Our favorite alien will stand toe to toe with AEW’s own dastardly dentist on Sunday night at All Out, and in doing so will become the greatest threat to Dr. Britt Baker DMD’s reign as Women’s World Champion. It’s a match weeks in the making, with personal feelings well intertwined within the vitriol and the typical nuance of a major title defense. Neither will walk in without backup, Britt flanked by Rebel (not Reba) and her new hired gun, the imposing Jamie Hayter, and Kris supported by her best friends. As the arena lights dim though and the bell rings, they will stand very much alone.
Britt seems unbeatable, and she may very well be just that. I’m hard pressed to find anyone in all of professional wrestling who makes waves like our good doctor so consistently does. She leaves fans wanting more in every facet, and to top it all off, she’s just that damn good. She says whatever she wants, can back it up in the ring, and when the odds seem to be tipping even slightly against her, she has proven that she’s capable of stacking the deck heavily in her own favor. She takes no chances because chances can inherently lead to failure. Instead, she relies on skill and knowledge– traits she has in spades.
When considering this match alone though, has the AEW Women’s World Champion made what could be a crucial misstep? Has she underestimated one of the most powerful and unpredictable women All Elite Wrestling has at its disposal? I believe she has, and while focusing on screen time and proving points to challengers already beaten, she has left herself open to someone who has as good a chance to dethrone her as anyone has. Rebel, while incredible, is no match for the distraction defenses of a universally traveled extraterrestrial. Jamie Hayter, while a physically unrivaled specimen, cannot fight Britt’s battles for her. While useful and beautiful additions to her entourage, this is a fight to be won inside the ropes. I hope it’s executed in simply that same way.
It might be easy enough to forget with all that has happened in professional wrestling over the past eighteen months, that Kris nearly missed an entire year after suffering a brutal ACL injury. It derailed a remarkable run from company debut to misfortune. She carried with her so much buzz and impressed in every match she participated in. It truly was heartbreaking to she her progress halted. Though reflecting today, no one should be surprised that she worked as hard as she did to come back even stronger and more determined than ever.
Ever since Kris’s wonderfully surprising return, as an assist to the same group she infiltrated and bonded with after, she has not lost. In fact, some might say she’s been on as dominating a run as any within AEW over that same timeframe. This title match is deserved and should not be taken lightly. She may handle herself with a refreshing lightness that soothes the souls of her fans and provides occasional comic relief on a show that can be serious when needed, but within the galaxy’s greatest alien lives a fighter, plain and simple.
Behind that shining curious smile is a drive unmatched. Behind the eyes of a being on an unfamiliar planet is as much soul as any human colleague has in the locker room. Most importantly, behind the face paint and brightly colored gear exists the heart of someone who refuses to be told “no.” This isn’t an easy business to excel within. It takes something special. Sometimes it even takes something wonderfully weird. By being who she is and by doing things the way she chooses, she sets a brilliant example for so many young girls and people in general who might be just a little weird themselves. Now more than ever, it’s ok to be different. In fact, some might even say it’s encouraged and rather necessary.
She’s not the same alien who tried and failed to win the AEW Women’s World title twice before. She has seen the view from the mat and heard the crowd reaction after losses in the biggest matches of her career. The feeling of helplessness as the body fails the mind and the reality of being unable to compete and do the thing you love most for months can either kill or invigorate an athlete. I think it’s safe to say that Kris Statlander has faced those demons head on, and well…hell is no match for the Andromeda Galaxy’s very own.
So, she’ll saunter down the ramp on Sunday and stare daggers into the eyes of the woman everybody wants a part of. Perhaps she’ll do some cartwheels and play around with our champion, but hopefully only for a moment. Before long, playtime will be over, and the stakes will be within reach for the taking. Sometimes it’s those who have the most fun and seem to take things a little less seriously than everyone else that we should be most worried about.
Mostly, while I’m a big fan of Kris Statlander’s work and wish her nothing but great things and happiness in her life and career, the match result matters little to me. What I desire most is that AEW allow these two magnificent women to have the match they deserve to have. Allow them to show us why they are two of the absolute best in the business. Leave distractions and interferences at the door and allow us the state of awe as the match rolls to its conclusion. This has the potential to be one of the best women’s matches we’ve seen in All Elite Wrestling. I desperately want it to be just that.
Win or lose, I think it’s important to acknowledge the trajectory of Kris Statlander. The position she’s in isn’t a novelty. She’s put in the work, connected with fans, and has earned every bit of recognition she has received and is yet to. Losses don’t tarnish what already shines bright, and if she’s destined for that, I have little doubt she’ll be back before long ready to take what’s hers. If it is her time though, and she raises that title to the heavens on Sunday night, what a moment that will be for both her and All Elite Wrestling. We talk about forbidden doors being blown to smithereens, imagine an alien holding AEW gold.
I’d like to wish Kris luck. She’ll definitely need a little of it on her side to topple Dr. Baker. As is customary in her culture though, I won’t use words. I’ll just leave a simple yet heartfelt…