After criticism of how AEW books and presents their women’s division returned in a big way recently, the company main event-ed Aug. 2’s 200th episode of Dynamite with a Women’s World championship match.
While there wasn’t a lot of recent build for Toni Storm’s defense against Hikaru Shida, a story between the current and former champs stretches back to before Storm & Saraya turned heel to form The Outcasts with Ruby Soho.
Rather than focusing on Shida siding with fellow AEW Originals like Dr. Britt Baker against The Outcasts, tonight we were consistently reminded of the Japanese star’s title reign. Despite holding the belt for more than a year, most of Shida’s time with the belt happened in front of a nearly empty Daily’s Place during the pandemic. This match was her chance to wrestle in front of tens of thousands at Wembley Stadium when AEW heads there for All In later this month.
In order to carry the belt to London on Aug. 27, Shida would need to overcome The Outcasts numbers game. Saraya & Soho were more than happy to take advantage of a wounded challenger whenever they could...
Countering another hip attack put Shida in the driver’s seat, but Storm survived a meteora to create another opportunity for The Outcasts to get involved. Each wrestler got a nearfall after that, and multiple instances of shenanigans followed. But the challenger was able to kick out of a Storm Zero after getting a face full of spray paint from Storm. A quick pinfall reversal later, and we had a new champion!
Hikaru Shida can update her resume to read two-time AEW Women’s World champ... and likely pack her bags for a title match in front of one of the biggest crowds in wrestling history.
Not a bad reward for holding things together during 2020 & 2021, huh?
Get complete results and coverage of everything on tonight’s episode of Dynamite here.