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Mayu Iwatani Sits Down With NJPW and Trashes Mina Shirakawa

4 months ago Masahiro Kubota | MP

Masahiro Kubota | MP

Mayu Iwatani Sits Down With NJPW and Trashes Mina Shirakawa

By: R. Faliani

The IWGP Women’s Champion Mayu Iwatani is not only a champion, but STARDOM’s undeniable Icon, therefore when she’s locked in she expects nothing but the best from her opponents, such as Mina Shirakawa. Iwatani sat down with New Japan Pro Wrestling to discuss New Beginning in Sapporo, and she practically trash-talked her opponent ahead of this big title match, amidst STARDOM’s reorganization.

Iwatani is an intriguing personality. She’s a Russian roulette of sorts, and you never know what to expect from the IWGP Women’s Champion. What you do know whenever you see her perform, is that she’s among the best in the world, and her rivals in this title reign prove it. For Iwatani, pro-wrestling saved her life, therefore, she fights every important match like the last one. Shirakawa is not an easy target, but she has to be ready for what could be the match of her life against STARDOM’s Icon.

STARDOM Spotlights IWGP & NJPW Strong Women’s Titles in Busy Weekend

When asked about Shirakawa, Iwatani was pretty straightforward with her thoughts, and what she thinks of Shirakawa as a performer, having her as a former member of STARS. The IWGP Women’s Champion criticized Shirakawa’s constant change of factions and groups:

“She was in STARS, which is like our Hontai, for a while. Then she joined Tam Nakano’s Cosmic Angels. She spun away from that to make her own team called Club Venus, they didn’t get much done and now she’s made another faction called E Nexus V.”
“I think her attitude is ‘new team, new title, yay’, but she’s not taking this seriously enough if you ask me.”

Of course, this declaration from Iwatani had mouths open, but she didn’t stop there and continued to trash Shirakawa as a wrestler who seemingly felt like an unfinished product:

“When I think of Shirakawa, I think of when she had her face smashed in. I’ve always been someone to encourage wrestlers who are newer to this than me. But there was one time when she was in STARS, she had a match with Unagi that was so bad I chewed her out, like ‘can you expect people to pay money to watch that?”
“I’ve wrestled her a few times since, but she changes her style so often. Recently she’s been wanting to kick more and to go after your knees. She hasn’t picked something to stick to.”

Iwatani also talked about Shirakawa’s grit since breaking her face completely against Saya Kamitani in that infamous match, and how she handled it like a pro, but her harsh comments resumed and practically undervalued Shirakawa even through this known accident:

“Momentum can be a powerful thing, but Mina’s a bug to be crushed, that’s all.”

STARDOM’s Icon doesn’t seem to have time for Shirakawa’s displays of grit and determination, and she’s looking to crush her rival and continue reigning as IWGP Women’s Champion in Sapporo. This phase of Iwatani is unknown to some, but to those who understand how the Icon works in these situations, this is just Iwatani being the Icon and demanding 130% from her opponents.

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