What happened in the women’s division on this week’s AEW Dark and Dynamite?
The latest episodes of AEW Dark and Wednesday night Dynamite presented us with a few nuggets of storyline progression. Here are some takeaways from what transpired.
Anna Jay and Brandi will finally face off
This week’s AEW Dark opened with Brandi vs one of my personal faves, Red Velvet.
Brandi started the match by acting patronising towards Red Velvet as she thought her opponent resembled her action figure, Lil’ Bran Bran.
However, Brandi’s attitude changed (as it should, Red Velvet did not deserve this utter disrespect) because Red Velvet was absolutely bringing it to Brandi, as she does every week, to be honest.
At some point during the match, Anna Jay showed up to act as a distraction to Brandi, which worked momentarily.
However, Brandi collected herself and delivered one of her classic spears to Red Velvet.
She could have gone for the pin there and then, but she turned to Jay and instead went for a rear choke to pick up the win, mirroring what Jay did to her a few weeks ago, sending a message straight to the queen slayer’s face.
It was later announced that the Dark Order’s number 99 and Brandi will finally face each other one-on-one at AEW Late Night Dynamite on September 22nd, which means the Dark Order vs Nightmare Family story is still running deep.
It’s also worth noting that friction between Brandi and Dustin was teased during her match as Excalibur observed they entered Daily’s Place in separate tunnels, while Veda Scott said that Dustin looked “conflicted” as Brandi exited the ring.
Will Thunder Rosa be sticking around?
Since her AEW Dynamite debut, the NWA World Women’s champion, Thunder Rosa, has gone onto face Hikaru Shida for the AEW Women’s World title at All Out, defend her own NWA title on Dynamite, and is now scheduled to appear in a tag match next week.
As it’s clear her appearance in AEW wasn’t a one-off, it begs the question, are we going to continue to see more of Thunder Rosa in AEW in the future?
Rosa is currently under a contract with the NWA and explained the details of the contract and her working relationship with AEW on Chris Jericho’s podcast.
Billy Corgan’s promotion has not been able to run shows during the current pandemic, therefore, talent under an NWA contract have been encouraged to take other bookings.
This is what led to Rosa’s appearances on AEW and other independent promotions.
Appearing on Talk is Jericho, Thunder Rosa had this to say about her contract situation:
"“I am under contract but our contracts changed, so we’re not getting as much money as we used to, now, we are encouraged to get more bookings outside of NWA.”"
So it’s obvious Rosa won’t be signing with AEW any time soon. However, that doesn’t mean that as soon as the NWA starts running shows again, we won’t see Rosa step foot in an AEW ring after that.
Rosa’s appearances have been beneficial both to AEW and the NWA by bolstering AEW’s women’s division and at the same time providing the NWA with more exposure. Not only that, but Rosa has brilliantly shown the audience that she is a main eventer that we all need to keep paying attention to outside of her AEW appearances.
Hopefully, when things settle, we will see Rosa continue to work with AEW in some capacity, as she has certainly left her mark.
Is a future NWA title shot on the cards for Shida?
Following her successful NWA title defence against Ivelisse, Thunder Rosa was then attacked from behind by her and her tag partner, Diamante.
Ever the heroic champion, Hikaru Shida – who was sitting in attendance – came to the rescue once again.
After sending Diamante and Ivelisse running, Shida picked up Rosa’s NWA World Women’s title to hand it back to her. Except, Shida’s stare at the belt she held in her hands lingered for longer than expected, which hinted at Shida possibly wanting a title shot against Rosa.
A rematch between the two would be welcomed given their previous bout at All Out had some focus taken away from it due to the unfortunate circumstances of what happened to Matt Hardy the match before, but nevertheless, still stole the show.
So a Shida vs Rosa rematch is sure to blow the roof off the building should they face each other again.
Diamante and Ivelisse are still not signed
Probably the biggest and most unfortunate takeaway this week is the fact that Ivelisse was caught no-selling Rosa’s moves in their match, which apparently led to some stiff shots later on.
Fans were quick to point out the fact that no-selling Rosa’s offense – an NWA performer and not contracted with AEW – was a completely disrespectful move from Ivelisse, both to Rosa and the NWA.
This led to discussions of past issues with Ivelisse to resurface online which included bullying and homophobia.
Ivelisse and her tag partner, Diamante, are yet to officially sign with AEW.
In an interview with Bell to Belles, Ivelisse hinted at a future contract, but couldn’t comment further. But some feel as though she may have hurt her chances at a potential AEW contract after her actions.
But does AEW – a company that says they strive to be a progressive promotion of inclusiveness – have any business signing Ivelisse?
All things considered, Ivelisse vs Thunder Rosa was actually a pretty great match as both competitors have very similar in-ring styles which made for some very impressive technical work. So it’s a shame to see the focus taken away from another one of Rosa’s matches.