Over the past few weeks we seen more and more teases of the breakup of Vicious Vixens, Nyla Rose, Marina Shafir and their manager Vickie Guerrero. By the way, if you’re reading this and asking “What? When was this?” Well it’s been a storyline that’s been entirely contained within AEW’s YouTube properties Dark and Dark Elevation (by the way, can we start calling it just “AEW Elevation”?). I’m really enjoying seeing more storylines like this contained to just Dark & Elevation. It allows for under-card storylines to get a bit of friction first before either entirely playing out on YouTube or extending to TV which requires a simple video recap on Dynamite or Rampage to get fans up to speed. Either way, it’s a great way forward for AEW’s YouTube shows.
Given how the subsequent weeks have gone, the direction appears to be Vickie Guerrero & Marina Shafir to turn on Nyla Rose. There’s always the chance that this is just a wholesale pivot where all three of them to stay together with a renewed motivation because of the strife. We’ll have to see. But I feel fairly confident that the direction isn’t Vickie & Nyla turning on Marina, since whoever sides with Vickie and her eternal torch of heel heat will be the defacto heel and I don’t see Shafir turning babyface.
It could be as simple as a break but given how Tony Khan loves dovetailing stories into each other, I can’t help but get the old cork board & red yarn out and see if things don’t fit together with other things going on in AEW’s women’s division.
Sub-Plot within a wider story?
Funnily enough, in the wake of what appeared to be gearing up as this women’s division taking great step forward with the addition of megastar Merecedes Monè (which obviously didn’t/hasn’t happened), in my estimation we are at the genesis of some really intriguing storylines. Tony Khan has taken the sentiment that surrounded the prospect of the former Sasha Banks becoming #AllElite, and used it for an over-arching vibe in the women’s division whereby the “Outsiders” Saraya & Toni Storm are miffed over the fan’s preference for “Homegrown” heels Dr. Britt Baker & Jamie Hayter.
Just to clarify, the majority of AEW fans did and still do want Merecedes Monè to join their favourite promotion but in the wake of it not happening on the January 11th episode of Dynamite, I’m feeling a renewed appreciation for those women who built this division from the beginning.
Blood & Guts
I don’t know if it started purely with fan speculation or if some journalist suggested it but the thought of a women’s Blood & Guts match (which I maintain should be called “Gore & Mutilation”, IYKYK) so Twitter has been a fun activity of people fantasy-booking their teams of 5. The near unanimous notion is that it’ll be an Outsiders faction led by Saraya & Storm versus another led by Britt & Jamie. I agree with this although I’m also not throwing out the possibility of this leading to an nWo type faction where it’s Britt, Saraya & Toni Storm… But probably not.
So with that in mind, could we see the Vicious Vixens divided along similarly drawn battle lines?
Benefit to Nyla Rose
For Nyla Rose, she’s obviously a great fit for Britt & Jamie’s team. If you’re really going to lean into the “Day One” AEW stars, she seems pretty quintessential as the woman who was in the first ever match for the AEW Women’s World Title on the first ever Dynamite as well as the 2nd ever Champion. This development would also vault Nyla into one of my favourite tropes which is: Heel monster who used to terrorize all your favourites is now our monster and is making life hell for the heels. Fans, especially those who follow Nyla on Twitter, have been clamouring for Nyla Rose to turn babyface. I don’t want her to change a single thing, just change who she directs her ire at.
Remember during the WWF Invasion feud where Stone Cold Steve Austin decided to join Team WWF after much recruitment and he came down to the ring during a brawl and Stunnered literally 11 members of the Alliance? Of course you do, that’s the one good thing about that flubbed storyline. I think the lead up to Blood & Guts needs that type of thing. I haven’t decided whether that spot belongs to Nyla or Hikaru Shida yet but certainly a Nyla Rose Beast Bomb-a-thon would slap.
Benefit to Marina Shafir
Marina Shafir did have her time in NXT but never got called up to the main roster. But don’t forget, this “Outsiders” stable isn’t strictly about wrestlers coming from WWE, so much as wrestlers who subscribe to idea that the “homegrown” women (as Toni & Saraya call them) are entitled and look down on those who made their name elsewhere. This interpretation could be stretched to fit Shafir who came up through the world of MMA. She would definitely have something to say about these “homegrowns not knowing anything else”.
I respect the hell out of Marina’s in-ring ability and I think she’s enormously under-rated for how innovative she is. But it is a hard style to get over when you’re a low woman on the depth chart. If she were a top level threat, suddenly these subtle joint manipulations and intricate reversals feel very important and draw their own heat. But it’s not a style that’s exciting in and of itself like you get with a luchador or these super hybrids.
I think having the rub of being shoulder-to-shoulder with one of the two major warring sides is a great start but moreover, I think the Blood & Guts match would showcase her biggest strength.
Given that a Blood & Guts match can only end via submission or surrender, Marina can be booked as the “closer” for her side. Not that other women don’t have submission moves of their own but in the scenario I’m pitching, we could see derivations of her team in multi-woman matches where the strategy invariably breaks into trying to get Shafir alone in the ring with someone in a submission and then her teammates playing the role of Defensive Linebackers just trying to prevent the submission from being broken with commentary putting over that victory in the Blood & Guts match for the Outsiders appears to be as simple as finding a way to keep Marina and an opponent isolated from everyone else. I’d even have Marina come out 5th to play up this “closer” idea.
So that’s where my mind is at right now, that this seemingly innocuous storyline happening entirely on YouTube (for the time being) may play into the burgeoning Outsiders vs Homegrown feud and pay large dividends for both Nyla Rose & Marina Shafir. But what do you think? Comment below with your thoughts or hit me up on Twitter at @aew_one.
Thanks so much for reading and, as always, make sure the women in your life know how much you appreciate them! 🙂