One beloved AEW original returned this evening when former Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida made a surprise run-in after Saraya vs. Willow Nightingale.
With the help of her fellow Outcast team members, Saraya managed to defeat Nightingale with her good night DDT. The Outcasts weren’t finished with Willow, though; they continued beating her down as a group while fans hoped for someone to come to her rescue.
Suddenly, Shida’s music hit as the crowd lit up with excitement. She ran down to the ring with her signature kendo stick, but instead of immediately swinging at The Outcasts, Shida gave them a hug and accepted a can of spray paint, signifying her apparent allegiance to the group. The crowd immediately switched from cheers to boos at the revelation.
Hikaru Shida swerves the AEW fans twice
That was just the first swerve, though. As The Outcasts held Nightingale up and prepared for Shida to whack her with the kendo stick, Shida hesitated and smiled. That’s when Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter slid out from under the ring in black hoodies and joined Shida in the ring to beat down The Outcasts. Shida was on Willow’s side all along! Britt, Hayter, & Shida beat down The Outcasts, finishing them off by Shida writing “AEW” on their stomachs.
Shida hasn’t been seen on AEW television since a January 2, 2023 episode of Dark: Elevation, which was actually filmed on December 28. This is Shida’s first AEW match this year.
Of course, Baker and Shida have a long history together, typically as opponents. They have both been around since the very beginning of the company, with Baker even winning her first Women’s Championship from Shida at Double or Nothing 2021.
Look who's back! But which side is @shidahikaru on?!
Watch #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS! pic.twitter.com/5iQ2ZN9Huz
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 4, 2023