AEW Dynamite will celebrate its one-year anniversary this week. And while there's a lot to praise about the young show one of the biggest criticisms has been how it has handled its Women's Division. Namely, the division doesn't get the same kind of attention each week that the singles and tag divisions do. And between the COVID-19 pandemic keeping stars like Riho and Bea Priestley (who has since been released) off television and injuries to key roleplayers like Britt Baker and Kris Statlander, plans for the division have needed to change numerous times.
Baker, who recently returned from her injury, addressed those criticisms in a new interview with Uproxx, noting that fans need to tune in whenever women's matches happen on Dynamite.
"...We got hit hard — our women's division, because of the COVID outbreak," Baker said. "Half our roster is international talent, so we immediately didn't have access to any of those women. Then Kris Statlander got hurt, and I got hurt. And there's only so much time on AEW Dynamite to start with. And I know there are plans to grow the women's division, but at the same time we need help from the fans at home too! We can't have the women's segments being the lowest rated or the lowest views each week. Because at the end of the day it's a business, and AEW needs ratings.
"It's no secret we're in a war every Wednesday night with NXT, so we need the ratings up," she added. "So for the fans that are so encouraging and saying "We want more women, we want more women!" that's great, but please don't turn the channel when the women are on TV then! We want everybody to be watching the segments and cheering us on from home."
Hikaru Shida's current reign as AEW Women's World Champion recently surpassed 140 days, though she has only defended the championship twice since winning it at Double or Nothing. She'll make her third defense against Big Swole on this week's Dynamite.
Check out the full lineup for the anniversary special below:
- AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley vs. Lance Archer
- TNT Championship: Cody Rhodes vs. Orange Cassidy
- AEW World Tag Team Championships: FTR vs. The Best Friends
- AEW Women's World Championship: Hikaru Shida vs. Big Swole
- Miro & Kip Sabian vs. TBA
- MJF's "Career-Defining" Announcement