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Kris Statlander

AEW Unrivaled
by yo go re

Take you to my leader? Girl, I'd take you anywhere you want!

It's kind of unfair for Kris Statlander to be competing in the AEW women's division, because she is not a woman: she is an alien from the Andromeda galaxy, and they don't have genders where she comes from. More than a woman, recently escaped from Area 51, they call her "The Galaxy's Greatest Alien." But it's unclear whether that means our galaxy or her galaxy. And if she's only the greatest in one of them, that must mean there are greater ones in the other - it's not like they call her the "galaxies'" greatest. Considering that the Andromeda Galaxy is currently hurtling straight at us as you read this, it's important to determine everyone's relative greatness before we collide and have to fight it out for supremecy! (Moving at about 68 miles per second, the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way will run into each other in just 4 to 5 billion years. So maybe don't make any long-term plans.)

Statlander was trained at Create A Pro, a New York wrestling academy, and debuted in 2017 (their first female graduate). She's mainly worked in Northeast US indies, but did have one WWE match in 2019 before signing with AEW. She started in some dark matches, but has really worked her way up the rankings, making it as high as #2, and now has her first action figure in Unrivaled Series 8.

Kris Statlander is a very attractive woman, and this figure's sculpt does a lovely job of re-creating her face. She often wears facepaint in the ring, traditionally a series of slashes and dots, but this figure is based on a specific show on a specific night (the April 14, 2021 episode of Dynamite) and on that night, she had a large green splotch over her left eye - her fake human skin ripped away to give a hint of the alien beneath? How very "1980s V miniseries" of her!

She may not be exceptionally jacked or anything, but Statlander is still a solid block of hot cheesesteak. She's 5'9", and is even stronger than she looks - how many wrestlers can carry two opponents at the same time and make it look easy? The toy duplicates her physique as well as it does her face, and her gear is as identifiable as her facepaint. The outfit is green and black, with her initials in front of blue-and-pink cosmic streaks on the chest, and a series of neon green wraps spiraling down her right leg. She's got silver snakeskin(?) boots and a brace on her right knee - unfortunately, it's injuries that have had her top out as the #1 contender rather than the champion, not a lack of talent or audience appeal.

Jazwares continues to have a problem with creating a vibrant skintone for their AEW toys, but at this point, would you really want it fixed? They've got nine Unrivaled series and three Unmatched series out so far, so if they changed it now, that'd be a whole lot of wrestlers who suddenly looked pretty bad. The details in the paint are great, from the scales on her boots to the colors in her hair. They did a really nice job on her interstellar shoulder tattoo; the map she used to get here from her home galaxy, maybe? The edges on her green leg bands are fairly uneven, but luckily, they're sculpted, so it doesn't get too bad.

Kris is the first female AEW figure we've reviewed, but her articulation is just as good as the guys': a balljointed head, hinged neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a balljointed chest, swivel waist, balljoint hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel boots, amd swivel/hinge rocker ankles. She doesn't have any accessories, not even alternate hands. We need flats, for her handstands, or at least one with her index finger extended so she can *boop* people! (As an alien, she doesn't understand things like "noses," so she'll gently poke them out of curiosity.) She's got a background in gymnastics and as a trained stunt double, so all that movement suits her. She's very athletic in the ring, obviously, with lots of flips and kicks, but her finishing move is the Big Bang Theory, a modified tombstone piledriver.

Kris Statlander came up with her alien persona because she was a big fan of astronomy in general, not specifically sci-fi. Sadly, the gimmick seems to have been quietly fading away over the past few months; a shame, since AEW seems a lot more about letting its wrestlers have fun with their characters than (most) other promotions do. She's just been sidelined with another injury (her other knee), but last time she came back even stronger than before, so with luck she'll bring the Galaxy's Greatest Alien back with her when she returns. But hey, if not, she's still tall, personable, and clearly pretty nerdy - what's not to like?

-- 08/17/22

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