All Elite Wrestling has succeeded in bringing a breath of fresh air to the otherwise existing stale products. However, one of their glaring issues has been their women’s division. With the likes of Britt Baker, Hikaru Shida, Riho, Allie, and Brandi Rhodes, not many expected the division to become a highly critical sector. Among some of their problems like inconsistent storytelling, less TV time, and insufficient characterization, lack of star power is a predicament that needs to be tended to. En route to AEW All Out 2021, it’s clear that the voices of fans were heard.
Lately, AEW has paid some heed to the aforementioned complaints. The increased screen time for women on AEW Rampage, a new AEW Women’s World Championship belt design, and more character investment have played out well so far. With the promotion trying their best to enhance this sector, signing some new talent wouldn’t hurt a bit. At their upcoming pay-per-view, AEW All Out 2021, the second-ever Women’s Casino Battle Royale has raised many eyebrows. Keeping AEW’s signature debut pattern in mind, the anticipation for a major signing is always bubbling. Here are some free agents and independent talents that the promotion must keep an eye out for.
If you’ve been watching WWE since 2013 or anytime later, you would know who Lana is. Initially starting as the Russophillic manager of Rusev, Lana soon indulged in separate feuds as a singles wrestler. During her time at WWE, she married Rusev and had been trained by Natalya and Tyson Kidd.
Despite the eight years that she spent in the company, Lana could not win any championships. She can deliver solid matches and promos (if not for her fake Russian accent). We’ve seen her improved performances against wrestlers like Asuka, Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, and throughout her partnership with Naomi.
For AEW, where few women engage in firing promos, Lana can turn out to be a tremendous asset. She can also discover her originality and creativity while wrestling her dream matches and engaging in captivating feuds.
Previously a part of The Riott Squad in WWE, Ruby Soho, FKA Ruby Riott, has been scouted widely by the AEW management. Vickie Guerrero has recently expressed her interest in Soho and looks forward to forming an all-female faction with her. This means that the odds of her debut at AEW All Out 2021 are pretty high, given her 90-day non-compete clause expires soon.
Throughout her time in WWE, Soho doesn’t seem to have been used to her full potential. The inked rebel is renowned for the hard-headed persona she brings to the ring. Making her a part of the AEW roster will diversify their women’s division with a taste of heelish seniority.
Whether Ruby Soho makes her debut at All Out remains a question till September 5. But Tony Khan must not wait long enough to waste this precious opportunity. As of now, Soho stays one of the hottest free agents at the moment.
The IIconics’ release from WWE came up as a tragedy. Just months before they were shown the door, the fan-favorite duo was split owing to a stupid stipulation. And then, in another round of financial cuts, the pair of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay was shockingly released from the company.
Royce (now going by Cassie Lee) is also the wife of AEW’s self-acclaimed “Chairman,” Shawn Spears. She has been spotted backstage at various AEW events and maybe has had talks about her future. Her tag team partner, Jessie McKay (f.k.a. Billie Kay) is no less than her. The mean, arrogant heel has been viewed as a dedicated worker. She plays out her character as an annoying and ruthless woman in the best way possible. Both these women have managed to create a significant fan base, despite their heelish manners.
Another thing to be noted is that on June 14, the duo of McKay and Lee had filed a trademark on the name “The IInspiration.” It means that the tag team will continue to stay together wherever they go. However, a singles run cannot be ruled out as tag teams can always go haywire in pro wrestling.
When she signed with IMPACT Wrestling, Deonna Purrazzo’s “Virtuosa” persona presented herself as a skilled technician, with a dominating mindset and female elegance. The two-time IMPACT Knockouts Champion is world-renowned for her fascinating performances in IMPACT, Ring of Honor, Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide, and on the local circuit.
In one of her recent interviews with Digital Spy, Purrazzo has revealed how much she wants to get her hands on the AEW Women’s World Championship. She wanted to be the first woman to walk through “The Forbidden Door.” But at IMPACT Slammiversary 2021, Thunder Rosa achieved the feat already. That, too, was in a match against Purrazzo for the Knockouts Championship. However, the latter still desires to cross paths with several AEW stars.
Being close friends with the current AEW Women’s World Champion Britt Baker, Purrazzo looks forward to a title match in the future. She’s also keen to wrestle against the likes of Hikaru Shida, Red Velvet, and Big Swole. Provided The Virtuosa makes her debut at AEW All Out 2021, she can not only fight for a shot at the Women’s title but also play out her dream matches.
The former IMPACT Knockouts Champion is no stranger to the world of pro wrestling. Having polished her skills at several promotions, including PROGRESS Wrestling, Beyond Wrestling, and NOVA Pro Wrestling, Jordynne Grace has been working for IMPACT Wrestling since 2018. Lately, she has shown her disappointment in the lack of opportunities for the women to pass through “The Forbidden Door.”
But her new multi-year deal with IMPACT Wrestling may result in a tempting offer for her to work out a few matches outside her company. We can expect some tremendous matches from this star. Anna Jay, Tay Conti, Nyla Rose, Jade Cargill–Grace has a lot of options to go for.
Currently pairing with the second generation star Rachael Ellering, she can bring her tag team to the grounds of AEW as well. There’s no doubt about it that the 25-year-old has many years left in her already momentous career. She can make an enormous impact with a debut at AEW All Out 2021 in the Women’s Casino Battle Royale.
Being a military veteran and former rugby player, Trish Adora takes pride in her explosive style of wrestling. She has been trained by The Dudley Boyz and enhanced her experience in the indies. The mix of red, green, and gold colors throughout her wrestling gear makes her look like the bold, tough woman that she is. With her fan-beloved finisher called the “Lariat Tubman,” Adora has widely worked in the local circuit, gaining a notable experience.
Some of her distinct achievements include the Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling Championship that she has been defending across various promotions in the States. Her remarkable in-ring talent had also earned her a match against Kairi Sane in NXT, during one of her appearances back in 2018.
There’s no doubt that Adora’s athleticism and determination will land her in some of the top promotions worldwide. AEW better be on the watch for a talent like her, especially with the numerous advantages that both sides could gain from this signing.
A veteran with over 20 years of wrestling experience should not be ignored at any cost. And if it is Mickie James that we are talking about, then there’s no need for second thoughts.
James, who is currently working with the National Wrestling Alliance and IMPACT Wrestling, has the perfect chance to add some more glory to her career by becoming “All Elite.” After being released by WWE (for the second time) in early 2021, she made her way through her non-compete clause and has been in the talks recently for opening “The Forbidden Door” for the women of pro wrestling. The 6x WWE Women’s Champion has taken some interest herself in working alongside the female stars of AEW.
If James makes her debut in the Casino Battle Royale at AEW All Out 2021, she’s sure to drive the fans crazy. Not only that, but she can also become a future contender for the AEW Women’s World Championship; or maybe open “The Forbidden Door” some more, to allow more wrestlers to jump ship. Either way, her star power and energetic aura are unmissable. It would be great to see her in AEW sometime.
Chelsea Green had signed with WWE in mid-2018, but she didn’t quite get the expected treatment from the company. After having worked with the company for almost three years, Green would still be losing to the other rising talents of NXT. She wasn’t been provided with enough opportunities to showcase her talent and was finally released early this year.
Since then, Green has been discovering various prospects of becoming a greater star. Her stellar work on the indies and IMPACT Wrestling turned her into a valuable talent. She has already made appearances in ROH, IMPACT Wrestling, and NWA. Currently signed to IMPACT, Green is outshining her “Hot Mess” persona. Thanks to the partnership between AEW and IMPACT, maybe we can witness her potential in AEW soon enough.
With her agility and charisma, Chelsea Green can surely become a future contender for the AEW Women’s Championship. We may even get to watch her wrestle against her close friend Britt Baker. She can also play out a short stint in the company, just like her fiancé Matt Cardona did last year. All this could be possible if only Green would venture into the “All Elite” zone.
One of the top prospects and widely scouted talents on the indies is Killer Kelly. This 29-year-old wrestler hailing from Lisbon, Portugal, has already created quite a shuffle in the industry. Ranking at the 89th spot out of PWI’s Top 100 Female Wrestlers of 2020, Kelly stands tall as an up-and-coming fighter, ready to sign with some top promotion.
Much appreciated is her hard-hitting style and ability to deliver competitive bouts. Also, Kelly is familiar with selling her opponent’s moves in the right spots to make things look legitimate. She can certainly bring in her badass attitude to the squared circle of AEW.
Given her release from WWE, Kelly has been in the talks with American promotions that can work out her visa issues. It would be great if AEW could bring her aboard, specifically for the Women’s Casino Battle Royale at All Out 2021. As mentioned earlier, there’s already enough demand for her in this business.
AEW had regretfully missed the opportunity of signing the likes of Deonna Purrazzo, Mercedes Martinez, Tenille Dashwood, and Priscilla Kelly. With Allysin Kay, the same disaster may strike; unless the company notices the potential they are missing out on.
She has some advantage over all the other women on this list, as she has already made her AEW debut in a one-on-one match. At Full Gear 2020, Kay went head-to-head against Serena Deeb for the NWA World Women’s Championship. She’s been in the business for 12 years now, having wrestled in IMPACT, NWA, WWE, and on the independent circuit.
For AEW’s somewhat staggered women’s division, Allysin Kay can become the source of star power for the roster. Letting her slip out of their hands may prove to be a terrible mishap. This is something that the promotion should be well aware of.
In addition to all the women listed above, there are a lot many independent stars and free agents that could debut at AEW All Out 2021. Wrestlers like Sarah Logan and Ronda Rousey are currently inactive. AEW has been avoiding Tessa Blanchard due to controversy. Besides these, Marina Shafir, Santana Garett, and Jessamyn Duke are incredible talents. As of this writing, no talks have been reported.
Stay tuned to the 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: Elevation (Monday nights) and AEW: Dark (Tuesday nights) at 7 PM ET on YouTube. AEW’s new show, AEW Rampage, airs on TNT at 10 PM EST every Friday night.