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We’re 4 years into All Elite Wrestling and while the company has grown faster than any of us could’ve predicted, one thing remains the same from its infancy: On any episode of Dynamite, Rampage, and now Collision, you get one and only one women’s match per show. Even if that’s a Jade Cargill squash match. That’s it.
I wish I could give Tony Khan a truth serum and ask him whether this was an internal decision or an edict passed down by Warner Bros Discovery. Regardless of who’s decision it was, I don’t think either of them realize that women’s wrestling will find its way to prominence with or without AEW.
A woman will one day be the biggest star in all of professional wrestling.
If this hits your ears as ‘bluster’ or big talk, consider just how niche professional wrestling actually is. The entirety of the WWE is worth about the same as the Dallas Cowboys, just one of 32 NFL teams. A modicum of extra attention relative to the aggregate national stage could double wrestling’s popularity. And in the entertainment business (which wrestling is first and foremost), when you’ve only exclusively ever looked for a man to be the next Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin, how can the next big thing in your industry not be a woman? 13 of the top 20 recording artists in the world are women. Hell, Taylor Swift will outdraw Wrestlemania many times over on any given tour.
And even if you want to say that’s an unfair comparison either because music is so ubiquitous or because society still looks at wrestlers as athletes first and foremost: Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm set the all-time UFC attendance record (at the time). And Serena Williams smashed all kinds of attendance records during her retirement tour. And no, I’m talking a wrestling company’s roster being 50% women. That’s a different discussion altogether. I’m talking about that once in life-time megastar who sells out arenas and drives viewership to new heights. Wrestling promoters have turned over every stone looking for another man who can do that. Maybe let’s start looking at the other half of earth’s population.
It is to AEW’s detriment—even purely from a financial standpoint—that for the past 4 years they haven’t been in a relentless pursuit to win this race. They’re perfecting the crossbow while the discovery of gunpowder is right around the corner. If I’m optimistic about AEW’s women’s division it’s more from the standpoint that I’m optimistic Tony Khan will one day read the tea leaves that women’s wrestling is the single biggest growth opportunity for pro wrestling and resolve to stop at nothing until he discovers tomorrow’s #1 megastar. Because if he doesn’t, someone else will. And you don’t get there by giving the the women one match per show.
Thanks for reading. As always, make sure the women in your life know how much you appreciate them. 🙂