Tony Khan says he apologised to former AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida after racially insensitive comments made by one of AEW’s Spanish language broadcast team.
On the most recent episode of Dynamite, a ceremony was held to celebrate AEW Women’s World Champion Hikaru Shida where Tony Schiavone presented the then-champion with a new gold-plated, diamond-encrusted championship belt to commemorate one year as champion. However, before the segment began, unbeknownst to those in the ring, Willie Urbina was caught mocking the accent of the Japanese star. One day later, Urbina was released.
Shida classily responded, explaining the delay for doing so, with the initial statement issued in English with a follow-up in Japanese.
“I didn’t wanna talk about this before my big day, so let me tell you now. I don’t give a s** what other people say about my race because I love it and I proud of it, and because I know which is fool, I don’t even feel anger. So don’t need to worry about me. Thank you.”
AEW President Tony Khan mentioned at the post-Double Or Nothing media scrum that he was not at all happy at what had happened, saying that the best move for the company was to release Urbina.
“I didn’t think there was any excuse. I was not happy. Afterwards, I heard what was said and having our commentators involved with what was said about her, who I also apologized to, I thought it was best for the company to make this decision.”
Hikaru Shida defended her new title belt at Double Or Nothing against Dr. Britt Baker DMD. In a back and forth match, Shida was eventually caught in Baker’s ‘Lock Jaw’ submission hold and had no choice but to submit. Shida had held the AEW Women’s Championship for a record-setting 372 days.