Almost since the very first AEW Dynamite on October 2nd 2019, one of the focal criticisms of All Elite Wrestling has been the booking of its women’s division. A division loaded with talent and potential future stars, it has been with great frustration that, quite often, women’s matches and stories have been given a single spot on the card. A division brimming with brilliant international talents like Hikaru Shida and Riho; generational talents like Thunder Rosa and massively over talents like Dr. Britt Baker DMD, deserves more time to shine. Whereas this has gradually improved throughout 2021, there is still room for further inclusion of the women’s division on the flagship show. One of the original All Elite talents from 2019 who has shone – and who has demonstrated tremendous levels of growth to stand out in an increasingly talented, stacked division – is AEW original, “The Alien”, Kris Statlander.
A Star With Alien Potential
No one has ever been able to deny the sheer, immeasurable talent of Statlander. She wrestled her first match on AEW television during Dynamite’s seventh week on the air – teaming with Big Swole in a losing effort against the team of Dr. Britt Baker DMD and Riho. Instantly, despite the loss, she stood out; her taller than average height and impressive physique allowing her to make use of a near-unrivaled, explosively powerful arsenal within the division. Additionally, her debut came at the mere age of 24 – then just three years into her professional wrestling career. This means that, though she now has 5 years of experience, she is still far from the finished article despite her already glistening ability. The sky is the limit for Statlander and should she avoid any more injuries such as the one sustained last year, which kept her off of AEW television for 10 months, she will become a key player in the company.
However, there is great debate over Statlander’s gimmick. Currently, she plays the role of mysterious, quirky alien hailing from Planet Statlander, who likes to “boop” people on the nose. Additionally, she is aligned with Best Friends – a more comedic faction consisting of allies Orange Cassidy, Trent and Wheeler Yuta. This is a fun shtick, of course, but one where the debate is understandable. One half of the debate argues this gimmick holds her back – its fun, carefree lack of seriousness preventing Statlander from becoming her best self. The other side, however, argues that it quite simply works; it is child friendly and the marketing potential, and originality, means Statlander does not have to change anything about herself. She has spoken on the gimmick in the past, citing that it stems from her personal “nerdiness” and affinity for science. One day, it may be wise to move on from this gimmick – certainly if a heel turn materializes – however, it has not yet reached its sell-by date. “The Alien” has plenty to offer the division in her current form and going forward, Kris Statlander might just become one of the biggest names in not only the division, but throughout all of AEW. She is, quite simply, that good and witnessing her development over the past two years has been a blessing.
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