In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Hikaru Shida spoke about her multiple roles in AEW and said that she’s currently living her dream in wrestling. Here are highlights:
On the growth of the AEW Women’s Division: Were proving our division has the power to carry the show. That drives me. And I always had a dream to work internationally since I was a child, so, I am living my dream right now.
On introducing fans to Joshi wrestlers: Ive always felt that Japanese joshi are the best in the world. So introducing them to everyone is very meaningful for me. Its kind of a way to brag about my home. I also want Japanese wrestlers to know they can reach the top of the world if they work hard. Its not a fantasy. This is one of the biggest things I have done as champion, and Im proud of it.
On the differences between joshi and American-style wrestling: The thing that surprised me most when I wrestled in the U.S. for the first time is that American wrestlers know how to show their characters so well. They apply it naturally to their wrestling. On the other hand, I think Japanese joshi style has more martial arts taste. Hard hits and disciplined skills. But the differences have been decreasing gradually.
On starting her wrestling career as an actor: I was supposed to quit wrestling after I finished filming a movie based on wrestling. I had always been a sports player since I started judo when I was three years old but became sick of it as I grew older. After watching my movie and seeing myself as a pro wrestler, I became inspired. After that, I began to wrestle seriously, not just as an actor.