"A lot of times before you go to a physician, you Google them and you see, "What are the reviews? What are they? Where do they go to school? How long they're practicing?,'" says Baker, who practices dentistry in Florida between matches. "Well, when you Google me, it's all over the place, but the major thing is that I'm a wrestler. So people are very confused to come into the dentist's office, they're like, 'Wait, you're a wrestler?' And sometimes it's a quick conversation where they think, 'Oh, that's cool.' Sometimes they don't like that at all and they're like, 'OK, I don't like that, I'm out.'"
Baker, who's officially billed by All Elite Wrestling, the company she performs with, as the "only fully licensed and practicing dentist in the professional wrestling industry," adds that it's the "diehard fans" coming into her office wanting autographed photos who sometimes make the situation a little awkward. "That's where it gets tricky because I never want to brush off a patient but at the same time you're there to do work, you're there to be a dentist, not a wrestler."
Baker, who wrestles under the name Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D., will appear in AEW Dynamite/Rampage LIVE on Wed., April 20 at the Petersen Events Center, where she will fight to reclaim her AEW Women’s World Championship title.
Baker, who originally grew up in Punxsutawney, Pa., moved to Pittsburgh to attend dental school after graduating from Penn State University.
"And I was a big wrestling fan at the time," says Baker. "And a lot of my friends told me that, since I was moving to Pittsburgh, and I was a wrestling fan, I should check out the independent wrestling scene there, which is basically like, wrestling matches in high school gymnasiums and BINGO halls in front of, like, 50 to 100 people with a very different, very super-low budget. But then when I did my research, I learned that [Pittsburgh was] where a lot of my favorite wrestlers that I was watching on TV started out. So it made it, like, a little bit more of a realistic thing that maybe I could try."
"I feel like I had to learn pretty much from the ground up," she says.
In 2014, Baker enrolled in the South Hills-based International Wrestling Cartel training academy, then moved on to train with Absolute Intense Wrestling in Ohio. All the while she attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, earning her degree in 2018.
She became the IWC Women's Champion in 2016, and in 2019, was signed to AEW as the company's first contracted female wrestler. Since then, AEW has expanded its women's roster with talents like the current AEW Women's World Champion Thunder Rosa and many others.
Baker believes that pro wrestling, an industry that has historically focused on and appealed to men, has become more friendly to women both in and out of the ring.
"It's something really cool because, for a while, as a fan, I didn't have a lot of female friends that like to watch wrestling like me," says Baker, adding that she's glad women who are into the sport have more role models and "a little bit of a wider community now."
While in Pittsburgh, she will also use her time to give back to the city that helped launch both of her careers. At an event taking place April 19 at The Hollander Project, fans can get a photo with Baker if they bring a package of baby formula for donation to the Free Store 15104 in Braddock.
As for the April 20 show, Baker says she looks forward to getting back her championship title and proving herself as one of the industry's best and beloved female wrestlers.
"And I say the only thing harder than getting to the top is staying on top," says Baker. "So right now, it's proving that I can still be the top female without having the championship tied around my waist and getting it back as quickly as possible. And just still being a compelling part of the show, being something that's entertaining, being something that people look forward to every week."