WWE referee Jessika Carr made history as the first woman to work several matches at WWE Crown Jewel. After being booked on the show, her journey started at SummerSlam, where she worked a singles match between Seth Rollins and Edge. During an interview with Table Talk #94, Carr spoke about refereeing multiple matches at WWE’s Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia, where she discussed Edge helping her make history.
“So, this was something that kind of happened progressively, starting at SummerSlam,” said Carr. “At this point in his career, Edge likes collaborating with people he is comfortable with within the ring, as far as referees are concerned. Moreover, that person, for the longest time, has been Charles Robinson. At SummerSlam, Charles was not booked to be there, and he was not planned to be there. So, it was a discussion between him and Edge of ‘hey, do you want to give Jessika a chance? I think Jessika would be a good possibility.’ He was all about it; Edge was, allowing me to learn, be in the ring with someone who has gone through all the things he has in his career. So that was the first step of doing it at SummerSlam. Moreover, I stepped up to the plate, got all the kudos for that, and it was amazing. The second chapter of that was Madison Square Garden, which was very shocking because Charles was there. I do not know whose decision that was or what the story was with that. Nevertheless, being at Madison Square Garden and having Edge vs. Seth was another little tip in the hat. That was awesome.”
She continues to speak about how Edge suggested her for Crown Jewel. “So that was another where I stepped up to the plate, and I was standing in Gorilla with Edge. Moreover, Edge asked Vince, ‘can we have her in Saudi Arabia?’ Vince was like, ‘hmm…yeah, I think we can make that happen.’ Things had to be put in place as far them. I guess communicating with whom they had to communicate within Saudi. Then it has to go through a few extra steps and layers to make sure everyone is okay with it. And then I guess the week before I started hearing, ‘yeah, you have the cage in Saudi. You have the cage in Saudi.
“Furthermore, it was like, ‘okay, all right.’ If anything, what you learn, at least I have learned, is you cannot get excited about things until they happen because so many things come into play as far as things changing and schedules changing and matches changing, especially in the days of COVID. So, many things could change. I do not get excited about things until they happen, so not until the cage came down and I was standing in the ring and looking around as I like ‘okay. You can get excited now.'”
Carr expressed how it was a massive deal for her to be a part of this show, particularly when she received much support from the WWE Universe. She also spoke about staying focused as she transitioned from refereeing the Edge-Seth Rollins Hell in a Cell match to umpirage the King of the Ring finals later in the card.
“I had that feeling of ‘this is a big deal,'” Carr said. “Even before the match, looking out at the people, they were chanting ‘Lady ref! Lady ref!’, which was cool. I felt support from the people. Even backstage, a gentleman asked, ‘are you going to be in control tonight? Are you going to be in charge?’ I said, ‘yeah. Yeah, I am.’ He was like, ‘oh, that is cool.’ It was different for them, too, I guess. So, it was special, incredibly special. And then I do the cell match, and they are like, ‘we have got another one. We have got the King of the Ring finals with Finn Balor and Xavier Woods too.’ I was like, ‘okay. When that is done, the next step. What is next in about an hour?'”
Carr was questioned about working in the hot conditions of Saudi Arabia and shared that most of the arena did not have air conditioning. However, she was still equipped, teasing it was all due to training under WWE Legend D’Von Dudley at the beginning of her career.
“To be honest, that was something that I wore all day, and it was in the ’90s all day,” Carr said. “Believe it or not, we had the appearance of a stadium and whatnot, but there was not much indoor space that was air-conditioned back there. It was a lot of mini rooms, I guess, you can call it, spread throughout the site. However, it is funny because people ask me, ‘wasn’t it hot?’ I trained at the D’Von Dudley Academy without AC for years, so I was fully prepped for that.”
Watch the full interview of Jessika Carr below.