On this week’s Dynamite, AEW abruptly announced a women’s tournament for the Women’s World Championship. Three matches were announced and the winner from each match will compete at ALL IN. Due to Toni Storm’s rematch clause, she gets a bye.
Current women’s champion Hikaru Shida was already scheduled to face Anna Jay on Aug. 9. This match was then announced as the first match of the tournament. Shida retained in her first title defense in the main event of Wednesday’s show.
The second match of the tournament took place on Rampage, as Saraya faced Skye Blue, continuing Blue’s months-long feud with The Outcasts. As usual, Ruby Soho and Storm stood guard outside the ring while no one from the Originals came out to do the same for Skye.
Blue essentially wrestled all three women, as she constantly had to deal with outside interference. Anytime Blue had the upper hand, Storm and Soho were there to knock her off her game.
After hitting Saraya with the Code Blue, she had the match won. However, Storm distracted referee Paul Turner while Soho lured Blue to her so she could spray her in the face with paint. Saraya took advantage to pin her opponent and steal the win.
On Wednesday, the final participant will earn their spot. Fellow AEW OG member, Britt Baker will face a returning Bunny. Will the women get to main event Dynamite for the third week in a row? It’s very obvious who will win this match, as is the whole tournament.
Jamie Hayter’s injury clearly changed whatever plans were in place for ALL IN. Consequently, the pay-per-view match feels very thrown together. While it’s great that the women have main evented three times in the last 10 days, it feels forced. Between that and the last-minute tournament, it feels like it’s a way to try to silence fans who have complained about how the women’s division is booked.
Regardless, it is nice to see an effort being made with the women. Hopefully, it continues beyond ALL IN / ALL OUT.