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Riho will finally make her return to AEW.
On AEW Dynamite this week, the announcement was made that the first-ever AEW Women’s World Champion would return to the company in the AEW Women’s World Championship Eliminator Tournament. In the first round, Riho is scheduled to face the NWA Women’s Champion, Serena Deeb.
FIRST ROUND in the #AEW Women’s World Championship eliminatior tournament sees The @NWA Women’s World Champion @SerenaDeeb take on the returning and first-ever #AEW Women’s World Champion @riho_gtmv! pic.twitter.com/z9DbQbhVAu
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 28, 2021
Due to travel restrictions and the COVID-19 pandemic, Riho has not performed for AEW since March of last year. Riho became the first-ever AEW Women’s World Champion after defeating Nyla Rose on the first episode of AEW Dynamite.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Riho returning provides a needed boost to the AEW women’s division. Not only is she a fresh face due to being off for so long, but the landscape of the division has shifted since she last appeared. Britt Baker is now a viable heel at the top, Thunder Rosa is a new face, and current AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida is the anchor that held the division together during Riho’s absence and throughout the pandemic. With those new faces and current faces in new roles, Riho has an intriguing list of opponents to work with right off the bat. The tournament format is a great way to dip her toe back into the water before defining any concrete directions.
CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S AEW DYNAMITE REPORT: 1/27 AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT: Keller’s report on Bucks & Good Brothers vs. Dark Order, Jungle Boy vs. Dax, Jericho & MJF vs. Varsity Blonds