Over the last few months, Willow Nightingale has enjoyed a lot of success. Between pinning Mercedes Moné for the New Japan Pro Wrestling Strong Women’s Championship and beating the undefeated (on ROH competition) Athena to win the Owen Hart Invitational Tournament, the Long Island native has become one of the women’s division’s rising stars.
In addition to her improving bell-to-bell skills, Nightingale has won fans over with her overwhelming, earnest positivity. She has helped prove that white meat babyfaces still have a place in 2023 pro wrestling. As is the case with Cody Rhodes, she knows how to come across as a nice person without being too schmaltzy.
To buttress Nightingale’s status as a future main eventer, AEW needs to put her in more high-profile matches, and a match against Statlander meets that standard. The two could have a fun babyface vs. babyface outing, but if Nightingale succumbs to Julia Hart’s MIST and takes on a darker persona, they could work a more traditional match while continuing the Hart vs. Statlander story.
Either way, booking Nightingale against Statlander would give the promotion a better idea of how high the former can go up the card. Who knows, AEW might even learn that another title run should be in Nightingale’s immediate future.