The Japan bracket of the AEW Women’s World Championship Eliminator Tournament has kicked off with all four first round matches!
Airing for free on AEW’s YouTube channel, the show pitted experience against youth in every matchup. Rising stars Maki Itoh, Veny, Mei Suruga and Rin Kadokura – the eldest of whom is 27 – faced off against legends of Joshi wrestling including Emi Sakura and Aja Kong.
After revealing all of the tournament’s first round matches last week, fans did not have to wait long to see the exciting contests play out on-screen. The results of each match, as well as a look at the semi-finals of the Japan bracket, can be found below.
-Yuka Sakazaki def. Mei Suruga
-Emi Sakura def. Veny
-Ryo Mizunami def. Maki Itoh
-Aja Kong def. Rin Kadokura
As a result of these outcomes, the semi-final matchups will see Yuka Sakazaki face off against Emi Sakura whilst Aja Kong takes on Ryo Mizunami. All four women that advanced in the tournament have competed for AEW before, though Ryo Mizunami has not been seen in the promotion since the first Double or Nothing in 2019.
Many fans may be disappointed by the elimination of beloved stars such as Maki Itoh and Veny. However, AEW EVP Kenny Omega has provided reason for optimism. One of the key figures behind AEW’s women’s division, Omega tweeted his congratulations to the victors. However, the reigning AEW World Heavyweight champion then said of those eliminated “Something tells me we may see them again.”
The AEW Women’s World Championship Eliminator Tournament will return to Japan in the future for the important semi-final matches. However, the United States side of the bracket will continue on the next edition of Dynamite. In a highly-anticipated matchup, Riho will take on Serena Deeb.