As the promotion’s debut PPV continues to air live as of this writing, AEW Double or Nothing continues to impress fans and critics alike. The sixth match of the night – a Six Woman Tag Team Joshi Wrestling showcase pitting Ryo Mizunami, Riho Abe and Hikaru Shida against Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki and Emi Sakura – has especially electrified the crowd so far.
That match is especially impressive as hours prior to the event, some fans feared that the match would not be happening at all. As social media timelines would suggest, because this match was the least promoted of the show’s nine advertised matches, fans were worried that Joshi wrestling would not get its rightful spotlight in Las Vegas. Thankfully, that did not turn out to be the case. Best of all, some are already calling this one the best match of the night so far.
It’s not too hard to understand why this match may not have gotten much attention in the build-up to the show. Compared to the rest of the card, the Six Woman Tag is severely lacking in names that American audiences can recognize. There’s a disconnect there for many fans and unfortunately, All Elite Wrestling didn’t know how to hype this one up, it seems. Thankfully, even for members of the crowd were not so well versed with many of the competitors or Joshi wrestling in general, the match proved to entertain as a pleasant surprise.
Joshi wrestling is a general term used to describe Japanese women’s wrestling. What makes this brand of wrestling so special and important is that so many women in Japan are looked up to as the best women’s wrestlers on the planet. We’re talking about some of the hardest hitting ladies with some of the most crisp in-ring techniques in any squared circle on any country. Unfortunately, you’d never know that if you live in North America and don’t have the tools or access to see this brand of wrestling from the other side of the world.
Thankfully, however close this match may have been to getting cancelled, All Elite Wrestling decided against it to showcase the best that Joshi wrestling has to offer. Of the six women involved in the match, only Hikaru Shida has signed a contract with AEW. Naturally, Shida stole the show as the match’s MVP.
That isn’t to say her fellow in-ring competitors didn’t hold up their end of the bargain – Aja Kong in particular was pretty gnarly, but then again, she always is – but Shida especially shined; going on to pick up the win with a devastating knee against Sakura for the pinfall victory.
Hopefully, this match opens a gateway for not only more Joshi wrestling to take place on AEW’s platform, but hopefully fans were impressed enough to actively seek out other Joshi promotions they would have never been open to watching if not for this match.