Wrestling made an auspicious return to TBS on Wednesday night. Over 1 million viewers tuned in to see this week’s episode of Dynamite after a two-decade break. And what an episode it was, with a horrific and gory rematch between Hangman Adam Page and Bryan Danielson, CM Punk facing MJF, and, of course, the first-ever TBS champion being crowned.
Over the last several weeks, we’ve been treated to a slew of incredible women’s bouts as part of the TBS championship competition. The tournament really got going at the semi-finals, with the final four participants all being contenders and all deserving of the TBS title. I’ve previously spoken about my thoughts on the tournament and where AEW should take the belt. However, my predictions were crushed when Jade Cargill defeated Ruby Soho in a tough match to become the first-ever TBS champion. The decision to award the championship to a very young wrestler is hazardous, with certain downsides to go along with the numerous benefits.
The match itself was a delightful back-and-forth that presented a basic and effective tale about a shrewd veteran attempting to take down a much larger opponent. The match exemplified the two wrestlers’ polarities. Jade, a massive muscular beast of a woman, walks to the ring, channeling the thunder and might of X-Storm. Men’s Compare it to Ruby Soho’s frantic energy. In a scorching yellow and white ‘God Save that b***h’ jacket, a lady skips to the ring singing her own tune. The two women are diametrically opposed and make excellent adversaries.
The match was fantastic, but I can’t help but believe it exposed Jade a little too much. There were a few mistimed areas and occasions where she was out of position, but these are minor annoyances that come with practice and time. It’s easy to forget that Jade has only been in the wrestling profession for a little over two years, despite her great looks and natural physical prowess. Despite these hiccups, the match was good, and the significance of the conclusion was clear. Jade is the world’s second Black AEW champion and the first Black TBS champion. She has two incredible accomplishments that cannot be taken away from her.
So, what is the next step for AEW? The obvious choice is a long championship reign that establishes the title’s legitimacy and Jade as a legitimate star. It might be utilized as a testing ground for new and emerging talent. However, with more experienced ring generals like Thunder Rosa and Ruby utilized to bring Jade over, it appears that this isn’t the intention. My fear is that, similar to the Ladies’ Championship, the TBS title will center on a small group of women, notably Jade, rather than attempting to raise the whole roster.
Regardless of Jade’s or the TBS championship’s destiny, this is a make-or-break moment for AEW. AEW has been slowly but steadily expanding its women’s section. This momentum has been greatly aided by the TBS championship. However, as compared to their male colleagues, the women of AEW are yet to be considered equals. Hopefully, Jade’s reign will be the much-needed shot in the arm for the women’s division.
The ‘brass ring’ metaphor has hung over the wrestling industry in recent years. Despite the saying’s antiquity, it is still applicable in this case. The TBS Title is a golden ring ready to be seized. This ring, however, is not for Jade. She has a lot of potentials and a bright future as a babyface, heel, or somewhere in between. Jade will continue to demonstrate why she is such a b***h. The brass ring I’m referring to hangs above Tony Khan’s head. AEW has boldly hammered its breast since its founding, proclaiming itself the home for opportunity and diversity, a promise that has yet to be delivered.
AEW cannot afford for this championship to follow in the footsteps of the Women’s Championship. With the champion on a pedestal well above the rest of the field, the remainder of the team competes for attention. If this is done, the corporation will be dangerously near to having the brass ring slide even further out of grasp.