Maki Itoh made her debut for AEW in the United States over the weekend at Revolution. Originally not part of the card, Itoh joined Britt Baker as they faced Thunder Rosa & Riho on the Buy In. Itoh replaced Rebel.
AEW fans first saw a glimpse of Itoh during the recent Women’s World Title Eliminator Tournament. She was defeated in the first round by the eventual winner Ryo Mizunami. Itoh then joined Emi Sakura and Veny in a tag team match where they failed to pick up a win against Shida, Mei Suruga, & Rin Kadokura. She has also made comments about wanting to join the Dark Order. Itoh and Baker picked up the win in a successful debut for Itoh. With the aide of Rebel hitting Thunder Rosa with her crutch, Baker was able to get the pin.
As for the women’s match on the main card, Hikaru Shida successfully defended her title against Ryo Mizunami. As mentioned earlier, Mizunami was not only the winner of the Japanese side of the tournament brackets, she was the overall winner. She defeated Nyla Rose in the final round.
These two put on an excellent back and forth match, but at the end of the day, Shida isn’t releasing her grasps from that title. The champ hit a jumping spin kick to the face to put away Mizunami. After the match, Nyla Rose, Baker, and Itoh rushed to the ring to attack Shida. Thunder Rosa followed in in pursuit to chase them off.
A tag team match is booked for Dynamite this week. Nyla Rose will team with Britt Baker and Maki Itoh to face Thunder Rosa, Ryo Mizunami, and Hikaru Shida.
As for who is lining up to be Shida’s next opponent as she gets closer to a year-long reign as champion is Big Swole. Swole cut a promo on AEW Dark over the weekend saying that she has her eyes set on the gold. During the Revolution media scrum post-show, Tony Khan commented on Swole’s status.
“She’s a great wrestler, she’s got a great personality. I think, in the ring, she’s gotten better and she can continue to get better. She had risen up. She had a great record in 2020, and reached the top contender at one point she got a title shot, she didn’t beat Shida, but she had a great match and she’s had a lot of great matches. I really like Swole.”
“In 2021, she has not really been active because she’s been sick. She’s had Crohn’s disease keeping her out so she has not been ranked. As you know we reset the rankings every year consistently for everybody. As we get deeper and deeper into 2021, each year, as the weeks and months pass the ranking becomes completely dependent on your record in that calendar year and we’re at that point now. So, she hasn’t wrestled a lot in 2021. The Eliminator Tournament, you know, she was actually out when we started The Eliminator Tournament with her flare-up with her Crohn’s. I think as she’s getting healthier, hopefully, we can consistently get her available and have her in action on a regular basis and she’s a great asset to us.”
The next AEW pay-per-view will be Double or Nothing and will take place on May 30. If Shida makes it to this event as champion then she will have held the title for over a year.
What did you think of Revolution? Were you excited to see Itoh? Did you want Shida to retain? Leave your thoughts below.
Main photo credit: AEW