Toni Storm’s current run in All Elite Wrestling is some of the best character work in recent memory.
Opinions will vary about what’s more important in professional wrestling, character, or in-ring work. There are some examples of individuals who are great in both spaces, and many names will pop up if you ask for a “best of all time” list. But one individual deserves all the accolades for their character work in 2023 and that is none other than Toni Storm.
The Outcasts versus Homegrown Stars story in All Elite Wrestling has flopped. There aren’t many who would point to that as an example of AEW’s stellar storytelling. But a few bright spots have popped up and Storm’s last few months of shenanigans are right at the top.
Storm’s second AEW Women’s World Championship reign came to an end on August 2 and since then she’s kicked up her character work to a new gear. Her dissent into madness seems ripped out of the memoirs of Marylin Monroe and Anna Nicole Smith, with the perfect bit of over-exaggeration. And the predictable shoe toss at the end of every interview is the icing on the cake.
The fans have brought into Storm and she’s become one of the most talked about parts of AEW every week. This is what happens when wrestlers are given the space to develop characters in their own views. Storm doesn’t get much time on television each week, but she maximizes it in a way that few do consistently. The lack of time that the women’s division gets each week hinders many of them from getting their characters over with the fans, but that hasn’t stopped Storm in any fashion.
It will be interesting to see where Storm goes from here. Her defeat to Saraya at AEW Dynamite Grand Slam shouldn’t be the end of her story. This character should be the catalyst that helps get other individuals over, while still winning to stay relevant. Toni Storm versus Skye Blue for example. Storm is only 27 years old, but her wealth of experience at the highest levels is invaluable to building the rest of the division. In many ways, Storm is the type of performer who should be seen as a pillar for the future.
Toni Storm has long been a fantastic professional wrestler. Her current run in All Elite Wrestling is reminding people how great she truly is each night. Her work is an example of why character is so important in the industry. Here’s to hoping she continues to get time on television while helping others develop their own characters.