AEW in-ring performer and Head of Talent Relations, Christopher Daniels, was a recent guest of Pro Wrestling Junkies for a Q&A session. During the conversation Daniels addressed some of the criticism AEW has received over its handling of the Women’s division since the company’s debut on TNT. Fans and critics alike have voiced numerous complaints over the AEW Women’s title, the lack of TV time in comparison with the Men’s division, and a general lack of focus and clarity with the storylines and talent.
The primary areas of focus for Daniels as the head of talent relations appear to be upgrading the roster and overcoming the challenge of limited TV time.
“I feel like we’ve made some great strides as far as getting women involved in our company,” said Daniels. “The signing of Serena Deeb and Kris Statlander–we started out with Nyla Rose, Hikaru Shida and Riho. Adding those girls and talent, like Ivelisse and Diamante, these are all steps to building a viable women’s division. I feel like the difficulty we have is having a single two-hour show every week, and it’s difficult with all these people fighting to be on TV.”
“The women are in that same boat,” continued Daniels. “It’s difficult to show everybody off when you only have two hours. When Turner extended us for four years, they talked about doing a second show. When that second show comes around, hopefully we’ll have a better opportunity to showcase more men and women. With that added real estate, we should see more people take that opportunity to come to the forefront and show what they can do.”
In June of this year AEW officially signed Anna Jay and Abadon. While Anna Jay quickly made a splash in the women’s Deadly Draw Tag Team Tournament and as a member of The Dark Order, “The Living Dead Girl” hasn’t been seen on Dynamite outside of her debut match in which she defeated Anna Jay. Despite her lack of time on live-TV, Abadon has been slowly but surely working her way up the rankings by securing victories on AEW Dark.
Daniels is extremely high on Abadon and thinks that she could be a huge star for the company if given the right guidance and mentoring.
“I feel like the difficulty with that style of gimmick is just like you said – less is more,” Daniels said. “There’s a natural tendency to want to do everything you can do, but that doesn’t serve that particular kind of character. The toughest part for her is trying to decide what part she should show or can show as an athlete. I feel like she’s learning that. A lot of people are taking her under their wing in the back and sort of letting her know that, ‘Hey, this is something you don’t want to give too much away on,’ or, ‘This is something you probably should pull back on’.
“You don’t want to give away the store, so to speak, in your first couple months of being a character,” Daniels continued. “You want to leave some to be desired; you want to have somewhere to go. You want to have that trajectory and longevity.”
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