Unsanctioned Lights Out Match
Thunder Rosa vs. Dr. Britt Baker DMD
March 11, 2021
It’s rare that a match can solidify someone as a promotion’s top star while getting their opponent to the level of a big star, but that’s exactly what Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa did with their fantastic performance on the March 11, 2021 episode of AEW Dynamite.
Both wrestlers showed tremendous toughness and skill getting through this bout. The image of a bloodied Baker is one of the most memorable in the short history of AEW. This was recognized as such by the promotion and instantly made into a popular t-shirt. There were also several impressive spots, ranging from the creative counter of Baker’s Lockjaw finisher by Rosa rolling her over into thumbtacks to force the release of the hold; to Rosa’s Death Valley Bomb on Baker into the ladder; to the finish of Rosa hitting a Fire Thunder River off the ring apron through a table to the floor.
On top of just the moves and chaos of this match, what really set this match apart was the emotion shown by Baker and Rosa. The build-up to this match was one of the best in AEW history, strongly establishing a hatred between the two. They were able to build upon that during the match, which was key to separating this from just a very good plunder match. Rosa and Baker managed to make these crazy spots not feel like they were just doing spots to look cool, but that they were actually doing everything they could to defeat their opponent, if not end their career. More than any other match I saw in 2021, this felt like a fight where both people really wanted to hurt their opponent.
The two put together one of the greatest women’s matches ever between two U.S.-based wrestlers. With all due respect to the many great bouts put on by the NXT Four Horsewomen over the past few years, this is my pick for the best women’s match to ever take place on the continent. I have this as my fourth-best match of the year as I write this, over the output of the likes of Kenny Omega, Rey Fenix, Tomohiro Ishii, Drew McIntyre, Kazuchika Okada, Roman Reigns, Will Ospreay, and Jon Moxley. When you’re able to outwork the likes of those eight men, you more than deserve recognition.