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AEW Women’s Championship Eliminator Tournament recap: Nyla Rose pummels Thunder Rosa

AEW offered a Monday night treat to air the final of the USA bracket to the women’s world championship eliminator tournament. After two quick appetizers, Thunder Rosa versus Nyla Rose was the main course. Let’s break down the action.

The show is available for your viewing pleasure here.

USA final: Thunder Rosa vs Nyla Rose

Nyla Rose wanted fisticuffs to start. Once Thunder Rosa felt Nyla’s raw power, she slowed it down and kept distance with leg kicks. Nyla was her own worst enemy whenever she had a chance for destruction. She would often stall in a daze of self-satisfaction, which allowed Thunder to easily escape or counter. For example, Nyla goozled Thunder for a chokeslam only for Thunder to roll underneath and transition into an ankle lock.

Thunder continued with speedy kicks and submissions to work the leg. Nyla’s answer was to work the back on running splashes and backbreakers. Thunder rallied with fury in the corner for a clothesline, double knee drop, and dropkick. A missile dropkick put Nyla on her back.

Thunder attempted to suplex Nyla, but her back gave out. Nyla took advantage to hang Thunder over the ropes for a flying knee drop. Thunder kicked out on the cover. Nyla picked up Thunder for a Beast Bomb, but her knee gave out. Thunder pounced for a Death Valley Driver.

The contest continued as Thunder escaped Nyla’s clutches to execute a stunner and a back drop suplex. Nyla stayed alive on the pinfall. Thunder climbed the corner to launch into a missile dropkick, however, it was intercepted and countered into a pummeling Beast Bomb. 1, 2, 3. Nyla defeated Thunder.


Nyla Rose advances to the tournament final against Ryo Mizunami on Dynamite. That match should be hard-hitting and fierce. Who’s ready for a hoss fight!?!

The winner will earn a shot against Hikaru Shida for the AEW Women’s Championship at the Revolution PPV on March 7.

The broadcast also featured two brief Dark-level matches.

Leyla Hirsch defeated Miranda Alize. Hirsch was close to ending it early with a knee strike and brainbuster.

Alize kicked out and came back with a ripcord knee strike and springboard corkscrew elbow drop. As Alize charged at Hirsch, the Russian grappler jumped up for a flying armbar submission victory.

Madi Wrenkowski defeated Leva Bates. Wrenkowski threw a book a Bates to start the match. The reply was a thrust kick to Wrenkowski’s face. The two wrestled for a little bit, then Wrenkowski began ripping pages out of the Young Bucks’ book. The ruination of literature drew great ire from the librarian, who attacked with ground and pound. Bates wanted to smack Wrenkowski with a book, but the referee grabbed it from her. Behind the ref’s back, Wrenkowski whacked Bates with a different book to win.

The streak of strong tournament matches remains intact. Nyla Rose and Thunder Rosa told a strategic story in the ring. Thunder used her MMA training to break down the beast. Nyla used her power and quick wits to overcome. I like how the attacks on the leg and back paid dividends when both women failed in executing big maneuvers. It was a fitting conclusion for Nyla to execute the Beast Bomb by catching Thunder rather than having to lift her. That finish remains in the pattern of keeping viewers on their toes.

The personality of both competitors continues to make me a fan. I grinned when Nyla flipped off the referee asking for a verbal submission during a single-leg crab. Thunder’s intensity is fantastic. Right after taking two backbreakers, she wailed feisty fists while still lying across Nyla’s knee. I also popped for Thunder’s explosiveness on the DVD and back drop suplex.

Excalibur’s effort in studying the medical dictionary did not go unnoticed. His use of ‘iliotibial band’ had me scratching my head. Thankfully, the context was clear as Thunder Rosa was blasting kicks into Nyla Rose’s leg.

The two opening bouts were made worthwhile by hearing Taz hum Leva Bates’ theme song. Bates had her best performance in a long while. She doesn’t wrestle that often. When she does, the matches have been pretty quick. Bates impressed in this outing with the versatility of her kicks. It was cool to see Leyla Hirsh add another wrinkle into her game with the flying armbar. That maneuver should add an element of surprise to her future finishes.

Madi Wrenkowski pulled an upset in victory, even though, it was through a nefarious nature. She will be a curious case going forward, especially if she gets more involved in the feud between Thunder Rosa and Dr. Britt Baker DMD. Wrenkowski would be a likely choice to take out Reba, however, Wrenkowski’s sassy attitude and rule-breaking actions give me pause. She seems too cocky to be partners with a fan favorite in Rosa. That leads me to believe she wouldn’t hesitate in turning on her teacher in exchange for free dental work and mentorship from a role model.

Share your reaction to the special edition of matches from the women’s tournament. Who was the standout wrestler? Are you picking Nyla Rose or Ryo Mizunami to win it all?

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