The All Elite Wrestling women’s division has been the focus of much scrutiny over the three-year existence of the company. Some of that is deserved, some not. Much of the frustration can be traced simply to opportunity. More matches for women on television. More stories for them to highlight their skills inside AND outside of the ring. More time, and as much dedication from those behind the scenes as those incredible women performing in front of our eyes every single week.
It's not a lot to ask, and we’ve been asking. For a long, long time. I still have high hopes that change is coming, but it’s getting more and more difficult to continue to believe after over three years of waiting.
Our voices our raspy and tired, but we don’t plan on abandoning our cries for growth in the women’s division anytime soon. One thing All Elite Wrestling CEO, Tony Khan, is best known for is his ability and willingness to listen to the fans. Not only does he often acknowledge mass desire, but he acts. It’s has been proven repeatedly. Not always, mind you, but there is enough proof to lean on comfortably.
Almost as loudly as our pleas have been for AEW’s amazing women to receive more time to shine, have been the undeniable cries for one of the division’s top stars to take a leap into the stratosphere where she belongs. If you’ve been lucky enough to be present at a show within the last few weeks or even just watched at home, you know exactly who I speak of.
All Elite Wrestling’s queen of strong style herself, Jamie Hayter.
She debuted in the way she probably should have. While some of us were familiar with her prior work, many fans needed to familiarize themselves with her, and acting as a heater for the biggest heel in the company was a position to be truly envied. While Britt rolled over the competition, Jamie gathered valuable experience and began to show us all exactly who she was.
It became clear early on that there was no better seller on the women’s roster. So often she can be seen leaning into her opponents moves, protecting them during falls, and putting over everything about them and then some. It’s a trait that one would think would be far more prevalent at the highest level of the sport, but though it isn’t, it’s a reflection on her professionalism and natural gifts that she is able to showcase that side of herself so willingly in the ring.
She is an imposing figure next to even the most imposing AEW has to offer. Much of that is due to her propensity to lean into a strong style influenced body of work in her matches. A few women on the roster like to lay shots in and make the action seem as impactful as possible, but not all of them do it as naturally as Jamie. Some of that no doubt comes from her extensive time in Japan where so much focus is placed on technical proficiency and discipline.
It speaks to her character as a human being that she goes to such lengths in the ring to take advantage of as much time as she is able. By selling, safely firming up strikes and lariats, and always advancing the match with her facial expressions and body language, Jamie is telling more story than many with just as much time given.
Despite how some behave online, most wrestling fans are not stupid. We watch for subtle cues like outlined above and attach ourselves to those who master and exploit every opportunity they are given. It’s not easy to get over in wresting, certainly not in this day and age. So, when someone grinds relentlessly and gives their absolute all, we notice. When someone puts in the work for years, we notice. And when someone exceeds the boundaries of their current role, as great a role as it may be, not only do we notice, but we also call for change.
We call for the rocket. We demand that push.
For Jamie, that time is now. One could argue that it was in fact weeks ago, but the iron is still as hot as ever, and I don’t want any risk of that iron cooling, because she deserves this. And it serves more purposes than simply igniting a rivalry with her former friend. It has the potential to solve multiple problems in multiple stories in a division that desperately needs captivating rejuvenation, along with more time to do just that.
We’ve been teased with issues both large and small in the good doctor’s small faction for months. It all came to a head recently with Britt almost certainly costing Jamie the women’s title. While I would have loved to see her win the belt, I was almost more excited for the chance at a break with Baker, and I love Britt as much as anyone else. It was just so clearly the perfect time for an audible.
A fresh feud for Britt, especially with someone who was once so close to her is immediate weekly television material. Britt has the ability to be a star-maker, which for someone who has only been on national television for three years is high praise, but it’s true. Her ability on the mic and in the ring is unmatched in that division. Placing someone like Jamie opposite her provides endless opportunity to learn, adapt, and elevate to the next level.
What is the next level, you might ask?
Whether Toni Storm, Thunder Rosa, or Jade Cargill, it doesn’t much matter. Each woman could use either a story or an injection of excitement. Jamie and her massive fan support could provide any of these feuds the magic it needs to be top tier. In my mind, for selfish reasons perhaps, I envision Jade continuing her dominance until Jamie is finished with Britt. It’s at that time we get the two most imposing and violent women on the roster battling over a top prize. Whether she is the one to dethrone the undefeated Cargill or not, I don’t know, but I can promise that fans would go ballistic, just as they are now without a belt on the line.
I understand if storylines were put on hold for whatever reason, as that sometimes happens. It certainly seems that way as the strife between the besties, Britt and Jamie, was awkwardly and so suddenly dropped, but I don’t think that it need stand in the way of what could be. But don’t take my word for it, just listen.
That’s all Tony need do. It’s the oldest truth in professional wrestling, isn’t it? No matter the story and no matter the star, the audience will tell you what’s over and what isn’t.
My friends, the undeniable Jamie Hayter is OVER. Her time is right now.
Let them hear it until it happens.