All Star Dream Cinderella
March 3, 2021 (2:30 AM EST, 11:30 PM PST)
What seemed unthinkable for decades is about to become reality—a Joshi company is running Nippon Budokan for the first time in nearly 24 years. All Japan Women last ran the legendary arena on August 31, 1997—an event that was nothing short of a disaster for the company, and would signal the sharp decline of a promotion that had run the Tokyo Dome less than three years prior.
But 24 years later, Stardom has wind in its sails as it embarks on its 10th Anniversary. With a stacked roster, weekly television show, and marketing from corporate owner Bushiroad, it could be argued that the Joshi promotion has more momentum than the scene has witnessed in over a decade.
That momentum has led to a return to Nippon Budokan for the most anticipated show in Stardom’s history. The eight-match card features five title matches and showcases the past, present, and future of not only Stardom—but all Joshi wrestling (The “All Star” name hearkens back to All Star Dreamslam—the 1993 Joshi supershow considered by many to be one of the greatest pro wrestling cards of all time).
HIGH SPEED CHAMPIONSHIP
AZM © vs NATSUPOI
Expect this match to live up to its name. High Speed Champion AZM (pronounced Azumi) is one of the most exciting young wrestlers on the planet. The Io Shirai protege might have the highest ability to age quotient anywhere in the world. Natsupoi (formerly known as Natsumi Maki in other promotions) has her first big singles match since joining Stardom full time at the start of the year. Expect a fast pace with lots of momentum swings, aerial offense, stiff strikes, and flash pin attempts.
GODDESS OF STARDOM TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
HIMEKA & MAIKA © vs NATSUKO TORA & SAKI KASHIMA
Strength vs devious opportunists. New Goddess of Stardom Tag Team Champions Maika & Himeka bring a hard-hitting hoss style to the ring, while Natsuko Tora & Saki Kashima aren’t afraid to brawl and bend the rules.
Kashima is known as a flash pin specialist, and has been piling up the wins with her “Revival” crucifix pin lately. Expect a fun tag match with plenty of near falls and saves.
ALL STAR RUMBLE
This spectacle will not only celebrate Stardom’s 10-year history, but the last 5 decades of Joshi wrestling as well. A fun mix of current stars, returning fan favorites, and all-time legends will give a dose of nostalgia and entertainment. Notables include:
- Current Stardom Wrestlers: Starlight Kid, Saya Iida, Bea Priestley, and others
- Yuzuki Aikawa (Stardom’s original ace returns for one night)
- Chigusa Nagayo (Arguably the most popular Joshi wrestler of all-time)
- Kyoko Inoue (One of the best AJW wrestlers from the 90s)
- Mima Shimoda (NJPW translator and Jay White chair supplier… also one of the best tag team wrestlers in Joshi history)
- Emi Sakura & Rin Kadokura (Participants in the AEW Women’s Tournament)
10TH ANNIVERSARY MATCH
MOMO WATANABE vs NANAE TAKAHASHI
A classic generational struggle with added interpromotional tension. 42-year-old Nanae Takahashi was the final top champion in All Japan Women, and the first top champion in Stardom. Takahashi left amid controversy in 2015 to start her own company, but now she’s back for the first time in 6 years to face 20-year old Momo Watanabe. Watanabe says the old guard’s time is through, and it’s time for a new generation to take its rightful place in the spotlight. Both wrestlers are known to work stiff, so expect a hard-hitting match.
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SYURI © vs KONAMI
A matchup featuring two wrestlers with extensive shoot backgrounds and plenty of history together. Syuri put her pro wrestling career on hold from 2017 to 2019 to fight in UFC, while Konami received much of her initial training from MMA legend Megumi Fuji. But the similarities don’t stop there, as both have close histories with WWE wrestler Asuka — Syuri as a rival, and Konami as a protege.
When Asuka left Japan for WWE, Konami suddenly found herself on her own in Tokyo at 19 years old. She found a sympathetic older sister figure in Syuri, and recently revealed in a heartfelt letter at a press conference how much Syuri’s presence gave her an example to strive for.
After going their separate ways in MMA and pro wrestling respectively, they both eventually found their way to Stardom — where fate has put them in opposite corners at Budokan. Expect a hard-hitting UWF or Battlarts styled match with plenty of strikes and submissions.
10TH ANNIVERSARY MATCH
MAYU IWATANI vs YOSHIKO
A match that symbolizes the history of Stardom, both positive and negative. Each wrestler was part of the promotion’s first class of trainees, and both made their debut on Stardom’s first show in 2011. Yoshiko was pegged as a major star from the jump — she went on to main event Sumo Hall in 2013, and ended Io Shirai’s first legendary title reign in 2014, while Iwatani lagged behind and was expected by many to be the first trainee to quit.
Things changed in an instant in 2015 when Yoshiko was involved in a nasty shoot incident that led to her leaving the company with Nanae Takahashi. In their absence, Iwatani continued to develop to not only become one of Stardom’s biggest stars, but one of the highest regarded women’s wrestlers in the world.
But now that Yoshiko’s back for the first time in 6 years, it’s up to Iwatani to defend Stardom’s home turf while battling demons of doubt from her past.
WORLD OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
UTAMI HAYASHISHITA © vs SAYA KAMITANI
A battle of tag team partners representing the present and the future. Two wrestlers with a combined 4 years of experience will compete for Stardom’s top belt in Budokan Hall. Utami Hayashishita took Japan by storm with an incredible debut and rookie run in 2018 (including winning Weekly Pro Wrestling’s Rookie of the Year Award), and the accolades haven’t stopped — the greatest of which was ending Mayu Iwatani’s year-long World of Stardom championship reign last November.
Saya Kamitani is also considered a blue-chipper — possessing acrobatics and athleticism reminiscent of the likes of Io Shirai & Manami Toyota — shooting star presses, phoenix splashes, and tope con hilos are all part of her growing arsenal. Despite that raw talent, she’s still looking to put everything together. Kamitani’s accolades haven’t matched her tag team partner, Hayashishta — causing some fans and fellow competitors to question her suitability for such a big match.
Kamitani has acknowledged these doubts, but has promised to shock the world in Budokan. She’s spent the last month debuting new spectacular moves, and has promised to have a few secrets saved for the big match.
HAIR vs HAIR / WONDER OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
GIULIA © vs TAM NAKANO
A match that transcends belts. Giulia and Tam Nakano went to war in 2020, and have given fans one of the most heated feuds in Stardom’s history.
Giulia has taken Stardom by storm over the last year — forming a new faction (Donna Del Mondo) and winning Weekly Pro Wrestling’s Joshi Grand Prize. She won Stardom’s annual Cinderella Tournament, took the then-vacant Wonder of Stardom championship in a match against Nakano, and later successfully defended it against her in October at Stardom’s first major arena show of the Bushiroad Era.
Nakano has repeatedly promised to win the Wonder of Stardom Championship for her former tag team partner Arisa Hoshiki (who sadly had to retire while champion due to injuries in 2020), but her failure to do so has led to an all-out obsession with surpassing Giulia.
In early 2021, Nakano demanded another opportunity — and said she would do whatever it takes in any match Giulia wanted. A day later Giulia returned Tam’s request with her answer — a title match at Budokan with hair also on the line for the first time in Stardom’s history.
The year-long feud will be settled, and one wrestler will walk out of the ring without her hair. Will Nakano finally win the big one and honor her promise, or will Giulia continue to reign supreme?