Toni Storm is technically the AEW Women’s World Championship. Sure, she holds the strap and has even defended it on seven occasions since winning it at All Out 2022 in a match against Britt Baker, Hikaru Shida, and Jamie Hayter, but in the annals of the promotion’s history – not to mention the annals of Cagematch history – each of those victories has an asterisk next to it, as her reign has the infamous “interim” modifier that has been polarizing fans since it was initially deployed on the TNT Championship back when Cody Rhodes was an AEW EVP instead of a WWE Superstar.

To her credit, Storm has spoken kindly of the “true” AEW Women’s World Championship in the past, as Thunder Rosa was her tag team partner in ThunderStorm, but after having a taste of what it’s like to have the bejeweled strap around her waist, it sure sounds like the 13-year-pro is getting tired of the “interim” moniker, as she detailed to Cameron Hawkins in a feature with The Ringer.

“Personally, I think she should just come to work and defend her championship like she’s supposed to, like a champion should,” Storm said. “But if the injury lingers too long, I believe she should probably be stripped. And then I should be the AEW undisputed Women’s World Champion like I was supposed to be at All Out. That’s verbatim. I think she should defend her title. I think all champions should defend that championship. That doesn’t just go for Thunder Rosa. That goes for everybody.”

Now, for fans out of the know, Rosa had to relinquish her strap and step away from professional wrestling due to a back injury that prevented her from being able to do basic things like jogging for weeks. While her reign was polarizing among both fans and the folks in the back, there’s little reason to believe she’s shirking her responsibilities as champion or trying to avoid facing Storm in a rematch of their bout from Forbidden Door. Still, the prospects of having an interim champion for longer than some “real” reigns does de-value the efforts of the current strap holder and could present weird Mandela Effect-style memories down the line.

Tony Khan comments on Thunder Rosa’s championship status in AEW.

While Storm’s opinion on Rosa is important, the only one that really matters in the grand scheme of things belongs to Tony Khan, who books the shows and signs the checks. Fortunately, during the lead-up to Full Gear, Khan stopped by the Barstool sports show Rasslin and gave some insight into the AEW Women’s World Championship picture, as transcribed by Fightful.

“The champion, Thunder Rosa, has been out injured,” Khan said. “So, we’ll see. I’ve wanted to give Thunder Rosa every opportunity to come back and defend the championship. We’ve dealt with her injury, you know, it’s — she’s been out a while. So we’ll have to see, it’s a difficult choice. But I do think the interim champion’s been out there, and the interim champion is Toni Storm, who is one of the biggest free-agent signings we’ve ever had. Toni Storm’s come in, and she’s gone out every week and had great matches almost every week on TV. Really, I think, is not only a prominent name who came in with a great reputation in the world of wrestling, but we’ve seen firsthand this year she’s come in and beaten so many of the top stars people from all over the world.”

Welp there you go; even if some, including Storm, would like to see Rosa stripped of her strap and the “interim” tag removed from the current title holder, Khan is going to keep things copacetic and allow both women to have a claim to the moniker, with a match down the line to decide on who is the rightful champion. But for now, Khan is excited to promote a match between Storm and her pandemic roommate Jamie Hayter, who might just be the hottest organic star in the division right now.

“You have this huge free agent, this big star, Toni Storm, who came in with a great reputation and a lot of TV experience, and millions of people knew who she was when she arrived in AEW, versus Jamie Hayter, who’s really risen to worldwide prominence on AEW television, wrestling on Dynamite on TBS on Wednesday nights, and Rampage, Friday nights on TNT, on ITV in the UK. So they’ve both become really key figures in AEW, and it’s gonna be great to have this match, the Interim Women’s World Championship. But certainly, whoever wins it will truly be a world champion. It will be Toni Storm and Jamie Hayter,” Khan said.

Is there a chance Khan could make AEW history and change an interim title from one performer to another? Or will Storm continue to keep her current run alive on the way to that inevitable re-match with Rosa down the line? Either way, fans should look out for exciting showings both at Full Gear and beyond.