AEW’s first PPV of 2020 took place last night from Wintrust Arena in Chicago, IL in front of a ravenous crowd. The AEW Women’s World Championship was on the line as the challenger Kris Statlander took on the champion, Nyla Rose.
The match started off with the two tussling for position before Nyla overpowered with a side headlock and took Statlander down with a shoulder barge. Statlander would hit a big boot but miss an enziguri, Rose attempts an STF but Statlander breaks free to hit a stiff knee strike, a somersault senton and a standing moonsault for the first pinfall attempt of the match.
The action would spill to the ramp after Rose hit Statlander with a forearm on a springboard attempt. Rose would toss Statlander into the rope but she would dive through them and return with a suicide dive through the rope but Rose stepped out of the way, playing up to the crowd in doing so.
Back in the ring, Nyla would smash Statlander with a fierce spear for a near fall. A round of short-arm clotheslines would send and keep Statlander down, she would then slip outside of the ring to recover. With the crowd chanting her name Statlander would fight back and hit a superkick to knock Nyla down. Both would struggle to their feet and exchange punches and elbows. Statlander would send Nyla outside with an enziguri followed by two strong suicide dives much to Jim Ross’ chagrin.
Nyla would regain dominance and continue to beat down Statlander. Rose would lay Statlander over the ropes and climb the turnbuckle for her diving knee attack but Statlander would her unique ability to escape via walking handstand. Rose would miss a kick but Statlander would not and followed it up with nose boop DDT for yet another near fall.
After a failed suplex attempt by Statlander, Rose would overpower with a vicious Beast-Bomb for the count of two. Shook by the kick-out, Nyla would ascend to the top turnbuckle but Statlander would recover and take her down with a scary-looking superplex.
Rose would kick out of the pinfall and frustration would kick in for Statlander who would push the referee out of the way only to eat a big boot for her trouble. Rose would head to the top once more and Statlander would attempt to counter with a hurricanrana but Nyla was too strong and would land a top rope Beast-Bomb for the 1,2,3.
This was a good, strong match that showcased both competitors’ power, strength and agility. The choice to keep the belt on Nyla was the correct one as the division needs a good, strong title reign, from a good, strong heel, which Nyla is playing to perfection.
Kris Statlnader taking clean loss was jarring as she is no doubt the brightest superstar in the division and needs to be booked as so. Statlander has now lost two championship matches and we all saw what that did for Britt Baker. Could an attitude shift be on the cards for the “galaxy’s greatest alien”?
As a side note, Jim Ross was insufferable during this match and really needs to tone down his disdain for all things “different” within AEW. He continually questioned their actions in the ring, pinfall attempts and of course Statlander’s gimmick. Her gimmick is polarizing enough without the lead commentator shitting on it every chance he gets. Someone within the company needs to tell him to stop putting over his bitter opinions across on live television.
The AEW women’s division still has a long to go to be on par with the rest of AEW’s programmes but things seem to be heading in the right direction. One thing they need to do is implement more storyline into the title picture instead of relying on the win/loss standings. For example, Jon Moxley is undefeated, top of the men’s standings and therefore inline for a title shot, but the storyline that he and Jericho have told along the way has been excellent. Nyla Rose and Kris Statlnader had no such focus or even interaction and therefore the fanfare for the title match was minimal at best. The solution of adding more thought and feeling into the division is simple too, which makes the rather lacklustre division even more frustrating.
What did you make of the match? Let us know below and as always stay tuned to Diva Dirt for all of your AEW news, reviews and updates.