AEW's first-ever Women's Tag Team Cup tournament kicks off today, and the first match has been announced. Former AEW Women's Champion Nyla Rose will team with former WWE and Total Divas star Ariane Andrew to take on The Dark Order's Anny Jay and a debuting former NXT star Tay Conti, who was one of the wrestlers laid off by WWE at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The first match will air on YouTube tonight at 7 PM, an hour before WWE Monday Night Raw.
The tournament was announced on last week's episode of AEW Dynamite, with the following rules explained: The tournament is a random draw. All competitors draw a color. Matching colors become a team. Selections are final and cannot be appealed.
Monday nights are traditionally the home of WWE Monday Night Raw, and putting AEW's tag team tournament on that day could be taken a shot at WWE, even if the show is not directly competing in the same timeslot and is taking place on YouTube. Of course, WWE switched NXT to a two-hour show and moved it to the USA Network for the sole purpose of competing with AEW Dynamite and keeping it from getting good ratings, and has consistently used the show as counterprogramming for AEW, so perhaps it's more of a tit for tat.
AEW currently has just one women's championship, and the tournament is not adding new belts. Instead, a trophy is the reward for the winners, along with bragging rights, and, hopefully, a few long-lasting friendships and rivalries that can develop throughout the tournament. Presumably, the finals will take place on either an episode of Dynamite or at the All Out PPV in September, though details have not yet been revealed. Tune in tonight at 7 PM Eastern on AEW's YouTube channel to watch the tournament kick-off.