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Queen Regnant: A female monarch reigning in her own right.
During a period for The Division where debuts and returns are being both speculated on and realized at a rampant pace, and current acts are reaching new heights such as Timeless Toni Storm, Julia Hart, and Skye Blue; I wasn’t really expecting—nor looking for—anyone to have a breakout performance. But in her comeback after a near ten month hiatus, Queen Aminata has strung together a series of increasingly undeniable performances in almost exactly one month. So I just wanted to sort of encapsulate this incredible run because it should be appreciated.
Not Out Of The Blue
The last time we had seen Aminata was on a Dark taping (remember those?) from Universal Studio in a hard-hitting affair against real life BFF Skye Blue. So returning against Skye Blue on a taped episode of Rampage scanned as strategic. She didn’t get nearly as much offence in on this night but it’s a different venue and Skye is at a very different point as a pushed act. But all went well enough.
“In Action” Tell
Chronologically, Queen fought Maya World, who’s something of a revelation herself, on Ring Of Honor. Keep an eye out for Maya. Super enjoyable 4-minute sprint with a lot of action. Maya got a lot of shine but ultimately the match told a story of Aminata’s victory feeling inevitable. This felt like a pretty big deal as the match graphic was simply “Queen Aminata In Action”, which is typically something that’s done for signed talent. This must’ve passed the sniff test for Sean Ross Sapp as well as he sought out and was able to confirm that indeed, Queen Aminata was signed by AEW.
Always taking things in stride, I took this opportunity to take a victory lap.
The night before the taped match against Maya World aired, Queen Aminata shared her Dynamite debut with Mariah May in her AEW debut. I’ll be honest in saying I figured this would be a squash match but in actuality, this was a stiff striking back and forth battle where the offence was pretty much 50/50. I was encouraged by the fact that Tony Khan must have a great deal of trust in Aminata to have her work with Mariah May, someone who AEW has invested a lot in and needed to have a great breakout performance in her debut. Instead we got two breakout performances.
Who Hates Their Back More?
And then we got Queen Aminata versus Hikaru Shida on the Homecoming edition of Rampage. If you love strong style, or you like lumberjack contests, this was the match for you because Shida and Aminata looked determine to chop each other’s torsos in half with kicks to each other’s backs. This match had, as those in the hockey community like to say, plenty of snot and snarl. Truly, this was a spike of adrenaline that I didn’t need that close to bed time.
Aminata’s had some fun multi-woman matches in ROH but her next match on Rampage against Kris Statlander was a star-making performance. This was probably the match where I really put together how much of a powerhouse Amanita is. If she can stand nose-to-nose and credibly go strike-for-strike with the bionic Statlander, she’s a legitimate powerhouse in this division. There were points in this match where I had to just shake my head at how violent some of these moves looked. Queen’s Hip Attack followed by a running boot in the corner is currently living in my head rent free.
Coming Full Circle
It was on December 22, 2023 where Queen Aminata made her return in a booking decision which felt very much like Tony wanted to ease her back in. Just one month later, on January 20, 2024: It was Queen Aminata’s capable hands being entrusted with the singles return of one of the matriarchs of The Division, Thunder Rosa who hadn’t wrestled a singles match in over a year. I give full credit to Rosa who I think we were all prepared to be charitable with but she looked a lot closer to the old Thunder Rosa than I was anticipating. And having her eat a healthy serving of Queen Aminata’s hard-hitting offence for over 9-minutes went a long way in assuring me that, indeed, Thunder Rosa is healthy and definitely does not need to be treated with “kid gloves”.
One of my favourite moments in AEW history was in the semi-finals of the 1st Owen Hart tournament: Ruby Soho versus Kris Statlander. In a match where Ruby was essentially signposted to win and go on to face Britt Baker; Statlander was just such an undeniable ass kicker that the crowd had gotten 100% behind her. It was one of those “lightning in a bottle” moments that wrestling occasionally offers.
If not for Thunder Rosa being akin to a beloved folk hero in AEW, I was getting hints of that Statlander-type of moment possibly bubbling under the surface. AEW crowds love powerhouses who hit hard. Combine that with Queen Aminata’s innate cool factor and I think Tony should maybe think carefully about who her next opponent is on Dynamite, Collision, or Rampage. If you pit her against another babyface, it feels imminently like the Queen is going to turn that crowd.
You can let me know what you think in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter/X at @aew_one. Thanks for reading and, as always, remember to let the women in your life know how much you appreciate them! 🙂