Let's face it, AEW has a problem when it comes to their women's division. Despite having a ton of talented female wrestlers with great distinct personalities, we have yet to see the women of AEW really take off in the way that we all hoped they would. There is a wide variety of opinions as to how the promotion found itself in this situation, but it is best to just admit that something needs to change if AEW wants a successful women's division. The biggest change that can be made immediately is to start booking more and bigger matches in the division. Presented here, in no particular order, are five matches that could breathe new life into All Elite Wrestling's women's roster.
Anna Jay vs. Penelope Ford
Anna Jay has gained quite the following in a short amount of time on AEW. The sole female member of the Dark Order is currently in a feud with Brandi Rhodes that has raised the profile of the young wrestler. The "Queen Slayer" has a bright future ahead of her and she could end up being one of AEW's first homegrown women's stars.
Penelope Ford has relatively more experience than her potential match partner, but she has also done quite a bit to raise her profile in 2020. Her performances at Double or Nothing and Fyter Fest brought some much-needed attention to the talent that Ford has in the ring. She is currently in an engagement angle with real-life partner Kip Sabian, but I imagine that will not stop her rise.
The reason I suggest this match-up is that it would bring attention not only to the women's division as a whole but it would also highlight two newer talents that have not been exposed to audiences on a wide-scale. AEW could easily capitalize on their two homegrown stars to highlight that their women's division is new and exciting.
Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose
This rematch of their Double or Nothing bout seems like a no-brainer to me. Not only is Nyla currently ranked as the number one contender in the division, but the history between these two is enough to justify a match even if the title isn't on the line.
Shida's title reign has not been particularly exciting, even though her title defenses have been consistently good. Shida has been underutilized which is a shame for the champion. A high profile feud would not only raise Shida's profile, but it could also elevate the women's title to a place of prestige that it currently does not hold.
AEW seemed ready to pull the trigger on a run for Nyla Rose, even pairing her with Vickie Guerrero as her manager, but nothing has materialized so far for the former champion. Nyla should be challenging Shida or at least rebuilding her reputation by running through jobbers on a consistent basis.
These two gave us a fantastic match at Double or Nothing. I could see a rematch being used to kick off a new era for AEW's women's division, and honestly, that needs to happen soon rather than later.
Britt Baker vs. Big Swole
Sure, these two already fought at All Out in their Tooth and Nail match, but as fun as that was it wasn't the in-ring blow off we deserved. Britt and Swole are both fantastic in the ring and with their character work. The fact that they were able to pull of a satisfying feud while Britt was still not cleared to fight proves that these two have chemistry. The fact that the tooth and nail match already happens means one thing for this future match, it can't happen on just a random episode of Dynamite. If these two are going to step into the ring again, we need to see some sort of build to the match. This match won't headline a pay per view but it sure as hell could headline a special event episode of AEW's weekly show.
Long story short, we need more of these two in the ring and I hope that happens soon!
The Nightmare Sisters vs. Tay Conti and Anna Jay
Brandi Rhodes and Anna Jay's ongoing feud is actually one of the more solid pieces of long term storytelling happening on the women's side of AEW at the moment. It has helped boost the profile of Jay and has even helped make Rhodes put more effort into her in-ring work. The match between the two on the special "Late Night Dynamite" episode made it clear that this is not the end of the action between these two.
In addition to the ongoing feud, it looks like Jay is attempting to get her tournament partner Tay Conti to join her in the Dark Order. If Tay does become the Dark Order's second female member and continues to team with Jay this would make them one of the only other official women's tag-teams on the roster. Considering I was almost certain that this match would be the finals of the already forgotten women's tag-team cup tournament, I think this match is bound to happen very soon.
This doesn't have to be the beginning of a new women's tag division, but it would add something different in a division that should be trying as many different things as they can to gain relevancy.
Shida vs. Britt Baker
When Baker announced that she would have to take the summer off to rehab her knee injury, we all knew that we were missing out on this pairing. Well, now Britt is back in the ring and Shida needs challengers. This year has made it clear that AEW sees Shida and Baker as the future of their women's division, and that is a good thing.
This match needs to happen, but once again it needs to be a big deal. The fans know that we missed our opportunity to see these two go at it this Summer, and the eventual clash will have a big fight feel worthy of a pay per view. If I was Tony Khan, I would not rush to get to this match. I would book both Shida and Baker on parallel paths and then when they both look to be at their strongest finally have them fight over the title.
This match has the potential to be the main event at Double or Nothing 2021 and if AEW is willing to invest in this feud they could use it to change the conversation around their women's division in a positive way.
What do you think? How would you fix the women's division in AEW? Let me know by tweeting at me @robbydeshazer!
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