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TUESDAYS WITH TRAPPER - Feb 28, 2023: If Thunder Rosa Returns Soon,

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

What Does Tony Khan Do With The Former AEW Women’s Champion?

It's looking like the storm has cleared in the AEW Women's locker room between Thunder Rosa and her fellow competitors, so can we expect to see her back on top of the promotion again?

By Trapper Tom Leturgey - February 28, 2023

It was August 24 of last year when Thunder Rosa gave a tearful goodbye to the AEW Women’s Championship, noting that a back injury was the culprit. Unfortunately, her time at the top of the Women’s division wasn’t as fruitful as many of us would have imagined.

But Thunder Rosa was twerking last week for subscribers of her paywall platforms. Could she be headed back to in-ring action?

It will soon be a year since Melissa Cervantes, 36, defeated Britt Baker, ending her 290-day run as AEW Women’s champion. Some 172 days later, Thunder Rosa handed the belt back over and was practically never mentioned again on Wednesday and Friday nights.

Her reign at the top seemed snakebitten from the start. So far, the story between Baker, 31, and Cervantes was the best-told, long-distance tale in the AEW Women’s division. There was the “Unsanctioned, Lights Out, Anything Goes” match between the two in which Rosa pinned Baker after hitting a “Thunder Driver” onto a table outside the ring. Moments earlier, the two were slammed into and crawled around thumbtacks. Rosa was the winner, but Baker (with her blood-soaked face) became the icon. Thunder Rosa defeated Baker for the championship at St. Patrick’s Slam, held in San Antonio, Texas, and inside a Steel Cage. The new AEW Women’s Champion was shown infrequently on television and only defended the title a few times.

It was puzzling as the former NWA Women’s champion was popular and at one time a tireless self-promoter. When AEW was in Pittsburgh, Thunder Rosa wasn’t featured in person but was shown on a video. In “Brittsburgh,” Thunder Rosa–the top babyface in the division–was heartily booed. She did make an appearance at the same Western Pennsylvania independent promotion in which Baker trained. Baker did not appear there, and Thunder Rosa defeated a local talent, for approval from the fans.

Rosa compared her rivalry with Baker to that of Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. She probably didn’t even believe that, but it did make wrestling headlines. Then, amid accusations of backstage heat and sandbagging opponents, Thunder Rosa suddenly and without much explanation, simply went away.

She didn’t travel with the AEW crew, instead (according to social media posts) made personal appearances in a variety of places, visited family in her native Mexico, and continued to help build the Mission Pro Wrestling brand in San Antonio. There was even talk of her teenage son, Anakin, training to wrestle. It certainly would have been great optics to see a mother and son in the sport together. I’m not sure that’s ever happened before.

Then, a lot of that vanished.

In November, there were headlines that there was no timetable for her return. There still isn’t. But there’s the dancing. A week or so ago, there was another wrestling news item that seemed to indicate that she met with some of the women's talent–including Baker–but no results of the meeting were made public. Thunder Rosa provided commentary from the Spanish announce table when AEW was recently in the Lone Star State. She never made an appearance on TV, which was interesting.

Since that time, Toni Storm won the AEW “Interim” Women’s Championship and stormed out to the ring most Wednesdays. Another popular wrestler, Storm was “supposed” to win against Thunder Rosa in a match between the two. Rumor had it that Thunder Rosa didn’t want to give up the throne so quickly. Then, the back injury. Kris Statlander has been injured twice during her stay in AEW and she posted workout videos often. But then again, that was a while ago too. The most-recent AEW Women’s Game Changer is Jamie Hayter. She defeated Storm for the title, and soon thereafter, the “Interim” tag was erased from both reigns. Hayter, an AEW home-grown talent, and Baker have organically switched from the “heel” entrance door to the “babyface” door as Seraya and Toni Storm have been switched to the dark side.

So, has the competitive door slammed shut for Thunder Rosa? Let’s just say hypothetically, she returns very soon. Traditionally, she would be launched back into the competition for the AEW Women’s Championship. That’s not going to happen. There’s no place for her.

That would leave Jade Cargill and the nearly-forgotten TBS Championship. Statlander was the perfect foil for the 53-0 Cargill, but then again… an injury. Forget Flair, Ripley, heck even NWA Women’s Champion Kamille and Impact’s Jordynne Grace…Cargill is the most impressive athlete in all of women’s wrestling…even though she remains as green as the She-Hulk costume she wore that one time. Cargill towers over Thunder Rosa (that’s nearly always the case, regardless of the opponent).

Plus, this would give the fans an opportunity to decide what they wanted to do about the former AEW Women’s titleholder. There seems to be a sentiment for a Cargill babyface turn. Would the fans turn Thunder Rosa heel? She would play that role well, even though it appears she WANTS the fans to like her. It would be beneficial to Cargill, who has been fed afterthought week after week.

Red Velvet is far too undersized to be taken seriously in most matches, let alone against a former basketball player like Cargill. The TBS champion doesn’t have any natural rivals, even Nyla Rose was dispatched toot-sweet. The AEW Women’s Division has somewhat of a storyline with Baker and Hayter, as well as Saraya and Storm all attempting to woo Ruby Soho.

None of that has room for a returning Thunder Rosa. Meanwhile, Jade Cargill has nothing to do... and no one to twerk with.



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