We’re a mere five days out from AEW All In with one episode of Dynamite, Rampage, and Collision in the interim and so far we have four women in one match on The Biggest Show in Pro Wrestling History. Tony Khan confirmed on a media conference call today that more matches will be added to the All In card though. We can safely assume that one of those is House Of Black vs The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn. I also feel it’s safe to assume that Kris Statlander will defend her TBS Championship. The only thing about that, though, is that despite the storytelling around Statlander being strong and cohesive, the timing hasn’t really moved us towards an obvious match unless it’s going to take a dramatic turn on the go-home episode of Collision.
Statlander vs Willow?
Kris Statlander has recently aligned herself with Willow Nightingale against Mercedes Martinez & Diamanté. Both babyfaces got wins over the respective heels while the heels picked up a tag team win over the babyfaces. Given the match results, it would seem like the only logical conclusion then is that Statlander will face Willow at All In for the TBS Title in a babyface vs babyface dynamic.
I think that’s a match that a lot of us would rejoice in being booked. At the same time, I can’t help but think about of all the women this leaves off this giant show—women who I’d love to watch have that experience of wrestling in front of over 80,000 fans.
Casino Battle Royal?
In my opinion, a women’s Casino Battle Royal (the distinction being that there’d be individual entrances rather than every woman being just piled into the ring at the start) is a must! There are so many women on this roster I think about just having their entrance in front of this mammoth crowd and it makes me smile. First and foremost may well be Emi Sakura. She’s made no secret that she hopes to get on the show in some respect. If she can do her Freddy Mercury entrance in Wembley Stadium, that feels like a win for everyone — in the back, in the stands, watching at home. We all know what that would mean to the veteran.
AEW is supposed to be the good vibes company that makes awesome things happen that make you feel. And there’s so many reasons to feel that joy in a simple Casino Battle Royal for the women’s division. It’s not hard to imagine women of the youth movement in AEW like Skye Blue or Anna Jay lose themselves in the moment. Maybe even Julia Hart, who’s played her House Of Black character so well up to now, might break her stoic facade. Seeing women like Athena and Ruby Soho who were let go from WWE have their time on this stage would feel inspiring. LGBTQ+ talent Nyla Rose, Kiera Hogan, Diamanté, Mercedes Martinez, and Abadon being celebrated by wrestling’s largest audience ever feels monumental. And I think we all know how Thunder Rosa, a woman who wears her enormous heart on her sleeve, would react should she make her return. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about these scenarios. You can’t tell me this isn’t important.
Ideally, they’d have the Casino Battle Royal on the Zero Hour with the winner facing Statlander for her TBS Title on the main card later than night (or afternoon for us in North America). And this would be a great way to get to the babyface vs babyface matchup of Statlander vs Willow.
That is unless…
The Jade cargill of It All
It was, at one time, being rumoured that Jade Cargill would not be at All In. For me, this is hard to imagine. Besides her being a big star and someone who could potentially become one of the top draws in the company, with all the time and resources AEW has put into Jade, it seems penny-wise and pound-foolish not to have her big comeback be at All In. If that happens, she has to be connected to Kris Statlander, given how she left.
So Jade could return at the Zero Hour, win the battle royal, and give fans who are on the fence about buying the PPV a much needed reason to hand over their cash. OR, Jade could come out after (I’m presuming) Kris Statlander successfully defends her TBS Title against Willow. At which point, Jade could call her shot and do a Money In The Bank-type cash-in like Statlander did to her at Double Or Nothing. Or, more likely, this match would be used to sell buy-rates for All Out, just a week later.
Again, as of now, there seems is no confirmation that Jade Cargill will be at All In. That still feels unreal to me though. I should probably get used to the idea so I don’t wreck my mood when she doesn’t show up, lol.
No Fury Like A Wrestler Scorned
I don’t mean to be the one millionth person to criticize the booking of either All In or AEW’s women’s division. My only hope above all is just that Tony Khan gets as many women as possible on the show to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity. I don’t like to bet against Tony Khan but even the monster that is now Wrestlemania spent the majority of its early years drawing less than 20,000 fans. That AEW did this just 4 years in is unheard of. But if AEW ever performs for an audience anywhere close to this size again, it’ll likely won’t be for many years and most of these women won’t be on the roster at that point.
Chris Jericho, who once said he wouldn’t work for anyone but Vince McMahon, left WWE with the initial trigger being snubbed out of a Wrestlemania main event. Mercedes Monè & Trinity Fatu left WWE because they didn’t take their tag team reign seriously. Even Stone Cold Steve Austin “took his ball and went home” for a booking decision and if there had been an alternative like AEW at the time, maybe the tail-end of his career looks a lot different. There’s a lot of women on this roster who probably don’t feel they deserve this spot but if you book them to at least have that moment, you buy a TON of good will. And in the future, if you have a woman who’s about to break into superstardom, and they get snubbed from this show, maybe when their contract comes up they don’t have that same attachment to AEW they otherwise would.
Anyway, those are my thoughts and feelings on adding more women’s wrestling to the All In card. You can let me know your thoughts in the comments below 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! 🙂