Friday, April 19, 2024

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Riho successfully defends AEW Women’s Championship at Full Gear

AEW Full Gear took place at the Royal Farms Arena, in Baltimore, MD on Saturday and featured AEW Women’s Champion, Riho defend against Emi Sakura. We also got Britt Baker vs Bea Priestly on the pre-show and saw the return of women’s wrestling legend.

The AEW Women’s Championship match was billed as Student vs Teacher as Sakura trained and mentored Riho throughout her wrestling journey. Emotions were high during the introductions with Sakura visibly affected by the moment, which added further emphasis to the match.

Emi was the aggressor throughout using her strength and power to easily control her much lighter opponent and gain the advantage early on.

Riho’s heart and passion made up for the physical disadvantage and she fought back gallantly using her speed and flying knee and stomp attacks to combat Sakura’s power.

There were a few stalled spots in parts of the match as the performers got into the in the swing of the things. There was one particularly bad spot when Sakura misplaced a Vadar bomb into a double foot stomp and landed all her weight into Riho’s left arm that looked extremely painful. There was also referee error when he messed up a count in close fall sequence, which led to Riho winning the match with a surprise tilt-a-whirl roll-up to regain the AEW Women’s Champion.

This was a fun match and such an emotional story that, unfortunately, didn’t get much of a reaction due to AEW’s piss-poor booking and storytelling of the women’s division.

Earlier on the show Penelope Ford joined Kip Sabain to announce their new heel faction the ‘Superbad Squad’. A really good use of Ford who was excellent at playing ‘The Bad Girl’ on the indies and this new faction the perfect place for her showcase her character. More of this please AEW.

On the Buy-In pre-show, Dr Britt Baker took on Bea Priestley in a grudge match that should have been on the main show given the backstory. The match was heated and nasty as both performers went at each other viciously, throwing fierce offence and heavy strikes.

Baker injured her back thanks to Bea and the ring post and sold it well throughout the match. The hits kept coming with more and more meaning until Baker captured Priestly in the Lockjaw for the win.

After the match, the lights went out and Awesome Kong made her long-awaited return. Accompanied to the ring with Brandi Rhodes, Kong attacked Priestly and brandished a knife, which she then used to cut off a lock of Bea’s hair and added it to a collection “scalps” that hung from her belt.

Good to see Awesome Kong used in this way. Showing her as a vicious monster that is going to maim anyone in her way.

So that was AEW Full Gear and despite the good matches, strong performances and surprise return, I can’t help but feel the division is drastically underwhelming. We saw some great promos leading into the PPV from Baker and Rhodes but they were only shown online. We need more stories, segments and promos from the women and on television to give them more exposure, which in turn would allow us to invest more interest and emotion into the division.

What did you think AEW Full Gear, the results, the performances and direction of the division? Let us know below.

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