Three fresh opponents for TBS Champion Kris Statlander

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Despite a spirited effort from Julia Hart at WrestleDream, Kris Statlander remains the TBS Champion. The two clashed over Statlander’s title on Oct. 1 in Seattle and amazed fans with their intensity and chemistry.

In the end, Statlander’s strength was too much for the challenger, as she put Hart away with a pair of piledrivers to continue an impressive reign that began at Double or Nothing 2023.

Since beating Jade Cargill as a surprise opponent on that show, Statlander has lived up to her claim as THE fighting champion. She has defended her belt against an abundance of women during those 126 days, including Cargill (in a rematch), Ruby Soho, Mercedes Martinez, Taya Valkyrie, and Britt Baker. In the process, Statlander has become one of the women’s division’s most consistent performers. She has found her groove in the ring and, for the most part, on the microphone.

So, as “THE Fighting Champion”, what challenges await Kris Statlander as she continues her run as TBS Champion?

As many fans know, AEW boasts an enviable talent roster, and that includes the women’s division. Unfortunately, the promotion still falls short when it comes to giving the ladies significant screen time and storylines. It’s a broad issue in wrestling (and a consequence of our continued existence in a patriarchal society), but AEW has struggled to even meet fans’ low expectations.

Statlander as champion provides a way to help the young company dig itself out of the hole it excavated for itself; the “babyface champion who takes on all comers” story is one of the easiest ones to tell, and it can aid with the development of many wrestlers, even after losing to the champ.

So, let’s take a few guesses at who could get the next shot at Statlander’s TBS Title. Again, there are plenty of options in AEW, but these three stand out as the most interesting of the bunch.