2nd June 2021: Ruby Riott is released from her WWE contract, along with a whole host of big-name stars in the company. Ruby instantly impacted WWE and was praised by her peers and colleges for her kindness and supportiveness backstage.
But what is next for the former Heidi Lovelace? and who would she face if she returned to STARDOM or even made a huge debut in AEW.
STARDOM: Jungle Kyona
The Jungle Princess of Stars
Jungle Kyona would be the perfect first opponent for Ruby Riott if she headed back to STARDOM. Making her debut in 2015 and being a part of three great factions in her time, J.A.N., Tokyo Cyber Squad and now Stars, Kyona has a veteran sensibility that will help Riott slide right back into the STARDOM scene.
Jungle Kyona has just returned after a long absence from the promotion due to injury, as much as this would be amazing and a star making performance for Riott, it too could be good for Kyona. The two women would gel well and if that also means more western audiences get to see the incredible talent and charisma of Jungle Kyona, then it’s a win win situation.
AEW: Penelope Ford
The Super-Bad Girl
Now his might be more of a personal choice than anything else but Penelope Ford Vs Heidi Lovelace [Ruby Riott] would be money and a good feud to start off her AEW career. I did consider pulling Allie/the Bunny in this position but for me there is something about Ford and her presentation that would gel well with Riott.
Penelope Ford has built up a reputation as a good hand in AEW, always available to be slotted into title matches when an unexpected injury throws a whole show into chaos. Yes, she often takes the pin in tag team bouts but that does not mean she isn’t great. Ford has had some of the best matches of the past year, elevating the women’s division in AEW, alongside my two other picks, while maintaining a high intensity style that is helped by her gymnastics training inside the ring and her amazing character work outside of it.
With Riott and Ford you know what you are getting and I can’t wait to see them face off one day.
The Submission Sniper
Providing that Ruby Riott doesn’t return to her former faction, Oedo-Tai, there is a great opportunity for her to face off with any number of the women in the group. For me though, it will always be Konami, a striker and submission machine, she could hold her own against the veteran that is Heidi Lovelace.
And I use the term veteran loosely, because Konami has been around for some time, being trained by Kana [Asuka], but it seems that she’s only just getting started, at just 24 Konami has the whole world at her feet. The two women have faced off against Kana and Kairi Hojo [Kairi Sane], Riott while in WWE and Konami in her debut match, so that natural bond should give us a hard hitting and interesting matchup.
AEW: Tay Conti
The Brazilian Beauty
The prospect of seeing Riott lockup with the phenomenal and greatly underutilised [while in WWE/NXT] Tay Conti is something I’ve wanted to see for a long time.
The two women do have very similar styles and with Tay on a meteoric rise after being allowed to spread her wings and show what we all already knew about her, that she is one of the best in the business, a hell of a match with the likes of Riott could send the two straight to the moon.
They could ultimately be the two women that will fight forever, always circling each other for the top prize in AEW, and if done right, we might get some legendary matches and stories from these two.
STARDOM: Utami Hayashishita
Bow Down To The Queen
Utami Hayashishita is the current World of Stardom Champion at just the age of 22 and with the right build Riott could be facing the top star in the company in no time at all.
Hayashishita is without a doubt one of the best wrestlers STARDOM have in their ranks right now, she feels important and has taken the space that was left by the departure of Io Shirai which means the idea of Riott facing off with this young wrestler a truly mouth-watering idea.
Riott could be your new champion or loose in a thrilling match that would establish her as the top Gaijin in Stardom, which would be something the promotion desperately needs now that Bea Priestley has left the company. Please universe just give us Hayashishita Vs Riott.
AEW: Britt Baker D.M.D.
The Doctor Will See You Now
As the current AEW Women’s Champion, Britt Baker has been on an absolute tear since turning Heel last year and an interesting opponent for the former Ruby Riott.
I personally think that there should be a slow build to the eventual match up between these two women, there is no need to ‘blow your load’ straight away. Sometimes great matches need time to build, sometimes it’s better that way, build Riott up to a point where she will be an even match for Baker, someone who can take the champion to her limit and thus establishing Riott as a force to be reckoned with.
Want to see more of Heidi Lovelace, why not check out her intergender match, where she teamed up with Kimber Lee to face off against Sami Callahan and Chris Dickinson here