Top 5-Jan. 2023

Alright, the first Top 5 of 2023! I feel like I say this every month but AEW’s women’s division seems to have improved again. Just missing the cut this month is Willow Nightingale (3-1 in January, ranked 5th in December).

Let’s see who’s the Top 5 for January 2023 were…

#5: Athena (1)

VenueRecord
AEW4-1-0
Dynamite/Rampage/PPV0-0-0
Dark/Elevation4-1-0

Summary

The #1 ranked Athena drops down to number 5 despite a 4-1 record (she was 5-0 in December) but all of her wins came on either Dark or Dark Elevation. Athena did have an excellent match with Marina Shafir and we’re getting the tease of an Athena vs Yuka Sakazaki match at some point. #5 is nothing to sneeze at though and as you’ll see, #1 through #4 provided stiff competition.

MatchesOutcome
vs Gypsy MacWin
vs Viva VanWin
vs Marina ShafirWin
vs Zeda ZhangWin
w/Diamante vs Skye Blue & Yuka SakazakiLoss

#4: Britt Baker (NR)

VenueRecord
AEW3-0-0
Dynamite/Rampage/PPV2-0-0
Dark/Elevation1-0-0

Summary

Britt Baker apparently was suffering from a “not serious” injury (according to Dave Meltzer) but serious enough to take her out of the three-way match with Toni Storm & Ruby Soho. If that match was meant to go on and it wasn’t always booked for Britt to be taken out, I’m super curious about how that would’ve gone. Britt won a couple big tag matches alongside the Killer to her Pillar, Jamie Hayter on Dynamite & Rampage. And her one match on Dark was a terrifically fun match against 18 year-old phenom Billie Starkz. Great month for the good doctor.

MatchesOutcome
vs Billie StarkzWin
w/Jamie Hayter vs Renegade TwinsWin
w/Jamie Hayter vs Saraya & Toni StormWin

#3: Jade Cargill (2)

VenueRecord
AEW3-0-0
Dynamite/Rampage/PPV3-0-0
Dark/Elevation0-0-0

Summary

My girl Jade, as she does, went undefeated with all of her matches coming on TV, highlighted by her excellent match against Skye Blue on Battle Of The Belts IV. Jade’s added a new element to her matches where she captures opponents in positions where Jaded might not be the obvious next move but she maneuvers them until she has them where she wants them. It’s incredible to watch her develop this fast! Jade also had a tag and a trios match which always leave me feeling a bit uneasy as she could lose her streak without getting pinned. Although it’s tough to see Tony Khan booking that.

MatchesOutcome
w/Leila Grey vs Madison Rayne & Skye BlueWin
w/Leila Grey vs Vanity TwinsWin
vs Red VelvetWin

#2: Ruby Soho (NR)

VenueRecord
AEW3-0-0
Dynamite/Rampage/PPV2-0-0
Dark/Elevation1-0-0

Summary

Ruby Soho makes her debut in the Top 5 (which extends back to August 2022, mind you, so she’s been out injured for the most part). Ruby’s January of course was highlighted by her bloody performance in the tag team street fight with Willow Nightingale vs TayJay. She also scored a big pinfall victory over Toni Storm on Dynamite and her win on Dark was with her tag partner Willow over Emi Sakura & Diamanté, so no easy matches this month. This is the best I’ve seen Ruby since she’s come into AEW. She seems to be really laying her strikes in a lot harder and I think the partnership with Willow has helped bring out her edge and suddenly she seems less “happy-go-lucky” in contrast to Willow.

MatchesOutcome
w/Willow Nightingale vs Diamante & Emi SakuraWin
w/Willow Nightingale vs TayJayWin
vs Toni StormWin

#1: Jamie Hayter (3)

VenueRecord
AEW3-0-0
Dynamite/Rampage/PPV3-0-0
Dark/Elevation0-0-0

Summary

Back on top after a stint at #3 in December, the World Champ Jamie Hayter. Jamie had a couple tag teams wins alongside Britt Baker, one of which may have reset the whole division in their win over Toni Storm & Saraya with help from a Hikaru Shida kendo stick. But for me, the highlight of this month in the women’s division was watching Jamie Hayter go to war with Emi Sakura! Hayter is such an incredible worker who is so hot with the crowd. She takes January’s top spot.

MatchesOutcome
w/Britt Baker vs Renegade TwinsWin
w/Britt Baker vs Saraya & Toni StormWin
vs Emi SakuraWin

So what do you think? Would you shift around these 5 women? Is there someone else you’d place in the Top 5? And if so, who do you take out? You can let me know in the comment section or hit me up on Twitter at @aew_one.

Thanks for reading and, as always, make sure you let the women in your life know how much you appreciate them!

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