AEW’s Tay Conti is the top Brazilian wrestler in the world and one of the most exciting prospects in women’s wrestling. However, AEW have dropped the ball with the young star and have made her one of the most misused stars in AEW.
Tay Conti Thrived In AEW after Failing In WWE
In WWE, Tay Conti was an enhancement talent as part of the NXT Brand. She appeared at one Wrestlemania in the women’s battle royale but otherwise did not make a splash at all. During her run, she failed to improve at all in the ring and her character work showed little progression.
Most fans felt nothing when she was released by WWE in April 2020. Tay Conti was released by WWE due to COVID budget cuts on April 20, 2020 along with a host of other wrestlers from NXT. Her release was not a surprise as she had made no impact on the company at all, and looked like just another model who failed to make it in WWE.
However, she was anything but. An Olympic hopeful in Judo, she was more than just a pretty face. Tay Conti had the drive to succeed, but could not do so in the WWE system. While it was built to get the most out of it’s young stars, NXT was not a one-size-fits-all for everyone, and some people (like Tay Conti) simply do not learn in that environment.
She Improved With Every Match In AEW
Tay Conti signed with AEW, originally on a pay-per-appearance deal, as part of the AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament. She joined other WWE alumni, like Cameron and Vickie Guerrero, in the tournament, as she partnered with the Dark Order’s Anna Jay in her first steps in AEW.
The team became known as TayJay and made a great impression in the cup. Despite only being placed together as partners without knowing each other, the pair quickly became best friends and it showed in the ring.
They won their first match against Nyla Rose and Ariane Andrew, picking up a win on their debut together in AEW. They would lose to the eventual winners of the tournament (Ivelisse and Diamante) but would impress AEW President Tony Khan. Tay Conti would be signed to the company and start competing on AEW Dark and eventually AEW Dynamite.
Her Team With Anna Jay Elevated Both Of Them
On the August 26 episode of Dynamite, she received a contract from the stable The Dark Order to join them. Whilst she never became an official member of the group, she soon became associated with them through her partnership with Anna Jay, and her relationship with the son of the late Mr Brodie Lee, Negative 1.
Negative 1 began to accompany her to the ring as she improved week on week, both as a singles wrestler and in the TayJay team. Tay Conti was defeated by NWA Women’s Champion Serena Deeb and AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida early on in her run, and also took place in some high-profile matches alongside Anna Jay.
The pair began to grow in popularity and even had one of the matches of the year in 2021. In their feud with Penelope Ford and The Bunny, the four women traded victories numerous times and ended in a street fight at New Years Bash.
In a bloody and violent affair, Tay Conti and Anna Jay defeated their rivals in a fantastic match that solidified Tay Conti (and Anna Jay) as some of the most fierce competitors in the entirety of AEW, and not afraid to get their hands dirty when it called for it.
She was one of the most popular wrestlers in AEW and a star of the women’s division. However, AEW soon took Tay Conti from a top face who challenged for championships to a uninteresting valet who didn’t wrestle and had no reason to be on TV.
Tay Conti Has Gone From The Top Face In AEW To An Afterthought
During 2021, Tay Conti’s AEW popularity began to grow and she improved in the ring with every match she had. Her “Shakira meets Style” style in the ring made her stand out in the women’s division and her likeable personality had the fans cheering her on with every additional victory.
Building up top faces in the women’s division has been tricky for Tony Khan, but Tay Conti broke out the mould from the mid-card and faced off with the top heels of the division and challenged for all the championships available to her.
She was getting some of the loudest pops in AEW out of the women en route to her Full Gear 2021 battle against Britt Baker. She even came out to a new look and holding a Brazilian flag, paying tribute to her nation and her first love, Judo.
While she lost the match, she put in a fantastic performance. Tay Conti vs Britt Baker was a fantastic example of how good women’s wrestling can be in AEW and many fans thought that the Brazilian should have beaten Baker and taken home to AEW Women’s Championship.
However she fell to the champion, but not all was lost. She had another title opportunity soon after, but not against Britt Baker. Instead of facing off against the AEW Women’s Championship she instead took on the first holder of the brand new TBS Championship – Jade Cargill.
Their match at AEW Revolution was another great match which impressed fans, who went in with little expectation. Despite having only a few years of experience, Tay Conti was the veteran of the match and was tasked with leading Cargill to a top-quality pay per view match. She managed just that in a match that followed a simple story but not do any more than in needed to.
The match started off with a bang, with Cargill laying a kiss on Tay Conti, paying tribute to Mickie James kissing Trish Stratus at Wrestlemania 22. This shook Conti off her game and contributed to the Brazilian’s defeat to the reigning champion.
Since then, she has had little success and AEW even did the worst thing they possible could – turn Tay Conti heel.
Teaming With Sammy Guevara Has Ruined Tay Conti
Late last year, Sammy Guevara broke up with his fiancee Pam, despite proposing to her live on AEW TV. He soon began dating AEW’s Tay Conti, with the pair even getting engaged just a few months in dating.
Despite Guevara being best as a heel and Conti being a huge face for the fans, AEW decided to place the two together on screen a couple and a team. This involved turning Sammy Guevara face even after defeating Cody Rhodes in an incredible ladder match to win the TNT Championship.
Fans did not take to Guevara. He is a natural bad guy, a cocky, unlikable man with a face that you would just love to punch. He has something that very few in wrestling have, and that is the ability to make fans hate him with absolute ease, despite being incredible in the ring.
However, despite them winning the Tag Team Championships in AAA, the pair would gain terrible reactions from the crowd. They simply did not work as a pair and Tay Conti was being ruined being part of the pair.
The only sane option was to uncouple her from her-real life fiance and move her back in the women’s division and possible give her a championship run some way down the line, pushing her alongside Thunder Rosa as the top face in the division.
Tony Khan decided to stay the course and they got even more hated. Fans disliked the partnership so much that they even began to cheer Scorpio Sky and Dan Lambert over Tay Conti and Sammy Guevara. An impossible task, but AEW managed to ruin Tay Conti simply by association.
To make things worse, they took away the one thing that got Conti over with the crowd – they stopped her wrestling. Her unique style in the ring helped her stand out in a sea of talented women and now AEW did not have her wrestle for months on end.
Since losing to Jade Cargill at AEW Revolution 2022, Tay Conti has wrestled one match in AEW. Her greatest asset has been taken away from her and now fans have no reason to want to see her in AEW. They can’t even see her lose (the point of being a heel) because she simply is not wrestling.
Her last match came at the pay per view after Revolution, at Double or Nothing 2022. In the long-running and frankly overdone feud with American Top Team, Tay Conti teamed with Frankie Kazarian and Sammy Guevara to take on the trio of Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page and the debuting Paige VanZant.
It is unknown if she is injured, but there has so far been no indication of it. She has wrestled for AAA and NEW in between her two AEW bouts, so it is unlikely that there is a long-term injury that is keeping her out of the ring.
AEW have lost a potential main event star. Tay Conti could be the face of the division, and a hero to Latin American’s all over South America. She is on the way to becoming one of the greatest Brazilian wrestlers of all time if she keeps on track, but her path has been derailed it seemed.
And for no discernible reason, AEW have ruined Tay Conti. Lets hope they change their tune soon so we can see Tay Conti as the AEW Women’s Champion in the future, and soon.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.