Welcome back everyone for a new addition of the AEW women's Power Rankings, where we now have a new Women's World Champion since our last update and a new arrival to discuss.
The Women's Division has once more become the subject of much criticism in recent months, however, there are still plenty of developments to sink our teeth into between this small but talented roster. So with that said, lets begin our countdown.
#1 Thunder Rosa (Up 4 Places)
La Mera Mera's defeat of Britt Baker in her hometown of San Antonio was one of the great Dynamite moments so far this year; despite the match not reaching the heights of last year's "Lights Out" spectacle. The culmination of Rosa's journey to the Women's World Championship was played out to a raucous crowd who were desperate to see her defeat her long term foe and celebrated wildly as Aubrey Edwards made the three count.
Sadly, the AEW staple of not letting babyfaces celebrate important milestones on television came back to raise it's ugly head as the moment was swiftly cut off due to time constraints and her first appearance the week after her victory was somewhat of a disaster.
Whilst her first title program as champion with Nyla Rose was somewhat rescued by the end and the match at Battle of the Belts very much serviceable as a first defense, it is very much important that this reign picks up from here.
Rosa has a great connection with the AEW live crowd and her win, notwithstanding the issues above, was still a really great moment; so much so that March 16th will now be known as "Thunder Rosa Day" in Bexar County, Tx. If you achieve something so great to have a day named after you then you've definitely done enough to earn top spot in this month's Power Rankings.
#2 Jade Cargill (Down 1 Place)
Jade Cargill has reached an interesting point in her TBS Title run. Having defeated her 30th opponent in Marina Shafir (in frankly a much better effort then anybody expected) she has complete confidence in her abilities and is seemingly moving away from being led by Mark Sterling to leading things on her own, even adding Red Velvet and Keira Hogan as her "Baddies."
Jade's in-ring is developing well and her promos at this point are already standouts in the division. It's therefore no surprise that her crowd support is increasing on a weekly basis, something that is only being accelerated by the invention of the "Baddies section"; an idea that started out as a heel gimmick but is exactly the type of participation event that ends up galvanizing the fanbase.
When attending AEW shows in the last six months I've been struck by the sheer amount of signs (and effort in their creation) dedicated to Jade; a much higher number then for anyone other female not named Britt Baker. Could an eventual meeting between the Doctor and her faction with Jade's "Baddies" be in the works at some point? One thing that is for sure, that when it comes to Jade Cargill, there is plenty of upside here.
#3 Serena Deeb (Non-Mover)
"The women of a thousand holds" looks set to head to the top of the AEW rankings and could cement her status as Number One contender with a win over long term rival Hikaru Shida next Wednesday night on Dynamite.
Having mainly padded out her record with a series of victories over lesser opposition on the back of the 'five minute challenges', a victory over a former World Champion would put her firmly on a collision course with the current one in the near future.
My hope is that Deeb is able to perform for Rosa in very much the same vein that Bryan Danielson did for 'Hangman' Adam Page; hereby using her technical ability as well as her credibility to further establish the new Women's Champion early on in her run.
It has been months since there has been a truly standout match in the women's division, this potential matchup (as well as next week's feud ender with Shida) feels like the best opportunities we've had in some time for us to see another.
#4 Jamie Hayter (Re-entry)
With Nyla Rose's defeat to Thunder Rosa this past Saturday night, Jamie Hayter now finds herself tucked in between Serena Deeb in AEW records for the year and in our own Power Rankings as well. Already holding a victory this calendar year over Interim ROH Women's Champion Mercedes Martinez, Hayter will look to continue building her record in the Owen. This isn't without it's challenges though, as her first round match-up will be with AEW newcomer Toni Storm.
Should she find a way past the charismatic Australian, Hayter could find herself facing her stable leader in Britt Baker. Relations between Jamie and the good doctor still feel somewhat volatile, and having seen the Southampton born powerhouse easily dispose of Skye Blue in qualifying, it wouldn't hurt Baker to tread carefully.
#5 Britt Baker (Down 3 Places)
Nicely following on from Hayter is the D.M.D herself, who made her return to AEW this week, receiving a heroes welcome from her hometown crowd, defeating Danielle Kamela whilst being accompanied by members of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The loss of the wrist brace hopefully suggests that she has hopefully been able to overcome some of the nagging injuries which plagued the later half of her championship run and therefore lead to stronger in-ring performances in upcoming months.
Her promo which in effect ran down the rest of the AEW women's roster (which admittedly was not one of her better efforts or particularly helpful in subject matter) appears to put her on a collision course with Toni Storm at some point in the near future. It also acted to serve as a reminder that although Baker is no longer Women's Champion there is no doubt that she will continue be a strong focal point as things move forward and one of the view given an active voice regularly on AEW programming.
#6 Hikaru Shida (Re-entry)
The in-ring ace of the division is now regularly commuting back and forth between the US and Japan, as she makes the most of a reduction in travel restrictions in order to appear in former home promotions in her native country as well as appearing on AEW television.
In her appearance at TJPW's "Grand Princess" show back in early March, Shida looked every bit of a star but also delivered a much harder brand of offense then has been seen in a lot of her AEW run up to this point. That ruthless style should come into play once more when Hikaru faces Serena Deeb in next week's feud ender.
Shida has continued to deliver within her matches near enough every time she has been called for, has made great strides in maximizing her TV presence and can deliver good promos in both her first and second language. there needs to be more Shida on both Dynamite and Rampage in 2022.
#7 Toni Storm (New Entry)
The latest addition to the AEW women's roster, the plucky Aussie found herself visibly moved by the reception she received from the South Carolina crowd on her debut. She was able to keep her emotions in check though, defeating the Bunny in tournament qualifying.
The prospect of a first round matchup with Jamie Hayter (someone who has followed a similar career path to Storm in the UK and Japan without them regularly crossing paths) should provide her with a strong start as she looks to re-discover the form which made her such a promising prospect before making the move to Florida.
With Britt Baker also putting a target on her back, as mentioned above, it looks like Toni will have her hands full for much of the very near future.
#8 Nyla Rose (Down 1 place)
Nyla Rose has become something of a first boss if you will, having been defeated by Shida at the start of her Championship run and acted as the first challenger for Britt Baker and now Thunder Rosa. Her performance at 'Battle of the Belts' was successful in providing Rosa with a good first outing; even if it fell away towards the end.
The build though exposed that perhaps it is long overdue that Nyla moves away from being managed by Vickie Guerrero. Rose often displays natural comic timing in interviews and on social media and therefore I can see no reason why she would need someone to speak for her at this point. Standing alone should be the next development for the "Native Beast".
#9 Ruby Soho (Re-entry)
"Destination Unknown" is somewhat of a fitting for 'The Runaway' at this point in her AEW tenure. Having started out at the top end with a World title match at the Grand Slam show and making the final of the TBS tournament before succumbing to inaugural Champion Jade Cargill, Soho has gone quiet as of late, mainly plying her trade on Dark Elevation in squashes or six women tags.
Last week's win on Rampage over Robyn Renegade (whilst avoiding an attempt at twin magic) at least guarantees a return to TV within the next month but at some point I'd really like to see Soho given a story she can sink her teeth into. Her blistering promo battle with Britt Baker back in September illustrated that something with more substance would be much more well suited to her skillset then the random matchups she is currently participating in.
# 10 Kris Statlander ( <->)
A new look and a new theme for Kris on Dark: Elevation this week, who seems to have now fully abandoned much of her alien identity for something somewhat darker.
The character change is an intriguing one. Statlander's previous form was popular with live crowds and within other medians such as BTE and seemed to fit perfectly within the confines of the 'Best Friends' stable. Now, as that faction begins to fracture, Kris is able to complete her current metamorphosis, which will hopefully make more use of unique characteristics (such as her height) compared to the rest of the women's roster as well as her immense strength.
Having given Britt Baker arguably the best match of her reign and showed immense improvement since her return from injury just over a year ago, my hope is that this all leads to a far more prominent roll for her across each show going forward.
Goodbye to my favorite alien though, I will miss you in ways that Wheeler Yuta certainly will not.