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The TBS Tournament has been great for AEW’s women’s division

AEW’s Twitter

One of the most persistent complaints about AEW in its brief existence has been the lack of television time given to its women’s roster.

Some of that they brought upon themselves by promising if not equality then at least equity right out of the gate. Some of it was fans unfairly expecting them to match WWE at its Evolution peak with a roster of largely inexperienced female performers.

Whatever percentage of blame you to assign to Tony Khan and team, even they admit there’s still a ways to go. Occasionally having more than one women’s match per show, at least on Wednesdays, would be a good goal. Maybe eventually Tag belts. But they’ve made a lot of progress in the past few months, and much of it can be attributed to the TBS Championship Tournament, and how they scheduled it.

By not racing through the bracket, AEW’s allowed themselves time to build to matches within it. That’s especially been true of the quarter and semi-final rounds. You could forget that Ruby Soho vs. Nyla Rose and Thunder Rosa vs. Jade Cargill are tournament matches, and the stories would still be good — because they’ve been given room to breathe. In that space, we’ve learned about their characters and how they contrast. There are reasons for them to fight beyond the belt.

It’s also allowed for spin-off programs. Hikaru Shida and Serena Deeb had a promising rivalry started before the TBS Tournament. After taking each other out of it, we’re in “Fight Forever” territory. Their match at Winter is Coming next week feels big.

On top of all these we have the Women’s title program, which used to be the only feud that would get TV time. The deck is now stacked enough that the current champion Britt Baker vs. the first ever champ Riho can be saved for after Winter is Coming.

You’ll find hype and build for all those programs (including rekindling the old Tay Conti & Anna Jay vs. The Bunny & Penelope Ford rivalry in support of the Soho/Rose semi) in the below highlights from the Dec. 8 Dynamite.

As is AEW’s model these days, YouTube videos are being doled out slowly. But we’ve compiled what they’ve released as of this morning in this playlist, and tried to catch you up with the rest of the episode via Twitter clips below that.

  • MJF Receives a Heroes Welcome in Long Island
  • Look Who’s Back!
  • Did Bryan Danielson Kick in Silver’s Head?

For complete results and the live blog for Dynamite this week click here. To read a complete recap & review of all the night’s events click here.