Feedback to All Elite Wrestling has been positive across the board for the most part, but fans haven’t taken to Leva Bates and Peter Avalon, otherwise known as The Librarians. The pair portrays heels who carry around books and “sshh” people, which has attracted heat from the crowd as desired, but not in a way that’s made fans excited to see more of their characters on television.
In an interview with Comic Book, Bates opened up about the crowd’s response to the gimmick so far, revealing that the early response was positive but has since taken a turn for the worse.
“People were super excited, especially at Double or Nothing [in a backstage segment] they were super happy about it. But then in the flesh they weren’t sure what to think of it because if you look at it I’m a super good guy and Peter is not. So it’s a very interesting dichotomy and I don’t think people gave, at the second, a chance to really let it build and grow.”
As noted by Ringside News, AEW hired Bates to play the character after she beat out thousands of other contestants who sent in their own video auditions. The promotion’s president, Tony Khan, reportedly wanted a librarian character in the company as there had never been one in the history of pro wrestling until AEW came along.
During the interview, Bates opened up how she never expected to be hired by the company. According to the former NXT superstar, she was just grateful for the opportunity and to have her profile raised as a result of the additional exposure. When she got the call confirming that she’d been hired, she was over the moon.
“[W]hen it actually panned through I was beyond shocked and over-ecstatic. It was definitely a moment where I didn’t expect when I got that call.”
Prior to joining AEW, Bates enjoyed a brief stint in NXT as Blue Pants. After leaving WWE following reported backstage heat, she competed on the independent circuit as a cosplayer, which saw her don the attire of various iconic wrestlers and pop culture characters.
Her new gimmick isn’t the most popular among AEW’s fans, but if it shows anything, it’s that she’s a versatile talent who’s able to do what’s asked of her. She’s been a fan-favorite babyface for years, and if she’s given a chance to get over in AEW, her popularity will likely translate to the big stage.