3 possible challengers for new AEW Women’s Champ Thunder Rosa

All Elite Wrestling
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The second after Britt Baker unseated Hikaru Shida as All Elite Wrestling (AEW) Women’s World Champion, most fans started counting the days until the dentist’s archnemesis, Thunder Rosa, beat her for that title. Well, it took 290 of them, but the moment finally came on the March 16 episode of AEW: Dynamite, which also served as the second St. Patrick’s Day Slam special.

Roughly a year removed from their classic Lights Out Unsanctioned match, Baker and Rosa waged battle inside a steel cage (the stipulation was added to deter Rebel and Jamie Hayter’s interference), and after one Fire Thunder Driver into some thumbtacks, “La Mera Mera” finally vanquished her greatest foe and claimed the richest prize in AEW’s women’s division.

Now, it’s time to ponder who could be the first woman to challenge Rosa for that title. Given how well-protected most of the division is, there are plenty of possibilities for who gets that first shot.

To pare down who Thunder Rosa makes that first AEW Women’s World Championship defense against, let’s discuss these three ladies as potential opponents.

Nyla Rose

AEW’s preeminent monster heel has remained out of the world title picture since coming up short against Britt Baker last July. That program with Baker came off a bit disjointed given that both were heels (though a bit understandable given the number of cheers Baker was receiving at the time), so a feud where Rose gets to be the foil for a beloved babyface should work much better.

Rose’s strength and athleticism would present an interesting challenge to Rosa, and the story of Rosa fighting to overcome that obstacle would make for a fun story. Plus, Rose will have no problem building heat for herself via her quality promos (which makes you wonder why she has a manager).

Serena Deeb

Before Hikaru Shida returned and wore out Serena Deeb with a kendo stick, “The Professor of Professional Wrestling” has spent most of her recent television time brutalizing young wrestlers in her five-minute challenge. Yes, those “matches” were designed to maintain Deeb’s heat while Shida was away, but there’s no reason why she couldn’t continue with those invitationals once the feud with Shida ends.

If so, her roughing up greener opponents (perhaps with more aggression after the Shida altercation) would be the perfect build to face Rosa, who often comes across as a locker room leader of sorts, a kind of “two sides of the same coin” sort of encounter.

Oh, and the match would be technically brilliant.

“Legit” Leyla Hirsch

While she’s only a few weeks into her heel run, Leyla Hirsch has shined in her new role. Assuming she beats Red Velvet on the March 18 episode of AEW: Rampage, Hirsch is primed to receive a title shot at some point, and her technical prowess would make her an ideal dance partner for Rosa.

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As seen in her match against NWA World Women’s Champion Kamille at NWA EMPOWERRR, Hirsch can deliver in big matches, so if she and Rosa receive enough time to tell a full story, the two would have a good chance to produce a classic.