Hikaru Shida is a shining example of all the positives of AEW and the most important woman in that division to date.
The October 10 edition of AEW Dynamite included several big moments across the show. One of those moments hit when Hikaru Shida defeated Saraya to capture the AEW Women’s World Championship for the third time. Fans were both shocked and elated that Shida is once again atop the division. This is a big victory as it firmly puts the stamp on the idea that Shida is the most important woman on the roster in the company’s short history.
Few would debate the idea that Jon Moxley is the most important member of the AEW men’s division in the company’s first years of activity. He’s the individual that the promotion has counted on when they needed to make an adjustment while keeping excitement high. Moxley has excelled in that role, being the role player who keeps on giving to All Elite Wrestling. Shida is in that same position when it comes to the women’s division.
The conversation starts with Shida’s first run as AEW Women’s World Champion. She held that championship for 372 days, the longest by any woman to reach that championship. Along the way, she put forth several great matches against the likes of Thunder Rosa, Big Swole, Ryo Mizunami, and Tay Conti. When she dropped the championship to Britt Baker at AEW Double or Nothing in 2021, it was the moment meant to launch Baker as the one that would carry the women’s division forward, but that did not occur.
Several months would pass before Shida would return to AEW television, instead being relegated to Dark and Dark Elevation. But the minute she stepped back on screen, business in the women’s division picked up. Her feud with Serena Debb was one of the best battles in AEW, and her match against Jamie Hayter for the title was an exceptional battle that had the wrestling community clamoring to see more of this from the women’s division.
Hayter’s injury forced AEW to turn to Shida again to carry the gold into AEW All In, where Saraya would pick up the title. Saraya is one of the most well-known performers from a mainstream stance in AEW, and yet she still couldn’t be the catalyst to push the division forward. In 44 days as champion, she was only given the opportunity to defend the championship one time, an unfortunate mark to how Tony Khan is currently booking the women’s division.
If AEW is really going to give fans of women’s wrestling the division that they want to see each week, the solution begins with Shida. Look at how fans react to everything that she does, both in the ring and outside of it. She’s a shining example of the alternative that All Elite Wrestling set out to be when it was started back in 2019.
What makes Shida the most important woman on the roster is that the company can continue to turn to her when it needs a hole filled with a solution that will please the fans. Shida delivers the types of matches that the AEW fan base wants to see. She has several highly rated matches on Cagematch and her character work delivers. Fans believe that she wants nothing more than to be the best performer on the roster, and her matches relay that every single time.
Fans may rate their favorites higher, but there is no more valuable woman on the AEW roster than Hikaru Shida. The company continues to turn to her in moments of need and she keeps delivering when her number is called. She’s a shining example that fans can point to when talking about the positives that AEW has brought to professional wrestling.