The One MAJOR Problem Nobody Wants To Admit About AEW

Riho Nyla Rose
Joao Ferreira

AEW's multi-talented, varied roster has largely delivered between the ropes so far.

Double Or Nothing brought a four-way match boosted by Awesome Kong's unexpected debut and breakout performances from Kylie Rae and Baker, but, more importantly, an all-action joshi trios match to introduce a group of wrestlers AEW hope will become their WCW Cruiserweight division equivalent. At Fyter Fest, Nyla Rose lived up to her 'Native Beast' nickname against Riho and Yuka Sakazaki, while Riho got over as a smart, switched-on underdog in victory.

Here's the thing about those bouts, though: they succeeded in spite of their build.

AEW's inability (or refusal) to allot significant Road To or Being the Elite time to these bouts is weird and, a few exceptions aside, they've done very little to get the wrestlers' personalities over. Who is Britt Baker other than a talented former dentist that the office clearly hope becomes the division's ace? Why is Sadie Gibbs debuting colder than ice at All Out, despite her Special Flying Tiger Drop gifs going viral on wrestling Twitter earlier this year? Hikaru Shida, Yuka Sakazaki, and Riho are tremendous, but how about some exposition?

Fight for the Fallen's Brandi Rhodes vs. Allie clash was, to date, the only AEW women's bout to benefit from a long, concerted build - and it featured a company executive. Not an ideal message for the supposed babyface wrestling promotion to send...


Channel Manager
Channel Manager

Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.