AEW announces new women's title match for New Year's Day

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All Elite Wrestling has announced that Kris Statlander will not be part of next Wednesday’s episode of Dynamite due to prior commitments that AEW is allowing her to fulfill.

Statlander was slated to challenge AEW women’s champion Riho next Wednesday on the New Year’s Day show from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida. The match was set up after Statlander defeated Britt Baker in a #1 contender’s match on December 18th.

However, Statlander has prior commitments to Beyond Wrestling on December 31st on their ‘Heavy Lies the Crown’ event from Worcester, Massachusetts and Bar Wrestling on January 1st in Los Angeles.

In her place, AEW will hold a four-way match for the women’s title with Riho defending against Britt Baker, Hikaru Shida, and Nyla Rose. Statlander will challenge the winner on the January 8th edition of Dynamite.

Tony Khan, Beyond Wrestling, and Bar Wrestling commented on the story:

Rather than force Kris to choose between her title shot or keeping her word on a commitment she made before signing here, we’re allowing her to do both. The champion Riho will defend vs. #2 Britt/#3 Shida/#4 Nyla in a 4 way title match. The winner defends vs. #1 Kris on January 8

— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) December 27, 2019

Losing @callmekrisstat would’ve been a big blow to us not only financially with travel and replacement costs but also quality of talent loss. Thank you to Kris for keeping your bookings next week with @beyondwrestling and with us and to @AEWrestling for caring about independents.

— Bar Wrestling (@BarWrestling) December 27, 2019

Thank you to @AEWrestling for allowing @callmekrisstat to fulfill her booking at #HeavyLiesTheCrown against @SilverNumber1 on New Year’s Eve in Worcester, MA and at @BarWrestling the following day.

— Beyond Wrestling (@beyondwrestling) December 27, 2019

As you can guess social media has not overreacted to this story at all… It is sloppy of AEW to not have open communication on prior bookings before going through and promoting a title match

Was Statlander not aware that the title match was going to take place on that day? Is she an actual alien? Stupid from her. Sloppy from AEW but why couldn’t she let them know beforehand?

I’m sure AEW are desperate to be seen as the nice guys but allowing a wrestler to double book themselves, make you look stupid and then still allowing her to have both matches and to give her special focus just makes AEW look weak in my opinion. She’s managed to eat her cake and still have it.

This is total bullshit and screams of a small
Time promotion. Which morons are in charge of this? It’s like when JR forgot Double J had no contract?

Now we have to watch Britt Baker in another match. Well I know I’ll be watching NXT

Unfortunate. However, I’m glad to see Tony Khan refrain from using AEW’s obvious leverage to harm these two promotions. Bad timing though as ARE was clearly using the 1/1 date as a loaded show to get out and running quickly. Hope they learn from this and have someone mapping out any potential conflicts with newly signed talent as soon as a contract is executed.

Statlander only signed earlier this month. I’m sure these dates were on the books long before then. Definitely an unfortunate look, but I don’t see how this is any instance of statlander trying to do anything shady. Hopefully AEW learns from this and immediately identifies all potential conflicts for newly-signed wrestlers.

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If the other booking existed before the number one contenders match then she should’ve let AEW know before they gave her a title match on a day that she already knew that she was booked somewhere else. How would she not know that she was booked already somewhere else?

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Maybe she did tell them, and it slipped their mind, I don’t recall the #1 contender match specifying the date of the title shot. I could totally see that match happening then AEW wanting to pump up the Jan 1 show and not remembering they couldn’t put the match on. That said it was a poor decision to push her to this spot until any other commitments were taken care of, but I think they are desperate to get their women on track. This really hits home why WWE locks up their talent. They may come across as jerks at times but they don’t have things like this happen.

Did you tweeted to Meltzer about this, making an ass of yourself like every other time?

I’d say both AEW and Statlander did the right thing here - she honoring her deal and AEW letting her honoring her deal, plus announcing a week in advance about the change. Not like, you know, WWE, that are changing at least one match or segment every 3 out of 4 shows, and not bothering to announce it in advance. Sounds like absolute bush league to me.


I really don’t see how this is a big deal - we’ve barely built up Statlander as-is and AEW are still using their record system to tell a further story. They are also pulling the curtain back a little bit and informing us on the situation - would it have been better to film an angle to write Statlander off the show for a week? Maybe - but either way, this really seems like a non-issue to me.

AEW are not immune to criticism - I think the running with Riho and her subsequent disappearance since winning the title is terrible booking when you are trying to build up a brand new title and lineage. I understand that it’s likely due to her Japan bookings but still feel it wasn’t fully thought about before placing the title on her.

Either way, I would prefer things like Riho’s booking or the Statlander scheduling conflicts not to happen but am glad to see AEW actually act as an ally to and work alongside the independents vs. using their influence and money to their advantage to bend performers to their will. It’s refreshing and I’m happy to be patient.


I think we all figured out you’ll be watching NXT


The whole women’s division has been a case of terrible decisions being made and this is something else to add to it.

I think her disappearance is the least of what is wrong with going with Riho as their first champion. She shouldn’t wrestle that often as champion. The problem is making an underdog your initial champion.

I agree - I just think she should at least be on tv or some taped segments - she’s been gone basically the entirety of her run which I think hasn’t helped build her momentum whatsoever

I mean she was on a lot prior to full gear and hasn’t been back since. I think that is another issue with your inaugural champion being non-English speaking, she cannot come on and cut promos. I was honestly fine with her being gone, they just needed to do something to build up her next challenger. As green as she is they should have gone with Nyla as the first champ given the need to build up the division.

I also would have preferred Nyla as 1st champ