AEW President Tony Khan is shedding light on the decision to crown an Interim Women’s World Champion while Thunder Rosa is out of action.

Rosa still the official AEW Women’s World Champion, but she hasn’t competed since late August when she announced on Dynamite that she’d be taking time off due to injury.

Since then, the company held a tournament to crown an interim champion. Toni Storm won that prize and has been a fighting champion ever since. Storm has questioned the validity of Rosa’s situation, and the entire concept of an interim champion. She’s said plainly, Rosa should be stripped of her title and thinks the whole situation is ridiculous.

There’s a strong argument that a champion should have to surrender their title if they are unable to defend it for several months – and they’d be number one contender when they return.

Truly a World Champion?

Thunder Rosa

Khan appeared on Barstool Sports’ Rasslin’ podcast this week to promote Saturdy’s Full Gear pay-per-view. According to TK, it was a difficult choice to let Rosa keep her title while she’s out injured. He wanted to give her every opportunity to come back and defend her championship, without knowing how long Rosa will be out.

At the end of the day, he decided to go the interim champion route and thinks the eventual unification match will be a big deal.

He touted Storm as a huge free agent signing who came in with a great reputation and television experience. She’ll defend the Interim title against Jamie Hayter at Full Gear. Even with Thunder Rosa out of the picture for now, Storm and Hayter have become “really key figures” in AEW and whoever wins will “truly be a world champion.”