AEW Full Gear is the first All Elite Wrestling PPV to take place since the inception of Dynamite. It’s a landmark occasion, and I’m taking a look at every match announced for the show, one by one. I’m Jordan Huie of the Overtimer and here’s what we’re looking forward to on Saturday!
AEW Women’s World Championship: Riho (c) vs. Emi Sakura
I’ve posited before that if the AEW’s women’s division is tantamount to WCW’s cruiserweights, as Tony Khan has stated before, that would make the joshi imports analogous to the luchadores back in the day. It should go without saying that the likes of Rey Misterio Jr., Psicosis and Juventud Guerrera did a lot for the identity of that division in the 90s.
Similarly, the likes of Hikaru Shida, Yuka Sakazaki and the two women involved here, among others, give AEW’s women’s division a certain distinction from most others. That being the case, it’s pretty fitting to see two of them squaring off for the title here at AEW Full Gear.
While this isn’t a match that’s been official for very long, it’s got a lot of history to it to say the least.
After all, Emi Sakura is actually the one who trained Riho in the first place, back when she was only nine years old. Emi was the head trainer of the Ice Ribbon dojo, which Riho and her sister went to back in 2006. Suffice it to say, the two of them have wrestled each other many, many times in the thirteen years since then. In fact, according to cagematch.net’s database, they’ve faced off in 36 singles matches, and been involved in a staggering 311 matches together all-in-all.
So that’s a lot of familiarity being brought to this match. Emi has been very important to Riho’s rise in getting to the vaunted spot she now has, at still such a young age all things considered. So I’m sure it’s very personally significant to them both that this is taking place, above all else. Expect a spirited, emotional encounter here.
Riho has really emerged as a sensation of AEW’s early days.
A fantastic lovable underdog face that seems to endear herself to any crowd she performs in front of. She’s terrifyingly easy to get heat on, but with her experience and speed, she’s also very effective at making exciting comebacks when the time comes. The impossibly tiny and youthful Riho is a proven hit with young teens already, and looks like an asset when it comes to drawing young women to the product.
Emi has 24 years of experience under her belt, which thus far has come very much in handy. She notably came out being cheered on Dynamite this past week but over the course of the match, easily established herself as a heel. That’s a credit to both her and Riho.
I don’t think it’s a hot take to say it’s much too soon to take the title off of Riho. I don’t know if anyone’s really gonna establish themselves as a better choice to be champion any time soon, honestly. Everyone’s of course welcome to try! But for now, Riho over.
AEW Full Gear takes place November 9th in Baltimore, Maryland out of the Royal Farms Arena. It airs live on traditional PPV in America and on FITETV internationally.