AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup – Week Two continued to be a welcome addition to the AEW slate.
Often in wrestling, a tournament is an excuse to fill TV time. Something to pad the weekly TV shows and hopefully placate the segment the audience that’s there for the mat-based stuff.
So far, the AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup tournament has served to highlight portions of the AEW women’s division that don’t typically get TV time.
If anything, that’s its weakness. It leaves us wondering, “Why can’t we get this stuff on AEW: Dynamite?”
But, be happy with what you have, as they say. And the AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup – Week Two left this reviewer very happy.
The Deadly Draw, Part One
The show opens with Big Swole drawing her partner. And it’s Lil Swole.
Lil Swole was last seen in the Casino Battle Royale at All Out last year.
Leva Bates draws Rache Chanel as her partner. To date, this tournament’s been a great way to get some exposure to women who haven’t gotten a lot of TV time.
If I didn’t know any better, AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup – Week Two might signify that AEW knows how to run a wrestling company.
Quarterfinal Match: Leva Bates & Rache Chanel (W/ Peter Avalon) Vs. Big Swole & Lil Swole
Rache Chanel enters first, making her AEW debut at AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup – Week Two. Okay, I like Leva Bates, but the shushing schtick is a bit much. There is a cute moment as Leva breaks the ice by giving Rache a book on fashion. That’s adorable.
Swole & Swole, Attorneys At Law, are out next. Where is Swole Nation, anyway? Is that somewhere between Death Valley and Parts Unknown? Also, props to Tony Schiavone for referencing Shimmer. I forgot that pro wrestling announcers don’t all pretend that their company is the only to ever exist.
Lil Swole and Rache start out. They lock up with Lil Swole getting the early advantage with an armlock, but Rache rolls through. But Lil Swole counters that into a grapevine submission followed by backdrops for extra torque. Hey, I remember ring psychology. Lil Swole adds a knee to the shoulder blades for good measure. She goes for another armbar, but Rache makes it to the ropes.
Leva tags in and immediately gets rolled up by Lil Swole. It only gets two. Lil Swole knocks Rache off the apron and goes after her on the floor for some reason. Yeah, okay, this doesn’t make sense. Big Swole comes out and carries her back into the ring. Now Big Swole tags in and immediately takes Leva down with a headlock takeover.
Big Swole takes Leva down with a shoulder tackle followed by a standing dropkick. It only gets two. She tags Lil Swole back in, and they double team Leva. Big Swole hits a superkick, and Lil Swole cinches in a neck-and-arm stretch, but Rache runs in to break it up as Avalon distracts the referee. Lil Swole suplexes Rache, but Leva hits a backstabber for two.
The referee kicks Rache out of the ring, and Leva hits a fisherman’s suplex for two. Leva takes control, clubbing Lil Swole across the back with forearms. She drags Lil Swole to her corner and tags in Rache, who hits a double ax-handle. The heels isolate Lil Swole in the corner, and Leva tags back in for a swinging knee drop to the chest. Rache tags back in again and hits a snapmare into an abdominal stretch. But Lil Swole powers out of it and lays in the fists and knees. Big Swole makes the hot tag and goes right after Rache.
Rache dodges a couple of strikes. Leva comes in to run interference, but Big Swole dispatches her easily. Big Swole hits a powerslam for two. Leva hits a spear out of nowhere, and both Big Swole and Rache are down. The Librarian tags herself in and goes for a double underhook, but Big Swole backrops her into a pinning predicament, but Rache breaks it up. Leva manages to reverse, but the referee is distracted by Rache and Lil Swole fighting. She goes to attack Big Swole, but the Swoles hit a tandem DDT for the pin to advance.
The weirdness of Lil Swole ignoring the legal woman in the ring was, well, weird. But this was a pretty solid opener. AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup – Week Two is off to a good start.
Winners: Big Swole & Lil Swole
Match Rating: ***
The Deadly Draw, Part Two
Backstage, Ivelisse draws Diamante as a partner.
Madusa interrupts the next backstage segment and informs Dasha that she’s in the tournament. Um. Wait, is Madusa, like, running the tournament? When did that happen? I thought she was just a legacy addition to unveil the trophy. Anyway.
She draws Rachel Ellering as a partner. Okay, so we’re all about debuts at AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup – Week Two.
That was weird.
Quarterfinal Match: Ivelisse & Diamante Vs. Dasha & Rachel Ellering
I like that Dasha and Ellering are both just happy to be there. No way this works out well for them at AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup – Week Two. Because wrestling, you see.
That should be nicely contrasted by the fact that Ivelisse and Diamante just wrestled on AEW: Dynamite a couple weeks ago.
Ivelisse and Dasha start the match, and Ivelisse beats the holy hell out of Dasha. Dasha goes up top and hits a kind of botchy armdrag and kips up into a handspring elbow in the corner. A dropkick from Dasha follows, and Diamante tags in.
Diamante and Dasha lock up, and Dasha transitions into an armbar. She tags in Ellering, and Ellering maintains the focus on the arm. Ellering cinches in a headlock, but Diamante pushes her off only to eat a shoulder tackle off the ropes. Both women dodge attacks off the ropes, but Ellering hits a running back elbow for two.
Dasha tags herself back in, and they double team Diamante with a tandem suplex. And Dasha hits a somersault splash onto Diamante, but it only gets two. Tony continues to break every one of Vince’s announcer rules by acknowledging that both Dwayne Johnson and his reality shows exist. WWE people? Referenced on AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup – Week Two? WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?!
She pulls Diamante back up and goes for a suplex. But Diamante blocks and takes Dasha down with a clothesline. It only gets a one-count. Ivelisse tags in, and they double-team Dasha in the corner. Ellering tries to protest the double-team, but because she’s a dumb babyface, Diamante and Ivelisse maintain the advantage.
Ivelisse cinches Dasha in a lotus lock, but Dasha bridges upward for a one-count. A frustrated Ivelisse goes for a pin but only gets two. Diamante comes back in and goes for another headlock. Dasha starts to break free, so Diamante starts kneeing her in the face. It gets a two-count. She tags Ivelisse in again, and htey keep double-teaming Dasha in their corner. Diamante hits a running elbow and throws her at Ivelisse, who hits an inverted DDT for two. Ivelisse loses it and starts pounding Dasha on the mat.
Back to the heels’ corner, and Diamante tags in again. A European uppercut sends Dasha flailing backwards into a double inverted suplex for two. Ivelisse is back in again, and she introduces Dasha’s face to the neutral corner. She goes for a spinning kick, but Dasha rolls through and tags in Ellering. Ellering cleans house and hits a running senton for two. Diamante tries to tie Ellering up in the ropes, but she ducks and Ivelisse knocks Diamante off the apron. Ellering scores with a right hand into a stinger splash followed by an inverted Russian legsweep.
She hits a legdrop from the second rope, but Diamante runs in to break up the count. Dasha comes in for the double-team. Dasha tags in. She tries to whip Ellering into the corner onto Ivelisse, but Diamante pulls her out of the way, and Ellering crashes into the corner. Dasha goes for a leglock, but Ivelisse kicks her in the face and tags in Diamante. Diamante does some acrobatics into a Stunner. She goes after Ellering to keep her out of the ring, but when she goes for the pinfall it only gets two.
Ivelisse tags back in and hits a destroyer for the pin to advance on AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup – Week Two.
Dasha could use some more polish, as some of her moves were very telegraphed. But this was still a really good match.
Winners: Ivelisse & Diamante
Match Rating: ***
Alex Marvez catches up with the winners from AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup – Week Two.
The Swoles (Big and Lil) are riding high after their win. Oh, I’ve been misspelling “Lil” this whole time. Apparently it’s “L-I-L-apostrophe.” I stand corrected. But I’m not going back and fixing it. Also, they apparently engage in Swole-nanigans. I’m far too elderly to keep up with this.
Dasha, as mentioned earlier, was just happy to be there. She hopes to get another opportunity in an AEW ring.
Ivelisse and Diamante talk about how their mutual respect made them function as a team. And they say stuff in Spanish. I barely speak English, so.
Another week, another strong showing. AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup – Week Two was another week of solid wrestling and storytelling.
The semifinal brackets are now set. Nightmare Sisters will take on Big & Lil’ Swole, and Ivelisse & Diamante will face Tay Conti & Evil Anna Jay.
This week’s edition didn’t quite have that new-tournament smell, but it did feel like a more consistent show. And if that trend continues, Week Three should be another great show.
The AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament airs Monday nights at 7 PM/ET on the official AEW YouTube channel.
All images provided by All Elite Wrestling.
AEW Women's Tag Team Cup - Week Two
- More stuff with Big Swole & Lil Swole, please
- Another week of impressive debuts
- Simple in-ring stories told very well
- Dasha seemed to be protecting Ellering instead of the other way around.
- Some of Dasha's set-ups could've been called from space.