AEW Women’s World Championship Eliminator Tournament
Original Air Date: February 28, 2021
Event Date: February ?, 2021
(uploaded to YouTube)
Commentary (English): Excalibur, Taz
Commentary (Japanese): Haruo Murata (1, 2), Aja Kong (1), Hikaru Shida (2)
Ring Announcers: Rikiya Shindo (1, 2), Justin Roberts (3)
Maki Itoh & Veny & Emi Sakura vs Mei Suruga (Gatoh Move Asia Dream Tag Champ) & Rin Kadokura (Wave Tag Champ) & Hikaru Shida (AEW Women’s Champ)
Result: Hikaru Shida pins Veny after Tamashii
Great match. With this being possibly the last time we see some of these wrestlers on AEW TV, it felt like everyone wanted to make a big impression. The personalities were huge, the action was wildly varied between fun and hard-hitting, and the match as a whole was a joy to watch. I can’t really pick a favorite segment of the match or someone who stood out any more than anyone else. This was a great representation of Japanese female pro wrestling.
AEW Women’s World Championship Eliminator Tournament Japanese Final Match
“The Magical Girl” Yuka Sakazaki vs “Aniki” Ryo Mizunami
Result: Ryo Mizunami wins via pinfall after an inside leg hook driver
Great match. Mizunami used her power and striking abilities very well throughout the match, and that forced Sakazaki to fight from behind for nearly the entire match. Sakazaki used her speed and agility to avoid and counter Mizunami at times, but whenever Mizunami caught Sakazaki, Sakazaki was dealt a lot of punishment. Sakazaki did manage to gain a strong advantage late in the match with some submission attempts and high-risk offense, and that led to a very exciting finish. I though the match might be winding down about five minutes before it actually did, and that’s a good thing. This was a great finish to the Japanese side of the bracket.
AEW Women’s World Championship Eliminator Tournament American Semifinal Match
Thunder Rosa vs Riho
(referee: Aubrey Edwards)
Result: Thunder Rosa wins via pinfall with an outside cradle
Very good match. Thunder Rosa came out strong right from the start with a lot of heavy strikes. Riho was rocked early in the match, and she never seemed to fully recover. Riho would get short bursts of offense, but it was clear that Rosa’s strikes had taken a significant toll. Riho was slower to react than usual, and that left her open to further attacks whenever she tried to set up some of her signature high-risk moves. Riho wouldn’t stay down or give up though, and that led to a nice finish.
This was a very good show. I did like the Japanese matches more overall, and that’s kind of been a theme for me over the entire tournament. Some of the American matches have been great, but overall, for me, the Japanese matches have been more entertaining. Tonight’s show had a good mix of fun and seriousness.
Match of the Night
Yuka Sakazaki vs Ryo Mizunami
This was harder-hitting than I thought it might be. I expected Rosa vs Riho to be the most hard-fought match tonight, but Sakazaki and Mizunami stole the show.