Hikaru Shida is one of the most exciting and interesting pro wrestlers on the planet today. She competes simultaneously in American and Japanese promotions. Hikaru Shida currently holds the Pro Wrestling WAVE single title and the Ice Ribbon tag team title. She is also the AEW Women’s Champion. It can be said that winning two titles for two teams is a great accomplishment. That’s how wide-ranging and high-level the fights are. However, she is not affiliated with WAVE or Ice Ribbon, but with the major American organization AEW. Shida won the title in Japan and brought the belt back to America. In this post, we will find out more about the wrestling career of Hikaru Shida.
Hikaru Shida: A Wrestling Machine
Hikaru Shida: Wrestling Career
Hikaru Shida’s career was unique from the beginning. Her debut as a professional wrestler was in 2008 in the Ice Ribbon ring. She originally wanted to be an actor and auditioned for the movie “Three Count”, which is based on professional wrestling.
Hikaru Shida seized the leading role and became a wrestler at the same time. “Three Count” also starred Tsukasa Fujimoto and Miyako Matsumoto. Even after the movie was released, the three continued to wrestle. Miyako Matsumoto has shown off her unique personality through her independent entertainment, and is currently trying her hand at rapping with “Freestyle Teacher.” Fujimoto supports Ice Ribbon as a performer and director and player representative. Shida became the group’s top player, but left the group in 2014 and became an independent performer. She signed with AEW in 2019 and moved to the United States.
It is impossible to talk about activities in the United States without mentioning the coronavirus pandemic. Hikaru Shida won the AEW Women’s Championship in May 2020. She was at a tournament without spectators. She defended the belt for a year after that, and her title loss occurred in a big PPV match that was held with an audience in attendance.
This is what Hikaru Shida said about her AEW Women’s Championship winning fight without an audience: “The match was held in America, and without spectators. Everything about his fight as a champion was a struggle. Not only the venue, but also the broadcast on TV and YouTube are important, so I learned to be more aware of the camera than in Japan, and to be beautiful and cool as a person on screen.
Difference between Japan and America
This is what Hikaru Shida said about the difference between Japan and America: “In Japan, there are many shows in the metropolitan area, and there are regular customers. You might meet the same fans three times a week. But America is a big place. You can only watch pro wrestling at a venue once a year.” It feels like a festival. People go on field trips, and even their children are allowed to skip school on this day. There are many people who say, I can finally watch Hikaru Shida’s match that I watched on TV live. To those people, I would like to show them my special technique, Falcon Arrow, and other techniques that Shida is known for.”
Meanwhile, matches in Japan have resumed in 2022. “Simultaneous progress in Japan and the U.S.” had been a plan for some time. For many years, Shida has been a main cast member of the entertainment stage “Makai,” which mixes theater, music, and professional wrestling, and her contract with AEW was based on the premise that she would continue appearing in Makai.
“For me, ‘Makai’ is one of the most important activities. I believe that Hikaru Shida is the one who does both professional wrestling and acting,” Shida said.
When Shida joined AEW, “Makai” had to suspend performances due to the coronavirus. With the resumption of regular performances, Hikaru Shida decided to perform when she returned to Japan. She was finally able to do what she had always wanted to do.
What does Hikaru Shida think about Japanese Professional Wrestling?
“When I competed in Japan for the first time in a long time, I thought, “This is it after all. It felt really good to experience Japanese women’s professional wrestling, which was sought after in America. I’ve said it before, but I think Japanese women’s professional wrestling is the best in the world. I want to experience that to the fullest and bring it back to America.”
Japanese women’s professional wrestling naturally involves fierce battles. Show all your joys, angers, and sorrows in the ring. Shida believes that at the root of this lies a system in which organizations train new disciples from scratch. There are wrestling schools in the United States, and the number of “commuting” trainees has increased in Japan as well, but the basic lifestyle is living in a dormitory, immersed in professional wrestling. Trainees and newcomers eat and sleep together, work hard through practice, and complete chores. Because the wrestlers have been together for so long, their bond and rivalry have become stronger.
“My rival is always next to me, and we live and practice in the same place. Then, I’ll say things like, “Today I’m going to beat you up in sparring,” or “If someone asks me to do 200 squats, I’ll just do 201. It makes me feel good,” Shida said
“If I team up with a senior wrestler, I think, “I’ll definitely make them recognize me.” In my case, that target was Aja Kong. No matter what she does, she has a competitive spirit. I think that’s what Japanese women’s professional wrestling is all about,” Shida concluded.
What motivates Hikaru Shida to continue wrestling?
After Hikaru Shida lost the belt, she got a clear sense of what she was going to do. As she got out of the ring and pulled up, she heard a call of “Thank you, SHIDA!”. The fans recognized her for supporting and leading the women’s division throughout the year.
“I struggled without an audience and was under a lot of pressure. But I felt that what I had done was clearly conveyed to the other side of the camera. It all paid off.”
Japanese wrestlers hit each other hard. It’s one of the characteristics of the fight, which is that it’s an emotional fight.”
How does Hikaru Shida balance her time between AEW and Japanese Pro Wrestling?
In Japan, Shida regularly competes in Ice Ribbon, WAVE, and Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling. AEW allows her to do whatever she wants, and she says, “I was happy that a Japanese organization offered me to come to the ring, even if it meant paying for my flight.”
“As long as I was going to perform, I didn’t want to end up being just a “big name guest”. That’s not Hikaru Shida. Hikaru Shida always fights at the forefront, aiming for the top. That was self-awareness.”
In August, Hikaru Shida defeated Suzu Suzuki, also from Ice Ribbon, to become the WAVE singles champion. She negotiated the deal herself and made the defense match in AEW happen. The challenger was Emi Sakura, the founder of Ice Ribbon.
“I definitely wanted to defend my title in America. Fight for the belt of a Japanese organization in America’s AEW. This is something only I can do. It was also encouraging to see the WAVE wrestlers so happy. When I thought about it, I should have been disappointed because the belt had gone overseas. But they were happy that the belt was going overseas.
It’s strange to say that I won the belt myself, but it’s a serious situation when the champion is overseas. The group’s top belt is not in that ring. But I think WAVE is an organization that can make that situation interesting. That’s why I went to win the belt myself.”
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