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AEW Women's Tag Team Cup results: Two first round matchups

Two weeks after announcing the first Women’s Tag Team Cup, the tourney launched Monday night on YouTube with two matches, three debuts, and two teams advancing into the semifinals.

As expected, the presentation has a unique open and unique song, giving it a different feel from Dynamite or Dark.

Also unique: the announce team featuring the debuting Veda Scott playing color commentator to Tony Schiavone’s lead. Perhaps Scott will get her opportunity as one of the other women not yet announced.

Also unique, pt. 2: Shaul Guerrero, formerly Raquel Diaz in WWE developmental, is the ring announcer. She’s married to WWE’s Aiden English in another cross-promotional romance.

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Former WCW and WWF women’s champion Madusa came out to introduce the tournament in a relatively quick and somewhat unnecessary promo.

We got the first of several looks at the various combatants from “earlier today” drawing their colored chips. The first was with the Nightmare Sisters (Brandi Rhodes and Allie). After news broke over the weekend they were paired up, we found out how: Rhodes drew a red chip and Allie looked inside to pull the other red chip as Rhodes and interviewer Dasha were distracted. Perhaps Chris Harrington needs to be involved in these proceedings next time in order to maintain credibility.

We then got Penelope Ford (with Kip Sabian) pulling her chip and learning she would be teaming with Mel who just happened to be there.

First Round: Nightmare Sisters (w/Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall) defeated Penelope Ford and Mel (w/Kip Sabian)

Guerrero accidentally said this was “a first round qualifier” but Schiavone later clarified.

This match was ok, but was the weaker of the two on the show. As we learned later, the Sisters deal is more of a storyline for what I think is a full Rhodes heel faction but we’ll get there in a bit.

Ford really stood out in this match as she continues to improve while Mel was also good and visually a much different personality, both in look and body type, than the other three involved in the match.

Not surprisingly, Allie took most of the match for the Sisters, getting beat up while getting her own offense as well. She got tangled up with Allie and distracted the referee as Mel hit a chokebomb on Rhodes for a visual pin, inadvertently helping her team.

The end came when Allie raked Mel’s eyes, leaving her to turn into a spear by Rhodes for the pin. I didn’t love the finish, especially given how the size disparity was played up during the match.

Afterward, Rhodes definitely was giving off those heel vibes which would play out more at the end of the show.

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We got the same Nyla Rose/Ariana Andrews team reveal from Wednesday’s Dynamite and then a clip from “earlier today” where Anna Jay pulled her chip and learned Tay Conti (again, just standing there) would be her partner. 

One production issue: Dasha had the same dress on for both Wednesday’s and “earlier today”.

First Round: Anna Jay and Tay Conti defeated Nyla Rose and Ariana Andrew (w/Vickie Guerrero)

Jay was flanked by the whole Dark Order for her entrance as she is now fully part of the group. 

Despite some rolling their eyes at her signing, Andrew accounted for herself pretty well in the match. Even though this was taped, I didn’t notice any blatant botches and she didn’t appear nervous. 

The story of the match was the monster Rose showing her dominance when she was in there and then being weakened by Jay and Conti working over her leg, eventually grounding her and evening the odds. Conti used a variety of kicks and looked pretty good in her AEW debut. There was more of a heel/heel vibe with both teams which somewhat hurt the dynamic.

Eventually, Andrew got the hot tag which soon led to a sudden finish. Andrew hit a suplex and then did a split cover on Conti. Jay then broke it up with a rolling neckbreaker and pinned her for the upset.

Afterward, Rose pretend to give Andrew props but flipped her off and clotheslined her instead. Conti checked on Andrew afterward so maybe there are plans for her to be a face.

I could see Andrew getting another look on Dark, especially if she is local and wants to keep going. 

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Former WrestlingObserver.com scribe Alex Marvez interviewed both winning teams separately backstage. Rhodes said this was the first night she realized she was a big star here and played up the fact she has an action figure and so on. She told Allie to keep rubbing shoulders with her and maybe she could experience some of the same success and wanted to talk about it over a drink. 

With this storyline and some of the Cody characteristics over the past couple months on Dynamite, it feels like this is a slow burn to a big heel turn for the group which could be a lot of fun when the fans are back.

Marvez asked Conti about her debut and she put over the team’s looks and skills. He asked Jay about the Dark Order but she only wanted to talk about the tourney...and then didn’t say anything about the tourney.

We finally got brackets to close the show with tonight’s matches on opposite ends. There was no announcement on next week, but we do know Ivelisse and Diamante are one of the teams, leaving three more to go.

And with that, the 38 minute show was a wrap.

Final Thoughts

I’m a regular Dynamite viewer and this felt pretty missable, but I’m glad AEW is using YouTube to experiment with ideas like this even though it feels like Dark might have been a better option. The matches were a bit long and with many of the wrestlers having not got a lot of action in lately and being unfamiliar with each other, there was a bit of clunkiness.

Regardless, we’ll see what interesting debuts and pairings we get next week. At worst, the company gets to deepen their female roster when several of their key talents aren't available due to travel or injury.