Cinderella Journey
February 23, 2022
NAGAOKA, Niigata, Japan

Watch: PPV

Future of Stardom Championship No. 1 Contender
Mai Sakurai vs. Waka Tsukiyama vs. Rina

Mai Sakurai and Waka Tsukiyama might have the most heated rivalry on this entire show. Okay, that’s not true but they sure do not like each other right now. Mai Sakurai left Tsukiyama and the Cosmic Angels in the dust two weekends ago with the hope of becoming a better professional wrestler. There’s no better place for her to show that joining Donna del Mondo was the right decision than here in this match. Sakurai and Tsukiyama will be focused on each other so much so that Rina might simply sneak in and steal a victory. After all, a match between Rina and her sister for the Future of Stardom Championship would be pretty cool. Prediction: Mai Sakurai

Future of Stardom Championship
Hanan (c) vs. Momo Kohgo

Hanan has already lifted up the Future of Stardom Championship since winning it at Stardom Dream Queendom. She will have a brand new challenger in her STARS stablemate, Momo Kohgo. It hasn’t been long but Kohgo already feels like one of the best additions Stardom could have made to their roster. Everything about her screams babyface and she already has fans jumping on her side. When it comes to a matchup between her and Hanan, it should make for a friendly but physical contest. Being the future of Stardom is no joke and these two should use this match to show that is exactly what they are. Prediction: Hanan

Utami Hayashishita & Lady C vs. Momo Watanabe & Ruaka

The tension between Utami Hayashishita and Momo Watanabe will be revisited for the first time in a number of weeks as the former Goddess of Stardom Champions will team with their respective tag team partners to take each other on. It’s no secret that the direction for these two looks to be Stardom World Climax. This match should serve as a “next step” in the feud with the potential challenge between the former friends to be made following this encounter. Lady C and Ruaka will do what they can to support their partners as the battle continues between Queen’s Quest and Oedo Tai. Prediction: Momo Watanabe & Ruaka

Mayu Iwatani & Tam Nakano vs. Saki Kashima & Fukigen Death

Originally scheduled to be two separate singles matches, we will see the former friends turned bitter rivals team up here. Saki Kashima said she wanted to be with Fukigen Death, giving up her singles match with Mayu Iwatani for this opportunity. Tam Nakano will now team with Iwatani and as seen when the Momo masked individuals attacked at the Year-End Climax, these two can work together when they have a similar enemy. The only reason this match has the interest it does is because of getting to watch Iwatani and Nakano team together. It should make for an interesting match. Prediction: Mayu Iwatani & Tam Nakano

Syuri, Maika & Himeka vs. Giulia, MIRAI & Thekla

After this match was changed due to Himeka missing a weekend, fans get a second chance to witness the Donna del Mondo war. There have been no signs of dissension outside Himeka’s continuous displeasure in the background, meaning that this match should go as if it’s two competitive trios wanting to get the win. Unfortunately, anyone who is hoping that Donna del Mondo goes on with eight members for the rest of time is going to be let down. This feels like it could be the beginning of cracks in the armor. The group has had unprecedented dominance for over two years, becoming the faction in Stardom. But it feels obvious that the World of Stardom Championship will be what makes Syuri and Giulia start fighting.

There is nothing more important than that championship to these two wrestlers. It’s been all fun and games for now but someone is going to take the first shot. Giulia has gone out on her own to add MIRAI, Thekla, and Mai Sakurai to the group without consulting the rest of her stablemates. Donna del Mondo is likely going to split and this should be the start of that eventual moment. Prediction: Giulia, MIRAI & Thekla

Goddess of Stardom Championship
Hazuki & Koguma (c) vs. Unagi Sayaka & Mina Shirakawa

Hazuki and Koguma are preparing to make their second defense of the Goddess of Stardom Championship when they face Unagi Sayaka and Mina Shirakawa. The Cosmic Angels duo has shown that they are “crazy” enough to take on FWC, but that surely does not mean they are ready to walk away as champions just yet. Hazuki and Koguma have been the best tag team in Stardom since coming together for the Goddess of Stardom Tag League, hinting that this title reign may be going a lot longer than two defenses. 

The interesting aspect of Sayaka and Shirakawa is that they work better as a team when teaming with Tam Nakano. Together they have not worked nearly as much without their Cosmic Angels leader. All that being said, they do have the longest-reigning Artists of Stardom Championship reign to their names, so one has to think that these two are a serious threat with or without Nakano beside them. Sayaka and Shirakawa are going to do everything in their power to become the new tag team champions, but this feels like it’ll be FWC’s night yet again. Prediction: Hazuki & Koguma

High-Speed Championship
Starlight Kid (c) vs. AZM

No match on the Cinderella Journey card has more heat, history, and story than this one. The fact of the matter is that Starlight Kid and AZM were born to be rivals. Maybe it’s better to call them generational rivals. As they compete against each other for the High-Speed Championship, everyone is watching a future Wonder or World of Stardom Championship match with this one. If you look at the career series between these two, AZM dominates it, especially with the High-Speed Championship on the line. But maybe the most devastating win has come on the side of Kid, who has caused Momo Watanabe, AZM’s former tag team partner, to turn her back and join Oedo Tai. That more than anything has hurt AZM and we have seen it repeatedly come back to bite her since December. This is her first chance to get her back.

Looking at the match from the outside, this is going to be one that can go either way. If AZM wins, it opens up an opportunity for Starlight Kid to keep climbing up the card. The more time goes on, the more prominent she becomes. 2022 feels like the year of Starlight Kid but AZM will do what she can to stunt that rise in this one. It has a legitimate shot to be the best match of the show. Prediction: AZM

Wonder of Stardom Championship
Saya Kamitani (c) vs. Natsupoi

Stardom put it up to a fan vote when it came to the main event of Cinderella Journey. Despite the popularity of Starlight Kid, the Wonder of Stardom Championship will remain the main event. Good thing too, seeing that Saya Kamitani and Natsupoi have some of the best chemistry on the roster right now. There’s a very intriguing factor in this match that both women have pinfalls over the other. Natsupoi debuted the Fairy Blink in late-2021 that shocked Kamitani and earned Natsupoi the major win. Kamitani, however, pinned Natsupoi in the match that earned her a shot at Tam Nakano for the Wonder of Stardom Championship. There’s that history alone that makes this the one to watch.

“The Golden Phoenix” gets greater by the outing. That’s scary seeing how incredible she already is as a professional wrestler. Each opportunity makes the “Phoneix” rise a bit more. A sneaky part of Kamitani’s game is what she can do with high-speed wrestlers. Expect a mixture of high-flying, high-speed, and what will be a home run of a match. There’s no doubt that this will deliver. All we have to ask is how great will it be once the final bell rings? Kamitani should be walking out #AndSTILL. Prediction: Saya Kamitani

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