In December, Momo Watanabe turned her back on Queen’s Quest, joining Oedo Tai and leaving her friends-turned-family in the dust. “The Black Peach” has since found great success with Oedo Tai, winning the Goddess of Stardom Championship with Starlight Kid and will be challenging for the Artist of Stardom Championship with Kid and Saki Kashima later this month. But in all of this, it has been an odd time for Queen’s Quest. Utami Hayashishita lost her championship and hasn’t done all that much since. Saya Kamitani and AZM, on the other hand, have found great success as the Wonder of Stardom Champion and High-Speed Champion, respectively. Queen’s Quest has added Lady C and Miyu Amasaki to the ranks while Hina returned to Stardom.
In all of this movement and championship-winning, one thing remains: Who will be the leader of Queen’s Quest moving forward?
The answer to the question will come this Sunday as the main event of Stardom’s latest Korakuen Hall show will be a General Election match to crown the captain of the group. AZM, Utami Hayashishita, Saya Kamitani, Lady C, and Hina will all compete with the goal of officially replacing Momo Watanabe as the captain of the group. We know who will compete, we know how it will happen… but who should walk out as the captain? There are five options with one making the most sense.
Hina is back in Stardom and has shown clear improvement since the last time she was in a ring back in August. At just 15 years old, there’s little chance she is able to outduel the likes of Hayashishita, Kamitani, and AZM. It’s easy to applaud her for stepping up to the plate to enter the match with the hopes of walking out captain but she won’t be winning this one.
Lady C joined Queen’s Quest during the first event of 2022 and has since done her best to try and fit in with the group. While she hasn’t turned her membership into a ton of wins (more than she had, though), she has become a spirited fighter who continuously gives it her all in her successes and failures. When she made the claim to be the leader of Queen’s Quest, it certainly was a reach of sorts seeing how little time she’s spent in the group. Much like Hina, her chances of winning are zero to none but Lady C will go in there and give it her all once again. That’s for sure.
Utami Hayashishita certainty feels like the favorite heading into Sunday. As we noted, Hayashishita’s 2022 has been nothing noteworthy and probably considered a letdown seeing how 2021 was “The Red Queen’s” year. She’s not up to her usual standards but she is still Utami Hayashishita. If Mayu Iwatani is the ace, Hayashishita is the franchise. Hayashishita has reached the levels of greatness that make her untouchable and the next accolade she can add to her long list is being the leader of Queen’s Quest. There have only been two leaders in the group’s history – Io Shirai and Momo Watanabe. Not saying any of the big three in Queen’s Quest can’t obtain such a position, but Hayashishita feels like the one who is on her way to being the leader. A win in this match could do more for Hayashishita than just having a chance to carry the flag as the group’s leader. This could be what kicks off her rise back to the top.
There’s no surefire pick to become the leader of Queen’s Quest but Hayashishita is as close as anyone can be to it.
The longest-tenured member of Queen’s Quest remains AZM despite still not hitting the age of 20. She wasn’t an original member of the group like Hazuki and Momo Watanabe were alongside Shirai, but she was as close to being an OG as you could be when she joined two months to the day on Feb. 11, 2017. What the world has gotten to experience out of AZM in 2022 is where her talent is able to take her. She’s made the High-Speed Championship as must-see as any title in wrestling right now with her out-of-this-world speed and agility mixed with opponents willing to challenge her in new and exciting ways. AZM is going to have the power to win this match at any time with her high-speed ability. And if you’ve followed AZM’s career, you know she has the confidence to get it done. A gradual shift from Shirai to Watanabe to AZM feels natural and would be welcomed as she develops Queen’s Quest in her own vision.
The High-Speed Champion isn’t the favorite but as the group’s senior member, AZM as the next leader feels perfect.
The Wonder of Stardom Champion cannot be stopped. Or at least that’s how it feels right now. Saya Kamitani has made 2022 the year of “The Golden Phoenix” thus far, having some of the best matches of the entire year and earning herself a spot in the conversation of the best wrestler in the world. Kamitani is on another level and should not be doubted when it comes to this match and while no one likely is doubting her, the fact she isn’t favored by most of Hayashishita is enough doubt for her to turn it up. What Kamitani is able to do the others are not is find ways to win by any means necessary. If she needs the big move like Hayashishita uses? She’s got it. Needs to roll someone up and steal a win as AZM can? Kamitani can do that too. Every avenue that her biggest competition has in this match to win can be matched by “The Golden Phoenix.” That’s scary for everyone else.
If anyone can upset Hayashishita to become the official leader of Queen’s Quest, it is Kamitani.
The Right Pick: AZM
Queen’s Quest is a talented group. If you put their top three stars against any other top three talents in a faction, Queen’s Quest is going to beat them every time. It’s why the pick for Queen’s Quest leader is such a massive question mark. After laying out each wrestler’s probability and connection to the group, AZM fits the bill of who should be the next leader. She’s been there for the Io Shirai run and Momo Watanabe run. She’s grown as a wrestler because of both of them. Utami Hayashishita doesn’t need to be a leader to be the star Stardom wants her to be. Hayashishita has already reached that level without doing so. The same can be said for Saya Kamitani, who is the reigning Wonder of Stardom Champion and is delivering greatness every single time she steps into the ring.
AZM is not only ready to be the leader but feels destined to be exactly that. 2022 has been the year she’s put it all together, nearing closer and closer to being the complete wrestler everyone knows she will be. Give her the reigns to Queen’s Quest and let her fly the flag as she has since 2017.
It’s her group and it’s time AZM gets to lead Queen’s Quest into its next phase and carve out a new era.
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