Willow Nightingale hits a moonsault from the top ropes. Image credit: DDTDivas.com
With a small women’s roster, injuries, and women unable to travel due to COVID, AEW needs more women in its division. Recent statements, promos, and tweets from AEW owner, Tony Khan, and AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida implicate AEW is searching for female wrestlers to enhance its division. Recently, AEW announced its first AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament: The Deadly Draw, which will air on the AEW Youtube channel, Mondays at 7 p.m. The tournament will include eight teams, 16 women.
When AEW first announced the women’s tournament fans made many assumptions and had many questions. How can AEW hold a women’s tag team tournament when there is only one established team. Yes, the AEW Women’s division only has one established tag team, The Nightmare Sister, Brandi Rhodes and Allie. We later learned that there is a reason why the tournament is called “The Deadly Draw” and how teams were created.
The official tournament rules were announced on the July 29, episode of AEW Dynamite. The rules are simple.
AEW officially announced its first team drawing, Nyla Rose and Ariane. Both Brandi Rhodes and Allie have announced their entrance into the tournament. Based on the promo video, we can assume that Penelope Ford, Anna Jay, Diamante, and Big Swole will be drawing a color. In fact, AEW superstar Chris Jericho spilled more information about the tournament including the team of Anna Jay and former NXT superstar Tay Conti. Jericho also mentioned the names of Ivelisse and Diamante.
This means AEW has to find a few more women to enter into the tournament. Here are a few women who we would like to see participate in The AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament. While there are only a few more spots left, just seeing one or two of these women participate in the tournament would cause us to fangirl.
Jazz is the vet that both the tournament and the All Elite women’s roster needs. Jazz is a former two time WWE women’s champion. Her 2002 title reign lasted 98 days, and her 2003 title reign lasted 64 days. Jazz had the honor of defending her championship at WrestleMania X8 in a Triple Threat match against WWE Hall-of-Famers Lita and Trish Stratus. She is one of the only black wrestlers in WWE history to retain their championship at WrestleMania.
During her time in National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), Jazz held the NWA World Women’s championship for 948 days. Unfortunately, due to medical and personal reasons, Jazz vacated the championship in April 2019. Her 948 days title reign would place her third on the list of longest-reigning champions.
In addition, to her WWE, and NWA championship wins, Jazz is a one-time Women’s Extreme Wrestling (WEW) Champion, one-time NWA Cyberspace Champion, one-time Downsouth Championship Wrestling (DCW) Louisiana State Champion, one-time Heavy on Wrestling (HOW) Women’s Champion. Jazz is a one-time Women Superstar Uncensored (WSU) Tag Team Champion with Marti Belle. She has been inducted in numerous wrestling Hall of Fame.
In 2010, Jazz was inducted into the WSU Hall of Fame. Two years later, she was inducted into Texas Wrestling Hall of Fame. She was also a recipient of the Cauliflower Alley Clubs Women’s Award in 2020. Most importantly, Jazz has stepped foot in an AEW ring, like the other women on this list. She debuted at AEW’s All Out pay-per-view and wrestled in the women’s Casino Battle Royale match.
One of the most memorable moments in the match was the Jazz, Awesome Kong, Nyla Rose, and ODB standoff. How cool would it be if AEW capitalizes off of just a one-minute standoff? Maybe give fans a Jazz, Nyla Rose stand-off in the tournament. Fans would be in for a treat.
It’s a family affair, a Swole Family affair if Nicole Savoy entered in The Deadly Draw tournament and tagged with Big Swole. Savoy, once given the nickname Lil’ Swole, Savoy once tagged with AEW’s Big Swole. These two women go way back! But Savoy, also known as the Queen of Suplex, Is not just Big Swole’s tag team partner. Savoy is a one-time alternative wrestling show Women’s Champion, a one-time heart of Shimmer champion, a one-time Shimmer champion, and a Pro Wrestling Revolution world champion. Since 2016, Savoy has made the pro wrestling Illustrated four consecutive times. Just last year, Savoy ranked #10 on the list, her best ranking thus far. In 2018, she ranked #26. In 2017, she ranked #21 and in 2016 she ranked #13.
Savoy made her AEW debut at All Out when she participated in the Casino Battle Royale. even though we didn’t see much of her in the match, we would love to see her in an AEW ring again. In fact, AEW could easily insert Savoy into not only its tag team cup tournament but to its ongoing Big Swole vs Dr. Britt Baker feud.
After dumping Baker in a garbage can on an episode of AEW Dynamite, Big Swole and Baker went at each other on Twitter. Their Twitter exchange would soon involve Baker’s good friend Deonna Purrazzo and Lil’ Swole, Nicole Savoy. Is Big Swole teasing a future Big Swole and Lil’ Swole vs Brittany Basura Baker and Dumpster Deonna match? Or maybe Big Swole is teasing a Lil Swole and Big Swole team-up. Adding Savoy to The Deadly Draw tournament and allowing her to team up with Big Swole would be a good idea.
Shalandra Royal made AEW history by being one of five women (Nyla Rose, Leva Bates, Priscilla Kelly, Faby Apache) to start off in the All Out Casino Battle Royal. While she may have been the first woman eliminated in the match, she made her second AEW appearance on an episode of AEW Dark. Teaming up with Shazza McKenzie, Royal faced off against the team of Nyla Rose and Leva Bates. Royal also made history when she became the first woman to win the Dusty Rhodes American Dream scholarship. Outside of the ring, Royal sang the National Anthem at All In. Yep Royal’s AEW roots run deep, and we would like to see her grow in the company.
Cassandra Golden has wrestled twice in AEW. She made her debut on an episode of AEW Dark where she squared off with Hikaru Shida in an action-packed nine-minute match. We would see Golden again on an episode of AEW Dynamite. After being American History Xed by Dr. Britt Baker, Golden lost. In addition to wrestling on AEW, Golden has been seen on IMPACT. On IMPACT Golden faced off against Kylie Ray. Golden has tremendous potential. AEW’s women’s tag tournament could use another powerhouse.
It’s pretty much confirmed that Diamante will be participating in the tournament. She appeared in the tournament promo video and Jericho mentioned her name during his Chris Jericho’s “Saturday Night Special.” Yet, Diamante makes this list because AEW has not announced that she is signed to the company, but she was one of the few unsign women to be featured in tournament promo material.
Just like Cassandra Golden and Shalandra Royal, Diamante has appeared on AEW program numerous times. In fact, out of all of the women on this list, Diamante has made the most AEW appearances. Yet, before her days on AEW Dark, Diamante wrestled in the indies, IMPACT Wrestling, and Women of Wrestling (WOW).
While wrestling in IMPACT, Diamante was a member of The Latin American Xchange (LAX). She worked alongside current AEW talent, Santana and Ortiz. She remained in the stable until her departure from IMPACT in 2019. That same year, Diamante made her WOW debut as Adrenaline. She entered the WOW Tag Team Championship Tournament, partnering with Fire (Kiera Hogan). Fire (Kiera Hogan) and Adrenaline (Diamante) would win the WOW Tag Team Championships.
In addition to being one half of the WOW Tag Team Champions, Diamante is a four-time Independent Championship Wrestling (ICW) Women’s Champion, and a one-time ICW Champion, a one-time ICW Hard Knocks Champion. In addition, Diamante was a one-time Queens of Combat Champion. With over 12 years of experience, Diamante is a good fit for AEW and its tournament.
Holidead & Thunder Rosa
While it’s unlikely that actual established tag teams will make an appearance in the tournament, it would be cool to see a few established teams make a surprise appearance.
The former SHINE Tag Team champions, Holidead and Thunder Rosa, is the perfect team to add to both the women’s tag team cup and to the whole women’s division. As SHINE Tag Team Champions, the Twisted Sisterz held the championships for 183 days. In addition, to being SHINE Tag Team champions, the Twisted Sisterz were also one-time Vendetta Pro International Tag Team Championship.
Holidead and Thunder Rosa have both wrestled in Ring of Honor (ROH) and even tagged in ROH. While in WOW, Thunder Rosa wrestled under the names Kobra Moon and Serpentine. In addition to wrestling in WOW under the ring name Kobra Moon, she also wrestled in Lucha Underground as the leader of the Reptile Tribe. Thunder Rosa is the current National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Women’s Champion. In 2016, Thunder Rosa ranked #43 on PWI’s Female 50.
Thunder Rosa isn’t the only member of the Twisted Sisterz to make the PWI ranking. Holidead ranked #95 on the 2019 PWI Top 100 Females list. Likewise, Holidead wrestled in WOW too. In 2019, Holidead participated in the WOW Tag Team Championship Tournament with tag team partner, Siren the Voodoo Doll.
Both Holidead and Thunder Rosa, together and individually, have several years of wrestling experience. They are widely known on the independent circuit and mainstream wrestling scene. Adding a team with both mainstream and indie buzz and exposure will work wonders for AEW’s Tag Team Tournament.
Team Sea Stars
Ashley Vox & Delmi Exo
Team Sea Stars are another popular established team to be featured in this article. Mainstream wrestling fans and NWA fans are familiar with Ashely Vox. However, some fans may not be aware that Ashley is one half of Team Sea Stars. Team Sea Stars, Ashley Vox and Delmi Exo, are perfect for AEW’s tag team tournament. The sisters are current SHIMMER Tag Team Championship and have held the championships for over 255 days. In November 2019, they defeated Cheerleader Melissa and Mercedes Martinez at Shimmer Volume 115 for the belts. Ashley and Delmi throughout their careers have worked for promotions including CHIKARA, Women’s Wrestling Revolution, and Queens Of Combat. Most importantly, Team Sea Star received a huge endorsement from AEW superstar Big Swole. Big Swole is right, bring in the Sea Stars!
The Bird and The Bee
Solo Darling & Willow Nightingale
The last of three established teams featured in this article, Solo Darling and Willow Nightingale, is another great team for The Deadly Draw Tournament. And before Solo teamed up with Willow to form The Bird and The Bee, Solo Darling was one half of The Buddy System (the team of Solo Darling and Heidi Lovelace). Individually, both women have had phenomenal wrestling careers.
Like many of the women in this article, Willow has wrestled for popular companies such as SHIMMER, RISE, and WOW. As a member of the WOW roster, Willow wrestled under the ring name Eye Candy. Solo, too, has wrestled for SHINE and SHIMMER. Above all, The Bird and The Bee are the last tag team to hold Chikara Campeonatos de Parejas. Their reign lasted a total of 228 days. And just like the Twisted Sisterz and Team Sea Star, The Bird and The Bee are a popular team amongst fans.
The Deadly Draw Can Work Wonders for AEW’s Women’s Division
Most fans would love to see AEW find more talented women to enhance its women division. This tag team tournament can create new AEW stars, new storylines, and new rivalries. If the tournament runs smoothly, it gives AEW ‘s women’s division the right kind of exposure and enough reasons to create women’s tag team championships.