Culture Magazine

AEW Star Spotlight #1 – Jamie Hayter

By Manofyesterday
AEW Star Spotlight #1 – Jamie Hayter

Image Credit: AEW

I’m beginning a series where I look at some of my favorite AEW wrestlers and talk a little bit about why I like them, what I think their shortcomings are (if any) and where I’d like to see their stories go. Since I come from the same town as the current AEW Women’s Champion, Jamie Hayter, I thought she would be a natural place to start.

I began watching AEW in late 2021 and it’s been a joy to watch the ascension of Jamie Hayter to the position of champion. She’s been getting better and better as time has gone on, and is now arguably the most over champion in AEW, especially now that The Acclaimed are no longer tag champions. Hayter has nailed practically everything in her presentation. Her theme has a high-octane rhythm to rally the crowd into a frenzy, and it’s an apt precursor to such an impressive performer appearing on the ramp. Her attire again adds to the majesty of her entrance, the jacket reminiscent of a warrior’s cloak they skinned from large beast. The championship belt is just the added extra that fits perfectly; she certainly makes a believable champion.

This extends to her in-ring work as well. Her power is undeniable. I never get the sense that she is holding back with her strikes, and her opponents do a good job of selling the crunching moves, especially the devastating ripcord lariat, which comes across as having the impact of a gunshot. But although Hayter is a dominant champion, she does not steamroll her opponents and sells well, making herself all the more impressive when she eventually overcomes them as well as giving a bit of shine to whoever is in the ring with her. Another aspect she excels at is her involvement of the crowd, and it’s no wonder she grew as popular as she has when her expressions and taunts help the audience to connect with her. Her moveset really fits in with her character and I can’t think of anything she does that looks clumsy or awkward. She seems like a wrestler who knows what she’s good at, and excels at it.

So where do I think she could improve?

Well, there’s one aspect that I think hasn’t been explored as much as it could have, but I don’t think Hayter is to blame, and this is her promos. While she was merely Britt Baker’s sidekick she had a few opportunities to speak, but it was mostly to parrot whatever Britt was saying. Over time she’s been given more opportunities to express herself on the mic and in promos, but I still think more could be done. At the moment she’s been given a few brief moments where she ends with the tagline ‘Hayter Hits Hard,’ but I would love to see her in the ring addressing the fans. When she has had a chance to speak I think she has been great. I enjoyed the insight into the former friendship and rivalry during the feud with Toni Storm. Hearing how they lived together during lockdown added an extra edge to the match, and I was more inclined to be emotionally involved.

Now, I’m hoping that this is going to be rectified soon because the story of the AEW Originals and the Outcasts seems to be heating up. I would love for there to be added personal tension among the wrestlers involved. We know that Hayter and Storm have history, and I’d love for Hayter to juxtapose why she remained friends with Britt Baker while she turned on Storm. Given that Saraya is from England I could also see an angle where Hayter was inspired by Saraya (I have no idea if this is true in real life or not) and has been disappointed at meeting her hero, who hasn’t lived up to what Hayter always thought she would be.

I’m glad that Britt Baker has taken a step back. It shows a lot of humility from her as it can’t have been easy to do so when she had been the focal point of the women’s division for, well, certainly as long as I had been watching. I know a lot of fans were clamouring for Hayter to turn on Baker, but I actually like them sticking together and the development it’s shown for Baker to take somewhat of a back seat. It’s a rivalry that they can return to at some point in the future, and I’m happy for them to stick together for now as they take on the Outcasts.

But the one major flaw and the thing I’d like to change the most is just to have her on TV more. I mean, she’s the women’s champion, and all the elements of her character point to her being a big deal. When she comes on TV she seems like a star. Jade Cargill has this as well, but unfortunately her ring work isn’t up to the same standard as Hayter’s. Given that Hayter always gets the fans on their seats I believe she should be on TV every single week. Orange Cassidy is super over and he wrestles every week. The Acclaimed got over and they ended up on TV every week. Why not the same with Hayter?

Now, I can possibly think of one reason, and it’s the lack of depth of the women’s roster compared to the men. I can understand them not wanting to run through all of Hayter’s opponents quickly and have her fight the same people over and over again, which is one of the main failings of the TBS title. However, given that she’s still relatively early into her reign, especially in the sense of title defences, I’m not sure this argument holds water. You’re always guaranteed a great performance when she’s in the ring. She’s a great asset, and she should be showcased far more than she is. If this is the concern then there is an obvious way around it; Saraya could use her ‘outside connections’ to bring in challengers, and since Hayter doesn’t seem the type to back down from a challenge I don’t think she would refuse the chance to prove her (and by extension AEW’s) superiority to whoever wants to try and take the belt. I do feel this would be a little repetitive to the various gauntlets AEW favours so much, especially the recent Danielson one, but it would be a good way to put Hayter front and center and say ‘This is our Champion, watch her and take your first gulp of the Hayterade’. Having a fighting women’s champion would also be a good contrast to MJF’s reign with the men’s belt as well.

Overall I’m excited to see how this overarching storyline with the Originals vs. Outcasts unfolds as I’m sure it will lead to more Hayter on our screens, and that can only be a good thing. I hope that this is just the beginning of a long title reign because I think she has the chance to put together a seminal stretch of matches that could truly elevate the division as a whole.

So what do you think; is Hayter deserving of more TV time? Who would you like to see her wrestle in the future? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be back with another Star Spotlight soon.


Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog