AEW is slated to kick off its Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament this week on Dynamite.
The first match will see former NWA Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa face Leyla Hirsch on the show. This is part of the United States side of the bracket. No further bouts have been confirmed.
With COVID-19 travel restrictions in place, fans have been wondering where AEW will tape the Japanese side of the tournament. Dave Meltzer noted on today’s episode of Wrestling Observer Radio that it’s being filmed at the Ice Ribbon Dojo in Warabi, Saitama, Japan on a closed set.
“Hikaru Shida is in Japan right now producing…the Japanese side is going to be filmed and may have already been filmed at the Ice Ribbon Dojo. It’s like a closed set and nobody knows what’s happening and stuff. That’s why she hasn’t been on TV in two weeks. She had to quarantine for two weeks and then she’s there and I’m guessing they’re doing it now.”
He added that he was told by AEW President Tony Khan that he has “something cool” planned for the tournament.
The Japanese competitors in the tournament include Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki, Veny, Emi Sakura, Ryo Mizunami, Mei Suruga, Rin Kadokura, and Maki Itoh. The US side includes Serena Deeb, Riho, Britt Baker, Tay Conti, Thunder Rosa, Nyla Rose, Anna Jay, and Leyla Hirsch.
The winner of the tournament will become the new #1 contender to challenge Hikaru Shida for the AEW Women’s Title.