All Elite Wrestling’s women’s division has been a hot topic of conversation on the wrestle web for the past year. That’s partly because WWE has trained audiences to expect at least one prominent women’s storyline on their shows. It’s also because AEW was launched with some lofty (if quickly backtracked on) claims about gender equity.
Whatever’s behind it, things like setting up the Women’s title match at Full Gear with the most basic of storylines only led to more criticism. Before the PPV, Executive Vice-President Cody Rhodes took a stab at justifying the decision to give the build toward another Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose match about five minutes of time on Dynamite in the month leading up to last Saturday’s show.
After Full Gear, it was President Tony Khan’s turn.
“One thing is, people say — and I understand what people are saying about the division. I probably, I should have probably done better to put some of Nyla’s story when she said she wasn’t going to wrestle again and Vickie said she wasn’t going to wrestle again until they got the title shot. I should have used that on Dynamite more. I watch Dark very closely and work on Dark very closely, and book Dark. So I’m obviously watching Dark, but I forget sometimes that there’s about half the audience watches Dark for us, typically. If we do, typically, if we do in the overall audience 800,000 to a million on a good week, 400 [thousand] plus in the demo, I think Dark is probably about half that. And I think it’s a good audience we’ve built and a great show, but I probably should have put that on.
“And then to be honest, the time in the real world, Vickie was not able to come those weeks. Not because she was sick, but because it was a conflict that she always had. And so I gave her that time off, and I probably should have made it clear. There’s a lot to putting the shows together.”
I’m not gonna give much credence to the “Vickie couldn’t be there during a pandemic” excuse, because there are ways to advance the storyline even without her if the really wanted to. But it is refreshing to hear Khan admit that AEW needs to at least address what they’re doing on web shows during their main broadcast.
Admitting this one feud - ostensibly one of the biggest they have - should have gotten more than the bare minimum set-up on TV isn’t quite, “yes, we need to make a commitment to telling women’s stories on Dynamite.” This sounds more to me like we should look to the promised third hour on TNT rather than expect much to change on Wednesday nights.
Give us your read on Tony’s comments below.
H/T 411mania for transcription