Day 181: The “Weakest Women’s Division” Made A Statement [Wrasslin’ For Lunch]
It’s crazy how something can be filled to the brim and still be an afterthought. If I had a hat that was filled to the brim with Mac n Cheese, I would notice it, even if I never wore the hat. Why is it filled with Mac n Cheese? How did it get there? How did I not notice it happening? More importantly, who did it and how did they get possession of my hat? It would really bother me if something of mine was filled to the brim. That’s a very human condition. However, the powers that be at AEW seemingly don’t care when things are filled to the brim. They don’t like their hats anyway. Also, their Women’s division is teeming with talent. It’s not even filled to the brim anymore, it’s overflowing. They hardly ever get paid any mind.
Just how under-utilized is the AEW Women’s division? They had a huge tournament last month, with half of the talent being borrowed from Japan. The tournament matches hardly ever made it onto Dynamite. Most of the matches had to be watched on BR Live or YouTube. Even something that probably cost the company a lot of money to produce was wholly ignored by their flagship show. I dabbled in the tournament, watching random matches every now and then because there was no properly curated medium in which to do so. The whole time it went on, they stated that the tournament was for the AEW Women’s Title. A title that I assumed was vacant and rightfully so, they never did anything to suggest otherwise. So imagine my surprise when Ryo Mizunami won the tournament and was gifted with…a title shot. Against Hikaru Shida. You know, the AEW Women’s Champion. Who hadn’t been on TV in over 3 months.
This kind of stuff has been way too normalized on AEW [and for that matter, Raw]. I’ve heard rumblings that TNT is to blame, as they demand that there is only 1 women’s match per episode of Dynamite. Which is a shame, because the whole time they were competing with NXT for ratings, they were showcasing [probably] the best women’s wrestling in the world. In fact, in the first 90 minutes of last week’s NXT, only 10 or so minutes were focused on men. Over on the USA Network, they’re ushering in a whole generation of legitimate female wrestlers. Meanwhile, on TNT, things are looking like the stone age. Just the fact that Chaos Project has gotten more recent airtime than the Women’s Champion says more than you need to know.
That all changed last night. And hopefully, it changed for good.
For the 5 or 6 months that I’ve been following AEW, Thunder Rosa has been in a heated feud with Dr Britt Baker, DMD. However, they were only gifted with a few matches with each other [partially because of the fact that they’re women, but also, Rosa isn’t under contract and she keeps herself very busy across different Indy promotions]. So when they announced that there would be a [presumed] blow-off match, I figured that maybe it’d be the halfway match or a really solid opener. Nope. It was the main event. For a company that had backwards Russo-ian booking up until now, they actually allowed there to be two women’s matches on a single episode of Dynamite. And one of those matches was a 17 minute main event. Surely, it had to be something special.
And god damnit, it was. I really don’t want to give away the details. These women garnered an infinite amount of heat and they tore each other apart. This bout was more violent and shocking than the Exploding Barbed Wire match. They put themselves through hell and back. I spent the whole time cringing in disbelief. It was unlike anything I had ever seen in a women’s match. And it wasn’t on PPV, it was on cable TV for all of the world to see. One match isn’t going to change the world. But this one surely made a dent. The wrestling world is buzzing about it and the Powers That Be can’t help but take notice and give them more creative freedom. With a bit of luck, this match single-handedly built a platform for the future of the Women’s Division. There’s a whole locker room of underutilized talent just waiting to melt our faces off and because of last night, they might actually have the opportunity.
AEW decided to upload a good portion of the match on YouTube. If you have any shred of curiosity, I suggest watching it below. But be forewarned it’s not pretty. Also, thumbtacks are involved. So yeah. There’s that.