Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone celebrated AEW's one-year anniversary by inviting all of AEW's champions onto the AEW Unrestricted podcast. AEW Women's Champion Hikaru Shida came on and talked about how she got started in pro wrestling. She revealed that she started out as an actress and had never watched pro wrestling before. However, a part in a movie required her to train in pro wrestling, so she began to get the part in the movie.
"I was an actress," Shida revealed. "I took a movie audition and a producer came in and stood in front of us, and he said, 'OK, you have to be a professional wrestler. If you debut as a professional wrestler, you can take a part in the movie. I've watched wrestling before, but I started wrestling for the wrestling movie. I had only a month to train - that was crazy. I never watched before, so at the first training, I didn't know what I was doing."
Shida began training under Emi Sakura at Ice Ribbon, and has not looked back since pursuing a career in pro wrestling that has now taken her to AEW. She moved to the United States late last year, and was asked if there is anything she misses from Japan.
"I don't miss Japan so much," Shida admitted. "But, I really want to eat sushi so bad and ramen."
Shida won the AEW Women's Championship at Double or Nothing this past May. She talked about receiving a message from Sakura after her victory over Nyla Rose.
"After the title match, I got so many messages, of course, from Japan too. But the first person was Emi Sakura," Shida said. "Please don't misunderstand - it doesn't mean Emi Sakura is special for me... She's always watched Dynamite, and she sends me her [thoughts on] how she thinks and how she feels. She always sends it to me and as soon as possible, every time, every show. Her message was the first one I got, and she always sends me, 'you're so cool. Great match!'"
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.