Riho, the first-ever All Elite Wrestling Women’s Champion has had her return to the company confirmed on Dynamite. She will be returning to compete in the inaugural AEW Women’s World Championship Eliminator Tournament. She will be facing current NWA Women’s World Champion Serena Deeb in the first-round contest.
The Japanese star made her last appearance for AEW in March 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to international travel. That match was a four-way including Penelope Ford, Kris Statlander, and reigning AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida.
Riho has been wrestling while in Japan. Mainly competing for the all-female Stardom promotion, Riho has mainly been competing in tag-team matches. Her last appearance for Stardom came in December 2020 at Stardom’s end of year show in Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall. She teamed with AZM in a losing effort to Mayu Iwatani and Starlight Kid.
No date has so far been given for Riho’s return to AEW, the graphic that was shown only gave the clue that the match was “coming soon.” A long time friend of AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, Riho made her AEW debut at Double Or Nothing in 2019. In a 6-woman tag team match, Riho teamed with Hikaru Shida and Ryo Mizunami to defeat Aja Kong, Emi Sakura, and Yuka Sakazaki.
Riho would become the first AEW Women’s World Champion on the first episode of AEW Dynamite by defeating Nyla Rose.
Riho’s opponent in the tournament Serena Deeb has been on a victorious streak in AEW. Since winning the NWA Women’s Championship from Thunder Rosa in October 2020 she has not been defeated in the company.