The year 2021 belonged to Dr Britt Baker D.M.D who had a standout year. Starting at Beach Break with a terrific bout against Thunder Rosa, it set up the highly regarded rematch fought under unsanctioned rules. This match has won many Match of the Year Awards and even though Baker lost, It propelled her into superstardom that had begun in 2020 with the development of her character during a layoff through injury. At Double or Nothing in May 2021, she won the AEW Women’s World Championship defeating Hikaru Shida. With her victory, she rightfully became the face of the AEW Women’s division and AEW itself. She has gone from strength to strength as the leader of the AEW Women’s division and, her popularity has grown to a point that she is considered one of the pillars of All Elite Wrestling.
But the question now is, has she outgrown the Women’s Division? The doctor has defeated every challenger that has come her way, with her most recent defence against Rhio, AEW Women’s first-ever champion at Battle of the Belts. The result never seemed to be in doubt and Rhio quite frankly, as hard as AEW tried, didn’t come across as a legitimate threat to dethrone the champ. Whilst Tay Conti and Anna Jay may be the future, they are years away from reaching the Doctor’s level of popularity. When it comes to Thunder Rosa and Ruby Riott, two potential challengers who could dethrone Britt. In any other promotion, they could carry their company. But living in the shadow of The Era of D.M.D, it’s going to take some strong booking for them to come across as threats. Ruby Riott, whilst has all the tools to be a champion, losing two championship matches in the first couple of months of her AEW career has shown that she isn’t seen as someone who can carry a championship yet.
Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D is aware of how far above the rest of the other women on the roster she is, discussing her skills in a Inside The Ropes interview she conducted recently
“I pray for the day when someone can hang with me on the mic in the women’s division. That’s how I feel about that right now. I will say, Ruby was pretty fiery—I think that was one of my favourite back-and-forth promos that I’ve ever had. Other than that, I encourage the women’s division to step up on the mic. Come at me, because I’ll give it back ten times better. I think they already know that.”
Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D has become a once in a lifetime performer as her star power has risen so highly that she now outshines every other woman on the roster and seems such a big star for the promotion that she outshines the majority of the male roster too.
The feeling is that maybe Tony Khan is seeing that the monster that he has developed has become too big, too popular, and after knocking back challenger after challenger that has come for her championship he doesn’t know how to deal with it. She has now entered into a programme with her fiancé Adam Cole. For past few weeks, The Doctor has left her entourage, Rebel and Jamie Hayter in the back. She helped make the save for The Elite in their feud with Best Friends, taking down Kris Statlander with ease. It seems a step away from the women’s division and highlighting her more in a prominent way, aligning her with perhaps the most popular group in the promotion is a new way to gain more out of her popularity and give others a helping hand from it.
It’s a mystery who will be the one to take the championship away from Baker, there doesn’t seem to be a viable challenger in the near future. While her great rivalry with Thunder Rosa is a perfect storyline to arch back to, she has the star power to replace Baker at the top if given the same presentation as the champion. Given more meaningful victories and presented like a real threat. Rosa is the biggest female superstar outside of Baker, her appearances in other promotions have received big ovations from the crowd. Whilst the doctor has defeated every challenger that has come her way, the one female could break out as the huge star of AEW, that is Jade Cargill. Cargill, an extraordinary athlete is the one performer like Rosa, with the right direction, can be seen as equal to Baker, but she is the newly crowned TBS Champion and a dream match between the two seems far away.
Baker also knows her own worth, discussing Brandon Walker on the Rasslin podcast. Baker compares herself to the value of MJF.
“Honestly, I am worth more than Max,” Baker said. “If you owned a wrestling company in today’s landscape/climate, is MJF worth more money, or is Britt Baker worth more money? Me and Max have these conversations with each other all the time. We’re very competitive. He thinks he’s more important, I think I’m more important. I built an entire women’s division from the ground up.”
Being name-dropped by CM Punk in his first promo shows that Britt Baker is one of the main attractions for AEW. She will be champion for a long time yet, I’m sure. But the biggest task will be keeping her in the limelight after she’s dropped her championship and having someone in the wings to replace her. AEW presentation of their women needs to change to match the same level of hype and time it has given to Baker. Allowing someone to be seen as equal as the division has all the talent it needs to thrive.
To continue Baker popularity, having her be a member of The Elite alongside The Young Bucks, Cole and Red Dragon is a stroke of genius that will see AEW continue to reap the benefits of having her above the rest of the AEW Women’s locker room if she and AEW can maintain her popularity.
All pictures are courtesy of All Elite Wrestling