radio 104.5, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, USA – 19 Jul 2019


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