In the last few years, more Joshi wrestlers have gotten the chance to show their abilities to new fans in America than ever before. AEW already made arrangements with other Joshi wrestlers to appear in their promotion, but they really hit the Joshi jackpot when they signed one of the top Joshi wrestlers in Japan – Hikaru Shida.
The Start of Hikaru Shida’s Career
From her debut on July 20th, 2008, Hikaru Shida always showed special talent that most wrestlers could only dream of. Wrestling for Ice Ribbon from her debut until 2014, she won her first major title in 2010, teaming with Tsukasa Fujimoto to win the International Ribbon Tag Team Championship. During her Ice Ribbon run she won the tag title four times and their main singles championship once, holding the title for over 250 days.
During this time period, Hikaru Shida showed her range as an entertainer by also appearing in movies and television programs. Most notably, she appeared on a sports variety program called Muscle Venus. These early years carved Hikaru Shida into the superstar she is today, as she excelled both in the ring and in front of the camera.
Hikaru Shida’s First Voyage to America
If the name Hikaru Shida sounds familiar to you even if you haven’t followed her career in Japan, it is likely because this will not be her first time wrestling in the States. From 2013 to 2017, Shida had 13 matches in SHIMMER, a major women’s promotion based in Illinois. While in SHIMMER she faced the top female wrestlers in North America, including Mia Yim, Kimber Lee, Nicole Matthews, Cheerleader Melissa, and Nicole Savoy. She was such a significant part of the promotion that she even got a title shot in 2017, losing to Mercedes Martinez. Getting opportunities against a wide variety of opponents is key to any wrestler’s growth, and Shida’s experience in the United States will only aid her when she becomes a regular in AEW.
Moving on from Ice Ribbon to Becoming a Freelancer
After leaving Ice Ribbon, Shida decided not to sign with another promotion and instead became a Freelancer. This gave her the freedom to call her own shots and wrestle in whichever promotions she worked out a deal with. Shida was among the most successful Freelancers during her run, winning titles in four different promotions. She appeared most frequently in OZ Academy, where she is currently their champion, however she was also a regular fixture in Pro Wrestling WAVE and REINA.
In 2017, she teamed with Syuri to dominate the tag division in every promotion they appeared in, and they held the tag titles in both Sendai Girls’ and OZ Academy. All told, Shida has had a total of 15 title reigns, five of which lasted over 200 days. Shida also promoted her own events, bringing her own unique vision of wrestling to the world. Along with her success in traditional wrestling, she also participated in a promotion called MAKAI, which combines wrestling with stage acting. Hikaru Shida not only is comfortable with the “entertainment” side of wrestling but has actively sought it out her entire career, showing she is ready for AEW’s unique brand of wrestling.
Hikaru Shida’s Fighting Style
You didn’t click on this column just for a history lesson, but to learn what to expect when Shida joins AEW. Shida has three ways of destroying opponents – breaking their back, kneeing off their head, and bashing them with a kendo stick. All are very effective. She is also a beast, able to deadlift wrestlers over the top rope or drop them with a Falcon Arrow. For back breaking, Shida has a wide variety of backbreakers she utilizes, as seen below:
As far as her knees go, from jumping knees to diving knees to running knees, Hikaru Shida has whatever your preferred method of knees to the face is. Her primary finisher is the Tamashii no Three Count, which is a running single leg high knee to a seated opponent. Here is a small sample of what Shida can do:
Whether it be a strikes, suplexes, or weapons, Shida will be ready to bring the pain.
Top Matches of Hikaru Shida
If you want to see her in action, I have many matches of Shida’s ready to watch! Click the link and it will take you straight to the video:
- July 11th, 2015 – Arisa Nakajima vs. Hikaru Shida in JWP
- May 3rd, 2016 – Hikaru Shida vs. Rina Yamashita in WAVE
- July 31st, 2016 – Hikaru Shida vs. Kotori vs. Mayu Iwatani at Matsumoto “10th Anniversary”
- February 26th, 2017 – Kagetsu vs. Hikaru Shida in OZ Academy
- April 12th, 2017 – Syuri and Hikaru Shida vs. AKINO and Kaho Kobayashi in OZ Academy
- May 28th, 2017 – Hikaru Shida vs. Kaho Kobayashi in OZ Academy
- August 20th, 2017 – Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Hikaru Shida in OZ Academy
- October 9th, 2017 – Hana Kimura vs. Hikaru Shida in A.C.E.
- May 20th, 2018 – Yoshiko and Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Hikaru Shida and Kuragaki in OZ Academy
- June 3rd, 2018 – Yoshiko vs. Hikaru Shida in OZ Academy
- September 17th, 2018 – Hikaru Shida vs. Aja Kong in OZ Academy
- November 2nd, 2018 – Cassandra Miyagi vs. Hikaru Shida in Sendai Girls’
- March 11th, 2019 – DASH Chisako and Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Hikaru Shida and Mika Iwata in Sendai Girls’
Shida’s Future in AEW
What does this mean for Hikaru Shida in AEW? To put it in the simplest terms, AEW signed the most complete and versatile Joshi wrestler to their roster. Shida is a ten year veteran, has acted in movies and television shows, and has done live stage performances. She held the top singles title in three different promotions and the top tag team title in five promotions. She succeeded in regular matches, comedy matches, hardcore matches, and intergender matches. On top of all that, her English is pretty damn good too. You’d be hard pressed to find a Joshi wrestler more ready to take on this challenge. So what is her limit? Whatever AEW has in mind for her, she will reach it and exceed it. And I predict within a year, she will be considered by American fans as one of the best in the world.