A recent AEW signing is stepping away from professional wrestling

Being a professional wrestler, even in a company like AEW with a relatively light workload, isn’t for everyone; the hours are long, the traveling can be a slog, and the constant physical beating can take a toll on even the most physically fit performer. While some performers relish the road-dog lifestyle, sleeping in 15-passenger vans like a young, hungry band eating McDonald’s between $70 house shows, the prospects of not being home for more than a few days for months at a time can be brutal on the physical and mental health of even the most well-adjusted performers.

Unfortunately for AEW, one of their more-recent signings has decided to step away from the wrestling business for that very reason; to shore up her own health before pursuing the craft on a full-time basis.

Fortunately, considering the path AQA took to ultimately land in AEW, fans won’t mind too much if she takes some time away from the promotion to get things right, especially if she’s ultimately able to return at full strength down the line.

AQA is stepping away from AEW.

AQA began her professional wrestling career in Texas, where she joined Booker T’s wrestling career as part of his Reality of Wrestling promotion/school. A quick learner who debuted at the Ladies Night Out I Pay-Per-View in February of 2018, she won the promotion’s Diamond Title in October in a three-way bout alongside then-champion Hyan and Kylie Rae two months after a big-time match versus Thunder Rosa and went on to defend it against the likes of Indi Hartwell and Kylie Rae before dropping the belt back to Hyan.

Though she would eventually get it back and hold the belt for the better part of a year, AQA expanded her offering outside of Booker’s T’s over the course of 2019, wrestling the likes of Shotzi Blackheart, Kiera Higan, Miranda Alize, and Penelope Ford in Shimmer, Allysin Kay and Limber Lee in RISE, and Tessa Blanchard and Su Yung in Impact. From there, AQA began a big rivalry with fellow ROW alumni Rok-C, wrestling her on four occasions from August of 2019 through October of 2019 before officially leaving the promotion behind in favor of signing with WWE in the middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2021.

Dubbed Zayda Ramier – which, considering WWE’s hatred for last names, is pretty interesting – AQA wrestled five matches for NXT over her three months in the promotion before ultimately being released in November of 2021.

Though she didn’t have to wait long to find her next full-time opportunity, signing with AEW a few months after her 30-day non-compete clause came to an end, AQA was largely used on Dark inside of Tony Khan promotion, with her one Dynamite match coming in a seven-minute loss to Jade Cargill for the TBS Title. Still, AQA impressed enough to earn a match on Ring of Honor’s Supercard of Honor and likely would have continued on the promotion plus indie appearances like a spot back in Reality of Wrestling and a bow at Warrior Wrestling 23 where she challenged Athena for the championship had she opted to stick it out in the business. Instead, AQA is opting to take a step back and say goodbye, at least for now, to the world in favor of getting her healthy right, which is an incredibly brave decision in the middle of a hot streak of in-ring opportunities.

Read the full text of her goodbye post below as transcribed by The Wrestling Observer.

I want to take this time to say thank you to anyone who has ever cheered for me, supported me, bought merch, had me on your podcast or wrote an article about me. Those who sent loving messages, made fan art, gave me a hug during a meet & greet, or a high-five on my way to and from the ring. Promoters who booked me, opponents that stood across from me, and my trainers for teaching me everything I know for I wouldn’t have made it this far without all of you.

At this time, I have decided to step away from professional wrestling for the immediate future. For the past few years, both mentally and physically, I have not been in a great place with wrestling, and silly me, I kept pushing through because I didn’t want to be seen as weak, but it only sucked the fun out of every opportunity I had. I hope during this time I’ll be able to reflect deeply and see what path is best for me.

Thank you AEW for granting me this time.

Until I see you all again, much love.

All things considered, if AQA doesn’t want to be in the ring and instead wants to take a step back before taking a step forward, this is undoubtedly the right decision. Fortunately, Tony Khan has been willing to work with his performers to make sure they are both physically and mentally healthy, so she should still have a place in the company should she decides to come back.

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