AEW All Out: Hikaru Shida comments on match against Riho, WWE Superstar Asuka, & more
Many of you met her for the first time at AEW Double or Nothing where she brought Japanese Joshi pro wrestling to the mainstream for the first time, in a historic six-woman tag match. Hikaru Shida will compete against Riho at AEW All Out, and we at Sportskeeda will bring you live coverage of the event, as it happens this weekend!
A dear friend of mine, pro wrestler Baliyan Akki, who earned his stripes in India and then moved to Japan to ply his trade in the country, recently caught up with Shida and asked her about her upcoming match at AEW's next big show. Coincidentally, at the age of 31, Shida is already an 11-year veteran in the industry.
She spoke about this upcoming opportunity with much enthusiasm. This is what she had to say:
I think that I always wanted to do this. After 11 years in Japan, finishing up my 10 year anniversary show at Korakuen Hall, and winning Titles, I think I’ve done everything I wanted to do in Japan, The timing couldn't have been any better. It is the perfect time for me to step out of Japan and I’m very excited for it.
She will go up against Riho, who is someone we've had the pleasure of interviewing in the past ahead of her AEW performances. Shida is looking forward to her showdown with Riho with much enthusiasm:
I don't think we've wrestled a lot in the past. Especially, since she joined Gatoh Move 6 years ago. I have been out wrestling bigger and stronger wrestlers across all promotions, so fighting a woman of a smaller stature and also a technically brilliant wrestler like Riho will be a great challenge and a lot of fun.
Shida is thrilled at the fact that she has fans in India, and hopes to come down with All Elite Wrestling down the line. How does she feel to be a part of the upcoming Wednesday Night Wars against WWE, in particular, against NXT?
Ah. That’s difficult (laughs). I think that it’s good to look at it as competition. AEW has just started and WWE has a worldwide reach and fan following. But then, AEW is a company made only for wrestlers and wrestling fans. The Bucks, Cody and Kenny perform ridiculous and amazing matches on top of working behind the scenes and taking care of everything. It inspires me to put on the best show possible.
Of course, Joshi wrestling was already popularized by the likes of Io Shirai, Kairi Sane, and Asuka who moved to the United States and drove NXT to new heights. Asuka and Sane have gone on to do great things in the main roster as well. What does Shida think of these Joshi stalwarts then?
I’m very happy for them, especially Asuka. She really worked hard and brought eyes on Japanese Joshi wrestling. She showed that Joshi wrestlers can keep their style and perform at any level. Not just in the undercard but mid card or even main event level.