For the Interim World Championship
So I saw this match LIVE in Arthur Ashe Stadium! It was an amazing atmosphere! Despite that, I always maintain that the televised version of a match is the true canonized version so I reserved reviewing this match until I had time to watch it back on TV. So sorry for the delay!😅
By the way, shoutout to my boy ‘AB’ on Twitter who flew all the way from France for Grand Slam and came and met me in Arthur Ashe!
Before this match even started, I think everyone was anticipating Jamie Hayter showing up. And like a lot of people in the arena, I had done the meet & greet with Jamie Hayter so it wasn’t like AEW was going to have her fly there and not use her.
This match really showed me that other women in AEW are catching up to Britt Baker in terms of star power but unlike Britt who’s done a lot of character work, Toni Storm, Athena, and Serena Deeb have done there talking in the ring. I was especially pleased to see how over Deeb is getting is just a legit badass. I feel like there’s an adjacent rub from the Blackpool Combat Club that’s reaching her.
Let’s get to the action
Early on we get a cool spot from Serena Deeb where Toni & Athena are trying to outmaneuver each other with pinning combination and Deeb just comes in and sweeps out their legs and rolls their locked together bodies over in an attempt to pin them both. This was so cool and I almost wish they had saved that for a finish one day.
Deeb then puts Storm into a leg lock and when Athena comes over to punch her, she ducks it and puts Athena into an Abdominal Stretch while maintaining the leg lock on Toni. Deeb then suplexes Athena which simultaneously cranks on Storm’s knee. This woman man… She fucking rules.
We get a Tower of Doom spot with Athena as the base and Toni Storm at the top. At one time these were really fucked out but it’s actually been a while since I’ve seen one and it was well performed.
We got to PIP with all 4 women laying on the mat. Athena runs wild but then Britt nails her with a thrust kick. Both Athena’s offence and selling always looks so great. Deeb works over Storm in the ring as Britt and Rebel double team Athena on the floor away from Paul Turner’s purview.
We come back from PIP, Deeb and Storm both have Athena and Baker in single leg Boston Crabs respectively while also having a slap fight with each other. Pretty cool, creative spot.
After Baker saves Storm from the Serenity Lock by kicking Deeb in the head, Athena picks up Britt in a fireman carry and then Serena jumps at Athena and she catches her as well! Incredible strength! The unfortunate part though was that when Athena went for the combination Samoan Drop/Overhead Throw, she landed hip first on Britt’s face and poor Britt Baker’s nose just exploded with blood! For what it’s worth this really pumped up the crowd but now having seen it back on TV, if they do it again I’d hope they can reconfigure something to make it safer.
Athena followed this up looking to power bomb Toni. Toni back lifts Athena up and over but Athena is able to bounce her legs off the top rope and reset into position and hits like a Lung Blower but with Toni’s face hitting her knees. Incredible. She pins but Deeb breaks it up.
Toni hits a spinning DDT on Athena which, of course, she sells taking it right on top of her head. Goddamn this woman makes everything look devastating. Britt comes in and looks like she’s going for the Lock Jaw but maneuvers it into a Crucifix Pin but Toni Storm slips out and reverses it into a Crucifix pin for the win! To quote Taz, “What a counter!”
I love this trend we’re seeing from Toni Storm matches where she can just end the match at any time. I’m not sure that’s getting across yet as it felt like a lot of people in the crowd were surprised that it ended that way without a Finisher. I think AEW would do well to put a spotlight on that to prime fans to expect a win when Toni starts doing complex pinning combinations.
Saraya is #AllElite
I’m not even going to go into the post-match stuff with Saraya because that’s it’s own article. But I’ll just quickly say, I feel like this women’s division has been being shaped and molded into a really, really strong one and with the addition of a game changer like Saraya… Oh boy… I’m gonna save my thoughts until I’ve processed all this, lol.
Toni Storm wins via pinfallToni Storm wins via pinfall
- So many incredible spots
- 4 Standout Individual performances
- Athena blows my mind
- "HOLY SHIT IT'S SARAYA!!!"
- Poor Britt Baker's poor nose
- I never bit once on Storm not retaining