Earlier this week in the Cageside “offices”, we were wondering what was up with Britt Baker.
She hasn’t wrestled in AEW since September, and hasn’t been on television at all in weeks. Fightful Select reported she was taking an undetermined amount of time off to help Adam Cole as he recovered from ankle surgery, but Cole has been featured on AEW programming this month — and still no sign of his long-time girlfriend.
Given the size of AEW’s roster and how talent are utilized, it isn’t terribly noteworthy when someone misses a few weeks of TV. And that’s without getting into criticisms of how Tony Khan books his women’s division. But Baker is an AEW original the company built that division around from the start, and who they’ve relied upon as an ambassador outside of the ring. For her to not even appear on three hours worth of shows from her beloved hometown of Pittsburgh last Saturday (Nov. 25) was weird.
We don’t seem to be the only people wondering what’s up with the dentist. During the Nov. 29 Dynamite, Baker herself pointed out a pretty amazing bit of trivia about her year:
She’s done some pre-taped backstage interviews in 2023, but we don’t recall any delivered from the ring or stage. So without a thorough review, Britt’s stats seems accurate.
In years past, you’d hear fans complaining Dr. Baker got too much time on television. Some fans are probably glad she’s been used less this year. She certainly won’t change critics’ minds and probably won’t gain much sympathy in general by centering herself in the argument. But the issue Britt raises is bigger than her, and that will likely resurface some of those criticisms about Khan’s booking of women.
Rarely does any female wrestler get a live mic in the arena. It stood out when Toni Storm got one to deliver her “acceptance speech” on the Full Gear fallout episode of Dynamite last week. It’s also rare for the women to have a storyline going if they’re not in one of AEW’s two title pictures, which is a chicken-or-the-egg problem along with their their lack of TV time.
The Dynamite episode Baker was commenting on featured a Julia Hart TBS title defense that had no build and was announced hours before the show. Storm got a pre-taped segment setting up a Women’s World championship match against an unnamed opponent for next week, and Mariah May had a backstage scene about asking Tony Khan for her first match in the company. Both took up about a minute each. MJF & Cage are champions furthering two of the company’s biggest angles, but the overall time disparity between men and women was striking — and the norm.
Baker’s tweet is likely to generate discussion and debate, and we’ll see how that plays out. However it goes, it’ll be the latest thing to draw attention to what goes on behind-the-scenes at AEW, and away from the product the promotion puts on-screen.