(Image courtesy of AEW)
Hailing from Miami, Florida, Stephanie M. Cardona, ring name “Red Velvet”, is one of the most fearless and charismatic talents (not to mention an amazing dancer!) on the AEW Women’s roster.
Born on June 3rd, of Colombian-American descent, the 29 year-old, daughter of Prudencio Cardona (an ex-flyweight professional boxing world champion), Red Velvet began her training at Fighting Evolution Wrestling (FEW) before making her in-ring debut in 2016, where she earned the FEW Women’s Championship.
After four years building up her résumé, Red Velvet’s big break came when she made her debut at AEW (All Elite Wrestling) on their “Dark” programme, in June 2020.
In her second match for the promotion, Red Velvet debuted on “Dynamite” in the same month. Since then, she has spent her first year on the Dark scene honing her skills and stacking up her winning record of nine straight wins in singles competition.
After failing to capture the Women’s NWA Championship, Red Velvet would go on another nine-match winning streak in singles competition, before finally becoming a contender for the AEW Women’s Championship on “Rampage”.
Although she may have come up short, Red Velvet has demonstrated her growth as a performer and her full-on tenacity -which belies her diminutive-but-athletic, 5′ 1” (1.55m) frame- illustrates her commitment to compete in the major leagues. We think her best years are yet ahead of her as she has tremendous potential.
So, without further ado, let’s treat ourselves with a countdown of Red Velvet’s Top 5 AEW Wrestling Matches! (in descending order)
5. Vs. Lady Frost – AEW Dark (Dec. 1, 2020)
At the start of this match, Lady Frost was quick to land the first blow with a shoulder tackle, whilst Velvet followed up with a calf kick.
Dragging Frost into the turnbuckle, Velvet began punishing her opponent’s body with punches and stomps, before pressing her foot against her throat.
Performing a single-leg dropkick, Velvet went for the cover, but Frost kicked out.
Continuing to hammer away with ferocious forearm strikes, Velvet was forced to halt her assault, giving Frost the opportunity to counter Velvet’s charge, with her face hitting the second turnbuckle.
It was Frost’s chance to punish Velvet by dropping an axe kick, followed by a double knee drop and an attempted standing moonsault, but Velvet moved out of the way, causing Frost to miss her target. Velvet connected with her own moonsault, straight into the cover for a 2 count which didn’t stick.
Back to her feet, Frost thrust a knee to Velvet’s body and threw her against the turnbuckle, before charging in with a shoulder to the mid-section, and coming back with an Enziguri.
It didn’t take long for Velvet to break free from Frost’s clutches however, dodging a clothesline, returning with one of her own and a back elbow, before planting Frost face first onto the canvas with a bulldog.
As soon as Frost got back to her feet, Velvet threw her with an overhead throw and planted a double knee to the back of her head.
The match concluded with Velvet connecting her signature ‘Just Desserts’ move for the pinfall.
4. Vs. Elayna Black – AEW Dark (Oct. 13, 2020)
Looking to score the first win on her record, Red Velvet took on Elayna Black in her AEW debut.
After both wrestlers exchanged headlocks, Velvet freed herself by pushing Black against the ropes, meeting her with not one, but two arm drags and a dropkick.
As Velvet lay against the corner, Black charged in for an assault, but Velvet quickly swerved out of the way, resulting in Black being stunned and Velvet bringing her down with a sweep, following up with an elbow drop.
With Black’s back against the turnbuckle, Velvet began to throw shots to her body, before pressing her boot against her throat. Black, however, managed to release the choke by pushing the leg, causing Velvet to hit her knee.
Recovering from near exhaustion, both women exchanged shots to the throat and delivered forearm strikes.
After throwing Velvet to the corner, Black came charging in with a knee to the chin and threw Velvet to the center of the ring, and planting a second knee to the back of the head.
Despite being in total agony, the women continued exchanging a few forearm strikes. Black threw Velvet before launching a dropkick, but Velvet held onto the rope, causing Black to miss the mark.
Now, it was Velvet’s turn to raise some hell…connecting with a bulldog, followed by a double knee strike to the head.
With the end in sight, Velvet connected her “Just Desserts” end move to score the pinfall win.
3. Vs. Abadon – AEW Dark (Aug. 18, 2020)
In only her third match, Red Velvet faced her biggest threat in the form of Abadon. Despite Abadon’s soul-draining, and ghoulish appearance, Velvet remained fearless.
Abadon rushed in for a clothesline, but Velvet ducked, demonstrating her sheer speed and tenacity by landing ferocious kicks and a double-knee armbreaker.
With Abadon in the corner in pain, Velvet kept up her assault, planting stomps and compressing Abadon’s throat with her boot, all in an attempt to keep the monster down.
Nothing could keep Abadon at bay for long however, as she grabbed Velvet’s foot shoving her to the canvas, charging in with a push kick.
It seemed like it was Velvet’s turn to face Abadon’s wrath, yet she managed to duck another clothesline, the newcomer started firing back with knife-edge chops, until Abadon caught Velvet and brought her down with an unforgiving headbutt.
As Velvet crawled to the turnbuckle in fear, she managed to recover by countering Abadon’s charges with a headkick and turned her back to the turnbuckle, proceeding to unleash some serious boxing-style punches to the body and a forearm, before dragging her to another turnbuckle in preparation for a charge.
Abadon countered Velvet, throwing her over the ropes, then becoming momentarily stunned by Velvet’s kick to the head, Abadon charged into Velvet’s knee strike in-between the ropes.
Attempting a dangerous DDT from the edge of the ring, Velvet was shoved into a steel post by Abadon. With Velvet at her mercy, Abadon dropped her face first on the edge of the ring.
Back in the center of the ring, Abadon viciously thrusted Velvet’s face into the canvas. Velvet was, however, able to snap back to reality, countering Abadon’s attempted suplex and pushing her against the ropes, only for the aggressor to come back with a clothesline.
With the fire extinguished, Abadon connected with the ‘Cemetery Driver’ for the pinfall victory.
2. Vs. The Bunny – AEW Rampage (Nov. 5, 2021)
Wasting no time, Velvet rushed her way into the ring, jumped on Bunny and proceeded to pummel her, whilst still carrying the brass knuckle scars from their last encounter.
Not willing to give Bunny a moment to breathe, Velvet struck with a clothesline, some personal body punches and met her with a wild, spinning wheel kick.
After ramming Bunny with a spear from the outside, Velvet was ambushed by an eye poke, giving Bunny time to return the favour with a curb stomp on the steel steps.
Back in the ring, Bunny firmly planted Velvet’s face into the turnbuckle with a running dropkick.
After kicking out of the cover, Velvet began to fight back as both warriors traded blows with Velvet coming out on top with a calf kick, following up with a stunner for the 2 count.
As both of her kicks pierced the air, Velvet was caught by Bunny’s surprise small package roll up, yet even with her tights grabbed, she was able to kick out at 2.
Taking the full force of a Death Valley Driver, Velvet kicked out again, much to Bunny’s frustration.
Preparing to close the curtain, Bunny was setting up her finishing move, ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’, until Velvet reversed it, sealing the deal with her ‘Final Slice’ move, winning via pinfall and moving up in the TBS Women’s tournament.
1. Vs. Dr Britt Baker DMD – AEW Rampage (Aug. 13, 2021)
In her first title match, Red Velvet entered with nine straight wins in singles competition, and was positioned no.3 in the rankings.
In the early goings, Britt Baker (“DMD”) showed tremendous tactical wrestling, changing from a crucifix to a lockjaw, yet Velvet reversed it into a pin attempt.
In a shady turn, Velvet stripped the supportive apparatus off of Baker’s right hand, until ‘Rebel’ (Baker’s right-hand friend) provided the distraction needed for DMD to get on a small package.
With Rebel getting barred by the referee, her distraction that time gave Velvet the opportunity to stun Baker with a superkick, following up with a moonsault from the top rope.
A suplex attempt was reversed as Baker lifted Velvet up and brought her down for a shoulderbreaker. Velvet’s resistance prompted Baker to bring down a curb stomp.
DMD’s obvious discomfort to her right hand gave Velvet the chance to attempt Baker’s lockjaw. Baker reversed the position to try her lockjaw again, despite her injury.
Though Velvet broke the lockjaw momentarily, Baker locked it again, this time with her left hand in Velvet’s jaw, forcing her to concede.
DMD was declared the winner, retaining her title in front of a supporting crowd in Brittsburgh.