Kris Statlander Reveals Sign Language Usage And Deaf Awareness

Hamish Woodward

Kris Statlander has revealed why she uses sign language during her AEW entrance – although has denied rumours that she is deaf.

She revealed in an interview with Jaychele Nicole that, while she is not deaf, she learnt American Sign Language (ASL) just because it was “something useful to learn” and would help her in her everyday life.

Statlander returned at AEW Double or Nothing 2023, signing on the ramp, before facing Jade Cargill, “Mama’s home”.

Statlander claims she is not fluent, but can speak in basic sentences when needed to, helping make the deaf fans more comfortable in her presence than they otherwise would be.

The Alien Wrestler revealed she used to sign “FU” using sign language during her time wrestling on the independent scene, not because anyone knew what it meant but just because it was funny to her.

This is where she got the idea for incorporating sign language into her character and she has continued to use it to this day, although as a good guy she has retired the FU.

Kris Statlander using sign language at AEW Fyter Fest 2022

Speaking with Jaychele Nicole, Kris Statlander admitted she wasn’t deaf but did say about her sign language use;

“I just wanted to do something different. I don’t actually know anyone that’s deaf. I don’t have a reason to know ASL. I know once I started doing it, some people were raising questions like ‘Do I have a reason to use it in my life?’ And I don’t. I just thought it was something useful to learn.”

“It’s kind of an underappreciated language, so I figured ‘Why not? Try something different.’ It seems to be getting a really good reaction, which I’m very happy about. I’m not fluent in sign language, but I can do a basic sentence, like ‘Do you want water? Are you hungry? My name is Kris.’ I can do all that stuff.”

“I originally got the idea to do sign language because on the indies, sometimes if I was the bad guy, I would do an F and a U,” Statlander said. “So I’d say an ‘FU’ during my entrance, and no one knew what it meant, but I did and it was funny to me. So sometimes I would do that, and that’s kind of where I got the idea to find a way to incorporate sign language a little bit more.

“It’s so different, especially if there’s a deaf person watching TV and see something like that, instead of having to read the subtitles all the time, so you can actually focus on the action for a moment. I think it’s a cool little way to reach out to that (underserved community). They’re just not communicated to, the deaf community, as often.”

Kris Statlander is currently out injured. She suffered two serious knee injures in two years in AEW and looks to be out until well into 2023. Upon her return, she hopes to be pushed as a main event wrestler in the women’s division, although whether or not Tony Khan can trust her in that role anymore remains to be seen.

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