A woman walks in a train station, ready to say farewell to the life she is leaving behind. New name, new identity, new location. Such is life – you turn page after page in a new chapter, only for a new one to begin. Only this next chapter is taking forever for her to reach, she finds, as the train starts to depart without her. In vain she runs towards it, just to give up. It isn’t her time yet, and as she stands there, with her backpack covered in pins, the exasperation is clear. It’s not yet time to move on, to destinations unknown.
This was the vignette of the former Ruby Riott, released on August 17, 2021, to her social media. While most former WWE superstars styled their vignettes after prison breaks and escapes from mental asylums, Ruby’s was different. It was beautiful and bittersweet. It was a letter that even though times are tough, be it losing a job, dealing with a breakup, or just life in general, your train will come. Eventually, it comes.
A member of the WWE faction, The Riott Squad, Ruby and her friends Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan were a staple of main roster WWE from 2017 onwards. They were truly unruly gals, with Ruby as the punk rock leader, Sarah as the country girl muscle, and Liv as the Harley Quinn-esque woman…who it seemed had yet to discover herself. Together, the bond was strong.
The Riott Squad would become embroiled in feuds with the likes of Ronda Rousey, The Bella Twins, Sasha Banks, and Bayley. Ruby herself would find herself on the opposite side of the ring from Natalya Neidhart and Ronda Rousey on a few occasions. Despite the troubles in pushing further in the women’s division, the women remained closely knit. They were outsiders that had each other’s back.
So often, however, would the trio be separated – be it by injury, drafts to other brands, storyline betrayals, the COVID-19 pandemic, or “budget cuts”. It was always stop and start, but the love was still there between the women.
This was, until Ruby’s turn against Liv Morgan, who went out on her own to prosper and prove she can go it alone. Though they would lose Sarah Logan due to the “budget cuts” that cost many in WWE their jobs in 2020, there was still that animosity. All of this confused, fearful rage that permeated through Ruby was the catalyst for her lashing out. Ruby was in a different world now, in a different setting, with someone who had became different.
Now that Liv proved she could go solo, Ruby worried Liv wouldn’t need her anymore. And that Liv outgrew her. Anyone with a heart can understand that hurt, that pain and the explosive emotions that come with it. Ruby couldn’t live with it, when the tattoo of the Riott Squad’s debut date on WWE’s main roster would be a constant reminder of what it was like before.
But you can’t turn your back on your friends forever. She couldn’t stand by as the IICONICS bullied Liv, week after week as Liv began to fail.
Understandably apprehensive at this, Liv refused Ruby’s help and support. The love was lost, and how could you go back to a situation so abusive?
So, with tears in her eyes, Ruby pleaded with Liv on a Raw edition of “The KO Show”, starring Kevin Owens, and it seemed to go nowhere until Ruby started breaking down more. To make matters worse, the IICONICS now bullied the both of them, goading them increasingly. It wasn’t until the Aussie duo harassed and slapped Kevin Owens until the two reformed and the Riott Squad was back again – minus one.
Eventually, the two women furthered their rivalry with the IICONICS until August 31, 2020, where the Riott Squad broke up the IICONICS to not only contend for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship, but to also remain a tag team.
Though nothing much else came of the pursuit for tag team gold, Ruby remained by Liv’s side by the end, and that’s such a bittersweet way to go out, in my opinion.
So, until the 90-day no-complete clause is over, Ruby is going to be waiting for that train to a new life and new opportunities. With all the goodbyes over with, the only step to take is the first one forward.
To me, Ruby Soho over the years proved she was every bit the performer as the top-level women we see in women’s professional wrestling today. She can sell a hit as though it just killed her, she can put so much emotion into her promos, and she has that aura about her that makes you want to rebel for betterment, for yourself and those you love.
New beginnings are no stranger for her too. It was leaving behind the Heidi Lovelace name and character behind to embody Ruby Riott that was paramount in making Ruby a bigger name, and it is by taking up being the namesake for the Rancid song, “Ruby Soho” that we are going to see just how great the woman behind the wrestler is. Dori Prange will be a tremendous and memorable asset to any wrestling promotion she performs for.
Ruby’s vignette mentioned at the start of this feature shows just how great a window into the mind and soul of the punk rock fighter. It’s nothing as big as being captive to a system bigger than yourself, it is just another moment of life that we all face. We all must take that train.
She will turn heads and prove just why she is not meant to be overlooked. After all, it’s not that she didn’t fit someone else’s vision, it’s that her image is meant for an even larger vision.
Wherever it takes her, it is of no doubt to me that the moment she steps off that the world will take notice. Because Ruby Soho is coming, and she is going to start a riot. It’s just a train ride away.