Looks like we’re beginning to see the AEW Women’s World Championship Eliminator Tournament take shape.
AEW announced the first match last week, which sees NWA Women’s World Champion Serena Deeb take on the returning Riho.
This leaves 14 other spots open in the bracket. As mentioned before, the winner of the tournament will become the new number one contender to Hikaru Shida’s AEW Women’s Championship.
Last week I picked four potential participants, and now I’m back to pick four more. I correctly predicted Riho to be in the tournament, but we’ll have to wait and see if any of the other seven picks make it in. Let’s get into it!
1. Thunder Rosa
Starting things off is someone who AEW fans are very familiar with.
Rosa first appeared for the company back on the August 22 episode of Dynamite. There the then-NWA Women’s World Champion challenged Shida for the AEW Women’s Championship at All Out. However, she was unable to capture the championship when the two finally clashed.
After that, she made several appearances on Dynamite and Dark. In October, she lost the NWA Women’s World Championship to Serena Deeb. Her rematch came on the November 18 episode of Dynamite, but she lost after interference from Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D.
This kicked off a feud between the two that is currently ongoing. The animosity between both women is at a fever pitch, and everything will come to a head tonight at Beach Break.
Regardless of who wins, it wouldn’t be a shock to see both Rosa and Baker appear in the tournament. It also wouldn’t surprise anyone if the two face each other again, whether it’s in the finals or earlier.
Including Rosa in the tournament would be amazing; she’s incredibly talented and can put on a great match with just about anyone. If she’s included, she will certainly be a heavy favorite to get another shot at the title.
2. Emi Sakura
Up next is another Japanese talent that we haven’t seen for a while due to the pandemic.
Sakura debuted for AEW at their inaugural pay-per-view event, Double or Nothing, competing in a six-woman tag match. She then appeared sporadically on Dynamite and Dark before unsuccessfully challenging Riho for the AEW Women’s Championship at Full Gear.
After that, she appeared two more times on Dynamite before returning to Japan to compete for Gatoh Move Pro Wrestling. She’s been there ever since, with her most recent match taking place on January 31 of this year.
As I mentioned before, getting the Japanese wrestlers back to the states could prove challenging. They’ll have to abide by the numerous travel restrictions and COVID-19 protocols, as well as the two-week quarantine and testing period.
But once they return, it’ll help bolster a women’s division that desperately needs it. More talent at AEW’s disposal means more matchups that can help freshen things up a bit.
Bringing Sakura back in the tournament is a great way to reintroduce her without a lot of risk. Even if she loses in the first round, it’s the first step towards easing her back into the AEW women’s division.
3. Taya Valkyrie
Then we look at a bit of a wild card pick for the tournament.
Valkyrie is currently a free agent after her contract with Impact Wrestling expired several weeks ago. They wrote her off TV on the January 19 episode of Impact, where she revealed herself as the mastermind behind John E Bravo’s shooting.
Even as the “police” took her away, Tommy Dreamer hinted at a few places where she could go next.
“If she’s lucky, she’ll go to Jacksonville State Prison for what she did. If she’s not that lucky, I think they’re going to send her to Stamford Maximum Penitentiary for two years, may be an option for three. Trust me, that’ll change a person’s soul forever.”
Clearly, he was referring to both AEW and WWE as two potential landing spots for Valkyrie. While WWE makes sense because her husband, John Morrison, is there, she could also choose to go the other route instead.
Bringing her in adds some fresh new talent that isn’t currently signed, much like what they’re doing with Thunder Rosa. She certainly adds star power, especially after she held the Impact Knockouts Championship for a record 377 days. It could also act as a tryout for Valkyrie; regardless of how far she advances, a good showing could land her a contract with AEW.
Finally, we come to a talent from Impact Wrestling.
Rosemary is someone you don’t want to mess with. She’s won gold wherever she’s gone, including the Knockouts Championship with Impact. The Demon Assassin was also a part of a very supernatural feud with Su Yung from 2018 to 2019.
She is currently still with Impact Wrestling, with her most recent match taking place last week on Impact. In it, she successfully defeated Tenille Dashwood.
Rosemary’s character is insanely unique and entertaining, with the skills in the ring to back it up. If AEW and Impact Wrestling are working together at this point, why not have some of the latter’s women compete in the tournament?
Could you imagine Rosemary going up against the likes of Abadon or Thunder Rosa? Or if she went all the way and challenged Shida for the title? Sign me up!
If this were to happen, it would be a win-win for both AEW and Impact Wrestling. AEW gets more fresh faces to ramp up excitement about the tournament, while Impact could get more eyes on its product as well.
We’ll just have to wait and see who else is announced for the AEW Women’s World Championship Eliminator Tournament. But in the meantime, let us know who you would like to see compete!