The December 21 edition of AEW Dynamite featured a special main event that fans will talk about for days and weeks to come. This was the third time that two women faced off in the main event of Dynamite and they delivered beyond belief. The word “wrestled” isn’t enough to describe what Hikaru Shida and Jamie Hayter gave to the wrestling community. They put on a hard-hitting battle that may be remembered as the best AEW Women’s World Championship match in the company’s short history.
The minute this match was announced, high expectations poured in. Shida and Hayter are two of the best talents in professional wrestling today. This match strengthened their claim to such status.
It was immediately known from the word “go,” that this was going to be a match that favored the style of pro wrestling made popular in Japan. Both women have performed in STARDOM, and this main event fits perfectly into what that promotion puts on night in, and night out. For nearly twenty minutes, they fought over the most-important prize in the AEW women’s division. By the end, this match reminded fans of Shida’s greatness and built confidence that Hayter will be booked as a strong champion.
The commentary team reminded viewers that Shida carried the women’s division throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic. At the end of her 327-day run as champion, she was pushed over to Dark and Dark Elevation, making the big mistake of keeping her off television. This match is a hint at what could have been using Shida to continue building this division even as others reign on top.
Everything about this match worked. As time progressed, each false finish crept closer and closer to the goal of three. Hayter had to hit three variations of the Haterade to put Shida away, and only after interference from Britt Baker. Both women sold for each other well throughout the match, building credibility that Shida is a consummate threat to the title, and Hayter is ready to hang with one of AEW’s best. By the end of the night, the reaction across social media made it clear that this was an exceptional display of professional wrestling by both women.
The AEW women’s division has seen a recharge of sorts since AEW Full Gear. Jamie Hayter is in full swing as its champion, and there are many other challengers like Hikaru Shida waiting in the wings to let the world know this roster is ready to excel. Here’s to more showcases like this one in the main event of AEW programming each week.