I know what I said weeks ago and I stand by it:
That the AEW women’s division is generally treated better than WWE’s, and the overall talent is nearly equal. But in comparison, WWE women are being booked like an utter dumpster fire right now.
But two wrongs do not make a right, and right now, women’s wrestling is a bit lackluster — and it’s the booker’s faults in both major promotions. While the Charlotte/Becky “heat” is likely a heavily worked shoot, no one else in the entire division seems terribly important.
Belair’s rise to the top has already been forgotten, and I don’t believe anyone is taking Zelina Vega or Liv Morgan seriously as legitimate challengers to dethrone either champion. From top to bottom, the division feels a bit lopsided. (not counting NXT)
But then you have AEW…
I can argue it’s better balanced, as with the exception of Britt Baker’s dominance, most women on the roster can win on any given Sunday. Kris Statlander, Thunder Rosa, Ruby Soho, Jade Cargill, Hikaru Shida, Serena Deeb — these are very good women’s athletes.
But they aren’t made to feel entirely too important, are they?
Does This Division Actually Matter?
Wednesday night we get in-ring promos with Hangman/Danielson and MJF/Punk. In the many weeks prior, in-ring promos from Cody and Malakai Black, FTR/Lucha Bros., and a “meh” Inner Circle/ATT feud that could have doubled as a desperate testosterone supplement commercial. While I don’t debate the quality and importance of most of these, the women simply don’t get the same treatment.
Instead, we are offered quick and dirty backstage Britt Baker promos that was likely done in one-take. We are offered random dark vignettes with Jade Cargill and Mark Sterling that looks like they were filmed in a storage room.
This TBS Women’s Championship Tournament should feel like a big deal, but it unfortunately doesn’t right now. It feels more like Tony Khan is just making sure to check his “one women’s match per show” box instead of actually trying to utilize his division.
We don’t get to regularly see Kris Statlander, Thunder Rosa, Jamie Hayter, or Red Velvet, really at all. That is unless you count the countless cliché pre-filmed backstage segments and interviews.
KO and TK have done an excellent job at building the division — but they aren’t doing much with it, are they? You’d be hard-pressed to find even two women’s feuds occurring on Dynamite at the same time. Even if beef exists between multiple talents, you’ll never see it play out in more than one match per show.
I’m not a billionaire, but I am a long-time women’s wresting fan. Making the division feel important isn’t impossible to accomplish…
How to Make AEW Women’s Division Feel Important
Step 1: > ONE Women’s match per Dynamite
Let’s take this week as an example. While Dynamite was a really good show overall, is there a match on the card that really wasn’t necessary? There is — Bryan Danielson vs. Evil Uno. Yes, we all love Bryan Danielson, and his feud with Hangman will be fire. However, after their in-ring promo, did we really need Danielson vs. Uno?
Couldn’t we have built towards Danielson/Cobana next week instead, and given up more time for another match?
Yes. The answer is yes.
While Shida and Rose go at it, and Cargill and Velvet slated for Rampage, why not book a six-woman tag match with the remaining participants?
Thunder Rosa, Kris Statlander and Ruby Soho versus Jamie Hayter, The Bunny and Penelope Ford would have teased the quarterfinals, as well as tension between Statlander and Soho on the same team, even though they likely face each other next week. Hayter looks dominant, but Ford or The Bunny take the pinfall to make the faces look strong without making Hayter look weak.
I don’t like to armchair book, but this would have made the tournament, and the division, feel much more important than the token one-women’s-match-per-show. (and it’s so EASY to book!) It isn’t hard to book more than one women’s match on Dynamite, even if it’s just once per month (I understand time constraints with a big roster). …Make it happen.
Step 2: MORE in-ring promos
When a wrestler speaks to the crowd in-ring, there is a chance for connection between fans, heel or face. This is why Britt Baker is so god damn over. She’s made that connection and it shows during her matches. While I can’t say names like Statander, Rosa, Shida, or Soho are remotely as good on a microphone is Britt is — at least GIVE THEM THE CHANCE.
Beyond Cargill, nobody else really comes to mind that has been able to speak directly to a crowd during a live Dynamite. This desperately needs to change.
I can speak from past and present segments (in and out of AEW) that Thunder Rosa, Ruby Soho, The Bunny, and Serena Deeb have solid promos. It’s time to let them have some spotlight…
Step 3: MORE than one-feud at a time
Hikaru Shida and Serena Deeb are beefing and that was brought forth last night. Great! Anyone else?
Britt versus Tay is done. And while you have past beef between Cargill and Velvet in their upcoming tournament match, that’s really about it…
You have 23 women (officially) on the roster, and TK can only muster up ONE feud.
Note: Diamante, Julia Hart, KiLynn King, Kiera Hogan, Madi Wrenknowski, Lulu Pencil, Skye Blue and Santana Garrett have all been either “signed” or have worked recent shows — but they don’t exist on the official AEW roster page.
It’s hard for me to believe with all of the personalities you have between Abadon, Baker, Statlander, Soho, Rosa, The Bunny, Hirsch, Hogan, and a plethora of others — that we only get one women’s feud at a time.
An All-Women’s AEW Show
Another idea is to simply replace Dark or Dark: Elevation with an all-women’s product. I can understand that women’s wresting may not be the draw that the men’s division traditionally is, but that doesn’t mean it should be treated as any less important.
I really don’t see why Dark AND Dark: Elevation exist. Move one out for an all-women’s show that can showcase the larger AEW women’s roster that few get to see. On top of that, you can utilize talent from NWA, Mission Pro, Shimmer, and many others that can roll into Universal Studios for some tapings.
Is this not a good idea? Am I off-base, here? This kind of seems like a no-brainer when it comes to equality and turning out a good women’s wrestling product.
Just re-brand it AEW: Elevation, and it becomes an all-women’s show. Use it to defend the NWA Women’s Championship, Shimmer World Championship and maybe even the Impact Knockouts Championship. Cross-promote with Dynamite and Rampage and AT LEAST you have built a niche within your promotion so fans like me can enjoy some quality women’s wrestling.
This simply isn’t hard to do, but it doesn’t exist right now.
The women’s evolution for me came when I started to watch Shimmer back in the mid-2000s. It continued when I watched up old All-Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling shows, and would eventually get into Stardom. The original TNA Knockouts Division was fabulous before it was essentially ruined by Hogan and Bischoff.
Great women’s wrestling has existed all around us for decades, and it deserves to be seen.
Unfortunately, it’s been quite the struggle to have it exposed in the right way in the mainstream. Right now, WWE’s women’s product is abysmal, and AEW’s is just sort of “there”. Even with a new secondary championship, it still doesn’t feel as important as it could be.
Heading into 2022, the time is now to finally shoot women’s wrestling to the top of it’s game. AEW could be that vessel, in more ways than one — but the executives need to take the chance on it. Let’s urge Tony Khan to push the AEW women’s division to live up to its full potential — because right now it still just doesn’t feel as important as it should be.