Wednesday, July 17, 2024

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Winners & Losers: AEW Dark 11/26/19 & Dynamite 11/27/19

We’re back for another look at the Winners and Losers from the week’s AEW shows. The two shows were again a step in the right direction as we saw more improvements to the focus of the division.

AEW Dark 11/26/19

This week’s episode of Dark was stacked with three mouthwatering matches. Big Swole and Shanna are AEW’s latest accusations to AEW and so far they have made the most of every opportunity to shine. There was also a match between Leva Bates and Awesome Kong, who was making her AEW Dark debut.

Winner: Shanna

Shanna got a full-on segment here, similar to those on the “main card” and it really showed how much this company is willing to invest in her. Shanna bore her soul and shared real-life struggles that humanised and legitimised her as a genuine AEW star. It was a promo from a talent that has been overlooked and underused and now has that to chance to shine. Since her impressive debut against Shida a few weeks ago, Shanna has continued to shine and she has quickly made a name for herself in AEW. I am expecting big things for her in 2020.

Winner: Big Swole

Big Swole is a name that AEW needed to legitimise their talent pool. Since making her official debut Swole has been on the wrong of defeat. But when she this talented it doesn’t seem to matter. She cut an absolute fire promo that proved how good she is on the mic and then put on a performance to give the fans a legitimate reason to cheer her. The only question is, why has she been only used Dark?

Loser: Leva Bates

Man, this Librarian gimmick has just died on its arse (an English term to say it hasn’t worked) Bates is a far better performer than this gimmick deserves. I get it that the gimmick is meant to suck but Avalon and Bates are far better than this. Leva has shown that is more than capable than carrying off the chart gimmicks such as Blue Pants. Unfortunately “The Librarian” just is not working and damaging her career in the process.

AEW Dynamite 11/27/19

This week we got a really good tag match that featured two of AEW’s fastest rising stars, Shida and Kris Statlander vs Bea Priestly and Emi Sakura. However, a few odd booking decisions just added more weight to the argument that the division doesn’t have a clear direction.

Winner: Allie

A severe character shift for Allie but one we know she can do well from her time in IMPACT. This is just what Allie needed. She was lost with the smiley, happy-to-be-there character. I like the macabre Victorian-era badass trio if The Blade, The Butcher and The Bunny and can’t wait to see what they do next.

Loser: Shida

Not the wrestler’s fault at all, but rather the strange booking decision to have her lose a week after defeating Britt Baker and topping the leader board. Shida is on fire at the moment so to have her lose in a random ass tag match that now affects her position in the ranking system is just bizarre and frustrating.

Final Thoughts

I have been very critical of AEW’s women’s division due to the lack of importance given to what should be one of the cornerstones of the new company. However, they increasingly showcase top female talent on AEW Dark and the matches on the show have made AEW Dark go from a free YouTube show to a must-watch AEW product. Kenny Omega, who has had a major part of the Joshi influence on the AEW Women’s Division, recently said that big things are coming in 2020 and I for one can’t (and hope) wait to see it.

AEW’s women’s division is getting better, action, exposure and character-wise but some of the booking decisions and random matchups continue to hamper its progress. There is still no major storyline featured in the division nor is there a clear challenger for Riho (remember her) and the AEW Women’s Championship. There is still to be a meaningful promo cut by one of the female talents on the main card too, which in my opinion is unacceptable.

The grade as always is, must do better.

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