On Dynamite’s Title Tuesday, a notable title match pitted Saraya against Hikaru Shida in a title defense.
In the early moments when Hikaru seemed to dominate, Ruby Soho, disguised as a production assistant with a mask, attempted to intervene, using the Outcasts’ signature spray paint. Shida, however, quickly unmasked Soho, turning the paint on her.
Enter Timeless Toni Storm, rushing to the scene and chasing away her erstwhile ally wielding a shoe.
Although this melee seemed to even out the odds, Saraya managed to capitalize on the distraction and reclaim momentum.
Post-interruption, the tide turned again with Shida gaining the upper hand, landing multiple punches from the turnbuckle. A skirmish atop the turnbuckle saw Shida taking a hard fall onto the ring apron. She retaliated by delivering a German suplex, planting the champion on the very same apron.
Saraya regained control, executing her signature Knight Cap DDT. Shida, resilient, managed to kick out. In an unexpected twist, Saraya fetched a kendo stick, more to distract the referee than to use as a weapon. Seizing the moment, she sprayed paint in Shida’s face and attempted another Knight Cap. But Shida was not to be pinned, managing another kick out.
A series of pin attempts ensued, but it was Shida’s rollup that secured her the victory, crowning her as AEW’s first-ever three-time women’s champion.
This outcome marked the end of Saraya’s brief championship reign. Having won the title at All In on August 27, and with just one successful title defense against the soon-to-be Timeless Toni Storm, her second defense wasn’t meant to be. Perhaps this storyline was crafted to give the UK-born wrestler a significant win in her homeland, albeit for a short duration. Considering her prior injury history, a lengthy championship reign might not have been in the cards. It remains to be seen where Saraya’s journey will lead next.
In the meantime, a hearty congratulations to AEW’s stalwart, Hikaru Shida!