Riho and Yuka Sakazaki will do battle in an Owen Hart Foundation Women’s Tournament qualifier on this week's edition of Rampage.
The match was announced by Tony Khan on Twitter, marking the first meeting between the two since they battled in a three way dance that also featured Nyla Rose back at Fyter Fest 2019. Sakazaki hasn't wrestled at all for AEW since July 2021, when she worked three Dark: Elevation matches as well as a single Dynamite contest against Penelope Ford. Former Women's Champion Riho has been slightly more active for the group, but neither have been involved in any major angles or stories outside of the latter's three-match series with Dr Britt Baker DMD.
Yuka Sakazaki vs RihoDon’t miss Friday Rampage at a special start time:5:30pm ET/4:30pm CT/3:30pm MT/2:30pm PT pic.twitter.com/Q7AnE08KhS— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) May 3, 2022
Khan's tweet generated some speculation that this might trigger more battles with some of the Joshi stars that had featured in AEW's women's division back in 2019. Plans to further the hybrid league were halted by the pandemic, but a return to normality hasn't seen women's wrestling benefit in any significant way.
A match like this - particularly with these stakes attached - might aid a continued programme of slow growth.