This week’s post-festivities AEW Power Rankings cover the women’s division. After one of the best matches the division has ever seen between Hikaru Shida and Jamie Hayter, where do the various competitors stand in our rankings? Just a reminder that these are kayfabe power rankings based on wins, losses, titles and the like, so please don’t shout and scream if someone you rate very highly isn’t on this list.
1. Jamie Hayter – AEW Women’s World Champion
She’s the AEW Women’s World Champion. She’s coming off the best year in her career. Plus she’s just had one of the most spectacular matches of the year headlining Dynamite. It couldn’t really be anyone else at the top of the tree could it? Having wrested the title away from Toni Storm, Hayter followed this up with a dramatic victory over former champion Hikaru Shida. Potential rivalries going forwards include another dust-up with Storm, an All-English melee with Saraya and maybe, just maybe, a clash with current running-buddy Britt Baker. It’s going to be a big 2023 for Jamie Hayter and she goes into the New Year in the form of her life.
2. Jade Cargill – AEW TBS Champion
Jade Cargill is unbeaten in 45 matches in AEW, with 15 of those victories coming in defences of her TBS Championship. Yes she had to ditch Kiera Hogan from The Baddies, and yes Red Velvet’s actions of late may be a concern for Jade, but at the moment none of these distractions are stopping her from winning. It is, quite frankly, difficult to see who will take that belt from Cargill, such is her current dominance and that is why she is so high up these rankings. Will 2023 finally see Jade Cargill suffer the taste of defeat? It would be a bold pundit who confidently said yes.
3. Toni Storm
Toni Storm may no longer be able to call herself the Women’s World Champion, but she has had a magnificent year nonetheless. A 16/3 win/loss record in singles matches in 2022 speaks for itself and her title reign saw impressive defences against Athena, Serena Deeb, Britt Baker and Hikaru Shida. She is also now back in the title picture having run-off Jamie Hayter on last week’s Dynamite and also appears to have formed a powerful alliance with Shida and Saraya. Expect to see Toni Storm near the top of these rankings in the weeks and months to come.
4. Hikaru Shida – Regina Di WAVE Champion
At times in recent months it has felt as if Hikaru Shida has been drifting a bit in AEW. But 10 wins in 11 matches in the build-up to that classic match with Jamie Hayter proved that Shida was a force to be reckoned with. And whilst Shida wasn’t able to pick up the win that would have returned the women’s title to her waist, it did take interference from Britt Baker and Rebel to help Hayter get over the line. Plus the fight that Shida showed in defeat was evidence, if it was needed, that she will remain a powerful figure in the women’s division for a long time to come.
Saraya has only had one match in AEW so far, but it is impossible to say that she isn’t one of the division’s most talked about figures. The fact that she is back in the ring at all continues to wow the crowds, and Saraya has made no secret of the fact that she is coming for the Women’s World Championship. Yes Saraya will need considerably more ring-minutes under her belt before she has a tilt at the title, but that Full Gear victory over Britt Baker proves that she is ready for big things, and big things are what I predict from Norwich’s favourite daughter (sorry Delia) in 2023.
6. Athena – Ring of Honor Women’s World Champion
Whether you consider the ROH titles as prestigious or not at this stage is fairly moot when it comes to Athena. Because whilst claiming that title from Mercedes Martinez counts as her most notable recent achievement, Athena has also won her last 17 matches in AEW. And she has not just won those matches...she has absolutely brutalised everyone she comes across. Even poor Aubrey Edwards! The new angrier and scarier Athena is an absolute force to be reckoned with, and she has already defended her new title twice at time of writing. I suspect that an ROH title won’t be enough for the Fallen Goddess as well, meaning AEW title holders should watch out.
7. Dr Britt Baker DMD
It remains strange seeing the former champion as somewhat of a sidekick to Jamie Hayter, but even in that role Britt Baker is a key part of the women’s division. It likely won’t be long before she casts some envious glances in the direction of Hayter and her title, and in the meantime the good doctor is back in winning form with victories over Skye Blue and Billie Starkz. I fully expect that list of victories to increase in the coming weeks, and when it does Baker will wonder why she isn’t getting an opportunity to reclaim her title. When we get there, that match with Hayter has the potential to headline an AEW Pay Per View.
8. Julia Hart
Perhaps a slightly controversial choice as we don’t ever get to see Julia Hart wrestle on AEW television. Yet you don’t need to wrestle to be powerful, and with Hart currently marshalling a returning and marauding House of Black, she certainly has a lot of power at her disposal. Just ask the recently-misted Nick Comoroto. Plus if wins and losses are your bag (and they certainly are mine) then Hart has gone 16 matches unbeaten on Dark and Dark Elevation in recent months. It would be nice to see some of that dominance highlighted on Dynamite or Rampage, but for now Julia Hart remains a menacing presence in AEW that cannot be ignored. And if you remain unconvinced...just look at that hat!
9. Willow Nightingale
Everyone loves Willow Nightingale. If you don’t then I suspect you might be dead inside. But even the joy-zombies have to acknowledge that Willow has won 7 of her last 8 AEW matches and is definitely building up a head of steam. Where is she heading with that momentum, you may ask, but for me it’s a very simple answer. Nightingale has failed in her last two attempts to dethrone Jade Cargill, and it would be superb to see her get one final shot at ending the TBS Champion’s undefeated streak. If she was able to do that, it would probably be one of the best received victories in AEW history, so keep an eye on Willow Nightingale’s progress. If nothing else she will make you smile.
10. Ruby Soho
After a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Ruby Soho is back on her screens and keen for revenge. Initially that revenge was sought, and achieved, against Tay Melo at Winter is Coming. But the catharsis of defeating the woman who put her out of action was short-lived as Anna JAS beat down Soho in the aftermath. Based on this, expect to see Ruby back on the warpath in the very near future, although she may need to find a friend if she wants to see off the dangerous Tay-Jay alliance.