Photo credit: AEW
Britt Baker defeated Hikaru Shida at Double or Nothing on Sunday night to win the AEW Women’s World Championship and end Shida’s yearlong reign.
It was announced several weeks ago that Baker had ascended to the No. 1 contender spot. Baker made it clear that she was coming for Shida and the AEW Women’s title after Shida had a successful title defense on the April 21 episode of Dynamite.
After Shida defeated Tay Conti, Baker appeared at the top of the stage and pointed to the women’s rankings, which saw her move past Conti and into the top spot.
Baker became No. 1 contender despite the fact that she lost a much-talked-about unsanctioned match to Thunder Rosa in March. Because the match was unsanctioned, it did not count for or against the records of Baker and Rosa.
After that loss, Baker went on an impressive roll, although the bulk of her victories occurred on AEW Dark and AEW Dark: Elevation.
Baker did have a televised victory over Julia Hart on the Blood and Guts episode of Dynamite on May 5, making it clear she was ready to compete for the title for the first time since January 2020.
Shida became AEW women’s champion at Double or Nothing a year ago, and she went on to successfully defend the title against many of the best female wrestlers the promotion had to offer.
Nyla Rose, Penelope Ford, Rosa, Big Swole, Anna Jay, Abadon, Ryo Mizunami and Conti all stepped up and challenged Shida over the course of a year, but all of them failed.
Baker represented Shida’s toughest test yet, though, due to her in-ring skill and toughness, as well as the confidence she built up while rising to the top of the women’s division. She was positioned as the top women’s wrestler in AEW out of the gates, but she was miscast as a babyface and didn’t initially enjoy the type of success most expected.
Things changed once she turned heel, and it seemed like only a matter of time before she captured the AEW Women’s World Championship.
Baker’s time arrived Sunday, and given how she recently lost to Rosa, it appears likely that she will get the first crack at challenging the new champ.
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