Midway through the 143rd episode of Being The Elite back in March, Cody Rhodes, Matt and Nick Jackson popped up on the screen with a call to action. The three AEW executive vice presidents asked for fans to submit a video of them performing a new gimmick personally requested by AEW president Tony Khan — The Librarian. Of the hundreds of submissions the group narrowed it down to two, Leva Bates and Peter Avalon. Wrestling fans immediately recognized Bates from her time as Blue Pants in NXT, and eventually the pair were introduced as The Librarians in AEW's four live shows over the summer.
In a recent interview with ComicBook.com, Bates revealed that she sent in the submission purely on a whim and that it was what wound up getting her a job with the company.
Well, you just had to know that I was gonna jump in on this.March 21, 2019
"I was just kind of doing it for the fun of it," Bates said. "So yeah that was really just one of those, 'Oh my god it really worked [situations]!' I mean obviously I did have an intentions on wanting to be with AEW. Out of all of the companies that was my number one spot I really wanted to be at. It fits me and my personality and I feel like this company is where I belong so I took a chance.
"But yeah, no, there was no talk of me being within the company at all. It was one of those like, 'Okay, I'll just try it.' And then I literally thought it was going to be like, 'Oh, cool yeah a little bit of PR. I'm moving forward,' and then when 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."
Unfortunately for the pair, the gimmick wasn't well-received at first. Bates made her singles debut for the company with Avalon in the corner at the Fyter Fest show in June, but the crowd in Daytona Beach started booing her fairly quickly. And yet by the time Bates was using books to keep her alive in All Out's Casino Battle Royale in August (which was her idea), she and Avalon were fan favorites.
"It actually went through a roller coaster," Bates said. "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. Because I felt like Peter and I are a wonderful, odd couple team. We gel really well with each other but we both have different personality traits. So I don't think people knew how to handle it since everyone, especially at Daytona, everyone knows me as the super gamer girl, super nerd cosplayer so I'm coming out not necessarily in that form."
Bates made a name for herself on the independent scene appearing at shows cosplaying as characters from movies, comics, anime and video games. And while she isn't doing that every week on AEW Dynamite, she is bringing that same creativity to the Librarian gimmick.
"So I'm the queen of adding Easter eggs, so I'm already doing that," Bates said. "If you look at the books I'm adding, I'll have books that are either relevant to the show, to the opponent.... which kind of satiates that creative that need I had when I was doing cosplay.0comments
"I'm going to still have those hidden little gems in there for people to be like, 'Wait, I get that! Oh, I see that!' But it's not going to be putting it in your face because I definitely am enjoying and loving this character that I really want to sink my teeth into and the relationship between me and Peter, and us in AEW and our spot in AEW and what we could bring," she added.
AEW Dynamite begins at 8 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday night on TNT.