Thunder Rosa defeated Britt Baker in an unsanctioned Light’s Out Match on Wednesday. It was the first women’s match to headline AEW Dynamite. It was brutal, bloody, and bold. Chairs, tables, ladders, and lots of thumbtacks were used throughout this crescendo of violence to settle the score of a bitter feud.
Rosa and Baker didn’t put on a great women’s match. It was a great match, period. The weapons and blood weren’t used simply for the sake of violence but to highlight the contempt both wrestlers have for one another. The psychology of the match was executed to near perfection.
It’s hard to watch a match with a lot of hype because it risks falling short of elevated expectations. The show was filmed last week in Jacksonville, FL, and even spoiler reporters refused to reveal anything about the match, saying it needs to be seen to be believed.
That’s high praise in an internet age where information is everything, preserving the main event’s performances for premiere consumption.
It’s fitting that AEW’s much-maligned women’s division delivered its crowning moment during Women’s History Month. Thunder Rosa and Britt Baker put on the best match on a fully-loaded episode of Dynamite, making their accomplishment more pronounced. Their performance elevated AEW while increasing their own star power in the process.
There are a handful of matches that are considered the best in AEW’s two-year history. The Rosa/Baker match is now added to the list. As women outperforming men becomes more usual than unusual, eventually, gender won’t be a distinctive thought when taking in a wrestling show. It will just be a great moment, and that’s what Rosa and Baker accomplished.