AEW Women’s World Champion Hikaru Shida spoke recently with Sports Illustrated ahead of her championship match today at Revolution. During the interview, Shida discusses the current state of the AEW women’s division and feels that they have the power to carry the show.
“We’re proving our division has the power to carry the show,” Shida says. “That drives me. And I always had a dream to work internationally since I was a child, so, I am living my dream right now.”
Her opponent for Revolution is Ryo Mizunami. Mizunami just won the AEW Women’s World Title Eliminator Tournament which gave her this chance to go up against Shida for the title.
She was part of the Japanese side of the brackets which Shida helped put together and even went over to Japan to assist with it.
“I’ve always felt that Japanese Joshi are the best in the world. So introducing them to everyone is very meaningful for me. It’s kind of a way to brag about my home. I also want Japanese wrestlers to know they can reach the top of the world if they work hard. It’s not a fantasy. This is one of the biggest things I have done as champion, and I’m proud of it.”
Later in the interview, the champion goes into the differences she has seen between wrestling in the United States over Japan. She also admits that she was supposed to quit wrestling at one time but after seeing herself in a film about being a wrestler, it inspired her to continue.
“The thing that surprised me most when I wrestled in the U.S. for the first time is that American wrestlers know how to show their characters so well,” Shida says. “They apply it naturally to their wrestling. On the other hand, I think Japanese joshi style has more martial arts taste. Hard hits and disciplined skills. But the differences have been decreasing gradually.”
“I was supposed to quit wrestling after I finished filming a movie based on wrestling,” Shida says. “I had always been a sports player since I started judo when I was three years old but became sick of it as I grew older. After watching my movie and seeing myself as a pro wrestler, I became inspired. After that, I began to wrestle seriously, not just as an actor.”
Through it all, Shida’s goal is to main event an AEW show, whether it be on Dynamite or at a pay-per-view. She isn’t the only one on the roster who has said the women are capable of that honor. Big Swole recently shared the same sentiments.
“My new entrance robe is ready,” says Shida, who has special cosplay gear chosen. “And I’ll keep working to accomplish my dreams. The main event for a pay-per-view and Dynamite are always my goals. I’ll continue working hard for it until it comes true.”
Credit for this interview goes to Sports Illustrated and the full interview can be seen here.