Hikaru Shida's formative years were deeply rooted in Japan's vibrant Ice Ribbon promotion, where she honed her craft. However, her journey took a dynamic turn in 2014 when she embraced the role of a freelancer, venturing into uncharted territories.
This strategic decision opened doors to a wealth of experiences, knowledge, and unexpected mentorship from one of her former rivals, none other than Kana, recognized today as the illustrious Asuka within WWE's domain. In an engaging conversation with Denise Salcedo, Shida peeled back the layers of her relationship with Asuka.
She delved into the invaluable guidance that shaped her path. "For the present moment, our communication may be limited, but during my initial six years as a freelancer, Kana-san bestowed upon me a plethora of insights. These ranged from negotiating with companies to mastering the art of wrestling as a freelance entity," Shida eloquently revealed.
Asuka: Wrestling Mentor and Teacher
Reflecting on her mentorship, Shida's admiration for Asuka shone brightly. Asuka's role extended beyond the wrestling ring; she metamorphosed into a true teacher. "She assumed the role of my mentor, especially after I embraced freelancing.
We shared a similar journey as freelancers, and her guidance resonated deeply. Although our conversations dwindled after her U.S. journey commenced, her wisdom still lingers. Even without frequent dialogue or texts, the wealth of knowledge she imparted is immeasurable," the AEW luminary expressed with palpable gratitude.
Their communication may have mellowed, but Shida's reverence for the former WWE Women's Champion remains steadfast. Asuka's influence transcends borders, extending beyond wrestling techniques to encompass life as a champion.
"Though our words are scarce, Asuka remains my beacon of wisdom. She illuminates my path as a champion and illuminates the intricate workings of foreign wrestling arenas. The respect I hold for her is unwavering, irrespective of our conversations.
Witnessing her triumphs on the grand stage brings me immense joy," Shida articulated with genuine admiration. In essence, Hikaru Shida's journey in the wrestling world has been enriched by the indelible impact of Asuka's guidance.
From navigating the complexities of freelance wrestling to embodying the essence of a true champion, Shida's narrative is interwoven with Asuka's teachings, a testament to the enduring influence of mentorship in the realm of professional wrestling.