Watching a talented wrestler not get the shot she definitively earned is hard for any fan to watch, particularly when it’s in a great company.
Now in its second year of existence, AEW continues to shock the system, particularly after announcing the big signing of the former Big Show, Paul Wight. But with every new signing, names like Big Swole seem to get forgotten.
Big Swole has been with the company since December 2019 and is arguably one of the best performers in their Women’s Division. Yet it feels like her place at the table is constantly being filled by other talents, and there’s no obvious reason why.
Building Big Swole
After serving in the United States Air Force as a fire truck mechanic, Aerial Hull would head to Georgia South to start training as a pro wrestler. She then went on to debut at Queens of Combat #7 in November 2015.
Over the next few years, she would work under the name Ariel/Aerial Monroe for companies like MLW, SHIMMER, SHINE, and more. But she would gain early recognition on the big stage by working with WWE.
In August 2016, Monroe was part of a match on Raw with Nia Jax. Naturally, she was brought in to lose but it was still a key benchmark in her career. This would lead to her participating in the Mae Young Classic tournament in 2018.
Continuing to work the independent scene, Monroe signed with AEW in December 2019 and took the ring name Big Swole. She soon found herself in the midst of a feud with Dr. Britt Baker, DMD when two problems hit.
Making it work
Much like the rest of the world, the pandemic shook up the wrestling industry. Big Swole wasn’t the only one whose push got tripped up but it was what it was. The bigger problem was Britt Baker’s injury, which laid her up for months and slowed their feud down.
But that injury led to some incredibly compelling vignettes featuring Baker alongside Tony Schiavone and Reba/Rebel. Additionally, Baker and Swole maintained a compelling feud despite not being able to wrestle.
Their ongoing war of words provided fans with some stellar promos and incredible comedic moments. Baker and Swole played a big part in getting AEW through the early part of wrestling in the pandemic, navigating some extremely uncertain waters.
This feud came to a rather abrupt end in September 2020 at AEW All Out. Big Swole defeated Britt Baker in a Tooth & Nail match. This was just after Baker returned to the ring, and there was no follow-up on it whatsoever.
Big Swole fades into the background
Since that pay-per-view victory, Big Swole has wrestled for AEW on nine separate occasions. Her only loss was to the current AEW Women’s World Champion, Hikaru Shida. And it was a hell of a match, in case you were wondering.
But Big Swole has had nothing close to a storyline since her feud with Britt Baker came to an end. In hindsight, how fast that feud stopped once Baker was medically cleared to wrestle should have been a warning sign for where things were headed in Swole’s AEW career.
So far, Big Swole has only wrestled once for AEW in 2021, defeating Alex Gracia on Dark on January 7th. That’s almost two months ago, with nothing on the horizon. Even worse, she was completely left out of the AEW Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament.
When Anna Jay was injured, Madi Wrenowski was tapped to take her place in the tournament. Wrenowski is a talented wrestler, but it makes no sense to have not put Big Swole in the mix. It was a missed opportunity to put her in the ring with Britt Baker, again.
There has been no word of an injury or that Big Swole has any heat backstage. As far as fans know, there’s no reason for her to be out of the picture. That also means that there’s no reason for her to not be a bigger presence in AEW throughout 2021.
What’s next for Big Swole?
It’s hard not to feel like AEW has forgotten about Big Swole. Despite having some serious talent on its hands, the company still struggles to book the Women’s Division properly. That’s one of the reasons fans were happy to see Taya Valkyrie in WWE instead of AEW.
But there are signs of life thanks to the AEW Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament which has produced some incredible matches on both sides of the Pacific. With a new show on the way, more time could be devoted to developing the Women’s Division.
That could give Big Swole the chance she needs to shine. She has the skill, the mic skills and the swagger to be at the top of the industry if the opportunity is there. AEW just needs to make the right choice, and bring Big Swole back in the mix full time.