AEW Rampage: Red Velvet wins first match after return

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 01: (L-R) Red Velvet and Kiera Hogan attend TBS's AEW Dynamite Los Angeles Debut After Party at The Forum on June 01, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery)
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 01: (L-R) Red Velvet and Kiera Hogan attend TBS's AEW Dynamite Los Angeles Debut After Party at The Forum on June 01, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery) /
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On this week’s Dynamite,  Red Velvet made her return to an AEW ring after missing nine months due to a knee injury. She faced Julia Hart, who has been on a winning streak. While she didn’t pick up with win, she looked great in her long-awaited return.

Red Velvet would get another match quickly. On Rampage, she faced off against Ruby Soho. The two were having a really solid match and then a crew member delivered a bouquet of green spray painted flowers. Soho was confused at who would possibly send her flowers, as though that hadn’t been teasing something brewing with Cool Hand Ang for several weeks.

Red Velvet nearly got the win with her opponent distracted. They went back and forth for a couple more minutes with Red Velvet getting her first win in 2023.

Following the match, there was a backstage segment with Lexi Nair interviewing Daniel Garcia and 2point0. As they were talking, Saraya and Soho bumped into them. Saraya made Lexi and Garcia leave, but Daddy Magic and Ang stayed behind. Ang hinted that he sent the flowers to Soho. Soho and Ang were flirting with each other, much to the chagrin of their friends.

Having flowers delivered during the match and insinuating that Red Velvet could only win via distraction (specifically due to a man), is certainly a choice. It doesn’t send a great message. Sure, it moves a storyline for Soho move forward and earned her more TV time after the match. However, it’s too reliant on a sports entertainment feel. Many fans have complained that AEW is less of an alternative as of late and storylines like that are one of the reasons.

Next. AEW Full Gear must feature multiple women's matches. dark

Fans are talking about Soho and her potential on-screen relationship and forgetting that not only did Soho lose, Red Velvet picked up her first win in more than half a year. AEW needs to do a lot of course correction overall, but particularly with the women’s division. I don’t have an issue with an onscreen relationship with Soho and Ang, but if it lessens other women, then it’s going to become a problem.

Red Velvet being back is a really positive development for the women’s division. It’s great having a fresh face and bring some new matchups for the women. Red Velvet has been a solid part of the division and in 2024, it would be great to see her have a breakout year.