Hikaru Shida is returning to her native Japan for an undisclosed period of time.
The former AEW Women's World Champion confirmed as much earlier this week, tweeting the following:-
I’m so sorry that the last match before I go back to Japan had to end like that.
I had a lot of things I wanted to do in Japan, but now I will rest my leg as much as I can.
I’LL BE BACK.
.#AEWDynamite #AEW #AEW pic.twitter.com/MJ5grpezTU— HIKARU SHIDA 志田 光 (@shidahikaru) January 13, 2022
Sold in the tweet are the events of this week's episode of AEW Dynamite, on which the former Women's World Champion had her knee destroyed by Serena Deeb.
The apparent injury angle concluded the latest chapter of a long-running feud between the two. Deeb had focused on attacking Shida's knee during each of their three matches, culminating in this week's mauling, which lasted only a few minutes from Serena attacking Shida on the ramp to the referee deciding the Japanese star had been rendered unable to continue.
Shida's absence was to be foreseen. Hikaru herself tweeted in November that she was heading back to Japan to restart the old MAKAI project, which aims to combine wrestling, music, and theatre. She will be participating in the MAKAI GENESIS ReBOOT show at Tokyo's Kameari Lirio Hall on 4 January.
The longest-reigning Women's World Champion in AEW's short history, Shida held the belt for 372 days between May 2020 and May 2021, having dropped the belt to Britt Baker at last year's Double Or Nothing.