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Stardom’s 5 STAR GP Heats up as the Final Month Rolls Around

10 months ago

Stardom’s 5 STAR GP Heats up as the Final Month Rolls Around

Stardom’s 5★STAR GP Heats up as the Final Month Rolls Around

By: James Carlin

With five people now leading the Blue Stars block, and Natsuko Tora firmly in the lead of the Red Stars block at twelve points, it’s still all to play for as the last month of Stardom’s annual round robin tournament nears its conclusion.

Mayu Iwatani shares 5pts alongside Syuri and World of Stardom champion Tam Nakano, but her match tomorrow against Ami Sourei, who just comes off a win against Starlight Kid (4pt), looks to determine whether or not Sourei or Iwatani gets taken out of the tournament early. Iwatani lost two matches to Natsupoi and Natsuko Tora alongside a draw against Tam Nakano at Korakuen Hall  – her breaking the long-standing opening round curse against Hazuki (2pt) looked to be a good start, but now its a fight to survive against the God’s Eye member.

Meanwhile in the Blue Stars, everyone except Young Lioness Hanan (2pts) looks to still be in the running for being a finalist in their block as AZM and her Queen’s Quest leader Utami Hayashishita both have four points – with AZM’s matchup with Mina Shirakawa coming up on the same day that Hayashishita faces Mariah May, the High-Speed Bomb Girl’s quick-flash pin could come in handy to score a vital win to keep her moving up the board. The Foreign Ace has had an incredible showing for her first ever 5★STAR GP, being one of the five that lead the Blue Stars block and most recently pinning Momo Watanabe on the 27th.

Giulia and Momo Watanabe have only met twice in head-to-head matches. One was a Cinderella Tournament quarter-final in 2020 that Giulia won with ease, whilst the other was in last year’s 5★STAR, where Watanabe got the victory. The Black Peach only sits a point ahead of the STRONG Women’s Champion, but can she defeat last year’s tournament winner and once again head to the finals like she did in 2021?

This week’s Hiroshima PPV features four tournament matches – three for the Red Stars and one for the Blue Stars.

Iwatani finds herself facing off one more against The World Class Woman on a Different Level, with their last singles match taking place at World Climax in 2022 for the World of Stardom championship. They sit 1-1 with wins against each other, both won their respective matches whilst reigning with the Red Belt. Either one could come out with a win but for Syuri – it would firmly put her in second place if Nakano is unable to beat Starlight Kid.

Starlight Kid has already stated that she’ll fight her match against the Top Kawaii of the Cosmos like it’s for Nakano’s Red Belt, but the two haven’t faced off in over two years, and both women are in very different positions than they were back then. The Sky Tiger had only just joined Oedo-Tai when the two last fought, which was for Nakano’s White Belt, but now that Nakano has seen multiple roster changes in Cosmic Angels and had become the second ever double crown holder, Kid is looking at a mightily more confident Nakano whilst the champion is looking at a much more abrasive, confident and quick opponent than she was before. Nakano holds the advantage at 3-0-1, but the former High-Speed champion could rollup her first win against the World of Stardom champion at this show.

Momo and Utami – Royal Peach Tea… or at least they were until Watanabe turned on her own faction and joined Oedo-Tai. The two former teammates are 2-1-1 in favour of the Black Peach, and the dissent between the former Queen’s Quest leader (hand-picked by Io Shirai) and current Queen’s Quest leader is very obvious. Hayashishita’s short excursion to prepare for this tournament following the steel cage encounter between QQ and Oedo-Tai could come in handy against a deadly wrench wielding foe, yet Watanabe is two points ahead of her and could still lose valuable momentum if she cannot overcome Giulia from the night before. Their last match was a draw – could the same happen at Hiroshima, or will a decisive winner be found?

 

Back when we first previewed this year’s tournament – we chose five women who could potentially win. Saya Kamitani had to withdraw due to injury, and the other four all still have a chance at winning. Shirakawa is still a clear favourite, destined to wrong the right of losing her Wonder of Stardom title to her former Dream H partner, yet Maika could still make it to the finals after multiple impressive showings over the years in championship matches, to stake her claim to the Red Belt. Hayashishita looks to be back into her groove, now sporting her old Red Belt reign gear, and Suzu Suzuki still has to win all her matches to have a chance at getting to the final sprint, but never doubt a deathmatch specialist. MIRAI still sits on 6pts as a block leader, and could very well use her potential tournament win to try and become the third double crown holder in Stardom’s history.