With Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D sitting at the top of AEW Women’s World division, it’s a question of who will be the one to knock her down. Anna Jay sits nicely in a perfect position to grab the number one contender’s spot. With the Dark Order in her corner, her popularity has never been stronger. But it’s her relationship with Tay Conti that has successfully advanced her character. But could it be Tay who faces Britt Baker instead of her partner?
Her WWE Run
Taynara Melo de Carvalho better known by her ring name Tay Conti is a Brazilian Black belt in judo and blue belt in Jiu-jitsu. Conti was originally signed by WWE to a development deal in 2016. Whilst, with the company, she competed in both Mae Young Classic tournaments and also on the WrestleMania 34 pre-show. On the pre-show, she competed in the women’s battle royal to become the first Brazilian to compete at WrestleMania. Sadly, Conti would be released by WWE in April of 2020 in what was known as Black Wednesday. A date in wrestling history where WWE released talent during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Tay Conti spoke about working for WWE on AEW Unrestricted podcast and how unhappy she was.
“I was asking for my release for a couple of months, I was not happy. I was so unhappy there that I didn’t have any [backup] plans, I was just like, ‘I want to get out of here. I’m not happy.’ I never thought about, ‘What am I gonna do if they give me my release? I never thought about it. I was like, ‘I just need to be done with them.’”
“Of course, they said no a couple of times. We had a bunch of meetings. I was like, ‘Nope, I’m just done. Please let me go.’ So at the last one, they told me, ‘No, you’re not going,’ and they mentioned AEW. I remember they told me, ‘No, you’re not gonna go to AEW. [We’ve invested a lot of money in you]. You are a star.’”
“I’m like, ‘Yes, you guys don’t use me here. So I’ve got to go somewhere, but it’s not there. I know nobody there. I have no plans to go to AEW.’ I had no plans because I had no contacts at all. At the end of the day, we figured it out. They said no, and I still had two years in my contract. I was like, well, [what can I do?] I’m gonna be here. They told me, ‘Okay, you can be at home. We’re going to pay you. You can be at home.’ I’m like, ‘No, because I know everybody’s going to forget about me, and I won’t be able to work.’ I was like, ‘No, it’s okay. I’m going to make it two more years.’”
All Elite Wrestling
Tay Conti made her AEW debut by teaming with Anna Jay in the AEW Women’s Tag Team: Deadly Draw tournament and advancing two the semi-finals. Unfortunately, they were defeated by Diamante and Ivelisse. After the loss, Conti struck up a friendship along with Anna Jay with The Dark Order where she would become a member of the group. In early 2021, Conti would pick up victories on AEW Dark which would see her move up the Women’s rankings.
Her popularity grew with the fans, and she would first receive an NWA Women’s Championship shot against Serena Deeb but would be unsuccessful. Her ranking continued to grow with victories eventually reaching number one where she would receive her AEW Women’s Championship match against Hikaru Shida on Dynamite. Unsuccessful again, Conti slipped down the rankings.
The Bunny would offer Tay Conti a place in the Hardy Family Office but her rejection led to The Bunny recruiting Penelope Ford and both focused on Conti. Beating on Conti, Anna Jay would make her return from injury and help her tag team partner in their battle with Bunny and Ford. Anna Jay and Tay Conti defeated The Bunny and Penelope Ford to end their feud on an episode of Dynamite.
Tay Conti spoke about her improvement in the ring over her time with AEW:
“Because I’m happy 100 percent. That’s the most important thing. Of course, I have a great trainer. Dustin’s doing great work with me, and I’m grateful for him. I have more time to watch matches, but all of this is happening because I’m happy with myself. I can be who I am without being judged. I can try things. I feel that people trust me. I don’t have that pressure on my back every single time like, ‘Oh, should I say hi? Should I walk with my right foot or my left?’ I don’t have that. So, that’s why I’m happy, and I can do better. I feel like every time you are happy, everything is better. You can do your best.”
With Tony Khan announcing that a new champion will be crowned becoming the first-ever AEW TBS Champion. Tay Conti is in a very good place to become the very first champion. Her popularity along with Anna Jay has put them in the forefront of the babyface side of the Women’s division. An underdog run for Conti in the tournament, along with the support of The Dark Order, could see her become a bigger star than she already is.
— TAYNARA MELO (@TayConti_) October 7, 2021
But Conti shouldn’t settle her sights just there. She should look past the TBS Championship and look at the AEW Women’s Championship. She is currently third in the rankings having lost only 4 singles matches in 2021. A couple of more wins could see her receive a shot at the championship and with the right build, defying the odds against Baker and her henchwomen Jamie Hayter and Rebel, we could see the first-ever Brazilian Women’s World champion crowned sooner rather than later.
Pics courtesy of AEW and Scott Lesh Photography