Coming off the back of the successful and highly entertaining Double or Nothing PPV we have the first AEW Dynamite of the Hikaru Shida era.
We were graced with Britt Baker’s presence as she was wheeled onto the stage by Rebel in a wheelchair with ‘Role Model’ (get it?) printed on the back.
Baker starts ‘The Rules of Being a Role Model’ part 3. The first rule is ‘Don’t hurt the role model.’ Baker then goes on to say that there is a conspiracy at play to take her out.
Baker then calls out Kris Statlander, Hikaru Shida and Nyla Rose as conspirators, with a board complete with red string, which all leads to Aubrey Edwards, who has been present everytime Baker has been injured.
Baker then ends the promo by saying that everyone has been put on notice and she will be back for All Out.
This is the perfect use for Baker while she is on the sidelines and the conspiracy theory angle could be good fun.
Now onto the action.
Hikaru Shida’s first match as AEW women’s champion came against Christi Jaynes.
The match started with a lockup which lead to an awkward comedy spot that involved Jaynes urging Shida to dance and hitting her with a cheap shot while her back was turned.
Shida would recover quickly to take Jaynes down with a barrage of strikes. Jaynes would counter and hit a very impressive springboard arm drag.
After a battle of hair pulling, which Shida won she would hit a big running knee into the corner. Shida followed by hitting a draping running knee lift executed to perfection on the prone Jaynes.
Back in the ring, Shida would hit a backbreaker into a camel clutch and then a big suplex. Shida would go up top but would get cut off by Jaynes with a beautiful step enziguri. Jaynes would follow with a sunset flip for the first two-count of the match.
Jaynes would then miss a lionsault. Shida then hits a huge elbow and running knee combo but Jaynes KICKS OUT!
Shida would then hit the tenacious Jaynes with a Falcon Arrow for the victory.
A good match and strong showing by Shida, however, the match was far too competitive for what it should’ve been. This should’ve been a dominant squash that showed Shida as the highly-skilled, take-no-prisoners competitor we know she is. This past weekend we saw Shida take a hell of a lot of punishment and overcome it to defeat the monster, Nyla Rose. Yet here Shida is struggling against, and nothing against Jaynes at all, an enhancement talent. This was a puzzling way to begin Shida’s reign but this seems to be AEW’s MO when it comes to enhancement matches.
We also got to see a new look Allie, who came out to tease QT Marshall on both AEW Dark and AEW Dynamite. Gone is the black hair, leather and lace replaced by Blonde hair and red dress. Does this mean the Bunny is no more or do we have a split personality angle in our midst?
Lets get to the winners and losers
Winner: Hikaru Shida
Shida is a brutal and effective striker with pin-point accuracy and needs to be shown as such if her championship run is to be successful. Despite the unnecessary competitiveness of the match, Shida got her title reign off to a winning start, and long may it continue.
There wasn’t really enough action to have anyone under the loser section, therefore it shall remain empty for this week.
Baker was very good as per usual and Shida began her title reign with a victory. Plus we got to see an interesting twist with the Bunny/Allie character so thumbs up all around. Yet as entertaining and vastly improved as the women’s division has been as of late, it still pales in comparison to everything else going on in the company. Hopefully, with someone as popular and legitimate as Shida at the helm, she will elevate the division to prominence.
What did you make of this week’s show? Let us know in the comments below and as always stay tuned to Diva Dirt for all of your AEW news and reviews.