All Elite Wrestling's Serena Deeb is ascending at the moment, having flattened long-term rival Hikaru Shida on this week's episode of Dynamite, putting the former Women's World Champion down in just a few minutes of vicious, targeted attacks to Shida's injured knee.
Currently more active in the ring than she has been in years, Deeb signed with AEW in 2020. Prior to this, she had worked as a WWE Performance Center coach between 2017 and 2020, having come back into the promotion via the first Mae Young Classic Tournament.
Between the ropes, it's not hard to see how Deeb's departure from the market leaders has been beneficial - and Serena herself considers it one of the best things to ever happen to her.
"Honestly, I consider both of my releases from WWE two of the best things that have ever happened to me," she told the Washington Post, despite previously classifying herself as a childhood "superfan" of the promotion.
Serena's first WWE run from 2009 to 2010 saw her transition from developmental into a role in CM Punk's Straight Edge Society group on television. She became a prominent indie figure thereafter, building and growing her reputation as a worker, eventually making her way to AEW five months after her second WWE release.
When Deeb saw the buzz Tony Khan's company was generating, she made getting there a goal of hers:-
“I was watching AEW thinking I want to wrestle there, I stand behind what they’re doing, I stand behind how different it is. The things I had heard about the backstage atmosphere, everything planted that goal into my mind at that point.”
This goal became attainable when she was let go in April 2020.