One of the main points of criticism against AEW is the utilization or lack thereof with the women’s division. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done, such as making space for multiple matches on their televised shows, but the TBS Women’s Championship Tournament has helped build interest in this group. As the tournament continues to barrel forward, it has helped elevate the entire women’s division and can lead to great things in the future.
The semifinals are set. Thunder Rosa will battle Jade Cargill while Nyla Rose takes on Ruby Soho. The four women are competing for an opportunity to win the vacant title when AEW debuts on TBS on Wednesday, January 5.
Early betting odds are leaning toward either Rosa or Cargill as the first champion. Both ladies have the backing and fan interest to rival that of current AEW Women’s Champion, Britt Baker. AEW has done an excellent job presenting the TNT Championship as a valuable accolade. That should be the standard for how the TBS Championship is managed when it’s strapped around the waist of its first holder.
When that occurs, the impact will be felt through the rest of the division. First, look at the women who took part in the tournament and the storylines coming out of there. Hikaru Shida and Serena Deeb are locked in a blood feud that continues to create match-of-the-year quality bouts. Jamie Hayter is one step closer to splitting with Baker after Baker cost Hayter the match against Rosa. Even The Bunny and Penelope Ford experienced a boost heading into the opening matches of the tournament. “Trickle Down Economics” may not have worked in American society, but it can in professional wrestling and the TBS Title Tournament is an example of such.
AEW can’t make the mistake of immediately booking the woman who wins this title against Baker. In fact, they should be kept as far apart for as long as possible. Doing so would denigrate the championship in a way that would have long-term repercussions and again, that hasn’t occurred in the men’s division and should not occur here.
Wrestling fans should be excited for what is to come as the TBS Women’s Championship Tournament continues. The addition of the new title will create more stakes for the matches happening across the division while elevating more of the women involved. Regardless of who wins the belt on January 5, this tournament may be looked upon as the moment when AEW truly turned a corner with its women’s division.