“Lil Swole” Nicole Savoy Makes Waves in AEW Return

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Photo: AEW

On Monday night, Big Swole’s tag team partner in the AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup tournament was revealed to be one of her indie partners, Nicole Savoy, who has been one of the top women’s wrestlers in the world the past few years. The duo of Big Swole and Lil Swole (as Savoy was called) proved to be a successful one, as they defeated Leva Bates & Rache Chanel in the opening round on Monday night. The Swole Sisters will now face the Nightmare Sisters of Brandi Rhodes & Allie in the semi-finals next Monday night.

Originally from Pulaski County, Missouri, after high school, Nicole Savoy enlisted in the military and traveled to Sacramento, California, where she began to see local indie shows. Growing up a fan of the WWE – particularly Jacqueline and Ivory – her interest in pro wrestling grew, and she began working as a valet at some indie shows, while training at the Sacramento Wrestling Federation. Upon relocating to Virginia, she continued training with Duane Gill’s Gillberg Pro Wrestling Academy. She made her in-ring debut in 2011 with West Virginia’s Primal Conflict Wrestling (PCW).

She returned to the West Coast circuit, working with All Pro Wrestling (APW), Alternative Wrestling Show (AWS), Fighting Spirit Pro (FSP), and others, before making her debut with SHIMMER in October of 2014 at SHIMMER 67, where she lost to Heidi Lovelace (now WWE’s Ruby Riott). By the following year, SHIMMER became her prime home promotion, and she quickly emerged as one of the company’s shining new stars. In 2015, she took part in two showcase matches for Japan’s Stardom during their brief US tour, including a singles match against Mayu Iwatani.

In 2016, Nicole Savoy had hit her stride as one of the rising stars in the US indies, winning the Heart of SHIMMER Championship in a triple threat against Lovelace and future NXT Superstar Candice LeRae to claim the vacant title. She would go on to hold the belt for 462-days. On the West Coast, she continued her dominance, winning the AWS Women’s title that September, which she held for another 434-days. That same month she would receive her first WWE tryout.

In the summer of 2017, she was announced as one of the participants for the first WWE Mae Young Classic, winning her opening round match against Reina Gonzalez, before losing to Candice LeRae in the second round. That November, she continued to cement her name on the indie circuit by capturing the SHIMMER Championship, defeating Mercedes Martinez at SHIMMER 99. She would hold the SHIMMER Championship an astounding 721-days, defending it against the likes of Stardom’s Jungle Kyona, Deonna Purrazzo, Kimber Lee, Viper (now NXT UK’s Piper Niven), LuFisto, Britt Baker, Allysin Kay, and Hiroyo Matsumoto. In December of 2017, with RISE Wrestling, she would first face Big Swole in the ring, then competing as Aerial Monroe, at RISE 6 in California.

In 2018, she finally headed to Japan to work with Stardom, with a winter tour in January and February and then a follow-up that summer in August and September, where she took part in Stardom’s 2018 5*STAR Grand Prix. On her final day with the company, she challenged Kagetsu unsuccessfully for the World of Stardom Championship. In April of 2018, Aerial Monroe – now referring to herself as Big Swole – and Nicole Savoy – as Lil Swole – first teamed up as the Swole Family in RISE Wrestling.

After conquering the US indies and making her impression in Japan, in 2019 Nicole Savoy made her UK debut with Pro Wrestling EVE, competing in the 2019 SHE-1 tournament. She also worked for London, England’s PROGRESS Wrestling on several dates of their US tour that year, where she faced off against PROGRESS Women’s Champion Meiko Satomura. She would reunite with Big Swole once again in the US, this time in All Elite Wrestling (AEW) when both were selected as participants in the Women’s Casino Battle Royale at AEW All Out in late August.

In November of 2019, Big Swole and Nicole Savoy began teaming together in SHIMMER, when they unsuccessfully challenged Cheerleader Melissa & Mercedes Martinez for the SHIMMER Tag Team titles at SHIMMER 114. They would pick up their first win at SHIMMER 117 against Australia’s Blue Nation tandem of Charli Evans & Jessica Troy. In December of 2019, Savoy made her Ring of Honor debut, when she defeated former Women of Honor Champion Sumie Sakai at ROH Final Battle.

Nicole Savoy continued working with ROH into 2020, last defeating Angelina Love at ROH Bound by Honor before COVID shut down ROH tapings (and just ahead of the new tournament to crown the inaugural ROH Women’s Champion). But now Nicole Savoy has resurfaced in AEW, rejoining her SHIMMER tag team partner Big Swole in an attempt to win the first-ever AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup. Nicole Savoy has long been considered one of the top unsigned talents in the world and hopefully, we get to see Nicole Savoy remain with Big Swole in AEW to help grow AEW’s burgeoning women’s division.

Stay tuned to Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Dynamite Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TNT and AEW DARK Tuesday nights at 7 PM ET on YouTube.

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