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Q&A with Joshi Superstar Giulia

2 years ago

Q&A with Joshi Superstar Giulia

Introduction by James Carlin

Giulia has been one of STARDOM’s more controversial figures from the moment she joined in October 2019, leaving Ice Ribbon to pursue a new challenge. Fighting against the world is something she’s had to do her whole life, growing up mixed race in one of the world’s most homogenous countries – Japan. She was beyond ready to push past the criticism by the time Rossy Ogawa had signed her.

It’s a story not unfamiliar in the world of pro wrestling: Giulia withstood years of bullying, before one day she found the strength to stand up for herself and her brother on a jungle gym. The cocky persona Giulia developed would carry her into the world of professional wrestling, something she discovered after a customer from her parents’ Italian restaurant insisted she join them at an event.

But first, Giulia would have to wait until her shift was over working at the restaurant. When she saw the show, something sparked inside of her.

Much like during her childhood, the 2020 Tokyo Sport’s Women’s Wrestling Grand Prize recipient faced criticism from those around her, joining STARDOM as an outsider. But she again learned to be resilient, fighting determined to prove her worth and place – even while admitting she had a long way to go inside the ring. Now three years into her STARDOM career, Giulia can say she’s proven to the world that she belongs.

Photo Credit: twitter/taigaPhoto_pw

Monthly Puroresu: Since you have mentioned you weren’t a wrestling fan growing up, take us back to that moment that you knew it would become a part of your life – and how you began sketching out what would set you apart in the business.

Giulia: It is wrong that I was not a professional wrestling fan. I was a big fan of professional wrestling, although it was just for a short period of time, about a year. I went to watch matches of both overseas professional wrestling and Japanese professional wrestling. Around that time, I was invited to become a professional wrestler and train with Tsukasa Fujimoto of Ice Ribbon.

Wrestling is a mysterious job, and fans are not very pleased with a wrestler just seeking power or just showing strength. I think that if you can show what human beings have gone through in their lives and their background, you’ll be able to draw more emotion. Why are these women fighting each other in this match? I think that in order to shine in pro wrestling, you need to be able to pull at people’s emotions and be persuasive.

Monthly Puroresu: Does it surprise you that Thekla (Who spoke to us in Monthly Puroresu, Issue #6), Risa Sera, and others have followed you from Ice Ribbon to STARDOM?

Giulia: No surprises. I think the number one reason is that the scale of STARDOM has grown, rather than a personal relationship with me. Of course, I know that they remember their personal interactions and ties with me, however, when I came to STARDOM, I didn’t do it with the intention that people would follow me here.

Monthly Puroresu: In a culture so rich as Japan’s, there have to be other hobbies you have outside of wrestling. Can you tell our readers about other ways you like to spend your time?

Giulia: I like saunas and often go to a spa on my days off. The spa facilities in Japan are clean and well-functioning, and I would like foreigners to experience them too. Someday, I want to go to Finland, the home of the sauna.

Monthly Puroresu: You’re about to enter your 4th year with STARDOM, wow! Time flies. How many more years do you expect to be working in the ring?

Giulia: Japanese professional wrestling is very hard. Especially in the main event on a big show, you often take a lot of dangerous techniques. But I love this job, so I’d be happy if I could continue for a long time, but I don’t think I can say how long I will continue, I have no idea right now.

Monthly Puroresu: What’s the greatest prize in all of pro wrestling, in your opinion?

Giulia: It may not be the answer to your question, but I think it is the pride of professional wrestlers to “do something unprecedented.” I don’t think it’s the best to win a prize that many other wrestlers have won. Therefore, the award I want is the Tokyo Sports “Pro Wrestling Award MVP (both men and women)”.

No female wrestler has taken this. After that, after I retire, I want to other wrestlers to say “this is best prize in wrestling because it is the prize that Giulia won.” My dream is to become a wrestler who raises the value of the prize, not the prize raising my value.

Monthly Puroresu: You’ve mentioned before that your debut wasn’t perfect, and how you struggled in the ring at first. What was key to your training that’s given you confidence to have great matches?

Giulia: The coaching of Mio Shirai, Hideki Suzuki, and Milano Collection AT. These are the three people who taught me what to show in the ring.

Monthly Puroresu: Name one thing you think people overlook while training in the gym!.

Giulia: Form. Many people don’t realize that training with good form is the most important part of training. Whether it’s in the gym or practicing wrestling techniques, I think it’s a shame to just go through the motions. You should work on your training with the understanding that every move has to make sense.

Monthly Puroresu: You very quickly formed your own faction in STARDOM. What prepared you to be a leader?

Giulia: I think my career was less than two years when I arrived in STARDOM. My ring movements weren’t smooth yet, and I wasn’t confident. Under those circumstances, I decided to become a faction leader, which was drawing attention from around the world.

STARDOM was rising, and I strongly felt that I had to become a wrestler that matched that ascension. For my first six months, I had to look in the mirror and focus on improving everything from my matches, my physical fitness, how I presented myself on social media, interviews, and even my attitude towards all things professional wrestling. And of course, to pay the utmost attention to my relationship with all of the members of my unit.

Monthly Puroresu: Now that Syuri has created God’s Eye, does that change your feelings about her? Why do you feel she might struggle as a new leader?

Photo Credit:

Giulia: Yes, they’ve changed. I think we complemented each other well. I think Syuri made up for my lack of career, lack of achievements, and she brought those awesome martial arts skills. On the other hand, I brought the presentation and generated way more fan interest.

Syuri is excellent as a team player, but I think her skill as a leader will be completely different. She’s very positive though, so I’d like to take a close look at what God’s Eye will be doing in the future.

Of course, as the leader of Donna del Mondo, I will try to prevent her from doing whatever she tries to do. Syuri must consider not only leading her new unit but also about being disrupted by Giulia. It’ll be very difficult for her.

Monthly Puroresu: Alto Livello KABALIWAN won’t be teaming anymore, but aside from your catchphrase “Arrivederci”, do you think you’ll start to embrace your Italian roots more, such as one day representing Italy as the SWA champion in the future, for example?

Giulia: I think having Italian roots is one of my cool characteristics. There’s no doubt that being half Italian is an advantage for SWA’s challenge qualifications. The professional wrestling business is not so widespread in Italy, but I hope that someday the Italians will be eager to call Stardom to their country.

Monthly Puroresu: You have changed your look many times over the years, in quite dramatic ways. What inspires or influences you when determining your next look?

Giulia: Well, I don’t decide my next look by seeing it on someone else. Most of the time, the image suddenly comes to me and I just go for it. In order for the fans to be excited, I wanna continue with looks that I find fun. With that in mind, I always want Giulia to have a larger-than-life presence. I’m always thinking about what I can do for that.

Monthly Puroresu: Why do you think that yourself and Tam Nakano have become such bitter rivals?

Giulia: We have totally opposite personalities. However, the only thing that was exactly the same was what we both wanted in a professional wrestling match. Tam will give me strong strikes and throw all these suplexes, to where I think I might not be able to stand up tomorrow, but I’m happy with that. And I’m sure she’s thinking the same thing.

Monthly Puroresu: Do you see yourself teaming up with her again after the tag shuffle at Tokyo Dream Cinderella last year?

Giulia: I don’t think so. If the fans want to see it, maybe we can do it. But if you want a “good match”, you shouldn’t expect too much from that tag team.

Monthly Puroresu: After travel restrictions ease up, is there somewhere you and your friends in Stardom really want to wrestle – a particular city, or arena even?

Giulia: I would like to wrestle in the US at Madison Square Garden and in Rome, Italy. And I think it would be great if I could give hope to people, by wrestling in poor areas of Southeast Asia. If I could do that, I would like to show the children a life-threatening battle with Tam Nakano.

Monthly Puroresu: For those who doubted Giulia, that you fit in Stardom, what would you say to them now?

Giulia: Nothing. No matter what the fans think or how they anticipate the future of the wrestlers, that’s one of the ways they enjoy themselves. I am very happy to let it be.

Monthly Puroresu: Syuri said that she wished to wrestle Nanae Takahashi for the World of Stardom championship in the future. Is there anyone outside of Stardom would you like to wrestle one day, or are you focused on a particular threat inside the company?

Giulia: Asuka, Io Shirai, Toni Storm. After that, I would like to wrestle with Tay Conti who said she wanted to fight me. She said she likes Japanese wrestling, so we might gel.

“A basketball coach dropped this on me once: Pressure will make a diamond, stress with break a pipe. Like Syuri, Giulia is a diamond that has been unearthed. I think all the pundits knew Syuri would be good – winning the 5 Star Grand Prix and World of Stardom Championship is a meteoric rise. Now, chasing those achievements, the leader of DDM. she is always adapting, always evolving, always sophisticated, elegant and undeniable Giulia. Those achievements of Syuri’s are steps towards what Giulia told us she really wants the most: The Tokyo Sport’s Pro Wrestling Award MVP. To my knowledge, no female has captured the award; this is the level of ambition for Giulia in her craft. an accomplishment of that nature is isn’t one that would raise Giulia, wouldn’t just raise STARDOM, but would raise joshi puroresu to levels unimagined.” – NJPW Broadcaster Mavs Gillis

This article was first published in Monthly Puroresu Issue #8