If you consider yourself a professional wrestling fan, and haven’t seen AEW Revolution yet, you’re missing out. AEW only puts on 4 PPV’s a year, but they are always worth every damn penny. Last night was no exception with a night packed full of great wresting and great storytelling.
But that’s not why we’re here. We are here because it’s been one month, so now we get to dive into the state of the AEW women’s division yet again. As the constant underdog of AEW, my hope is to shed a light on the women’s division through thick and (hopefully not) thin.
With that being said, let’s keep the intro short and sweet and dig in.
Current Storylines | Two Major Problems
-Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rosa
-Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb
-Leyla Hirsch vs. Kris Statlander
Current Champions: Britt Baker (World) | Jade Cargill (TBS)
Last Month’s Grade: C+
Last month I had hoped that TK would book three women’s matches at Revolution. Given the state of things, I’ll take 2 matches and 1 on the pre-show. However, the storylines that still exist within the division are a bit weak.
Jade Cargill received a challenger in Tay Conti, but with just about zero build at all. Britt Baker continued her on-again/off-again feud with Thunder Rosa, which looks like it’s going to keep moving after last night. Leyla Hirsch picked up a sneaky win over Kris Statlander, in a feud kept mostly in the dark (pun intended).
It was great to see the ladies, and the match quality of Baker/Rosa was pretty good. Cargill continues to get better, and while some sloppy spots existed in the Jade/Tay match (I’m not talking about the kisses), the intensity was high and kept the flow going.
As for Shida/Deeb — it’s been going on a bit long hasn’t it? I’m waiting for Deeb to start chasing some other faces to beat down…
With that all being said, two major problems still exist within this division:
The Storyline Field is Barren
When you look at current stories you’ll find a common thread. What does MJF/Punk, Moxley/Danielson, and even Page/Cole all have in common?
Seeds have long been planted to increase the intensity within the story itself. This not only makes for easier storytelling, but gives more ammo for the plots to develop. Whether it’s MFJ’s idolization of Punk as a kid, Moxley and Danielson’s history dating back over 10 years ago, or Cole/Page’s Ring of Honor history — SOMETHING exists.
There are simply no seeds being planted in the women’s division. No alliances created, no stables formed. Nothing that really exists to create any level of conflict other than “I don’t like you, give me your title”.
Hell, Kris Statander defeated Leyla Hirsch in 2019 at a WrestlePro/CZW joint event. This was never brought up, though. Technically, Kris Statlander even holds a win over MJF from a 2018 Beyond Wrestling event. Statlander has beaten some of the best women’s wrestling has to offer, but more on that later…
Fun fact, Jamie Hayter holds a win over Baker from a 2019 EVE show in the U.K. Speaking of Britt, she has wrestled Kiera Hogan in past shows prior to AEW. (PUSH KIERA HOGAN) There plenty of examples of current AEW women’s wrestlers who already have some level of past history with each other.
My point is in all of this is that history exists, but it’s not getting tapped into. Unlike the men, no real alliances or stables exist in the AEW women’s division aside from Baker/Hayter/Rebel. If an alliance between Mercedes Martinez and Thunder Rosa still exists, WE DIDN’T SEE IT LAST NIGHT.
Without stables, alliances, and history that becomes a part of the weekly narrative on Dynamite — women’s feuds will continue to feel less intense and less important than men’s feuds. It’s a course that could be corrected.
The Britt Baker Problem
Brittany Baker D.M.D. is a fantastic talent. But as I alluded to last month, her schtick is becoming a little stale. Her matches have become predictable when it comes to interference, and her reign is reminding me more and more of the interference-laced title reigns of Triple H and Seth Rollins.
Revolution should have been the night to finally pull the trigger on a Thunder Rosa title win, but this did not happen. If it happens before Double or Nothing (if she defeats Hirsch in their eliminator match), I fear the luster will have already worn off.
If not Thunder Rosa, then who?
ROH Women’s Champion Deonna Purazzo and Baker have faced off multiple times, so perhaps there’s a crossover storyline there waiting to happen. While a very unpopular idea, Tessa Blanchard and Britt Baker also have quite a history. At Double or Nothing 2019, Britt Baker defeated Awesome Kong, Nyla Rose and KYLIE RAE in a four-way.
Could we see finally see the return of Kylie Rae to AEW?
I feel like the Thunder Rosa feud has run its course, and there’s nobody left for Britt to beat. Wherever she goes from here, an eventual title loss to freshen up her character a little — needs to be something big. Whatever it is, something has to change, and it needs to happen soon.
Women’s Division Pitches
–Give Jade a feud. Whether you bring in Athena or Toni Storm to do it, or even Mercedes Martinez, Jade needs a legitimate competitor that at least could give the impression that she is vulnerable. Conti is an incredible asset to AEW, but we all knew she wasn’t winning her match on Sunday night.
–Women’s Tag Team Championships. On Repeat. When Chelsea Green heals up from injury, she would be perfect to cross over from Impact Wrestling to team with real life bestie Britt Baker to shoot for tag team gold after losing her AEW Women’s Championship and breaking from Jamie Hayter. This also creates alliances. Something important for storytelling. A Women’s Tag Championship would be one of the most important things to ever happen to AEW as a whole.
–Abadon joins the House of Black. For obvious reasons — but also, get her on television! She’s 28-3. I thought records mattered in AEW?
–Britt Baker loses her AEW Championship to Kylie Rae. Do you know what’s better than this comeback/feel good story? Serena Deeb feuding with Kylie Rae afterwards in a conflict of two complete opposites.
–Turn Kris Statlander into a “Special Attraction” wrestler. Alien gimmick or not, she should be featured as such. Yes, she SHOULD be the one to eventually dethrone Jade Cargill for the TBS Championship. But until then, let’s have her bounce back from her loss against Hirsch with a god damn vengeance. She’s beaten men and women alike all over the country. Statlander is a unique talent that hasn’t hit her full potential yet. Let’s treat her like the future of the division.
We’re still looking at a C+ right now…
I appreciate the increase in exposure, but the storylines simply don’t feel that important. There has been little established beyond Baker/Rosa in regards to any level of history — and even their recent feud was very sudden after Baker defeated Riho in January. If Rosa wins on Sunday night, it’s a different story — but the loss sort of took the wind out of the division a little. But hey, the new title looks pretty sweet!
Planting seeds with alliances formed through a tag team division, new stables, and acknowledging prior history between talent would do wonders for the storytelling.
But it hasn’t happened like it normally does for the men’s feuds. This is crucial for audience engagement, and story-building. The women’s division can be much better, but right now, it’s just not on the level that it COULD be.