The Mercedes Mone watch is already one of the biggest stories of the year. Fans are anticipating and waiting to see where she shows up next. Mone once called herself “The Conversation” and that’s the exact reaction whenever her name pops up in the news. Bryan Alvarez and many other media members predict to see her in All Elite Wrestling, as early as the January 3 episode. If that is the case, Tony Khan will have signed the biggest free agent in wrestling. But with that win comes the immediate cancellation of any excuses he’s had about women’s wrestling in the past.
Fans and performers alike want to see Khan do better by the women’s division. His promotion boasts a talented group of women such as Thunder Rosa, Britt Baker, Hikaru Shida, Nyla Rose, Julia Hart, Toni Storm, and plenty others. That doesn’t even mention the ladies in Ring of Honor like ATHENA, Kiera Hogan, Trish Adora, and Billie Starkz. Unfortunately, this stacked roster hasn’t stopped him from allotting a meager amount of time to them each week.
Things are slowly changing, but that shift has been exceptionally slow. AEW Collision was struggling with weekly ratings but there was a recognizable boost when the show added more content around the women’s division. Keep that energy going.
There are no excuses when it comes to leveraging Mone. If she joins the roster, there is an immediate need to boost how the women’s division is presented each week. Mone has the necessary star power and she’s proved it time after time. Look at the ratings she helped create in WWE. Her presence in New Japan led to a boost in subscriptions to their streaming platform and events being sold out with only her match announced. She’s a draw and no one in their right mind would attempt to discredit what she’s done. She deserves the contract that she’s demanding and if AEW meets those needs she should also be recognized for flexing her strength in an industry that continues to mistreat women.
Building the division around Mone doesn’t mean dedicating time to her and her only. Every week, fans should see some sort of involvement for her on television - either within a video segment or in the ring. But there’s also the need to develop the rest of the roster along with her. That means video introductions like that the WWE did with Ivy Nile before her January 1 match with Rhea Ripley. There are so many talented women on the roster with personalities just as big as their in ring abilities. AEW has to find a way to get more eyeballs on them at a time when the division needs more depth to be led by Mercedes Mone’s presence.
The women's division has yet to put on a ladder match. The Face of the Revolution ladder match is meant to quickly build a new contender, but AEW hasn't extended that opportunity to the women's division. The same can be said about the Continential Classic. The inagural event was a major success, and Khan is non-commital about the idea of the women's division having its own in 2024. That is no longer acceptable either.
It’s important for professional wrestling performers like Mercedes Mone to have multiple options to get the biggest value for their talent. If she signs with AEW, that company will have made it clear that her value is welcome. But that also means that the hesitancy around building the women’s division ends there. She’s the biggest crossover star in that industry and the entire division needs to feel the positive ramifications if she joins the promotion.