It can be risky to place anyone into a world championship main event that hasn’t been there before. That’s just a fact. There’s no guarantee that the competitor will rise to the occasion even if they have all the potential in the world. It’s the ultimate “sink or swim” scenario. Of course, that is what Stardom decided to do with MIRAI this past Saturday as she main evented Nagoya Supreme Fight against Syuri for the World of Stardom Championship. MIRAI wasn’t with Stardom for a full month yet before she challenged for the title – displaying loud and clear that Stardom believed in her potential and it was a shot for her to show she is the real deal early on.
All of this is impressive seeing that MIRAI only has two and a half years of experience under her belt. The departure from TJPW was one that shocked many as MIRAI seemed destined to be “next up” in terms of entering the main event, making many wonder where her placement would be in Stardom. Once she was revealed as a member of Donna del Mondo at the first Stardom show of the year, she happened to be overshadowed by Thekla. “The Toxic Spider” instantly showed why she was such a unique edition to the roster as her oozing charisma filled up the screen and her debut match. It was almost as if fans were off the MIRAI train in seconds despite the initial excitement. Since the first show, however, she has been nothing less than a star on the rise.
In the first show after being upstaged by her new stablemate, MIRAI told Syuri and Maika to stay out of the ring so that she could lay waste to Mai Sakurai, Waka Tsukiyama, and Mina Shirakawa all on her own. It was after that moment that “The New Fighting Princess” challenged Syuri to a World of Stardom Championship match, taking back all of that momentum she had seemingly lost to be at the forefront of not only Donna de Mondo all of a sudden, but Stardom as Syuri’s first challenger. MIRAI began to show out in all of her matches as she wanted to give “her soul” in each match. It became apparent that the potential everyone knew that was there in TJPW remained in her with the overall shakeup, setting herself up for that first face-off with Syuri in the Nagoya Supreme Fight outpost match in Osaka the weekend before.
Teaming with Giulia, MIRAI traded blows with Syuri and managed to match her. Whether it was trading forearms and kicks or getting Syuri down to the point where she was shielding her head in a nearly defeated manner just trying to protect herself. MIRAI brought it to the champion and showed that Nagoya Supreme Fight wasn’t going to be a cakewalk for Syuri. It was an outing that made the title match feel more 50-50 than one-sided in favor of the World of Stardom Champion.
Enter the Nagoya Supreme Fight main event, coming off a night that featured a match of the year contender between Mayu Iwatani and Giulia in the semi-main event and the Prominence takeover that shocked the world. Not only was it added pressure for MIRAI to deliver but it was becoming unfair in terms of what people would expect of her. MIRAI not only was able to get past that unfairness but showed that she is a future World or Wonder of Stardom Champion waiting to happen. MIRAI brought Syuri to her limits and lasted nearly 26 minutes before Syuri finally won the match. Exchanging forearms, lariats, and anything else she could imagine to bring Syuri to her limits and become champion. It wasn’t a win in the match, but it was a win for her. The performance was the best of MIRAI’s career, no questions asked, and accomplished all Stardom could have been dreaming of.
To go back to the “sink or swim” conversation, MIRAI not only swam but looked like an Olympic swimmer out there. She belonged in the main event and will be a name to watch for years to come in the world of Stardom. Making a star is not easy but MIRAI managed to stand up to the challenge and become one in 26 minutes and 47 seconds. A star was born when it was over.
If you didn’t know who MIRAI was before this match, you will now as she and Stardom continue to grow for years to come.
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