During this week’s episode of Dynamite, Hikaru Shida accepted Nyla Rose’s challenge to a rematch for the AEW Women’s World Championship at Full Gear. However, that wasn’t the biggest news story surrounding women’s wrestling or AEW over the last few days.
On Tuesday, Serena Deeb pulled off a massive upset defeating Thunder Rosa in episode seven of UWN Primetime LIVE for the NWA Women’s world title. This immediately raised the question: what’s next for La Mera Mera? As such, reports immediately surfaced that suggested WWE is interested in signing Rosa, which could be usual rumblings throughout the industry.
In response, the former champion played coy on social media, referencing the speculation on whether she will sign with WWE or AEW. As it turns out, the Texas native is still under contract with NWA into 2021.
Still, there’s this notion that AEW desperately needs her to succeed. Yes, Thunder Rosa would be a phenomenal signing for anyone after the run she has been on in 2020, but let’s not undersell Hikaru Shida and the dominant year she is having either.
Hikaru Shida has been a consummate champion in a tumultuous year
AEW’s Women’s division has had some well-documented struggles and the subsequent criticism heaped on the company is justified. Nevertheless, the reigning AEW Women’s World Champion has been a constant this year. Hikaru Shida hasn’t received nearly enough credit for delivering some high caliber matches and adding some much-needed prestige to a title that isn’t even two years old yet.
Many fans may not realize it, but Hikaru Shida was a well-traveled and respected international star before she joined the company. Boasting 12 years of experience, The Fullmetal Champion brought a level of legitimacy to the roster. She was one win away from a chance to become the inaugural flag bearer for the women’s division and lead it into the next decade. Instead, Riho eventually won the vacant title and helped to reintroduce Joshi puroresu to mainstream television.
Make no mistake, Hikaru Shida had the in-ring ability, deceptive strength, athleticism, and knowledge to do the same and more. This year, American fans are getting a chance to see just how incredible she is. Shida currently holds a staggering record of 18-1 in singles competition, giving her one of the top winning percentages in the company. In case you’re wondering, no, she wasn’t pinned or submitted in her sole loss as a part of a fatal four-way match on New Year’s Day.
In the Homecoming edition of AEW Dynamite, Riho defended her title against Shida, Nyla Rose, and Dr. Britt Baker in an impromptu match that replaced a one-on-one match with Kris Statlander. Riho pinned Baker to retain, handing Hikaru Shida her first and only loss outside of a tag match of the year.
Even more, Hikaru Shida has contributed a stellar match to just about every AEW pay-per-view event of 2020 except Revolution and Fight for the Fallen. At Double or Nothing, she vanquished Rose in the best bout on the card to become the new champion. In July, she and Penelope Ford’s chemistry together was a pleasant surprise as they nearly stole the show on night one of Fyter Fest. Finally, Shida and Rosa’s highly acclaimed showdown at All Out was one of the highlights of a show marred by controversy.
AEW doesn’t need a new star to come along and save its women’s division; the company already has its centerpiece in Hikaru Shida. Insisting that a big signing will make the difference downplays everything she has done this year as one of the most consistent women’s champions in the industry.
It isn’t time for AEW to find and groom her replacement because she’s just scratching the surface. The company just needs to give her more screen time and build the division around her. For that reason, Rosa would make a great addition as noted earlier, but she isn’t the answer to the problem.
Hikaru Shida is an extraordinary champion as well as an affable and marketable star. When given the opportunity, she has excelled on a roster hampered by injuries, travel restrictions, and recent releases.
AEW must put her in ongoing storylines and develop her on-screen character. If they don’t find a way to make better use of the women they have, it won’t matter who they sign. They have a once in a lifetime talent in Shida and we should be talking about that more.Published 30 Oct 2020, 07:20 IST