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The AEW Women's Division - how can they fix it?


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I genuinely don't even know where to start with this. For a company that generally produces excellent content, I'm both amazed and fascinated by the fact they've created a Women's Division that is so stunningly bad. When you consider the quality of women's wrestling in WWE and Impact, it's even more inexcusable. 

I said it in the Dynamite thread, but outside of the short-lived Nightmare Collective and Baker/Swole (both of which were poor storylines in my view) I struggle to think of even one women's storyline that they have run. The women's division seems to exist in a sort of repetitious limbo. 

The potential for a strong division seems to be there - Britt Baker is often fun; Statlander although injured and in desperate need of a gimmick change, is clearly talented, Serena Deeb is a great addition, Shida is talented, Nyla Rose is good with the right opponent, Penelope Ford seems to have potential and Thunder Rosa, if she's a permanent addition, is a force to be reckoned with. Abadon, wherever she's disappeared to, seems interesting at the very least and Anna Jay looks like she has potential. 

In spite of that, the division is, in my view, inexcusably bad. 

So what should they do to fix it? Is it a case of bad booking? Bad signings? A bit of both? What's the problem, and what needs to be done about it?

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The problem is mostly that they haven't given them sufficient time. They have a lot of really great female wrestlers on the books, but it's no surprise that the only ones anyone cares about are the fe

All of those characters are as thin as wet bog roll until they've actually written any kind of engaging stories behind them, that's the the number one issue. There's a very basic outline of who these

That post by @BomberPat has got me thinking, as it covered a lot of good ground. I think they're aware that their women's division needs work and are embarrassed by it. Unfortunately, they're ending u

You're final paragraph should be the start point. In order to fix something you first need to identify the problem (if there is one).

I nearly asked in the AEW thread whether the "women division is rubbish" line of thinking is just a line that's been repeated so often it has been accepted as truth.

At the risk of appearing like an AEW cheerleader I have by and large enjoyed the in-ring stuff the ladies have produced. They have the odd botch and duff match, but so do the guys. And so do other companies women.

Other stories have included Riho v EMI Sakura's pupil/teacher thing and the current Shida v Thunder Rosa story. Admittedly it's not many but there's fewer participants and less screen time.

Edited by Just Some Guy
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16 minutes ago, Just Some Guy said:

You're final paragraph should be the start point. In order to fix something you first need to identify the problem (if there is one).

I nearly asked in the AEW thread whether the "women division is rubbish" line of thinking is just a line that's been repeated so often it has been accepted as truth.

At the risk of appearing like an AEW cheerleader I have by and large enjoyed the in-ring stuff the ladies have produced. They have the odd botch and duff match, but so do the guys. And so do other companies women.

Other stories have included Riho v EMI Sakura's pupil/teacher thing and the current Shida v Thunder Rosa story. Admittedly it's not many but there's fewer participants and less screen time.

You may have but it's been a real low point since the beginning for me. And that's the case whether other people like it or not.

So much of it has been forgettable, or memorable for all the wrong reasons.

It doesn't help that it's been on such a strong show where there have been so many high points over the months.

They just don't have the talent or depth to make it anywhere close to the men's side. But that shouldn't be their aim right now anyway. They just need to make it good at least.

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19 minutes ago, DavidB6937 said:

You may have but it's been a real low point since the beginning for me. And that's the case whether other people like it or not.

 

That's the point I was trying to make in my cack handed way. Is it objectively bad? If so, what makes it bad?

Your disappointment in the product doesn't lessen my enjoyment either. Each to their own.

23 minutes ago, DavidB6937 said:

They just need to make it good at least.

No offence but this is too vague an aim. What would make it good and why?

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 They need a mixture of patience, luck and the Khan chequebook

Take Britt, they have something with her. She's gorgeous, she looks like a star and her 2020 has been brilliant. But she's green as hell and she's been unlucky with injuries but I can see her being great in a few years

Anna Jay has something too. She actually got a half decent match out of Brandi even with her experience levels and in a couple of years she'll be great too

Abadon has potential as does Penelope, Kris Statlander and Conti imo but they won't be as good as the WWE stars for a few years. They need ring time to get "elite" 

They have been unlucky in losing people to injuries and Riho to the current circumstances. 

In the meantime they could have got in Deonna Purrazzo but she went to Impact. I'd like to see Nicole Savoy (Lil Swole) in. I enjoyed her performances in the tag tourney. Tessa would be a great get and to get her Tony needs to spend. 

The other problem is that the disgruntled ex WWE guys were the men and the female wrestlers in WWE seem to happy there and the only women that might be underused are Naomi and Shayna but they probably aren't  going at the moment

 

Edited by Tsurutagun
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1 hour ago, Tsurutagun said:

In the meantime they could have got in Deonna Purrazzo but she went to Impact. I'd like to see Nicole Savoy (Lil Swole) in. I enjoyed her performances in the tag tourney. Tessa would be a great get and to get her Tony needs to spend. 

Does he really? I don't think any major company would (or should) touch her with a bargepole right now given her reputation. 

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 They need a mixture of patience, luck and the Khan chequebook

They have been unlucky in losing people to injuries and Riho to the current circumstances. 

 

Clearly spending money is not an issue for AEW. I don't think they've lost any women's competitors who make the division any better than it is right now. Emi Sakura had a really strange gimmick, and Riho was rarely around when she was available to be. 

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At the risk of appearing like an AEW cheerleader I have by and large enjoyed the in-ring stuff the ladies have produced. They have the odd botch and duff match, but so do the guys. And so do other companies women.

@Just Some Guy - As you've probably guessed, I have not. But it's not just about the in-ring stuff. Every other division has had exciting moments, angles and storylines and the Women's division hasn't come close to having that. There are very few characters that I could actually explain to other people. Who is Shida? No idea. Who is Thunder Rosa? I'm not really sure, not in AEW (NWA Power proved how compelling she can be as a character, so this is all on AEW), who is Ivelise? Who is Diamante? I'm not even sure who Penelope Ford is as they haven't spent enough time fleshing her character out. 

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I don’t think it’s as awful as made out. There’s about a tenth of the female talent in the world compared to the men at a top level at a guess? Most of the top are still with wwe. Unless there is someone amazing out there I signed it’s a wait it out for a newcomer or one of the big 5 in wwe to become free 

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3 hours ago, RedRooster said:

Does he really? I don't think any major company would (or should) touch her with a bargepole right now given her reputation

Dare I say its pro wrestling. I hate that I've just typed that but Tessa won't be sitting at twiddling her thumbs. She's already done Warrior Wrestling in the last week and she'll end up at other promotions 

 

3 hours ago, RedRooster said:

Emi Sakura had a really strange gimmick, and Riho was rarely around when she was available to be. 

Personal opinion Emi's gimmick was awesome. It's the Americans fault for being ignorant on Freddie Mercury. Riho was around more than you're thinking. 

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I think they need a better scouting system. There are some incredible female talent out there, but AEW does seem to suffer from "I'll hire my mates" syndrome. 

I've seen some terrible matches (regardless of gender) on Dark and this shouldn't be happening for America's number two promotion. I remember one female match ended with Wrestler A being hit with a RKO, but when Wrestler B covers her, Wrestler A completely no sells the cutter, and reverses the roll up into her own pin for the win.

Like what the duck? That's some serious greeness that shouldn't be on the 2nd top promotion and a massive disservice to some of the incredible talent out there that deserves the opportunity.

 

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13 hours ago, Just Some Guy said:

No offence but this is too vague an aim. What would make it good and why?

No offence taken. My point - however vague it may be - is more about taking the womens division to one side and stop comparing it to the awesomeness they've managed to deliver with the mens.

As a lot of people have said, I think the mens side has a lot more experience. It has a lot more depth as well as a history - especially with the Elite. You just don't have any of that with the women and it's not possible to really jumpstart that. That comes from years and years of development and audience relationships etc.

Have they had issues with the talent they've used? Yes, but I do think they have some good talent there. Have they used those as well as they could've done? Probably not. I think as with any new company, the stars need an introduction and a reason to care beyond 'oooh snazzy Japanese wrestler' or something which I do think they've suffered from since they started.

So what do I mean by 'making it good'? I really just mean taking it all in a fair context (i.e. by itself and not judging it by the mens side) and trying to bring it up to a decent level over time. You can get away with the match quality being subpar if you have the characters to carry it through and a reason for the fans to care. Or you can get away with a lack of character if you have the talent to go out there and have spectacular matches. However, and obviously we're in disagreement here, they suffer too much from being in that middle ground of disappointing matches and a lack of reason to care about anyone involved.

I recognise that it's difficult because you have two divisions that are almost polar opposites really, and the women may suffer by proxy some weeks. Do I have all the answers? Not particularly, and I'm not overly familiar with the women out there available to AEW. Maybe the options are limited. But even then AEW have been very good at building up some of their guys that weren't well known before so that's not really an excuse.

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Chucking money at the division to fantasy-book your women's e-Fed isn't the solution. The most frustrating thing about AEW's women is that the company's demonstrated everything they need to apply in just about every other class. Of all the matches on AEW, the women seem to have fallen foul of "chuck them out there for 20 minutes". A part of me thinks they did that on purpose, seeing it as showcasing the women's athletic talents without gaudy soap opera trappings. The thing is, it's the gaudy soap opera trappings that colour in the character and build the emotional investment to really elevate the in-ring action.

Nyla Rose had some promo time, but now that's been handed over to Vicky, so that's where the focus is. Shida vs Rosa got a 60-second pre-tape for their build, which was excellent, but SIXTY SECONDS. Britt Baker's injury(ies) basically forced their hand, and it produced one of the best funniest female heels in years. Coincidence, that building vignettes, angles and storylines than span weeks creates a character that is a regular highlight of the entire division? Nah. That's your exception that proves the rules.

They need to rethink their booking strategy and start splitting the women's weekly air time between match work and angles much more evenly. That's not hard. They've got a talented, diverse roster, and clearly some smart minds behind the scenes who know how to build strong logical storylines that build to the big matches where they get to strut their wrestling stuff. They don't need to invest money, but time and creativity.

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12 hours ago, RedRooster said:

Does he really? I don't think any major company would (or should) touch her with a bargepole right now given her reputation. 

Clearly spending money is not an issue for AEW. I don't think they've lost any women's competitors who make the division any better than it is right now. Emi Sakura had a really strange gimmick, and Riho was rarely around when she was available to be. 

@Just Some Guy - As you've probably guessed, I have not. But it's not just about the in-ring stuff. Every other division has had exciting moments, angles and storylines and the Women's division hasn't come close to having that. There are very few characters that I could actually explain to other people. Who is Shida? No idea. Who is Thunder Rosa? I'm not really sure, not in AEW (NWA Power proved how compelling she can be as a character, so this is all on AEW), who is Ivelise? Who is Diamante? I'm not even sure who Penelope Ford is as they haven't spent enough time fleshing her character out. 

I can perfectly understand that you aren't enjoying it. We're still along way from objectively saying what's actually wrong, if anything.

I know you've identified what would make division more attractive to yourself, and I think that's all we can ask for, everyone to say what they want to see.

Shida is the butt kicking samurai girl challenging all comers for the title.

Thunder Rosa is the income from another fed trying to prove her title is superior.

Ivelisse and Diamante are the street tough girls from Puerto Rico (a female Santana & Ortiz imo).

Penelope Ford is the self absorbed young woman who looks down on the rest. I think these stories have been well told in all honesty.

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All of those characters are as thin as wet bog roll until they've actually written any kind of engaging stories behind them, that's the the number one issue. There's a very basic outline of who these women are, nothing more with the exception of Britt Baker.

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