Aja Perera Signs With WWE, First African-American Female Referee

Aja Perear
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Earlier on Wednesday, February 5th we reported on the WWE‘s additions of Killer Kross and Timothy Thatcher to its ranks. This left some speculation regarding Aja Perera, whom Squared Circle Sirens had also mentioned was signed. Speculation was put to rest later in the day as it was revealed that Aja Smith (Perera) had also joined the company. Unlike the two male superstars, Smith will be joining as a referee. 

Jessica Carr had been the first female referee in NXT and moved up to the main roster in November 2019. In December, the WWE Performance Center held its winter tryouts for both in-ring talent and referees. Aja Perera tried out along with Elaine Simon under the watchful eyes of head coach Matt Bloom, head referee Drake Wurtz and other personnel. Canyon Gamen met with Perera in a hallway at the PC and informed her that they would be signing her. 

Perera, who’s been a wrestler for almost seven years, reacted with tears of joy. With her signing, she is the first full-time African-American female referee in WWE history. Former WWE Superstar Jacqueline did perform as a referee for a while between 2002 and her release in 2004. However, she would also wrestle and was not full-time in her capacity as an official. 

Before moving to the zebra-striped side of the world, she competed as a full-time wrestler. Trained by Fred Avary and Jay Fury, she was based out of Georgia and this is where her career began. In late 2014 and 2015, she began to branch out; working in other states and in Canada. 2016 would see her debut for GirlFight and in 2017 she would add Queens of Combat and Shine Wrestling to her resume. In 2018 she would complete a tour in Japan for Marvelous as well as capture her first major title, the Shine Nova Championship. She would also form a team called Triple Aye with Big Swole and Ayla the Fox and would have a brief reign as Shine Tag Team Champions. 

Shine Tag Team Champions
Photo: @ AylaTheFox on Twitter

As Aja Smith moves onto this new chapter of her career, her strong work ethic and positive attitude for change will continue to shine on. 

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world. We provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.