Last week on Dynamite, AEW announced the AEW Women’s World Championship Eliminator Tournament.
While we don’t know when it will take place, we do know that 16 women will make up the bracket. The winner of the tournament becomes the new number one contender to Hikaru Shida’s AEW Women’s Championship. That title match will more than likely take place at AEW’s next pay-per-view, Revolution.
Also, the graphic AEW used to announce the tournament on social media is rather interesting. It features the American and Japanese flags, which makes one assume that we’ll be seeing some talent from Japan competing as well.
As of this writing, however, none of the competitors have been officially announced yet. So, I figured I’d throw out some names myself and see how good my guessing skills are. Here are four women that could potentially be in the AEW Women’s World Championship Eliminator Tournament!
1. Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D.
First up is perhaps the most obvious choice, and everyone’s favorite dentist, Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D.
She is without a doubt one of, if not the brightest spot in the AEW women’s division. The work she’s done over the last year or so—in and out of the ring—has helped her transform into one of the company’s top stars.
Many fans—myself included—were expecting her to move into the title picture after her feud with Thunder Rosa. But then the tournament was announced, which surely won’t put the higher-ups in Baker’s good graces.
Regardless, The Good Doctor will certainly be a heavy favorite if she’s included. We’ll also have to keep our eyes on her upcoming match with Thunder Rosa at Beach Break next week. A victory there could give Baker even more momentum going into the tournament.
With her sights set on Shida and the AEW Women’s Championship, it looks like Baker may have to go through a few more women to get to the gold.
Now here’s a name we haven’t heard in a while.
The last time we saw Riho was early last year. On the February 12 episode of Dynamite, she lost the AEW Women’s Championship to Nyla Rose. After that, she wrestled several matches on AEW Dark. Then, on the March 18 episode of Dynamite, she took part in a fatal four-way match against Shida, Kris Statlander, and Penelope Ford.
After that, she went back to Japan to compete for World Wonder Ring Stardom and has been there ever since due to the pandemic. Her last match for the promotion was on December 26, and she can no longer compete for them because of her commitments to AEW.
It looks like AEW is trying to get Riho back to the states, reportedly as early as next month. But COVID-19 protocols and travel restrictions could prove problematic. Once she returns to the U.S., she’ll need to quarantine for two weeks and continue to test negative before she can do anything else.
Whenever she does come back, it will be a welcome addition to a division that needs more bolstering. But she’ll need to be properly reintroduced to fans who haven’t seen her in about ten months. Including her in the tournament is a great way of doing just that.
3. Big Swole
Up next is someone who has been on and off TV for a little while now.
Since signing with AEW in December 2019, Swole’s best work to date was her feud with Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. The two created some very entertaining moments over the course of last summer, including Swole kidnapping Baker and throwing her in a dumpster.
Things culminated at All Out in September, where Swole defeated Baker in a Tooth and Nail match at the latter’s dentist office. Over a month later, Swole earned a shot at the AEW Women’s Championship, but failed to capture the title from Shida.
After that, she mainly wrestled on AEW Dark. Her most recent Dynamite match came on December 16, where she and Serena Deeb defeated Diamante and Ivelisse.
Even though she’s regularly winning on Dark, it feels like Swole’s momentum from the Baker feud is fading. But a win or two in this tournament could easily get some of it back. It could even help establish a new feud for her and get things back on track.
4. Yuka Sakazaki
Finally, we round out part one with another Japanese talent.
Sakazaki hasn’t wrestled for AEW in almost a year. Her last match was on the February 29 episode of Dark, where she and Riho lost to Baker and Penelope Ford. Since then, she returned to Japan to compete for Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling. She’s been regularly featured in the promotion, with her most recent match taking place on January 16.
While she only had five matches in AEW, bringing her back still helps reinforce the division. Like they always say, there’s strength in numbers. But again, getting her here and quarantining her is going to be the biggest issue.
Just like Riho, participating in the tournament could help Sakazaki reintroduce herself to the fan base. Even if she doesn’t advance very far, a match or two is a good starting point for her in AEW.
Make sure to check back next week for part two!