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Hikaru Shida 志田 光: Her Career so far [1988 – 2012]

Part One of a Retrospective On The AEW Superstar

Hikaru Shida [志田 光] was born on 11th June 1988 and is currently the longest-reigning AEW Women’s World Champion and the longest-reigning overall champion in AEW, defeating the previous record held by Jon Moxley on 25th February 2021. She lost the belt to Britt Baker D.M.D. at AEW’s Double or Nothing PPV.

Before Professional Wrestling

As a child, Shida would train in both judo and kendo before embarking on an acting career. Her first role would come in the TV series, Muscle Venus [マッスルビーナス] in 2008—2009. While working on Muscle Venus, Shida would form an idol group alongside cast members Hina Kozuki, Ichiko Mayu, Miyako Matsumoto, Sachiko Koga, Tomoyo Morihisa, Tsukasa Fujimoto, Yuki Ueda and Yuri Natsume. The group would release a single, ‘Itsuka Kitto’, on 5th November 2008. That same year she would star in the film Nekonade [ネコナデ].

Her journey into professional wrestling would start after being cast in the lead role of the 2009 film Three Count [スリーカウント], featuring real-life professional wrestlers Emi Sakura, Kyoko Inoue and Yoshiiko Tamura amongst the cast. To make sure her acting was as authentic as possible, Shida would train in the Ice Ribbon Dojo under Emi Sakura, and many of her fellow cast members would join Ice Ribbon after the conclusion of filming. Only three would continue past six months, making a career out of professional wrestling; they were Shida, Miyako Matsumoto and Tsukasa Fujimoto.

Making a Name For Herself In Ice Ribbon [2008—2010]

As previously mentioned, Hikaru Shida would join the Ice Ribbon Dojo and make her in-ring debut on 20th July 2008; she would stay with the company till 2014. Her first win would come on 15th November over Miyako Matsumoto. By March 2009, Hikaru Shida would start picking up victories, feuding with Makoto before embarking into the world of MMA.  At 5th Ring on 13th September, she would have her first fight but would be submitted by Ayaka Maasaki.

Shida would also star in two other films in 2009, Robo Geisha [ロボゲイシャ] and Heisei Tonpachi Yarō: Otoko wa Tsurada Yo [平成トンパチ野郎~男はツラだよ~] along with three TV shows, Wrestle Arena [レッスルアリーナ], Gogo Tama [ごごたま] and S-Arena.

Hikaru Shida would be involved in the film Mutant Girls Squad and the TV show Maru Summers in 2010. That summer, she would gain valuable experience in the ring, appearing for NEO Japan Ladies Pro Wrestling before heading back to Ice Ribbon. Upon her return, she would receive her first title shot in the promotion, teaming with Tsukasa Fujimoto in a losing effort against the International Ribbon Tag Team Champions, Emi Sakura and Nanae Takahashi, on 20th October. A re-match would be held on 23rd December and this time the team of Shida and Fujimoto would be victorious, renaming themselves Muscle Venus and debuting at SMASH for their Happening Eve show the following day. On 26th December, in Ice Ribbon, she would challenge for her first singles titles, NEO Single Championship and NWA Women’s Pacific Championship, but would be unsuccessful against champion Yoshiko Tamura.

Ice Ribbon, SMASH & CMLL [2011—2012]

2011 would be a remarkably interesting year for Hikaru Shida, who would have one film, Crazy-Ism, and two TV shows, Muscle Girl! and Tensai TV-kun, released that year. Along with this, her professional wrestling career would ramp up, successfully defending the International Ribbon Tag Team Championship on 4th January against Hikari Minami and Riho. The team of Shida and Fujimoto would hold on to the championships until 26th March, winning the Ike! Ike! Ima, Ike! Ribbon Tag Tournament during that time, losing them to the team of Emi Sakura and Ray. That same month, Shida would face off against Syuri in SMASH, winning their match with a Falcon Arrow and soon enough the pair would become a team, spending that Spring challenging for the International Ribbon Tag Team Championship and defeating Io and Mio Shirai in SMASH. The two would face off, with Syuri defeating Shida in the first round of a tournament to determine the first-ever Smash Diva Champion.

Hikaru Shida stares off moodily in the ring

By October, Shida would make the trip to Nottingham, England, to take part in events promoted by Pro Wrestling EVE and Southside Wrestling Entertainment; during this time she would also be involved in an inter-promotional rivalry with Sendai Girls Pro Wrestling, established by the legendary Meiko Satomura. On 27th October, Team Ice Ribbon (consisting of Shida, Emi Sakura, Hikari Minami, Tsukasa Fujimoto and Tsukushi) would face off against Team Sendai (Meiko Satomura, Dash Chisako, Kagetsu, Miyako Morino and Sendai Sachiko) in a single-elimination tournament, called ‘Sendai’s Joshi Puroresu Dantai Taikou Flash’ tournament. Team Ice Ribbon would be eliminated in the first round by Team Sendai.

The end of 2011 would be a fruitful time for Hikaru Shida. With Tsukasa Fujimoto regaining the Ice x60 Championship on 19th November, she would challenge for the title at RibbonMania 2011, defeating the champion in a fantastic match. Just three days later, Shida would become a double champion, winning the International Ribbon Tag Team Championships alongside Maki Narumiya, defeating Emi Sakura and Tsukushi.

She would star in the TV show Time Scoop Hunter in 2012. This wasn’t her only appearance in the media, alongside Miyako Matsumoto and Tsukasa Fujimoto, Shida was featured in the music video for ‘The Lights of Heroes’ by Japanese pop group angela.

Hikaru Shida would face the Wonder of Stardom Champion Yuzuki Aikawa in a losing effort in the main event of Bull Nakano’s retirement show on 8th January 2012. The following month Shida and Narumiya would lose the International Ribbon Tag Team Championship to the team of Tsuksa Fujimoto and Tsukushi.

In March, Shida would make her debut for Universal Women’s Pro Wrestling Rina while still working for Ice Ribbon, successfully defending the title, the ICEx60 Championship, twice during March and April. Her next opponent would be her friend and Wresting New Classic competitor Kana [Asuka], the two facing off in a tag team match on 25th April, building to their phenomenal match on 5th May at Golden Ribbon 2012. Kana would be victorious in the non-title bout, leaving Shida now to face her former Tag-Team partner Maki Narumiya. While preparing for her third title defence, Shida would team with Tsukasa Fujimoto to win the vacant Reina World Tag Team Championship in a four-team tournament which saw them defeat Aki Kanbayashi and Mia Yim in the finals took place on 9th June. The following week at Ice Ribbon’s 6th Anniversary Show, Shida would retain her ICEx60 championship against Narumiya.

By July, Shida, alongside her partner Fujimoto, was working in Mexico for CMLL under their given names, Hikaru and Tsukasa, and representing Reina as their Tag Team Champions. They would take part in many multi women tag matches while in Mexico, gaining much-needed experience during their week tour. Shida’s return to Japan would bring with it a fourth successful title defence against Hamuko Hoshi at Sapporo Ribbon 2012. Shida would make her debut for Oz Academy at the start of August, facing off in a losing effort to the legendary Aja Kong. At the Muscle Venus 4th anniversary show, held by Ice Ribbon, Shida and Fujimoto would defend their Reina World Tag Team Championships for the first time.

Hikaru Shida hold up the Reina tag team title belt

Shida would surpass Fujimoto’s record of longest reigning ICEx60 Champion, making it past 238 days, on 20th August 2012. She would lose the championship the following month, during her sixth title defence, against Mio Shirai at the 23rd September Ribbon no Kishitachi event, ending her reign at 273 days. Two days later, she would enter Pro Wrestling Wave’s 2021 Duel Shock Wave tournament, teaming with Yumi Ohka, in a round-robin event over the course of a month. They finished the tournament with four points, tying with the eventual winners Shuu Shibutani and Syuri after a decisive match between both teams on 23rd October.

Hikaru Shida would make her World Wonder Ring STARDOM debut four days later, facing off against Kimura Monster-gun [Alpha Female, Hailey Hatred and Kyoko Kimura] in a six-woman tag team match. Her partners for the night were Act Yasukawa and Cherry. This was a precursor to a Triangle Ribbon Championship match the following day at Ice Ribbon, and the match would end in disqualification after a Shiani was used, allowing for Hailey Hatred to retain her championship. Aki Shizuku was also involved in the match. The following month, Shida and Tsukasa Fujimoto would take part in a one-day tournament, putting their Reina World Tag Team Championships on the line in each match. The tournament took place on 25th November at the Nagoya Ribbon II-2012 event, with the winner being crowned as the International Ribbon Tag Team Champions. Shida and Fujimoto would become double champions, but this would only last three days, as Hailey Hatred and Hamuko Hoshi would win the belts off of the team. Shida would return to Oz Academy, via invitation from Aja Kong, on 9th December, losing to Kong in their second match against one another. RibbonMania 2012 was a spectacular event, including representatives from STARDOM, where Shida and Fujimoto would end the year losing to Nanae Takahashi and Natsuki☆Taiyo.

Join us next time for part two of our special retrospective look at Hikaru Shida, covering the years 2013 to 2019.

Written by Amber McCrudden

Writer | Podcaster | Streamer | Photographer | Content Creator | Wrestling's Sweetheart

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