On Wednesday night, AEW on TNT becomes a reality, as All Elite Wrestling (AEW) officially debuts on TNT with AEW Dynamite. AEW has already had four PPV specials since their debut with AEW Double or Nothing this past spring, and hot off the heels of AEW All Out, we get ready for the launch of their new weekly cable program.
AEW is boasting a very diverse women’s division, featuring stars from all over the world (literally). While the division is still small, it features some tough competitors, and on Wednesday night’s AEW on TNT debut, AEW will crown the inaugural AEW Women’s Champion, in a contest between Riho and Nyla Rose. Here’s a quick look at the women who make up AEW’s starting lineup for their Women’s Division.
A near 15-year veteran of the indies, Canadian star Allie is best known for her past five year run with IMPACT Wrestling, where she’s a former 2x IMPACT Knockouts Champion. She’s a veteran of both singles and tag team action (she was a part of The Kimber Bombs with another indie veteran Kimber Lee) and will be able to seamlessly fit into any requirement for the women’s division.
Arguably the most well-known face in the AEW Women’s Division, Awesome Kong had a lengthy career with IMPACT Wrestling, where she was a 2x IMPACT Knockouts Champion, and has also held gold as the NWA World Women’s Champion. She got her start in Japan in the early 2000s with All Japan Women’s Wrestling (AJW) and even had a brief stint with WWE as Kharma, becoming only the third woman to appear in the Royal Rumble. But these days, she’s best known as “The Welfare Queen” herself, one of the characters in the popular Netflix program, GLOW.
A star of the UK independents, Bea Priestley is only 23-years old and only four years into her pro wrestling career. Starting out in the UK indies in 2016, she found gold early, and has spent much of the past three years touring Japan as part of the top joshi promotion, Stardom.
To WWE fans, they may remember her as announcer Eden Stiles, but in 2016, she left WWE alongside her husband Cody Rhodes to get back inside the ring she trained for. Since then she’s competed for IMPACT Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and in Japan with Stardom, and now leads the AEW Women’s Division.
Now in her fifth year in the business, Britt Baker was a star on the US indies almost from the get-go. She’s competed on multiple occasions for Ring of Honor as well as one-off appearances in both NXT and IMPACT Wrestling. Now that she’s signed to AEW, she looks to become one of the division’s dominant faces.
She decided to become a professional wrestler after being cast to play one in a movie which led to her training with Emi Sakura to prepare for the roll. After filming wrapped up Shida would become a member of Sakura’s Ice Ribbon before moving to Pro Wrestling WAVE and later Oz Academy. Shida has wrestled for almost every major Joshi company in Japan accumulating fifteen title reigns in her eleven-year career. With an eye-catching look and charisma to match Shida is one to look out for.
Leva Bates has been an indie veteran for 12-years now, working all the top women’s indie promotions, such as SHIMMER, Shine Wrestling, and others. She had a brief stint in NXT, where she was known as Blue Pants, but never signed with WWE. The 36-year old is now a member of AEW’s women’s division, who, paired alongside Peter Avalon, is one of the Librarians.
Known as “The Beast”, Nyla Rose is competing for the AEW Women’s title on the AEW on TNT debut on Wednesday night. A 7-year veteran of the US indies, she actually comes to AEW by way of Japan. In 2016, she headed to Japan to begin working with Sendai Girls and has spent the past three years honing her craft in the joshi scene of Japan. She returned to the US this year to join AEW, where she’s become one of the favorites of the division with her explosive brawling and risk-taking measures.
Don’t let her looks fool you – Penelope Ford started her wrestling career in 2014 in the trenches of the rough and tumble Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW). “The Bad Girl” has since become her own star in the US indies, so much so that she earned a WWE Tryout last December. She was one of the first announced signees for AEW earlier this year, alongside her frequent tag partner Joey Janela, and now she’ll be looking to make a national name for herself in AEW on TNT.
The prized student of Emi Sakura and the long-time ace of Gatoh Move. Riho recently left the Sakura learning tree to ply her trade for AEW and Stardom where she immediately captured their High Speed championship. A thirteen year veteran at just twenty-two years old the former Gatoh Move star is ready to take over the world after dominating in Asia.
Sadie Gibbs is only into her third year as a professional wrestler, but she’s poised to become a breakout star in 2020. She began in the UK indies of her homeland in England, with an impressive blend of power and athleticism. That package caught the eyes of the Japanese joshi scene, and she had her first tour with Stardom earlier this year. Sadie Gibbs is a name to watch once the women’s division settles down and expands into the new year.
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Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Dynamite every Wednesday night at 8:00 pm Eastern, 6:00 pm Pacific starting October 2nd, live on TNT.