Backstage Update On Hikaru Shida's AEW Status

More on Hikaru Shida after her confusing AEW Owen Hart Foundation Tournament withdrawal.

Hikaru Shida

Recent communication issues between AEW and Hikaru Shida surrounding the Japanese star's removal from the ongoing Owen Hart Foundation Women's Tournament have been resolved.

This is the belief of Bryan Alvarez, who, on a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Live, stated that Shida recently made plans to return to her native Japan, work a few wrestling matches, engage in some other projects, then return to continue in the tournament. Unfortunately, an unforeseen situation arose while she was in Japan that prevented Shida from coming back to the United States in time.

Alvarez speculated that this may have been down to a visa problem. Whatever the case, the former AEW Women's World Champion isn't expected to be back in Tony Khan's promotion before The Owen ends. The finals will be contested at Double Or Nothing 2022 on 29 May.


Shida's tournament withdrawal was curious, as it was followed by Hikaru hitting Twitter with a series of posts disputing AEW's claims that she was injured, hence the pull-out. Later, a healthy Shida confirmed that she was unable to return for The Owen, saying "these difficult things sometimes happen with international talents."

The situation now appears to have been ironed out.

Senior Reporter
Senior Reporter

Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.