AEW Women's Division too much like early 2000s WWE Women

After watching the 29 Oct 2019 AEW Dark ( ) I finally hit my limit in regards to the AEW women’s division (as it has been presented so far.)

The four-way match on that episode was so much like the early 2000’s WWE that I wonder why AEW is putting this on their program

The problem appears to be that the women AEW have signed (as theirs, not just visiting for a match here or there) are equivalent to Kelly Kelly when it comes to their in-ring skill. In the particular four-way in question, both Penelope Ford and Allie (both of whom AEW are pushing) are far too afraid of the ropes, and of actually hitting another person, and of greatly relying on elaborately choreographed multi-person spots.

Another similarity to WWE is that under-skilled performers are there for the sex-appeal (once again Kelly Kelly, the Bella twins, etc.)

That four way would have been so much better being a regular match with Emi versus the visiting Sadie Gibbs (who’s decent.)

That the current champion (Riho) is a good worker is a benefit, but she is so undersized that she has to play the baby face in each match. And her opponents can’t pull off the heel act or are rather green (Britt Baker, Nyla Rose).

Also like the early 2000s WWE, AEW has come to depend upon a few very unusual women (Awesome Kong) or legends (Aja Kong) to be special appearances.

And while Yuka is very good, she’s only been seen a few times and is only a part timer. Hikaru Shida is supposedly committed to AEW, but she too is green (though better than the others) and currently her primary appeal is her sex appeal.

With the train of talent from Stardom possibly slowing down (due to BushiRoad wanting to reconfigure the business into something more successful) when will the crowds turn on AEW women’s matches?

I’m not going to criticize Brandi for playing a Stephanie McMahon parody as I think it is fine for Brandi and Cody to do an anti-WWE act. Yet Brandi too isn’t that good of a worker in the ring.

Bottom line: currently the majority of the women AEW is pushing are primarily of value for their looks, not skill in combat sports (or combat sports simulations.)

I for one don’t really like that. For me, I am hoping AEW will rise to a high work-rate women’s division that is primarily based around stories and combat, not center-fold qualities.



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I just think that the division needs time to grow. These women are being granted an incredible opportunity to perform on one of the more talked-about properties in the industry despite most of the talent being new to wrestling on TV (which is a different ballgame than wrestling in high school gyms & community rec centers). That Dark match (which probably could’ve been cut from the show) was all about getting those green girls ring-time on TV, in front of a big crowd (with EMI Sakura as the one tasked to hold the reigns of those young fillies).

Is the division great outside of Rhio/the Joshi performers, Kong, Britt, & Nyla Rose (YMMV)? No…But it doesn’t need to be, at least not right now. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be ecstatic if the AEW Women’s Division was as revolutionary (to use a term appropriated by The Fed) out of the gate as Shimmer or the TNA Knockouts were when they first started, but given their relative level of experience, they’re doing the best they can with what they’ve got.

If I were to level ANY criticism at the division (other than a bunch of underwhelming matches so far), I’d say that it wasn’t signing more veterans like Jazz, Lufisto, Mercedes Martinez, Victoria/Tara, & Allysin Kay to the roster. That way you get better TV matches, & a bunch of mentors on the roster to school the new girls.

I think the division will improve as the women become more comfortable in their roles, but it’s going to take some time & a commitment from the company to improve. We’ll see how it goes…Or just count down the days until Tessa Blanchard’s Impact contract comes up! And FTR, they’re a hell of a lot better than the Diva Search/Extreme Expose’ era of WWE women’s wrestling simply for the fact that they’re actually trying to have ambitious matches. Does it always work…That’s another story for another day! :rofl::100:


I agree to an extent that they are green and may get better but on a show where most matches have good to great work rate a 15 minute poorly worked women’s match really stands out and I’m not convinced they can take years of bad women’s matches without it appearing like they simply don’t care about the division. I think they should have signed a number of better women’s workers and featured them while the younger talent develops and have them carry matches rather than have a ton of multi-woman matches where everyone looks terrible. I mean watching this the day after Becky vs Kairi made the difference very clear and that wasn’t even a super match just a good one. NXT is giving us Io vs candice tonight and based on their first meeting that will put AEW to shame. It is no wonder NXT has been spotlighting their women given how weak the AEW division is right now. The state of their division makes their talking points about its importance feel like just corporate speak that they felt compelled to say, rather than actually being true.

When it feels like I could put together a better division if I had Alyiah, The horsewomen (minus Shayna), the Iconics, Sarah Logan, and Dana Brooke. That isn’t saying much for your division.

Also if they are that green stop with the long matches. Put them in 5-7 minute singles matches. Have them really work on a few good spots and get them out rather than drag out a long match for the sake of every match going long. That 4 way almost went to the time limit? Why? So Allie could be part of a cheerleading pyramid? If the talent isn’t there to do ambitious matches they shouldn’t do them.

Now I’m not sure what was out there as far as women they could sign while they were putting things together but I would say thus far it seems like it was an after thought and they could have done a better job putting things together.

For me, Kelly Kelly used to be the symbol of a very low in ring skill diva. Her last year in WWE isn’t too bad. I love her last match with Edge. I completely see your point when you say “afraid of the ropes”, that’s an immediate turn off for me.

To be fair, the division HAS been given a spotlight in terms of positioning on the show (the 1st title match was one of the two hyped matches on the debut episode & they made a big deal out of the 1st defense as well as Britt’s match in Pittsburgh)…The matches have just been average at best.

They need a Sara Del Ray…I don’t know why you wouldn’t sign Jazz to a limited contract (unless she’s headed back to NWA, but even then I imagine they could work something out). A month-long Jazz/Riho program (or Britt against someone like Saraya Knight) would be kind of awesome.

I think they’ll figure it out, though. The company’s shown the willingness to adapt & listen to the audience feedback (except for when it comes to the Dark Order, but I digress). If the matches are still this level of quality in January THEN I think you’ve got a legit problem, but right now I think they’re still figuring out TV, the rest will fall into place eventually. :100:

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I don’t feel like the spotlight on the women has been anywhere near what it has been on the men. Sure they put the title match on the first show, but the tag titles got a tournament that allowed them to show off the various teams. The men’s title was on PPV and had a build toward the match. There have been no feuds of any substance built or focused on, and women have frequently been relegated to multi-woman matches or tags.
They had Britt and Bea building but they had a tag week 2 and nothing has been mentioned since then. Nyla attacked Riho after the title match and has been off TV since. We also never get more than one women’s match.

I think a large part of that is the lack of talent in the division they don’t have someone they trust to carry things right now.


The WWE Women’s division managed to become what it was after hiring Del Ray to be the lead trainer and oversee NXT women. She changed everything and is in my opinion the one responsible for where the women’s division is now. My only wish is that Del Rey was given a spotlight to wrestle, herself, as she definitely deserves a major run somewhere.


And you’re also dealing with the two-fold task of not having enough women (the lack of Kong on these shows has been noticeable), but also trying to introduce/set-up the women you do have to your audience each week. :100:


I think they would do better off with shorter 1 on 1 matches to introduce their women than the longer multi-person matches. They also need mic time for just about everyone on the roster male and female so that doesn’t really help either.

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AEW will never be able to book women as strongly as Impact.

Agree on both points.

Honestly, that should be JR’s role instead of being a full-time commentator. He should be the “Barbara Walters” of AEW. Every week we should get a couple in-depth pieces with him spotlighting one of the women as well as one of their male performers/tag-teams. :100:

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Did you watch the 2000s WWE women? AEW is nothing like what they did then. The women AEW has are athletic but just incredibly green. Most of them need a lot of seasoning.

WWE has signed almost all of the available talent out there so it will take some time to build the division. But it’s questionable if fans even want women’s wrestling the amount that WWE delivers it. There’s a reason why there was no Evolution ppv this year.

Personally, I’d rather have a great tag division. WWE’s tag division is a complete mess.

But yeah, for now keep the women in shorter matches - there’s no need for them to go 10 minutes plus unless it’s a title match.


I mean how many impact seasoned wrestlers are free lance and can wrestle for AEW like Tenille Dashwood. I’m sure if they wanted they could have experienced workers in there at least for a short term.

Yeah I totally agree. For all the praise that NXT gets with its women’s division (even though they don’t often amount to much on the main roster) I think Impact has the best women’s roster in wrestling right now. Tons of unique and different characters and ring styles.

And they are booked as equal with the men. Something AEW is not doing at the moment. You can’t have a division built around riho equally as strong as a division built around a chris jericho.

I mean the “do fans want it” is dubious as given WWEs tag division where is the evidence of fans clamoring for better tag wrestling? Fans care about characters and stories and for as much talent as main roster WWE has in their women’s division they have largely done a poor job of capitalizing on it. Both tag and women’s divisions are things that attract a subset of fans and not having that attraction is a negative in both cases. My argument would be that a women’s division is a bigger draw than a tag division if only because I don’t know of very many fans that like tag wrestling over singles competition. As such I think the tag division is super serving people who would already turn in for great singles men’s action. Whereas the women’s division provides an attraction for women who want to see themselves represented. I’m not sure it is a huge draw on its own. I think Impact proves that as comparatively their women are their best feature but the rest of their roster doesn’t hold up.

I don’t think there are very many women in the industry you could book a division around that would be equal to the men with Jericho. Especially as you would need other talent in the division to make it interesting.

For instance Tessa might be a woman on that level of interest, but drop her into AEW right now and I don’t think it comes near the level of the men.

If WWE put as much effort into tag team wrestling as they do with the women’s division it could be huge. Look at how hot AEW’s tag division is. WWE has just as good talent but just don’t take the majority of the division seriously. Vince has never liked tag team wrestling so it’s nothing new.

There’s zero evidence that women’s wrestling is a bigger draw than tag wrestling. Again, if women’s wrestling is such a draw then why is there no Evolution show this year? Outside of Rousey there is no one that can draw. For as over as Becky is, they’ve really damaged her since Mania.

Historically tag wrestling can be a huge draw if taken seriously.

I agree with you completely but AEW advertized a women’s division as strong as the men. I love Riho but she doesn’t have a strong character (like a Tessa or a Becky Lynch). They definitely need at least one name to ignite the division.

Proof that tag wrestling is a huge draw? I haven’t seen that either. It always seems to just be a supplement to singles wrestling. I don’t see PPVs being built around tag matches or tag only events that have been huge draws. I’m not saying it couldn’t be better that is a given for WWE. But as I said I think it super serves existing fans rather than drawing in a different set of fans. For instance I would argue that AEW is in general super serving their target demographic 18-49 men, and they are not as strong in other areas. Whereas WWE has a bit broader appeal but their focused appeal is less. It is debatable if that is a good thing, but I think the ideal is to be good across the board. NXT is decent in this area though their tag division lacks depth right now as so many teams have been called up, to the crap main roster divisions.

As to Evolution I agree that WWE has booked their great division poorly and they could not really put on another show this year on that level. They don’t have the same star power or hot programs.