Who Walks Away Interim Champ?

Listen/watch this article on YouTube using the link below or to read it… Just keep reading!

I’m trying to resist the urge to put out contemporary pieces like this that will be out-of-date within a week but fuck it, this is just a huge and fascinating match! A couple weeks ago I had published an article about the storytelling and booking of what looked to be leading up to a 4-way match at All Out (link below).

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And then Tony Khan threw me a curveball.

One of the curious things about this though was that on the same episode of Dynamite, Britt Baker made specific mention to being left off the All Out card. That would seem like a giant omission for a pay-per-view but something wasn’t passing the sniff test for me…

And then Thunder Rosa threw us all a curveball.

Suddenly, my fantasy booked 4-way was back on… but not in the way I had hoped.

But despite Thunder Rosa being injured (get well soon!), we still get an awesome 4-way match at All Out with Hikaru Shida as a more than capable replacement in the match. So with that said, let’s look at the possible outcomes for who will become the Interim AEW Women’s World Champion…

Toni Storm Wins

If you believe the “dirt sheets”, Toni Storm was slated to win at All Out over Thunder Rosa. So this seems like the most likely outcome as it would setup a future unification match between her and Thunder Rosa down the road. And then after the eventual unification match, Tony Khan could continue whatever storyline he had planned for ThunderStorm after All Out.

Toni Storm also feels like someone who has been ready to have the rocket strapped to them for years now. It’s really just as simple as putting a World Title on her and then letting her defend it often on TV. In fact, she could have an all-time AEW Title run while being turned into one of the biggest stars in the company. Toni could be put in a number of short programs against the likes of Serena Deeb, Nyla Rose, Mercedes Martinez, Tay Melo, Anna Jay A.S., Penelope Ford and Marina Shafir. And finally, if Thunder Rosa isn’t ready by Full Gear, perhaps a longer program with Dr. Britt Baker, DMD. Toni Storm is my prediction, although I don’t really see a bad outcome for this match.

Britt Baker Wins

This seems to be a lot of fans least favourite option. Part of it is, it’s just more fun to see someone else win for the first time. And for others… They just don’t like “the good doctor”. But whether they want to admit it or not, Britt Baker is a tremendously effective heel and the face of AEW’s Women’s Division. There’s no one more deserving to be the first ever 2-time World Champ in my books.

In contrast to a Toni Storm title reign though, there aren’t a lot of baby face opponents for Britt Baker in which the program would feel fresh (unless, of course, that program were a newly babyfaced Jamie Hayter!). But besides Ruby Soho (who feels like she cannot afford another loss to Britt Baker) Athena, and the two babyfaces in this match, the current makeup of the roster doesn’t feel built for a Baker title reign… Unless Thunder Rosa’s injury isn’t so bad that a unification match can happen in short order. But Thunder Rosa’s condition is anyone’s guess.

Hikaru Shida Wins

At the time of writing, on our own AEW Women’s Roster (link), Shida is considered as being “Active but not Featured” since we haven’t seen her on TV or PPV in the past 60 days. This will change on Wednesday when she tags with Storm against Baker & Hayter. 

With Shida being in this program after not being on TV for a couple months, she can’t help but feel like a “replacement player”. So if she doesn’t win, there will be a resounding “Well, you knew Shida wasn’t winning it when she got added at the last minute” from AEW fans. And yet leading up to this match, we all know Tony Khan has his finger on the pulse and could very well sense this. It wouldn’t be the most out of this world audible for Hikaru Shida to be given the belt. It feels like she’s due one after keeping the women’s division afloat during the pandemic. And, like Toni, there’s lots of heel opponents for Shida to face until a unification match against Thunder Rosa. Cards on the table, Shida winning would both shock and delight me, but I don’t see it happening.

Jamie Hayter Wins

Ah. This is the rub. For weeks, Britt Baker has been projecting her own deep-seeded insecurities about her relationship with Jamie Hayter onto ThunderStorm. It’ll be interesting on the go-home Dynamite to see if they tease dissension between the two or want us completely off the scent by having Baker & Hayter be a cohesive unit while Toni Storm & Hikaru Shida find themselves at odds.

In any case, I don’t want to say strapping up Hayter would be premature as her in-ring certainly warrants it but I feel she as a character could use some building up after a breakup with Britt Baker. I also don’t mind putting even more time between the Wardlow/MJF breakup and this one. But if Tony did decide to put the belt on Jamie, I don’t have any doubt about their ability to elevate her profile to the top of the card with time but it’s just not as turnkey as it would be with Toni Storm.

So what do you think? Who do you think walks out with the Interim Title? You can comment on this post or hit me up on Twitter at @AEW_ONE. Thanks for reading and, as always; Let the women in your life know how much you appreciate them.

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