Julia Hart is like the popular, pretty girl that you’d know from school – always cheery and smiley, even when there’s the dark veneer that they go through yet no one pays enough attention enough to be privy to it. Why not, if you only exist as an idealized version of yourself in someone’s head, stripped of your agency? Why not, if all the other cries for help fall silent? Why, if you feel like just another role to fill?
In accompanying Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison to the ring as part of The Varsity Blonds, she played her part as their cheerleader, while feeling like she meant a lot to the boys, in wins and in losses, she was by their side.
Julia faced her own collection of losses, but it was a chance encounter on a particular Wednesday Night Dynamite on December 8, 2021, her world would be dipped further into turmoil. Tony Schiavone’s interview of the jubilant trio, celebrating their twenty wins that year, was cut short once the arena suddenly found itself shrouded in a cloak of darkness.
Who else would emerge from the ominous obsidian than the leader of The House of Black, Malakai Black?
He brought not good tidings nor spoken threats, but a spray of venomous mists that would blind Hart, shrieking to her knees before departing through the curtain of dusk. He brought evil. Setting forth a slow descent into madness for the team’s resident cheerleader, he tainted her soul, removing the facade of innocence from someone whose smile could brighten up the venues that The Varsity Blonds would visit.
That smile would be replaced more and more over time with a dispassionate demeanor and straying further from her blonde, letterman jacket wearing friends. The same woman who would shout and chant at ringside now sits on the metal stairs behind the turnbuckles. All while darkness spread behind the black eyepatch, seeing only the ebonic truth that Malakai instilled in her.
Typically mist blinds and obscures the vision, but she’s seeing clearly all of the things the world has taught her: the evil that men do in the dark that good people ignore in the light. And how she must soon harness that for herself, no matter how long she fights it.
“This is the water, and this is the well – drink full and descend. The horse is the white of the eye, and dark within.”
Truth will come to AEW, and it will diminish any light, transcending the company once bright and colorful, passionate and gritty, into a desolate obelisk of despair, yet not at the benefit of her victory – that will inevitably come soon enough.
April 6, 2021 would see Julia Hart battling Hikaru Shida to qualify for the historic Owen Hart Foundation Women’s Tournament, as she set ablaze the bridge to her past self and the friends who waited there for her. Following her strangling of Shida with her letterman jacket, Hart cemented her emergence into the world of dread and misery; shedding her skin of the cheery, innocent girl into a woman of darkness.
Distinct in the match was a horrid visage that spread its onyx veins across the eye, unfettered by the eyepatch that sought to restrain the poison. Pitch-black was growing in the eye from the evil that the sorcerer doused it with.
Julia would not win this match, for Shida was a warrior of a different breed that would suffer not even the most brutal offense; Shida was tainted of a different toxicity borne of crimson rage and unholy vengeance against rival Serena Deeb.
From there, we still had to just wait. Almost agonizingly slow. Like a slow burn, fans have waited and waited for the corruption to take hold, all while she was helplessly fighting it with every fiber of her being. We were killing her and rejoicing in its murky glory.
All was not yet lost in Julia, however, for she had that shred of goodness in her heart. As Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr. defiantly stood their ground on May 4, 2022, they challenged The House of Black in Baltimore, Maryland.
Blackness was the only answer, and the Varsity Blondes were utterly decimated by the gothic stable, save for Julia. Malakai approached her, staring down on her with seeming omnipotence. In one eye was the human eye that beheld the soul of Tommy End, who was long gone – a mirror of fate for the terrified Hart. In the other was the presence of evil. The presence of death, that pale horse and in his pupils, darkness lies within. Malakai stared down on her with intent and an understanding of what was to come, for the sickness was spreading from her eye.
Trembling, shaking, Julia’s essence was begging to be freed, longing for the comforts of the light. Sensing she would not come to make the move, resident House-mate Buddy Matthews had softly grabbed her shoulders and led her to where the fallen Garrison lay, as Brody King equipped her with a steel chair. Malaki merely sat cross-legged against the turnbuckle, waiting to see the fruits of his labor, and what a juicy, rotten forbidden fruit it was.
Julia raised the chair up on high, ready to rain judgment and pain down upon he among the two that had failed her. She trembled again, hesitating and struggling to keep her identity, sanity, and agency. The gun was loaded and aimed, but the shooter could not bring herself to fire.
Incensed and frustrated, Malakai approached her. The work was not yet done. The dark king ripped off her eyepatch and berated her, terrifying her so, until Death Triangle arrived and chased them off. The truth of darkness would have to wait.
And so would we. We waited, and waited, and waited. We, along with The House of Black, grew frustrated that she did not bite the forbidden fruit laced with pain and sorrow, and we almost gave up on it, like we gave up on her.
Meanwhile, Death Triangle’s ranks of Penta Oscuro, Rey Fenix, PAC, and Alex Abrahantes were firmly rooted in their blood feud with The House of Black in the build to Double or Nothing 2022.
Is this when Julia Hart turns? Many had pondered this question. Be patient, and good things will come to you. Ask and you shall receive. Let it play out.
As PAC had Malakai Black dead to rights as their stablemates fought outside of the squared circle, The Bastard would be interrupted by a pitch-black arena. When the lights came back on, the time had finally come. Here stood Julia Hart, or what was left of her, as she spat the tar-like mist that covered PAC’s face in blackness, giving time for Malakai Black to eliminate PAC for a Black Mass. At the count of three, Sunday Service at the House of Black was over, and the tides had shifted in their greatest favor. Julia Hart had taken in the sermon of his word, and now joins the ranks of evil, as it held dominion.
Through thick and thin, under obsidian and gothic aesthetic, she accompanies The House of Black, whether accompanying Brody King to the ring against Darby Allin in a Coffin Match, or the entire team at All Out, where her team lost to Miro, Sting, and Darby, culminating in the climax of the feud.
But the fallen cheerleader’s work is not done. Far from it. The Julia Hart that AEW knew was dead. They killed her. Pretty words aren’t going to bring her back, so save your prayers. She’s going to laugh at them anyways. For now, their dear leader is taking a sabbatical, but they will strike again when they return to their strongest. No Elite, no Best Friends, no Triangle will be able to stop them.
Through the darkness of future past, the magician longs to see. He chants between two worlds, for her to walk through fire with him. He lives not in the depths below, but above it. She has been touched by the devilish one, tattooed on the eye and saw the face of God.
You may think her mad, but she and the House of Black will fight again.