AEW is making a mistake with the Women’s tag team tournament

Hikaru Shida faces Shanna on the Oct. 30, 2019 edition of AEW Dynamite. Photo: Lee South/AEW
Hikaru Shida faces Shanna on the Oct. 30, 2019 edition of AEW Dynamite. Photo: Lee South/AEW /

It has been announced that the AEW Women’s Tag Team Tournament: The Deadly Draw will be taking place on YouTube instead of television

Last week, AEW announced during Dynamite that there would be a women’s tag team tournament coming this summer. No other details were given other than The Nightmare Sisters (Brandi Rhodes and Allie) would be competing. A video showed Big Swole, Nyla Rose, Diamanté, Hikaru Shida, Anna Jay, and Penelope Ford would be involved.

On last night’s Dynamite, we learned a little bit more about The Deadly Draw during a backstage segment with Nyla Rose and Vickie Guerrero. The rules for the tournament are that it is a random draw in which all participants must draw a color. Matching colors will becomes a team. Selections are final, which means that can’t be appealed.

In the segment, we saw that Nyla Rose drew a purple dice. Someone else also drew purple: Ariane Andrew (FKA Cameron in WWE). Nyla’s manager, Vickie, quickly expressed her displeasure with the news.

Tony Schiavone said on the broadcast that the show will start on Monday…on AEW’s YouTube. This is a terrible idea and does a disservice to the women. Dynamite is a two hour show on national TV. Surely they can devote time to two matches a show.

One of the biggest complaints in AEW’s young history is the women’s division. They aren’t usually given enough TV time. The division is the weakest of the three, even before the pandemic and injuries hit hard. Please don’t misunderstand–they have very talented women. Most of the criticism is not of the talent themselves.

AEW has a huge opportunity to give the women’s division a chance to show out. When the announcement of The Deadly Draw was made, there was a lot of positive feedback. Finally the women will get good TV time was the general consensus.

Then came the dreaded news that they would not, in fact, be on TV. At all. The backlash was immediate. The women are being failed again. It is not enough to have an all women’s tournament. They must be showcased on national TV.

If they’re bringing in indie talent as they’ve done for Cody, this can bring more eyes to the product. On TV, not online. The women need to be given the same opportunity as the men to be on weekly TV, not relegated to the internet. Ring of Honor did the same thing with the Women of Honor and it didn’t go well.

Just because Dark does relatively well on YouTube, it doesn’t mean the women’s tournament should also be on YouTube. Dark works a secondary show on YouTube, but there are still plenty of fans that watch Dynamite and not Dark. 

Since news of The Deadly Draw being on YouTube was announced, AEW’s social media has been noticeably quiet. The segment with Nyla Rose & Ariane is not on Twitter or YouTube. AEW Heels hasn’t even mentioned the tournament. It is possible that they are reconsidering their plan due to the backlash. However, this does not let them off the hook. Until the fans expressed their displeasure, they were going to put the tournament online.

Not only do the women of AEW deserve better, but so does the fans. For a company that has been open to bringing in who the fans want to see against Cody, they do not listen about the women’s division very often (they did at least listen about the Nightmare Collective).

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AEW has said time and time again that they are revolutionary, different, cutting edge and will listen to the fans. So far, they’ve proven to be tone-deaf when it comes to their women’s division. The women deserve better.