Started an “evolution.” Coming from WWE to be the star. A Joshi wrestling fan favorite. Being the handpicked face of the division. Getting the ball and dropping it. The look and charisma of a superstar. All these options have been at the head of the AEW Women’s Division one way or the other—especially over the past year—as Tony Khan has continued looking for answers to get this division to the point a ton of fans have pleaded for. And this isn’t to take credit from any of them as they all now play a major role in what is becoming the best women’s story in AEW of the Originals vs. Outsiders. The answer to who should be the face of the AEW Women’s Division and finally get it on track is the woman who appeared in AEW as far back as 2019 — reigning AEW World Champion, Jamie Hayter.
COVID-19, more than anything, kept Hayter out of AEW for the long term in the early going but her extended time in STARDOM that lasted up until COVID-19 forced the world to shut down, which allowed her to better her craft all the more. Her time in the promotion came to an unexpected end as by the time the world opened back up again, she was in AEW and thriving. She was one-half of the Goddess of Stardom Champions with Bea Priestley (Blair Davenport in WWE) when her time in Japan unceremoniously ended. Getting to work with the best helped her craft the hard-hitting, entertaining in-ring style that has left her as such a fan favorite as we see the moment she appears on AEW television these days.
#AEW Women's World Champion @jmehytr makes her way to the ring for the main event of #AEWRampage on TNT! pic.twitter.com/ExvNeK8G5x
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 28, 2023
The moment that beat drops, “HAYTER’S GONNA HATE” appears on the tron, and people realize Jamie Hayter is on her way to the ring, the game changes in the arena. The fans get to their feet in excitement. See the January 27 episode of Rampage, for example. A show that featured Hangman Page vs. Wheeler Yuta to kick off and the match between Hayter and Emi Sakura was the one with all the energy. All the more impressive when this is at the very end of the night after a Dynamite taping as well. She’s not only the answer but she’s the one. The biggest, most natural star this division has seen. Some will try and say her partner in crime Britt Baker but let’s be serious — that wasn’t as natural as AEW would have liked. It took multiple recreations of that character, a broken nose, and an insane match with Thunder Rosa for that popularity to ever get to its peak. Baker has done well for herself and the connection for Hayter has only helped her, but this is Hayter’s division from now on. The 27-year-old just goes out there and wrestles while having confidence ooze out of her the entire time.
More than anything, that confidence has made Hayter the favorite of the women’s division in the fans’ eyes. She’s never backed down from a challenge and more often than not has been willing to battle anyone at any time. Being the heel that doesn’t back down from a fight but instead welcomes it goes a long way. It’s rare we ever see that in wrestling nowadays. She’s clearly not a heel by any means these days but has quickly become the face of the AEW Women’s Division—whether she had the title or not. Hayter has taken on all challenges and win or lose, she has had the fans on her side. And it all managed to happen while being side by side with the polarizing dentist.
The relationship between Jamie Hayter and Britt Baker can easily be compared to one like MJF and Wardlow. Hayter, like Wardlow, was there to be the muscle behind the “star.” In time, their domination in the ring and overall aura would get them to a point where the fans wanted to see the muscle become the star. Wardlow, as we know, moved on from MJF and has seemingly fizzled out in popularity despite becoming TNT Champion. Conversely, Hayter and Baker remain aligned with one another and are now leading the “homegrown” talent in this Originals vs. Outsiders feud. It’s inevitable they’ll likely be at odds down the line, but for now, the likely scenario of them going head-to-head in a feud hasn’t been needed for Hayter to rise to the top of the division. A wonderful change from the usual story in pro wrestling.
Continuing to go on as to why Jamie Hayter has become the answer the AEW Women’s Division had been looking for for so long is to look at the simplest way to get over in the world of AEW—exciting, must-see matches. The bout with Emi Sakura is only the most recent case of this as Hayter got the Joshi legend on AEW TV for the first time in three years to deliver yet another great AEW women’s match which is something Hayter has been doing since winning the AEW Women’s World Championship at Full Gear. Her main event encounter and first defense of the title against Hikaru Shida at Holiday Bash has already been considered by many as arguably the best women’s match in AEW history with only the Light Outs Match between Thunder Rosa and Britt Baker in terms of what may be better.
Defeating Toni Storm to become AEW Women’s World Champion at Full Gear proved to be the crowning moment Hayter needed to make sure everyone is drinking the Hayterade but there’s no question that it’s AEW’s greatest women’s PPV match. All of this is to say that Hayter has put on not one, not two, but three straight big singles matches that are among the very best AEW has seen since the promotion’s beginning in 2019. And to think her reign is only just beginning. Other matches throughout the years with Riho and Thunder Rosa have only played to Hayter’s rise to the top.
The crowd’s overwhelming reaction made Jamie Hayter undeniable. Consistency at the top is what the division has long waited for. It’d be wrong to ignore what Toni Storm did as interim and the official champion, but the AEW Women’s Division having that “homegrown” talent to get them to that next level fans have been waiting for years for was more important than maybe anyone realized. When Hayter defeated Storm at Full Gear, it wasn’t a moment of “finally” because many appreciate what Storm did as champion but like I’ve said this whole article—Hayter has been the one. She’s changing the game and what to expect of an AEW Women’s World Champion moving forward. She’s well on her way to being the best to ever hold the championship with a reign that was needed.
Who knows where the AEW Women’s Division goes over the next few days, weeks, and months? Originals vs. Outsiders. Homegrown vs. Former WWE talent. Doesn’t matter. With Jamie Hayter on top, this division is on its way to being what it should’ve been from the very start—one of the best parts of AEW—much like Hayter has been over the last year. Leaders lead by example and she is everything AEW has needed.
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