Back in June, I had written A Path To Women’s Tag Team Belts. In it, I identify that while AEW Women’s Tag Team belts are inevitable and necessary, AEW should steps right now to establishing tag teams. Without knowing Tony Khan’s plans, it feels like we’re seeing that. Women’s Tag Teams are starting to form. ThunderStorm has t-shirts. TayJay is back on the same page within the JAS. The Renegade Twins are getting some matches. Britt Baker & Jamie Hayter are tagging more. And overall, we just seem to be seeing more women’s tag matches.
One of the teams that seems to have formed is Nyla Rose & Marina Shafir. As much as I like both these women I’m going to pitch breaking them up.
an Odd Couple
cAn ThEy cO-eXiSt???
Even though the “can they co-exist” trope has been fucked into the dirt by WWE, a good “odd couples” pairing done right can be a fun and emotional ride. Riho and Nyla Rose are the 1st and 2nd ever AEW Women’s World Champions respectively. They also couldn’t be more different. I’ve loved every match they’ve been in against each other and I think that physical dynamic, as well as their personalities, could spark a really entertaining new tag team.
So let’s say we’re heading towards the Women’s Casino Battle Royal at All Out. Leading up to it, Riho and Nyla Rose appear to be on a collision course as they’ve had interactions back and forth in the preceding weeks. Riho says she wants to be the first ever 2-time AEW World Champion. Nyla takes offence to this. We get a Nyla vs Riho, booking it as “Nyla Rose/Riho III” on Dynamite. Riho comes out the victor and Nyla vows that she will not allow Riho to win the Battle Royal and that she will be the first ever 2-time AEW World Champion.
Born in Battle (Royal)
In the Battle Royal, once Riho and Nyla Rose get the chance to go face-to-face amongst all the chaos, the theme would be Nyla Rose continually trying to eliminate or do damage to Riho but Riho keeps turning it into offence against a third party. So for example, Nyla would whip Riho into the ropes but Riho would turn that into a Hurricanerana or Tornado DDT. These accidental double-team moves would result in Riho either eliminating them or setting them up to be eliminated by Nyla. It ends up working so well that Nyla and Riho clear the ring for a moment, finding themselves to be the only two in the ring.
This time by design
Being that it’s a Casino Battle Royal, the ring would quickly fill back up with opponents and at some point, Nyla and Riho would both find themselves on the apron beside each other, in danger of getting eliminated. Nyla and Riho give each other a knowing look. As, say Mercedes Martinez, is running at them, Nyla throws Riho who delivers a dropkick at Martinez. Martinez would stumble back and then run at Riho but Riho would drop down, tripping Mercedes who’d go stumbling head first into Nyla who had just gotten back into the ring and in perfect position for Nyla to hit a Beast Bomb on them. Nyla and Riho look at each other and give a nod of respect just as Statlander runs in and big boots Nyla over the top rope, eliminating her.
As Nyla is throwing a tantrum on the floor, Riho gets thrown over the top rope and into the arms of Nyla. Riho, cradled in Nyla’s arms like a small child looks up at the Native Beast as if she’s saying “heyyyy buddy”. Nyla starts working the crowd with some Hulk Hogan-level pantomiming like she’s asking the crowd “What should I do?” Since dropping Riho would accomplish her stated goal of eliminating Riho.
After teasing that she’s going to drop Riho, Nyla closes her eyes. Takes a deep breath. And places Riho on the ring apron. Riho doesn’t end up winning the Battle Royal but goes down to the final two.
I Ship it
In the following weeks, we get teases that Riho & Nyla becoming friends. Riho offers Nyla a gift of thanks. Nyla is initially skeptical but accepts Riho’s gift anyway. Later than night, Nyla would come out for her match wearing a really cool Japanese mask. Commentary surmises that this mask must be the gift from Riho. We get these “will they, won’t they” teases until finally one week, Riho is getting attacked in a post-match beatdown when Nyla comes out and makes the save. This results in Nyla & Riho tagging together the next show, which they win and the rest is history.
While this team may somewhat scan as copying what Chaos Project does, it’s much different. Unlike Luther, Nyla doesn’t wish to hurt Riho. And unlike Serpentico, Riho isn’t afraid of Nyla, rather she recognizes that the extra propulsion from being launched my Nyla makes her offence even more effective.
For their tag team name, after Riho misidentifies the bloody handprint on Nyla Rose’s gear as “Akateko”, a monster from Japanese folklore of a conscious disembodied red hand that hangs off honeylocust trees, Nyla thinks that’s pretty badass and it sticks.
From here, I think there’s a lot of legs in some Nyla & Riho video segments. Have them both in the sound booth with Mikey Rukus working on their new music. I could see one of either speeding up Nyla’s music or slowing down Riho’s music being cool. Have Nyla bring Riho on one of Ethan Page’s Toy Hunts. They could try matching each other’s gear somewhat. There’s a lot of seemingly mundane things that would be entertaining if Nyla & Riho did them.
That’s the pitch in a nut shell. Thanks for reading and, as always, make sure you let the women in your life know how much you appreciate them.