Kittens Rant: AEW Women’s Division

Hello again, to all my kittens out there! I know I promised the next rant would be another Sony one, but I wanted to give us a little break from Sony to talk about something that is on a lot of people’s minds lately. This is Women’s Wrestling but more specifically the AEW Women’s Division. AEW has been getting a LOT of flak lately for how they have been handling their women’s roster and while some of it is deserved I think a lot of this is also because a lot of people just want to bitch about things lately. However, this little Kitten has a solution that would work very nicely though it does start with what would be an unpopular opinion. But let’s start with some background for those of you who don’t know what’s been going on.

For those of you who are like me and have been watching wrestling since the 80’s you’ll know that Women’s Wrestling has been…well… mainly overlooked since the Attitude Era of the 90’s. Back in the day, you had some big women’s names and some great matches but Women’s Wrestling wasn’t a huge draw when compared to the men so it didn’t headline shows. Then the Attitude Era rolled around everything got edgier and women’s wrestling devolved into Bra and Panty matches and King laughing lecherously as he talked about women’s “puppies” as though he was a 3-year-old about to be handed his favorite candy bar. Somehow, during all of the crap that the Diva’s put up with, they ended up with a not inconsiderable amount of respect coming their way as people realized “Wow these women can actually wrestle!” During this time that kinda ended the Diva’s era and pushed us into the Women’s Revolution, we saw people like Lita, Trish, Mickey James, and Michele McCool among others pave the way for stars like Paige and AJ Lee and Naomi. Women like Sasha Banks, Bayley, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch pushed what was started by the others and really turned it up a notch to where the company of puppies and bra and panties matches now has one of the best Women’s Divisions on TV…that is when they don’t suddenly have them doing Kareoke contests for some odd reason.

This all leads to AEW and what they have been doing over the past year to build a woman’s division. One of the biggest problems is that AEW started out pretty well here. They had a good idea it seemed going into this, but a lot of stuff out of their power just happened and well let’s admit it this past year has sucked for everyone. Especially so for sports and entertainment as COVID has made planning sports things almost impossible, so truthfully, we’re lucky to have any wrestling on TV at all. So let’s do a quick rundown of what happened to AEW’s Women’s Division so far this year.

Kylie Rae

When AEW started, it seemed pretty obvious that Smiley Kylie Rae and Britt Baker were going to be major pushed for the Women’s Division as Baby Faces and you had Nyla Rose and Bea Priestly as some major Heels. Things looked like a good start until almost right away Kylie Rae disappeared from the equation asking for her release before ever really starting. Not much is truly known about the why’s of this and that’s fine what we do know is it was an amicable split so who knows maybe one day she’ll be back. So this left Britt Baker as the lead face but the fans didn’t seem to get behind that much and so the first AEW Championship ended up going to Riho that a lot of people liked but came with baggage of her own too. You see, Riho and several others in the women’s division are from Japan and part of the Joshi wrestlers over there so we didn’t see much of the champ or crowd favorites like Yuka Sakazaki as they had these other commitments that kept them away from the states. Then the dreaded COVID, hit and we lost the Joshi’s and we lost the few ladies from Europe like Bea Priestly and Shanna or that live in Canada like Allie. You also had odd starts in the company like Brandi trying to start the Nightmare Collective that seemed like it would be almost like an undercover branch of the Nightmare family that would do the dirty stuff Cody didn’t want to do but at first. It was all women with Awesome Kong and then Mel but then they brought in Luther and they started getting compared to the Dark Order which I never really saw to be honest. But neither team was getting over at that point and they kinda scrapped that plan. At the end of that, they saw Luther and Mel turn on Awesome Kong and she got written off TV we think due to having to film another season of GLOW but then with COVID and everything we haven’t seen her since and Mel has only just made her comeback after being gone since then too.

Nyla Rose

This left AEW to have to figure out how to restart their women’s division for the third time in basically just as many months. Nyla Rose ended up with the belt and dropped it to Hikaru Shida both of which are awesome wrestlers that I love! Britt Baker was being built to become a major heel and Kris Statlander to be a face that could be a huge draw for the Women’s division. But again, elements kinda beyond control took over, as Britt had Nyla slammed down on her and the landing was wrong and ended up busting her leg up in a few places. Kris Statlander also had some health problems with her leg though I don’t remember what offhand so she hasn’t been around for a while. So again, the people they were trying to build the division around got pulled out from under them. So AEW had to figure out how to build things again. 

Abadon

Now mind you, I may have some things out of order time-wise but you’re getting the picture here between a pandemic and accidents in-ring and some people just up and leaving AEW’s women’s roster got rocked hard. Yet during all this time instead of people focusing on what has been happening to make it harder on AEW they come out and say “Well you should be doing more!” and attacking them as though they have been growing this roster for 30 years and had all the time in the world to get things right as the WWE has but the truth is we aren’t even at 1 year worth of weekly shows yet and we’ve seen a shit ton of crap happen to their women’s roster that is causing them to have to constantly change their plans. We’ve seen some glimmers of hope though in the past few months. Big Swole has been stepping up and becoming a favorite of the crowd online as she wrestles and is starting a feud with Baker who while still injured has been staying at the shows on the sidelines and helping to build Swole even if they can’t wrestle yet. We have seen people like Ana Jay, and Abadon the Monster come into AEW Dark where they are trying to build new people for their division and get such overwhelming positives from the fans that they get signed! People like Diamante and Ivelisse have been getting good reviews. This week we have seen AEW Interviewer and On-Air personality Dasha Gonzalez step into the ring with Rachel Ellering while last week we saw Tay Conti and the return of the missing Funkadactyl Arriane Andrew in the AEW Women’s Tag Tournament the Deadly Draw.

So it seems that AEW is starting to build their women’s division again. Penelope Ford has been getting some good time and we have seen Vickie Guerrero become the manager of Nyla Rose. We’ve seen Leva Bates becoming more active in matches with the Initiative and now in the Deadly Draw with Rache Chanel. So why is AEW getting so much hate?

Penelope Ford

Well, a big reason for this is that on their weekly show they tend to have one women’s match. To be honest though except for the women’s portion being lacking their weekly shows are top-notch and have the right mix of singles and tag wrestling I think so the big problem here becomes where do you suggest they try to fit the women in without upsetting this delicate balance for singles and tag teams that they seem to have perfect. They don’t really have 30-45 minutes of promo time like the WWE has that can just be cut for a few more women’s matches which is something I love about AEW is that they have a story but the focus mainly on the wrestling and action. AEW Dark tends to have some women’s matches either 1 or 2 depending on the week but a lot of people don’t see this as being good for the women because Dark is only “on youtube” as though YouTube doesn’t have a ton of views or anything. I mean, if you look at it AEW has 1.51 MILLION subscribers on YouTube they posted the second night of the Deadly Draw on their channel just 15 hours before I’m writing this and it already has 177 thousand views whereas the first week of the deadly draw has 549 thousand views. This half-hour women’s tournament is gaining more views than some episodes of AEW Dark is getting. But ya know this is on YouTube so it’s not good enough. Another reason AEW is getting so much hate lately is they started a paid service called AEW Heels which is for women who love wrestling. Women can pay $49 bucks to have virtual meet and greats, video conference discussions with industry experts, Q&A’s with AEW Talent, custom merch, themed parties and more! That’s not bad for $49 a year but everyone has to pick on it because they aren’t doing enough for their women so how dare they make a platform for women to bring more women’s eyes to wrestling.

AEW Heels

So HOW do we solve this. This is where my unpopular opinion comes in. You see  I want AEW to do something that WWE Raw has been roundly criticized for in the past and even to this day. Make Dynamite into a 3-hour show! Now before you, all go ballistic in the comments hear me out here. We right now have two hours of Dynamite and to tell the truth, it is so action-packed that when two hours is up I swear we’ve only gone through about 1 hour, because I never get bored. I’m always watching intently and their pace is such that I don’t get the boredom that I now always feel when it comes to WWE shows. With WWE Smackdown to me feels like it’s three hours and RAW feels like it’s about five and the PPV’s on the network feel like they must be about 12. I think this is mostly due to the sheer amount of talking, talking never-ending talking they all do. Between the talking and the constant video packages and replays, we don’t get nearly as much wrestling in WWE in three hours as you see in AEW in just two. 

So imagine you took those three hours but kept the AEW pacing and in that extra hour, you added women’s singles and tag team wrestling! Pepper these matches in-between the men’s matches, have some women’s matches close the show as the main event, or have co-main events. Build some of the women’s teams or singles on Mondays on YouTube almost like a House Show for WWE to get the people over and then send them into the bigger show on Wednesdays. This way we can get a good amount of time for the women. I think if this was done in this way that AEW wouldn’t suffer for it, could really pick up the women’s demo and highlight their women wrestlers the way they deserve to be. And hopefully, if they did this, we wouldn’t have any more problems like they started out with!

But that’s just my take on this. So what do you think my kittens?  Let me know below in the comments below if you think this could work or what ideas you would have to build up AEW’s Women’s Division. Also don’t forget we have a new YouTube channel that is going to be dedicated to gaming reviews, playthroughs, and more and you can find it HERE or if you want to help our gaming channel grow you can go to our Patreon HERE!

So until next time my Kittens, Love to you all!

Love,

Kitten

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