The AEW women’s division has always been the weakest in AEW in terms of booking and in-ring work. AEW has been around for almost 5 years and the division remains the center of criticism by fans and experts.
There are several ways they could improve their women’s division… But all these suggestions have one thing in common and that’s the fact that they need time to see the progress being made.
Go Back To The Original Plan
In the early days of AEW, one of the interesting plans they had for their women’s division at the time, was the heavy focus on joshi wrestlers. Basically, the women’s division would be their version of WCW’s cruiserweight division. This is a plan AEW slowly turned away from and could be the answer to some of the problems with the division today.
It’s no secret that women’s wrestling in Japan is several decades ahead of the United States. That is mostly thanks to Moolah and her reign of control over women’s wrestling. While Japan is not perfect either, they’ve been able to grow and we see STARDOM as the second biggest promotion in Japan today, only behind NJPW. It’s obvious that a working relationship between STARDOM and AEW would be ideal for both parties.
Of the current joshis on the AEW roster, only Emi Sakura and Hikaru Shida live in the United States. But it seems like Yuka Sakazaki will focus on AEW going forward full time. Riho’s case still remains a mystery.
While adding more joshis would be awesome and give them more TV time, the problem is that there’s a portion of U.S. viewers and even critics that were very vocal when AEW first started because they gave joshis the spotlight. It led to a ton of online abuse… We still see it when a joshi wrestles in AEW and people call them school girls and other derogatory names.
Sending Wrestlers To Excursions or Adopt The Dojo System
AEW currently has working relationships with AAA and TJPW. All signs are pointing to AEW and STARDOM potentially working together soon, especially if we take into account Utami Hayashishita’s recent appearance in ROH, which owned by Tony Khan.
The Dojo system has proved in more than one occasion that it develops wrestlers better than any promotion in the world. Mariah May is the latest example of this theory. AEW has a lot of young wrestlers with potential and going on a tour or two with STARDOM, or even TJPW, would be very helpful for the division and improve their in-ring work much faster.
There’s also an in-house solution with the same methods of the dojo system seen in Japan, and that is Emi Sakura. Sakura is a tremendous wrestling teacher, Hikaru Shida and Riho are two of her best students. They are also the best workers the women’s division has.
Emi Sakura taking control of the division’s development would help AEW tremendously, and using her experience would allow for the division to improve.
Taking More Indie Bookings or AEW House Shows
Going to Japan might not be the best for some wrestlers, especially those who don’t want to be far from family members for so long. There’s another alternative because of that, and that’s making more indie bookings for the women to gain more in-ring experience.
Skye Blue is the best example that this actually works. Skye has been one of the few wrestlers in the AEW women’s division who takes regular indie bookings; and her in-ring work improved faster than most, in a shorter amount of time too.
Another alternative is if AEW starts running a few house shows. This would allow their wrestlers to gain experience under their roof, something that was the case with AEW Dark and Elevation until both shows ended. They were key to the development and scouting of wrestlers that are now part of their roster.
Improve The Booking
All the points mentioned above would definitely help AEW. But improving the booking of the division would fix most problems in the short term. You can have the best in-ring work in the world, but if the booking sucks, all that doesn’t really matter.
Only time will tell if AEW are looking to improve their women’s division once and for all, or if things will never change for the foreseeable future.
What do you think of the women’s division in AEW? Let us know in the comments…