AEW On TNT: Bea Priestley, The Top Gaijin

0
1064
Bea Priestley
Photo: @BeaPriestley

The women’s division in All Elite Wrestling (AEW) is stacked to say the least. Featuring some of the world’s best female performers from Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D to Awesome Kong to the current and inaugural AEW Women’s World Champion Riho. One of the other names in the division though is 23-year-old Bea Priestley. Having only debuted a few years ago, Bea has quickly made a name for herself around the world, becoming a household name for promotions in England, Japan, and now America.

Early Beginnings

Photo: @BeaPriestley

Bea didn’t hold around with her ambitions to become a professional wrestler, having her debut match at the young age of 14 years old after training at New Zealand Wide Pro Wrestling under the guidance of “The Kiwi Buzzsaw” Travis Banks before returning to England to train at the ProJo, the training facility operated by PROGRESS Wrestling. This was a fairly difficult point in Bea’s personal life though, as she was diagnosed with a brain tumour but thankfully, surgery was enough to have the tumour removed and she was able to return to in-ring competition. Upon returning to the United Kingdom, Priestley would compete for the likes of PROGRESS, International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom (IPW: UK), and Ironfist Wrestling, challenging for both the Ironfist Women’s Championship and the IPW: UK Women’s Championship along the way while also entering the fourth PROGRESS Natural Progression Series before being eliminated in the opening round by eventual winner Toni Storm.

Becoming Defiant

In the summer of 2016, Bea Priestley would her first of many appearances for Defiant Wrestling (then known as WhatCulture Pro Wrestling (WCPW)), starting up a rivalry opposite Nixon Newell (now Tegan Nox in NXT) that saw them compete in a Last Woman Standing Match at Stacked 2016 to crown the first WCPW Women’s Champion. Although it would be The Girl With The Shiniest Wizard who became the champion, Bea would take the title hostage not long thereafter while a member of Pacitti Club alongside Will Ospreay, Paul Robinson, Scott Wainwright, Bully Ray, and then-general manager Adam Pacitti, and would win the title herself in February 2017 with the assistance of a debuting Viper.

Worldwide Sensation

Photo: rohwrestling.com

Successful defenses would follow over Tessa Blanchard and Kay Lee Ray, but Bea Priestley would lose the gold to KLR at WCPW’s one-year anniversary show Built to Destroy in June (Viper stepped in for Bea during the match due to injury). When she wasn’t defending the WCPW Women’s Championship, Priestley was competing up and down the UK, adding Pro Wrestling: EVE, Lucha Forever, Over The Top Wrestling (OTT), and Revolution Pro Wrestling (RevPro) to her resume.

It was also around this time though that Priestley started going on international tours, firstly jetting off to Australia for Southern Pro Wrestling (SPW), PWA Black Label (where she unsuccessfully challenged for the PWWA Women’s Championship), and Melbourne City Wrestling (MCW), before Bea headed to Japan for her first of many tours over there. Alongside three-time Ring of Honor (ROH) Women of Honor World Champion Kelly Klein, the pair won the 2017 Goddesses of Stardom Tag League for World Wonder Ring Stardom, defeating Chardonnay and Scarlett in the finals to end on a score of seven points.

Queen’s Quest

Photo: Stardom

 

A brief return to the UK saw Bea return to her usual promotions, but a return to Japan would see her join the Queen’s Quest stable. In singles action, she made it to the finals of the 2018 Cinderella Tournament after overcoming Session Moth Martina and Hazuki, but Momo Watanabe proved to be too much of a challenge for her in the finals. In the UK, Bea joined the roster for the 10-episode reboot of World of Sport Wrestling (WOS), quickly starting up a rivalry against Kay Lee Ray over the WOS Women’s Championship, while she would also go on to become a two-time Defiant Women’s Championship after capturing the strap from Millie McKenzie at Built to Destroy 2018.

Following numerous shows around England and Australia, which included the debut of Queen’s Quest UK over in Frontline Wrestling and defending the Defiant Women’s Championship down under against Ricky South in one defence and then against Avary and Indi Hartwell in another defence, the time came for Priestley to return to her second home of Japan. She and Queen’s Quest ally Chardonnay lost to the team of Momo Watanabe and Utami Hayashishita in the finals of the 2018 Goddesses of Stardom Tag League, with another short return to the UK seeing her first losing the Defiant Women’s Championship to Kanji and then winning the Fight Forever Wrestling (FFW) Women’s World Championship from Millie McKenzie. She teamed with Utami Hayashishita and Viper to win a Stardom trios tournament at the start of 2019, and would also enjoy a brief reign as the WOS Women’s Champion before losing the gold back to Viper in February.

Bea Is All Elite

Bea Priestley
Photo: @BeaPriestley

The February 27th edition of Road to Double or Nothing revealed that Bea Priestley would be heading to All Elite Wrestling’s women’s division, but this didn’t stop her from touring with Stardom. Bea would lift her first taste of Stardom gold in the form of the World of Stardom Championship, which she won by defeating Kagetsu in April. Her AEW debut came during The Buy In for July’s Fight For The Fallen event, teaming with Shoko Nakajima in a winning effort over Riho and Dr Britt Baker, D.M.D. Bea would enter the Stardom 5STAR Grand Prix, earning a total of 10 points with wins over Jamie Hayter, Natsuko Tora, Konami, and Andras Miyagi, but it would eventually be Hana Kimura who walked away the winner. Her AEW career continued when she entered the 2019 Women’s Casino Battle Royale during the All Out Buy In, followed up by her official Dynamite debut on episode two as she teamed with the legendary Emi Sakura in a loss to Britt Baker and the inaugural Women’s World Champion Riho.

While she may not be that prominent in AEW thus far, just you wait until Bea Priestley is fully unleashed on the women’s division. There may be no-one that can stop her. As long as she keeps using that curb stomp as a finisher, we could very well be looking at our next AEW Women’s World Champion.

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.  Be sure to subscribe to AEW Plus on Fite TV to watch AEW Dynamite every week.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.