All wrestlers have to start somewhere on the path to making their dreams a reality, whether it be a wrestling school, church basement, bingo hall, etc. From there, those wrestlers work their way up to the pinnacle of their dreams. For many, that’s a career in WWE or more recently AEW, IMPACT Wrestling, or even NJPW. But sometimes the journey is just as important as the destination. In LWOPW’s feature, “Before They Were Famous,” we take a look at the pre-WWE careers of some of the company’s top current stars, following along on their road to superstardom. In this edition, we take a look at the AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida.
Hikaru Shida has gone from the world of Joshi wrestling to being the champion of a major promotion on TNT. What’s most interesting is that Hikaru Shida was actually introduced to the world of professional wrestling as a way to further her acting career, she of course fell in love with the world of wrestling and has now been active for over a decade. There’s a lot of career to cover so let’s get right into this look back at Hikaru Shida’s career.
Debut With Ice Ribbon
In 2008 Hikaru Shida was cast in the movie Three Count. The film, produced in co-operation with Ice Ribbon and NEO Women’s Wrestling was about a fictional Joshi company closing down, Shida’s character attempts to revive the company as it may help her find her father. As part of the movie Shida was trained in Ice Ribbon by Emi Sakura and had the opportunity to wrestle for the company in actual matches. Her background in Judo and Kendo helped her transition to wrestling well. She debuted in August of 2008 and originally was set to retire in August 2009 as she continued her acting career, but she decided to stick with wrestling. Her decision to stick with wrestling not only saw her make improvements in the ring but it also gave promotion the opportunity to push her.
Tag Team Success
Shida formed a tag team with fellow Three Count cast member Tsukasa Fujimoto the two spent years in the Ice Ribbon tag team division together and even teamed up outside the company in places like REINA and KAIENTAI-DOJO. She also formed a less successful team with Syuri in SMASH and competed in OZ Academy during this time.
The team of Hikaru Shida and Tsukasa Fujimoto won the International Ribbon Tag Team Championships four teams between 2010 and 2014, they also became two-time REINA X World Tag Team Champions. During this time Shida also won the OZ Academy Tag Team Championships alongside Aja Kong, she also won the WAVE tag team titles with Yumi Ohka, and she even had limited singles success by winning the ICEx60 Championship.
Shida and Fujimoto’s last reign as Ice Ribbon tag team champions saw the successfully defend the titles nine times and held them for 304 days before vacating the belts due to Shida leaving the company. With Shida’s departure from Ice Ribbon in April 2014 her team with Fujimoto ceased operation.
Hikaru Shida Freelance Days & New Success
Hikaru Shida remained active on the Joshi scene as a free agent. She began having a successful run on her own as she won the 2014 Catch The WAVE tournament which led to her winning the Regina Di WAVE title, she also won the RCW Women’s title as she ended 2014 with two titles in her hands.
Shida also resumed teaming with Syuri, this time they had much more success as they captured the REINA, OZ Academy, and Sendai Girls tag team championships. Two of the three tag title reigns lasted over 200 days.
During her time as a free agent, Shida wrestled all over Japan and abroad as she competed in Pro Wrestling WAVE, OZ Academy, REINA, Gatoh Move, Sendai Girls, World Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana, Japanese Women Pro-Wrestling Project, and even had a run-in SHIMMER Wrestling where she got to wrestle notable names like Mia Yim, Asuka, and Ember Moon.
In 2017 Shida became a member of the MAKAI roster. MAKAI is a unique clash of pro wrestling, theatre, and music that played up Shida’s past as an actor while mixing it with wrestling. Shida remained active in the scene while a member of the MAKAI roster, during this time OZ Academy began pushing Hikaru Shida seriously which built up to her dethroning Yoshiko for the OZ Academy Openweight title in June 2018, a belt she held for 315 days.
2018 also saw Hikaru Shida return to Ice Ribbon for the first time in four years, she had a short run that included a mini-feud with Risa Sera. Shida celebrated her 10th anniversary this year, Shida got to produce her own show as part of her anniversary and the main event saw her fight Naomichi Marufuji in the main event, and we mean FIGHT, both competitors were left beaten and bruised.
Hikaru Shida vs Naomichi Marufuji (Hikaru Shida 10th Anniversary Produce REvenge 2018) pic.twitter.com/gMen38mhw5
— keenan fisher (@keenanfisher13) June 4, 2020
Hikaru Shida’s last year on the Joshi scene lasted until October 2019 when she moved to the US to take part in AEW. The year went as normal for Shida as she remained a regular for OZ Academy, Sendai Girls, and WAVE. Before heading to America she got to hold two more produce shows on October 14th and 15th. She wrestled seven matches between the two shows which saw her team up with or face many people she had known throughout her career like Syuri, Emi Sakura, Aja Kong, and Yumi Ohka.
As her run in Japan ended Shida ended her time as a former ICEx60 Champion, four-time International Ribbon Tag Team champion, OZ Academy Openweight Champion, two-time OZ Academy tag champion, RCW Women’s Champion, Regina Di WAVE Champion, Sendai Girls tag champion, WAVE tag champion, and a three-time REINA World Tag Team champion. As we know, her eye for gold has not topped in AEW as she has gone on to become AEW Women’s World Champion.
Stay tuned to Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Dynamite Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TNT and AEW DARK Tuesday nights at 7 PM ET on YouTube.
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