Kris Statlander is back! Well, she’s been back. She’s been back for a while, actually. And yet, we still don’t have an answer to the question: where does she fit in AEW’s women’s division?
Kris Statlander returned to attack Penelope Ford in the Arcade Anarchy match on March 31st, aligning herself with the Best Friends in the process. Since then, most of her TV appearances have been as backup for her stablemates.
Since her return, she’s had two matches on Dynamite- a squash against Amber Nova, and a nearly 8-minute match against Penelope Ford. Beyond that, she’s either had matches on Dark, or been in the background of Best Friends/OC promos.
Now, I don’t want to be too negative about her inclusion in this faction- it’s a delightful pairing! However, it’s become clear that AEW didn’t have much of a plan for Statlander upon her return beyond joining this stable.
But is there even a viable solution here? AEW’s women’s division is busier than it’s ever been, between the rises of Britt Baker, Thunder Rosa, and Jade Cargill respectively. There were not too many heels after Nyla Rose seemingly turned face. However, I believe there is still absolutely space for someone like Statlander.
Let’s run down the current babyfaces of the women’s division. Shida’s the former champion, will likely be on TV for a bit (though she wasn’t on TV that much before), and may not be in the title picture for the foreseeable future.
Then there’s RSK, which seems to be a new alliance/faction between Red Velvet, Big Swole, and KiLynn King. This seems like it’ll be quite promising in the future, but for now, none of these competitors really have enough momentum to rise to the top of the card.
Then, there’s Nyla Rose and Thunder Rosa- the two faces who currently seem most natural to challenge Britt. However, Nyla seems to be her first program (and Britt’s unlikely to lose her first feud), and Thunder Rosa’s a blood feud that may very well end Baker’s reign.
Point being, Baker needs a challenger for between those two programs, and there may be no better contender than Statlander.
Baker’s character has had a more serious edge to it in recent months, but a Statlander feud would be a fun way to tap into both character’s comedic potential. Especially if Orange Cassidy acts as Statlander’s manager. I just… I want OC and Reba shenanigans.
Beyond that feud, the women’s division admittedly has a bit of a drought of heels, especially after Nyla’s face turn. Penelope Ford hasn’t had much of a Dynamite presence in the last few weeks and Serena Deeb is a versatile tweener, rather than an out-and-out heel.
A program between Statlander and Jade Cargill could be a good way to get Jade a win over a somewhat well-established star. And an Abadon program practically writes itself- both women have outlandish gimmicks that could compliment each other well.
Finally, RSK could easily become a faction of ambitious heels, and could play off nicely against the Best Friends stable.
No matter who Statlander may feud with, her gimmick would offer some great contrast to the rest of the division, and would likely lead for some great character moments for all parties involved.
There is absolutely more for Statlander to be doing right now than standing in the background of Best Friend promos. The women’s division has come a long way, but giving a major player like Statlander a storyline to really sink her teeth into will only help that growth.