AEW Fyter Fest Preview & Predictions: Yuka Sakazaki vs. Riho vs. Nyla Rose

Three of the division's most colorful squaring off.


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I’m sure AEW’s women’s division will get a singles match eventually… actually they’ll be having one at Fight For The Fallen, provided Brandi doesn’t change it last minute. (Or get scared off by Nyla Rose…) And it’s always possible that Bates/Rae actually does happen earlier in the night. Until then, booking the women like they’re in the X-Division has worked out well so far, so hey!

Yuka Sakazaki vs. Riho vs. Nyla Rose

Yuka and Riho were on opposing sides in the standout Joshi trios match, bringing much of the contest’s color as they’re both rather unique characters. Riho is a pop idol, whereas Yuka atleast appears to be a genie… and then there’s Nyla Rose, a brute, dead serious answer to the two Japanese imports. But that’s a rather simplistic summary, so let’s look into all three for a moment.

Riho is 22-years-old and started wrestling in 2006. No, that sentence didn’t have any typos, she seriously made her debut as a nine year old elementary student. Gotta think even some UK wrestlers would shake their heads at that one. She made some headlines back in the day for it too, winning some gold, including holding trios titles in DDT alongside Kenny Omega back when she’d just turned 13.

According to dear old Wikipedia, Yuka Sakazaki originally went through schooling to become a comedian before transitioning to wrestling instead, and I think that about sums things up really. She was also trained through the DDT Dojo, a promotion known for it’s fighting inflatable love dolls. Really, she might as well be a graduate of wrestling clown college, though that’s not to say she doesn’t have the skills to back up her colorful nature. How she does anything in those parachute pants is beyond me, frankly.

And then we have Nyla Rose.

Her signing alone drew headlines as it made her the first-ever transgender wrestler to be signed to a major organization. This created a funny dichotomy at Double or Nothing. She was attempting to play the stereotypical menacing, bruising bully heel, but the audience really didn’t want to boo her. I imagine they were all well aware of what her very existence meant to wrestling and the world at large. It’s hard to not want to support that, so she’s gonna have a tough time being a villain. But hey, that’s about the best possible problem you could have really.

It’s easy enough to see how this one might go. The two tiny, silly gals will be bounced around by big bad Nyla for a while, maybe try a few oddball antics to get an upperhand before potentially being forced to team up to knock her down. Much as the six-woman match was an exciting, hard-hitting, prime example of what Joshi competition was all about, it was a very serious match without much room for quirky character moments. I suspect this one will shine a bit more light on just who Yuka and Riho are.

That said, the Native Beast has a clearer path ahead of her than either of her opponents here. Her faceoff and short-lived bursts of action against Awesome Kong smelled of money. And in the post-show media scrums, she made it clear she wasn’t happy with Brandi’s last minute change to her match either. Tensions are brewing towards the Chief Brandi Officer and her new legendary heavy, and one has to think that’s gonna come to a boil within the next few months.

So Nyla Rose wins this one.

The Native Beast will need to gain some momentum, enroute to singles showdowns against her new rivals. I’m going off the assumption that we’ll be seeing her square off with Awesome Kong at All Out.

AEW Fyter Fest takes place on June 29th, and will be streamed for free for US viewers on B/R Live for all those who sign up. The rest of the world will be able to purchase the event on

For previews on the rest of the show, check out the links below:

Kylie Rae vs. Leva Bates

Michael Nakazawa vs. Alex Jebailey

SCU vs. Private Party vs. Best Friends

Jungle Boy vs. MJF vs. Jimmy Havoc vs. Hangman Page

Christopher Daniels vs. CIMA

Cody vs. Darby Allin

Joey Janela vs. Jon Moxley

Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks vs. Laredo Kid & The Lucha Bros

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