There’s been some discussion about AEW introducing the women’s tag team titles. There seemed to be some tease when AEW randomly made a Tag Team Tournament Cup in 2019 with Ivelisse and Diamante winning the competition. Nothing ever came out of it, but there seems to be a push these days to introduce AEW Women’s Tag Team belts by several names like Saraya and Nyla Rose.
Tony Khan was questioned about the possibility of introducing the belts back at the Double or Nothing media call in 2022 and his answer made it clear that he was open to adding those belts in the future. In concept, the women’s division adding a set of tag team belts can certainly help showcase more female talents and give women’s tag team wrestling more of a spotlight. However, at this point and time, it would be a mistake if the company introduced those onto their roster.
No Foundation Has Been Set For Women’s Tag Team Wrestling
The biggest mistake WWE made when they introduced the women’s tag team titles in 2019 is that they didn’t build a foundation that warranted them in the first place. There weren’t established tag teams on the roster that fans connected with. In fact, during that period, the men’s tag team division was in a weak state, so it would’ve been shocking if WWE treated the women any better.
The company has yet to recover from the quick introduction of those belts. The champions consist of a makeshift tag team and the only legitimate teams on the main roster barely get any screen time to establish their characters and value within the division.
AEW is in the same position. There aren’t any established women’s tag teams and Tony Khan himself is struggling to book the singles division. There needs to be tag teams on the roster first. Build the layers for a successful tag team division then introduce the belts when the division is thriving at an all-time high.
The Women’s Tag Team Division Can’t Just Be About Wrestling
The Dudleys, Edge & Christian, The Hardys were during the high point of WWE’s tag team division not just because of their athletic ability, but because the company took the time to give them stories and establish their personalities. What makes tag team wrestling exciting is that the division can do things that can’t be done in singles wrestling.
That’s why The Young Bucks have been able to stand out in modern wrestling because they introduced a new style of tag team wrestling that lives on in the modern era. If you look through every promotion: whether it’s TNA, ROH, New Japan, WWE, or even AEW themselves, there’s a deeper level of care and athleticism that is vital to the success of tag teams.
The Briscoe Brothers were such an incredible team because Jay and Mark were a charismatic duo who knew how to carry themselves on the mic and consistently innovated inside of the ring. On the opposite is FTR, a duo that’s more about technical, old-school wrestling, but has developed a bravado that highlights the camaraderie of friendship, but also exposes the ugliness of relationships from a tag team perspective.
The biggest issue with AEW is that wrestling is the core focus. This is a sport, so obviously, wrestling should be front and center, but the most successful tag teams bring more than just wrestling ability to the table.
Notably, Tony emphasizes dream matches more than story, and though that story element is not lost in the company, creative doesn’t have a strong track record of bringing out the best of tag team wrestling beyond what’s inside of the ring. That takes time and patience, and since the women tend to get one segment per episode, it’s doubtful that will change if the belts are introduced.
Tony Khan Is Struggling With The Single’s Women’s Division
The booking between ROH and AEW is night and day. The former has a strong division that’s being anchored by the talented Athena. Genuine stories that build character and momentum have secretly made ROH a solid brand for the women’s division. Sadly, the same can’t be said for AEW's women’s division.
Adding the women’s tag team titles should mean more screen time for the ladies, but Dynamite and Collision rarely have more than one segment per episode these days. If Tony Khan isn’t booking the women’s division properly, adding a set of tag team titles won’t change that. Sure, he may have fun with the belts in the beginning, but for the division to truly excel there needs to be consistent quality and investment in it. It can’t just be about the tag team champions and their challengers of the month; it has to see the teams outside of the division build up momentum through feuds and character-building.
Creative needs to focus on fixing the women’s singles division first. If AEW introduced the belts now with the current standing of their booking of the female roster, the division would quickly fall flat due to the inconsistency and lack of quality programs.