It is tournament season in AEW. The World Title Eliminator tournament kicks off on Friday night Rampage carrying over to Saturday night Dynamite. The women will be vying for a new title in the TBS Championship tournament. There is also the upcoming Owen Hart Cup tournament.
Details on the TBS Championship tournament were hazy. All we knew was that the bracket would be revealed on Rampage tonight (Oct. 22). Now, tournament master Tony Khan has provided more information about the competition.
BREAKING NEWS:@TonyKhan announces on 'Tony Time' w/ @davidlagreca1 that a twelve women field for the #TBSChampionship will start TOMORROW on #AEWDynamite The Tournament will include four First Round byes @AEW #AEW #AEWRampage pic.twitter.com/Zbtr5Osgh5— SiriusXM Busted Open (@BustedOpenRadio) October 22, 2021
Speaking with Dave LaGreca of Busted Open Radio, Khan revealed that there will be twelve participants in the TBS Championship tournament. Four women will have first round byes. The byes are an interesting call to expand the field and stretch it out toward the Dynamite debut on TBS in 2022. Best of all, the action starts sooner than expected for Saturday night Dynamite.
Time for the fun part. Let’s prognosticate on who will be in the tournament.
Jade Cargill should be a lock for a bye. Cargill has an undefeated singles record this year at 16-0. Hikaru Shida has a strong case as former world champ, but she recently lost to Serena Deeb. Thunder Rosa is a workhorse at 29-3 and former NWA women’s champion, however, she was pinned by Cargill in a triple threat. Despite that, I’d still go with Shida and Thunder Rosa as byes.
For the last bye, I’m picking Brandi Rhodes. It would be good promotion for her Rhodes to the Top reality show and the Dynamite move to TBS, but the real reason is that I just want to laugh at watching the internet burn with criticism of Brandi being invited.
That leaves eight more spots from my count of twenty legitimate ladies. It wasn’t that long ago that the women’s division was a weak spot for AEW. Look at them now. They have a roster so deep that there will be snubs for the TBS Championship tournament.
Tay Conti (28-4) and Kris Statlander (18-1) have impressive records. Ruby Soho (3-1) has star power and fan support. Serena Deeb (6-1) proved herself returning from injury by beating Shida, not to mention Deeb has championship pedigree as a former NWA women’s titleholder.
Nyla Rose (21-5) is a Native Beast capable of beating anyone on any given night. Ryo Mizunami (7-2) has shown she has the necessary grit to battle through tournaments when she won a title eliminator earlier this year. Plus, she conveniently popped up on Elevation earlier this week. Abadon (16-1) has quietly amassed a strong record, so I’d like to see her tested against quality competition. Leyla Hirsch (17-5) rounds out my field of competitors.
That means Anna Jay (3-1), Big Swole (6-2), Bunny (9-6), Diamante (13-7), Emi Sakura (7-1), Jamie Hayter (1-2), KiLynn King (7-9), Penelope Ford (16-4), Red Velvet (17-4), Riho (5-2), Skye Blue (1-7), and Yuka Sakazaki (6-1) would miss the cut if I made the tournament selections. There is a lot of talent in that group. Khan has a tough job filling out this field.
Who would you pick to enter the TBS Championship tournament? Who is most deserving of the byes?