On July 20, 2020, the Goddesses of Stardom Championships were officially vacated by champions Bea Priestley and Jamie Hayter. The team of AphroditE, Utami Hayashishita and Saya Kamitani, were able to win the titles six days later by defeating Jungle Kyona and Konami. In doing so, it began a continuous “hot potato” of the Goddesses of Stardom Championships, hurting the credibility and necessary appreciation that those titles deserved. The tag team division was nearly non-existent. AphroditE had defended the titles twice before losing them to Bea Priestley and Konami of Oedo Tai. They held them for 50 days before dropping them to the Donna del Mondo team of Himeka and Maika. They, after 49 days, dropped them to their stablemates Giulia and Syuri at Yokohama Dream Cinderella. And finally, that title change signified a chance in the division moving forward.
Giulia and Syuri, now known as Alto livello KABALIWAN going back to both women’s roots, have been everything that the tag team division in Stardom has needed. Not only champions who remain on top, but ones who add prominence to the championships. When it comes to Stardom as a company, it’s difficult to find more prominent and elite competitors than both Giulia and Syuri. Giulia, on one hand, is fresh off a year where she won the Cinderella Tournament and held the Wonder of Stardom Championship. Not only is she a top name, but is perhaps one of the promotions most popular as well. The same goes for Syuri, who is the reigning SWA Champion and will face Utami Hayashishita at Tokyo Dream Cinderella for the World of Stardom Championship. These two are among the elite of the company and that is only aiding the tag titles.
In any wrestling company, bouncing titles back and forth doesn’t necessarily make for a good product, but rather taking away prestige from championships. Many were upset by Himeka and Maika losing them to their Donna del Mondo groupmates seeing that they had just won them and were in a spot to make them special, but ALK has made those upset become believers. And the only way they could do that was with matches worthy of making those titles feel important.
Going back to Yokohama Dream Cinderella in April, these two Donna del Mondo teams battled in the main event for nearly 30 minutes in a match that never stopped. It was the showing that really all four needed. Himeka is only growing more and more into a top wrestler in the company. Maika has shown serious improvement and is a clear option to hold the Wonder or World of Stardom Championships down the line. Syuri displayed importance in her performance, something that she many times did but following her match with Konami at All Star Dream Cinderella that had mixed reviews at best, it was a showing that was necessary. And for Giulia, it was her chance to get back on track. When she lost her title to Tam Nakano, she had to go back to square one with her head shaved and gear to match that. She showed that it was easy for her to get back to the top of her game.
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Add in the fact that these titles were in the main event of such a big show and you got the understanding that these two were destined to make these titles major once again. It was the beginning of something special and no one knew it. ALK’s next title defense would come against maybe pound-for-pound the best team in Stardom, MOMOAZ. Momo Watanabe and AZM have yet to achieve the status of the champions, but they were the winners of the Goddesses of Stardom Tag League in 2020. These two teams in their first non-title encounter went to a 15-minute draw. It led to ALK putting down the gauntlet to face off with them, this time the titles being on the line. On May 2, ALK defeated MOMOAZ in a 20-minute battle that is one of the best tag matches you will see all year. Spearheaded by Giulia and AZM facing off, the match delivered and gave ALK a huge first successful title defense.
They seemed more determined than ever to keep taking on the best of the best, as they faced off next with the MK Sisters, Mayu Iwatani and Starlight Kid. If fans don’t say MOMOAZ is the best team in Stardom, it’s likely they come back with the MK Sisters. Iwatani and Kid have immense chemistry and it has always shown in their matches. So much so that Iwatani wants the MK Sisters to be remembered as her main team, not Thunder Rock which consisted of her and Io Shirai. When the match got started, it was noticeable that ALK had a game plan of limiting Iwatani’s time in the ring to focus on Kid, showing that their chemistry and tag team prowess was clearly growing. For the majority of the match, Syuri focused on Iwatani while Giulia kept in the ring with Kid. These two’s in-ring chemistry solidified this as another incredible outing for ALK and a win for them as well.
Two successful defenses under their belt against two premier teams. It showed that this was the path to fixing the tag team division in Stardom while also putting a massive spotlight on it. Not only are ALK defending successfully to build their reign, but they are having matches that are stealing the show and raising everyone involved. It’s likely that their next opponents are AphroditE, as the former champions have made it known they want next. Having the world champion wanting the tag titles is never a bad thing it causes AphroditE to return more prominently after only tagging as all of Queen’s Quest over the past number of months. All tag teams want a shot at ALK and see that this is the time to welcome being a tag team wrestler.
While traditional tag teams are always preferred as partners, the Donna del Mondo stablemates have become exactly that. From the matching military gear to the multitude of tag team moves they have created, Giulia and Syuri are in the driver’s seat to only continue making the Stardom tag division the best it has been in some time. Without anyone knowing, they have shown that they are the best thing to happen to the tag division and there’s hope that their run doesn’t stop anytime soon.
Whether it be new opponents or rematches with the likes of MOMOAZ and MK Sisters down the line, Alto livello KABALIWAN is going to continue being exactly what Stardom’s tag team division needed and needs moving forward.