At AEW Double Or Nothing, Hikaru Shida finally made it to her rightful spot at the top of the AEW Women’s division, beating down Nyla Rose in a fantastic No Holds Barred match to become champion. But sometimes winning the championship is the easiest part of a reign, that’s just one match. After that match, you need to defend the championship, and be on the highest level possible. Penelope Ford is one of the more underrated talents in the division, and a key pinfall on Shida in a tag team match earned her this shot tonight. Having Kip Sabian at ringside only increases her odds of victory. Will Shidas reign crumble in her first defense?
Hikaru Shida Takes Penelope Ford Seriously
Before the bell could even ring, Kip Sabian would be ejected from ringside, making this a proper one on one match. Kip would steal Shida’s Kendo Stick, and go to the back. The bell would ring, and Shida would dash across the ring with a huge jumping knee, and go for the Falcon Arrow. Ford would fight out of his, and prevent the lightning quick loss. She’d come back with a rollup, before rolling to the outside to catch her breath. Shida would send a boot through the ropes, and knock Ford down, and they’d brawl on the outside. Ford would throw her into the barricade, but Shida would come back and hit a huge knee to get back in control. Finding herself propped up on the top rope with a knee in her future, Ford would slip onto the apron and hit a kick to the head. A cartwheel back elbow and a german suplex would get Ford a near fall.
Some ground and pound would punish Shida, as Ford would look to keep control. Attacking the throat with the ropes, Ford would attack the ability to breathe. If you can’t breathe, you can’t fight, simple as that. This kept Ford in firm control, and dirty tactics like hair-pulling and scratching would maintain that control. However, you can’t keep Shida down forever, and she’d fire back up. Shida would come back with a knee to the stomach, but be dropped with a reverse DDT for a near fall. A slap fest would ensue, but Shida was the better striker, and she’d move to knees than a big kick, but Ford has kicks too and dropped Shida with a pump kick.
Things Heat Up For A Hot Finish
Shida would counter an attempted Stunner with a Sleeper Hold, and got into a backbreaker for a near fall. She’d nail the Falcon Arrow, but Penelope Ford would counter the pinfall and get a near fall! This was just a short roadblock for Shida, and a running knee would stun Ford. Going to the top rope, Shida would go for a missile dropkick, but Ford would bend back to dodge, and hit the stuner for another near fall! Clearly frusturated, Ford would go to try and grab the AEW Women’s Championship to use as a weapon. This distraction would allow Kip Sabian to return with the Kendo Stick, but he’d get it upside the head, taking him back out. Ford would manage to hit the springboard stunner for a 2.9 count, catching Shida off guard. Looking to follow up, Ford would go up top and try for a moonsault, Shida would dodge and hit a series of running knees. Nailing the Falcon Arrow again, Ford would survive a second time! One more running knee, and the championship dreams of Ford would be done, as Shida notches her first of many defenses.
This was a tremendous match like expected, but this was a career defining match for Penelope Ford. She has never looked this good, and hung with one of the best in the world, looking every bit as good as Shida. Dramatic action, good use of outside interferrence, and a great finishing sequence. This one gets 3.5/5 from me, and is among Shidas best matches in AEW.
Who will get the next shot at Hikaru Shida? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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