AEW debuted on TBS last night, and overall, it was a pretty solid show. Page/Danielson delivered, and Jurassic Express is a top the tag division (get better soon Fenix!). The MJF/Punk segment continues to turn an entire promotion (WWE) as a supporting heel in their feud, and who doesn’t love when Malakai Black kicks someone’s head in?
And if you blinked, you missed a large number of women’s segments crammed in and around the Cargill/Soho match.
My question is this:
Why couldn’t you have replaced the Wardlow SQUASH match AND the 2.0/Jericho segment with the blossoming Statlander/Hirsch feud?
On AEW Dark, Statlander/Hirsch/Red Velvet teamed up to take on developmental talents Renee Michelle, Sofia Castillo & Marina Tucker. Friction continued between Statlander and Hirsch to continue their feud. Great! But…
Could you not have replaced the latter with main roster heels for the same effect — but on an actual Dynamite? (Nyla Rose, Serena Deeb, Abadon, Jamie Hayter, etc…)
Hear me out, there’ s a reason for this, and other reasons why elevating the women’s division should take precedence over the “fluff” segments and squash matches we’ve seen lately…
Two Matches Per Dynamite
I’ve said this before, and I’m going to keep saying it. There is no reason why AEW women can’t have more than one match on Dynamite — at least a two times a month. I’m a self-admitted AEW mark — I know our fan base — we aren’t stupid.
We’re not going to forget that Wardlow is slow-building a face turn against MJF. We don’t need to see pointless squash matches every week. I absolutely love 2.0 ever since their days in Chikara, as well as their Badd Boyz run. I don’t need to see them every week. That segment with Jericho was “okay” but goofy as hell and could have been saved for next week.
Right now, WWE women are still booked poorly, but they get more exposure. In AEW, it’s the opposite. The division is booked solid enough, but what crumbs you get just isn’t enough to elevate the division. Why can’t we have both?
Kris Statlander, Thunder Rosa, Abadon, Jamie Hayter, Red Velvet, Kiera Hogan (who is vastly being underutilized) — these are women’s talents that are just kind of sitting there. And while I’m looking forward to Deeb/Shida III, the feud has been extremely sporadic.
Consistency is key here, and we’re not getting that right now.
How to Not Book the TBS Championship
Jade Cargill is champion. Got it. Do you know what keeps the TNT Championship exciting? It’s defended a lot.
The AEW Women’s Championship doesn’t get defended all that often, and I fear with Jade’s inexperience, that we’re going to see a similar pattern. Jade defending this title only once in a great while will sully the integrity of the championship.
The TNT Championship has been defended 36 times since it’s inception. The AEW World Championship has been defended 23 times. The AEW Women’s Championship has been defended 20 times.
For a World Championship, this is consistent. You don’t need to put up a world title defense every month. But the TBS Championship should keep pace with the TNT Championship in regards to defenses.
I don’t mind if Jade is utilized to elevate other faces within the division that could use television exposure (Red Velvet, Kiera Hogan, Anna Jay, Tay Conti, etc.) — with Kris Statlander ending up as the believable opponent to dethrone Jade in a few months.
But if the TBS Championship is sort of lost in the shuffle because Cargill just doesn’t have the experience to defend it on a regular basis, then it wouldn’t be a great start for this new title, and will continue to drag the division down.
When you cram all the ladies into one small block of Dynamite instead of spreading segments out, it truly makes it feel less important. This also puts unnecessary attention on Jade Cargill (who had the feature match of the night with Soho), who will need some on the job training during her TBS Championship run. Cargill looks impressive as hell, and will be a major star — but she’s simply not in-ring ready enough to carry a title.
But when that’s the only in-ring product we get from the women in one week, it sort of drags everything down with it.
Can we just make more than ONE FEUD AT A TIME feel important in this division other than pushing if off to Dark or Rampage?
There’s a lot of wrestling fans like myself who still believe in women’s wrestling. I don’t want to search out other promotions to hope for greener pastures. I’ve seen three decades worth of a WWE product that I’m checked out of at the moment. But never say never…
These are such simple changes that I hope to see in 2022. I don’t see why they’re that hard. Two matches per show, at least two times a month. Spread the wealth of segments and matches throughout the broadcast instead of cramming them into one random block. Don’t undervalue the TBS Championship.
And for fuck’s sake, can we get a women’s match to main event a Dynamite every once in a while? Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa shouldn’t have to spill pints of blood just to get top billing of a show. If you match up marquee names like Baker, Statlander, Shida, Deeb, Rosa and Soho into some main event matches here and there, you CAN do this fairly easily.
I really believe in AEW. This promotion usually delivers great a wrestling product to their fan base. But there’s no excuse for an under-booking of the women anymore.
Also, sign Toni Storm and Nixon Newell (Tegan Nox) already.