Speaking of demons, just what has possessed Toni Storm in the weeks since she lost the AEW Women’s World Championship to Hikaru Shida, and had her psyche further fractured by the actions of her fellow Outcasts? Since their formation, it’s always been a lingering question of what may happen should multiple members of The Outcasts find themselves in contention for the AEW Women’s World Champions, and while Saraya, Ruby Soho, and Toni Storm all insisted that things would be fine between them, the reality reared its ugly head as ALL IN: LONDON drew closer.
Then that night, when both Saraya and Toni Storm were in the title match aiming to end Shida’s second reign as champion, it became clear as crystal just what mattered most, and that was getting the championship title around the waist of Saraya. It didn’t matter that Toni striking Saraya’s mother was completely accidental, a fight still broke out between the two Outcasts, and it didn’t matter that Ruby had done nothing in that moment but try to quell the situation, she still got laid out by Toni for her efforts, and it all ultimately led to Saraya pinning Toni to claim the AEW Women’s World Championship.
And then the wheels fell off, though The Outcasts seemed to keep it together for a few days prior to ALL OUT 2023, but that was clearly not the case as Toni Storm cost Ruby Soho the TBS Championship, or rather it be said, prevented Soho from cheating to defeat Kris Statlander, and instead made sure the playing field was a bit more level. That choice made it clear that Toni Storm was an Outcast no more, and her winning the Four Way Eliminator Match to earn this championship fight absolutely solidifies Toni’s excommunication from the group.
But what has Toni become in the last several weeks? She’s clearly not in the same head space she was prior DYNAMITE #200 when she lost the belt to Shida, but just what is this space Toni occupies now? Is this all a mind game? Is it something Saraya and Ruby Soho can even prepare for heading into GRAND SLAM 2023 for the champ’s first title defense? One has to figure that no one knows Saraya like Ruby and Toni, but do Ruby and Saraya know this Toni Storm? After working so hard to come back from a career-ending injury, and having the fans embrace her a year ago at GRAND SLAM 2022 only to turn their backs on what she brought to the table, walking out of Arthur Ashe still champion is essential to Saraya. Can Toni Storm crush that dream and become the first 3-Time AEW Women’s World Champion? Or will Saraya find a way to not only top her old friend, but also rub it in the face of all those who turned away from her since last year?