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AEW working on bringing Riho back with February return possible

Image: AEW

Dave Meltzer reported in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter that AEW is working on bringing back former Women's Champion Riho back to the promotion, possibly as early as February.

The 23-year-old hasn't been on TV since a mid-March Dynamite when she was on the losing end of a four-way against Hikaru Shida, Kris Statlander, and Penelope Ford. Due to the pandemic, she has been in Japan and working mainly for Stardom since July. However, she hasn't been on a Stardom show since a December 26th event, raising speculation she could be returning.

Meltzer noted that the issue is moving her to the U.S. from Japan to help avoid the two week quarantine from back and forth travel.

On this past week's Dynamite, AEW announced a 16-woman tournament to decide the next challenger to the aforementioned Shida who has held the title since May. The graphic used indicates a U.S. vs. Japan angle to the tournament which would seem to be a natural fit for Riho's return.

Riho became the inaugural titleholder by defeating Nyla Rose on the first Dynamite in October 2019 in the finals of a tournament. She held the title through February 12th of 2020 when Rose defeated her on an episode of Dynamite.