AEW took to their social media putting to rest the circulating rumors surrounding the first ever AEW Women's Champion - Riho. Fast on the heels of AEW's Women's Elimination Tournament announcement, fans have been curious as to whether or not Riho would return. This week AEW confirmed that Riho would in fact be returning to AEW. More to the point, Riho will stake her name and her claim on that number one contender spot by starting the prestigious Tournament herself.
AEW's announcement was met with enthusiasm when they finally announced the first women's match. The returning Riho will go one on one with the current NWA World Women's Champion Serena Deeb. These two women will kick off the first ever AEW Women's World Championship Elimination Tournament. The winner will advance in the scheduled brackets. The ultimate prize at the end being able to grasp that key number one contender position. A spot that will set up the winner to challenge Hikaru Shida with her coveted AEW Women's Championship on the line.
As it stands right now, the NWA Champion Serena Deeb is currently holding strong at a two and zero record to kick off 2021. Deeb leads one win ahead of the AEW Women currently in a five way record tie. So far AEW Champion Hikaru Shida, Big Swole, Nyla Rose, Penelope Ford, and Anna Jay all find themselves in a five way tie. All boasting a one and zero record as of January 27th. Serena Deeb is currently riding high after a successful title defense against Tay Conti.
Tay Conti, and Britt Baker, Abadon, Red Velvet, and Big Swole all gained another win after this past week's episode of AEW Dark. The episode which featured six women's bouts exhibited the rising tension as the Tournament draws near. With the competition already heating up, Riho will be looking to cut right through. Each lady vying for the opportunity to gain a clear advantage over the rest…
Riho was absent for some time during the latter part of 2020. However, heading into this Tournament she boasts being the first and youngest AEW Women's Champion. Overcoming what others viewed as insurmountable odds. There are probably few who know the current reigning and defending Champion more than Riho. Riho flew through the Division as a fighting underdog Champion until suffering defeat at the hands of Nyla Rose. The beginning of this Tournament provides a perfect opportunity for the former champion to regain the upper hand against her long time friendly foe Hikaru Shida.
As the Elimination Tournament begins Hikaru Shida approaches nine months of being AEW Women's Champion. The gold standard of the AEW Women's Division. Successfully maintaining her seat at the top against fellow AEW competitors like Abadon, Nyla Rose, Big Swole, Penelope Ford, Dr. Britt Baker, DMD, and others. The only other women who've proven just as dominant outside of the championship match are Abadon, Ivelisse, and Britt Baker. Going forward I wouldn't be surprised by Riho adding her credibility to that growing list.
Other women to pay attention to as the brackets continue to fill are Anna Jay, Tay Conti, Britt Baker, Nyla Rose, Big Swole, Penelope Ford, Thunder Rosa, Serena Deeb, Leyla Hirsch, Red Velvet and more. I'd also have an eye on some IMPACT Wrestling Knockouts who have made no secret of their intent to crash some proverbial AEW parties. Stay tuned for more updates as the AEW World Women's Championship Elimination Tournament continues to unfold. With the return of Riho, the comfort level of some ladies is about to be shaken and stirred. Riho kicks off the first round of the Elimination Tournament as she prepares to go toe to toe with the veteran NWA Women's Champion Serena Deeb.
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