The Huge Untapped Potential Of AEW's Anna Jay

'The Star of the Show' on a show closer than you might think.


With stay-at-home orders issued in Florida and elsewhere in a locked-down United States, a skeleton AEW crew headed across to Georgia in late March to bulk tape months of Dynamite in a rushed scramble to guarantee content in a new world with no guarantees. Several AEW stars were unable to appear: Jon Moxley, MJF, the Young Bucks, Hangman Page, and countless others, including many of the established acts in AEW's thin Women's division (Champion Nyla Rose, Kris Statlander, the entirety of the joshi component bar U.S. resident Hikaru Shida).

Filmed under secrecy, the undisclosed location was talent and producer QT Marshall's wrestling school. To pad out TV time mostly centred on the TNT Title tournament, AEW utilised various independent names and students from his school. One such name was Anna Jay, who worked Hikaru Shida in a five minute match.

It was a remarkably accomplished and exciting five minutes. Nothing was botched. Jay demonstrated good instincts to subtly sell Shida's trademark striking game, and gnashed her teeth to sell her own strikes with aggression. She lunged into the clotheslines Shida ducked for the comeback to convey the impression that she was actually planning on connecting with them. The failure to do this is a pet hate of your writer. So many wrestlers, who appear on television in big spots, go through the motions and break the vital sense of immersion in doing so. Not Anna Jay.

It was a competitive match - that flowed very, very well - in which Jay also showcased her prodigious athleticism.

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Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on!