Toni Storm was unveiled as Saraya's mystery tag team partner to face Jamie Hayter and Britt Baker on the 11 January Dynamite episode last night, though things may not be as they seem.
The opposing sides featured in separate pretaped interviews on Wednesday's show. Baker and Hayter appeared to tease Mercedes Moné, who has long been rumoured as Saraya's partner, with Britt outright calling herself 'The Boss' as part of the conversation.
But Saraya poured cold weather on that speculation later on. Sat alongside Toni Storm and Hikaru Shida, whom she hailed amongst the best in the world, the Brit named Storm has her partner - much to Shida's chagrin.
This is despite multiple outlets reporting differently prior to Dynamite. Fightful Select stated that while Saraya's partner wouldn't be named outright on the show, their identity would be "pretty evident" coming out of a promo from the former Paige or Baker. Britt's promo ended up being consistent with this.
DAZN's Steve Muehlhausen, meanwhile, reported that sources had confirmed Moné would be Saraya's partner on 11 January, stating that AEW hadn't been able to fully tease it while the former Sasha Banks was still under WWE contract.
Sources: Mercedes Varnado will be Saraya’s partner next week in #AEWDynamite in LA against Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter. Couldn’t announce or make a major hint due to her being still under contract to WWE until the beginning of 2023.— Steven Muehlhausen (@SMuehlhausenJr) January 5, 2023
It is feasible that Storm was announced as a red herring - and that AEW could run an angle to install Mercedes as Saraya's partner on the night.
For now, it seems concrete answers will have to wait until next week.