In a heartfelt joshi showcase, Riho retained the AEW Women’s Championship at tonight’s AEW Full Gear.
The champ defended the title against her former trainer and mentor, Emi Sakura, in a high-flying fast paced match lasting just over 13 minutes, with enough story-telling to pro-long the feud.
The two have 13 years of history, first becoming acquainted when Riho started training under Sakura at the incredibly young age of nine at the joshi promotion Ice Ribbon.
Riho left Ice Ribbon in 2012 for Gatoh Move Pro Wrestling, a promotion new at that time, founded by Sakura.
Riho and Sakura made their debut for AEW at Double Or Nothing, competing in a six-woman tag team match.
At All Out, Riho defeated Hikaru Shida, getting a match against Nyla Rose at the inaugural taping of Dynamite for the AEW Women’s Championship. Riho won the inaugural title against Rose in a surprise victory.
Sakura reappeared in AEW at the Oct. 9 Dynamite, teaming up with Bea Priestley, and losing the match to Britt Baker and her pupil.
Sakura has trained numerous Japanese wrestlers, including Shida, but with her star student who excelled in every possible way, the feud was certainly built-in. No telling where the feud will go next, or who will come gunning for the belt.
Catch AEW Dynamite every Wednesday night on TNT, at 8 p.m. EST.