Stardom Dream Queendom
December 29, 2022
Ryogoku Kokugikan
Tokyo, Japan

Watch: PPV (Check out Stardom’s English Twitter for the official link)

STARDOM holds its second annual Stardom Dream Queendom on Thursday, December 29. Here’s an in-depth look at their biggest show of the year.

Stardom Rumble (Yuna Mizumori, SAKI, Super Strong Stardom Machine, Tomoka Inaba, Ram Kaichow, Fukigen Death, Lady C, Hina, Miyu Amasaki, Waka Tsukiyama, Rina, X, XX)

The Stardom Rumble will kick off Stardom Dream Queendom as a number of key talents from inside and outside of the promotion take part in the battle royal. As we’ve seen in the past, the winner can earn themselves a big opportunity much like Mei Suruga did at this year’s Stardom World Climax. With two mystery talents set for the field, it does present another level of excitement for fans to look forward to — perhaps they’re even members of Team X, who compete in Triangle Derby I.

The three favorites heading into this match should be Yuna Mizumori, SAKI, and Tomoka Inaba. Mizumori has joined 7Upp as part of the Neo Stardom Army and could give them some big momentum heading into their title match later in the night as well as the Triangle Derby with a victory. SAKI, on the other hand, has been key in STARDOM since COLOR’S united with Cosmic Angels. She could get a big win here. Finally, Inaba has all the potential to have a major year in 2023 as a member of God’s Eye and STARDOM. She’s our pick to win. Prediction: Tomoka Inaba

Pink Kabuki (Unagi Sayaka & Mina Shirakawa) vs. Donna del Mondo (Thekla & Mai Sakurai)

Mina Shirakawa is back! Unagi Sayaka is back! This means Pink Kabuki is finally back! For the first time since August, Shirakawa and Sayaka team up in tag team action and they’ll do so against Thekla and Mai Sakurai of Donna del Mondo. Shirakawa’s return is a major one as she has been out of action since being injured in her Wonder of Stardom Championship challenge against Saya Kamitani. Since that match, the world has gotten behind the Cosmic Angels member as she does all she can to deliver on hope. Her appearance at the Stardom Dream Queendom press conference was packed with mystery as her entire face was bandaged up. There are plenty of questions to follow Shirakawa’s return but for now, looking at the match itself should excite many.

Shirakawa has the fans backing her and that should push Pink Kabuki to a big PPV victory. Prediction: Pink Kabuki (Unagi Sayaka & Mina Shirakawa)

H & M (Mayu Iwatani, Momo Kohgo & Hanan) vs. Classmates (Hazuki, Saya Iida & Koguma)

A Triangle Derby preview match will bring STARS together for what should be a can’t-miss trios match. If you’ve ever had the chance to witness STARS vs. STARS in any form — whether it be singles, tag teams, or trios — you know they always bring the best out of each other. There’s a lot going on between STARS right now despite no big match as Momo Kohgo’s dedication to improving has now been questioned by Mayu Iwatani after Hazuki had long given up on her training. Iwatani will do what she can through this match and the Triangle Derby to lift Kohgo while also helping Hanan in her growth. This won’t be the best match of the night but it should be one of the better matches in the first half of the card. Prediction: H & M (Mayu Iwatani, Momo Kohgo & Hanan)

Goddess of Stardom Championship No. 1 Contendership Match
The New Eras (MIRAI & Ami Sourei) vs. MaiHime (Maika & Himeka) vs. BMI2000 (Natsuko Tora & Ruaka)

HOSS FIGHT! The three best powerhouse tag teams in STARDOM go head-to-head-to-head with a shot at the Goddess of Stardom Championship on the line. The New Eras, MaiHime, and BMI2000 all finished in respective spots in the Goddess of Stardom Tag League with both MaiHime and BMI2000 coming within a win of winning their blocks on the final night. The New Eras had a shot at meltear earlier on in their reign but if 7Upp are able to walk out as the new champions, it feels like any of these three teams can walk away as the winners.

MaiHime feels destined for a second reign with the titles. After all, their first reign lasted a total of 49 days before it ended at the hands of Giulia and Syuri. It ended before it ever got going. BMI2000 were the true surprise of tag league not only due to their success but how good Tora and Ruaka looked now that they were back together. They recently teamed against meltear in tag team action but were disqualified after the champions continued to fight back. That match had to inspire them to get another shot, this time a title match, with the hopes of defeating them and holding gold.

As one of the more underrated matches on the card, this will be a good one. Prediction: MaiHime (Maika & Himeka)

KAIRI vs. Utami Hayashishita

One of the biggest matches of the year is coming up Thursday. After returning to STARDOM earlier this year, KAIRI has been nothing short of incredible. The reigning IWGP Women’s Champion has defeated nearly all comers with no one being able to defeat her in the process. And now we get a legitimate dream match that doesn’t have a championship on the line but maybe something more important — pride. KAIRI and Utami Hayashishita face one another for the first time ever with the caveat being whoever loses have to start over. KAIRI’s stipulation for the match was simple. Whoever loses has to move forward dawning their rookie gear and loses their big, special entrance. Maybe on paper that isn’t as huge of a stipulation but seeing where Hayashishita was one year ago and what KAIRI is doing in a week’s time — the humiliation is undeniable.

It’s no question 2022 hasn’t been Hayashishita’s year but the past number of months have been. Her performance in the 5STAR Grand Prix reignited the fire while matches with Mayu Iwatani and Syuri brought out the very best, if not better as she’s grown even more as a pro wrestler. A loss to KAIRI may derail all that but a win, a win sets her up for a 2023 she desperately needs to be great. The restart for Hayashishita would bring STARDOM fans one of the most interesting stories to follow heading into 2023 which is why it does feel like the IWGP Women’s Champion will be getting a tune-up win and forcing “The Red Queen” to remember her “Big Rookie” days. She’s going to get back to the top but hitting rock bottom at the hands of “The Pirate Princess” feels inevitable. Prediction: KAIRI

High-Speed Championship
AZM (c) vs. Hikari Shimizu

AZM has done nothing but elevate the High-Speed Championship to where it was back when Natsuki Taiyo was teaching people what high-speed wrestling was all about. Her defenses against Mei Suruga and Momoka Hanazono have been real bright spots in the reign and now she has a better shot than ever to top her outsider defenses against one of the very best wrestlers on the Joshi indies today in Hikari Shimizu. The COLOR’S unofficial second in command has had limited appearances in STARDOM up until this point but her offense diving into a high-speed style is intriguing, to say the least. Shimizu’s kicks are almost as good as anyone in the world of Joshi and could be what stops AZM in her tracks when she attempts to get her game going.

There’s no much story to this other than AZM and Shimizu being guaranteed to put on a show. This is the darkhorse match of the night. Shimizu is a great challenger but AZM is an even better champion. There are still ways to go with her reign atop the high-speed division. Prediction: AZM

Artist of Stardom Championship
Oedo Tai (Momo Watanabe, Starlight Kid & Saki Kashima) (c) vs. Prominence (Suzu Suzuki, Risa Sera & Kurumi Hiiragi) in a Hardcore Match

Prominence made their presence known at STARDOM’s first PPV of the year Nagoya Supreme Fight and have a shot to leave the final PPV of the year as champions. The mark that Prominence, specifically Suzu Suzuki and Risa Sera, have left on STARDOM is one where fans worldwide only want to see more of them. Their showings in the 5STAR Grand Prix were among the best with Suzuki being a win away from winning on the final night as she went to a draw with the eventual winner, Giulia. The addition of making this a Hardcore Match, which was the champions’ decision, gives the challengers a clear advantage.

This Oedo Tai trio has been special. So special that they’ve made the Artist of Stardom Championship must-see each and every time the belts are defended. With Momo Watanabe and Starlight Kid both suffering losses to Suzuki in the 5STAR, this match is one they want with or without the titles on the line. I may have called the High-Speed Championship the darkhose match of the night, but there’s no denying this has all the makings to be special because of these talents. It may be bold to say but ahead of the Triangle Derby, I think we will be crowning new champions. Prediction: Prominence (Suzu Suzuki, Risa Sera & Kurumi Hiiragi)

Goddess of Stardom Championship
meltear (Tam Nakano & Natsupoi) (c) vs. 7Upp (Nanae Takahashi & Yuu)

meltear is extraordinary. Every time they appear together, they’re better. Every time they team together, they’re better. The present-day Beauty Pair has become one of the best tag teams in pro wrestling in a short time and only gets better each match. Tam Nakano and Natsupoi’s toughest test will come against the Goddess of Stardom Tag League winners 7Upp. Nanae Takahashi and Yuu have walked into STARDOM as the Neo Stardom Army and are doing all in their power to turn the promotion upside down. The tag league win was the start and taking down the magical duo would be the exclamation point they’re looking for.

Out of all the title matches on this card, this feels like the one that sits at 50-50 more than any. It’d be almost wrong, however, to see the run of meltear end this early. They’re just getting started and have countless matches against top tag teams still to come in the future. 7Upp has had a good run and this match of two incredibly different teams should make for an excellent tag team match but come Thursday, only one team should be walking out with the Goddess of Stardom Championship. Prediction: meltear (Tam Nakano & Natsupoi)

Wonder of Stardom Championship
Saya Kamitani (c) vs. Haruka Umesaki

Saya Kamitani dazzled everyone in 2022 as the Wonder of Stardom Champion, placing herself at the top of many Wrestler of the Year discussions. The title reign has been one that featured countless top-of-the-line matches including the defenses against Natsupoi, Tam Nakano, and MIRAI. So how will Kamitani’s year end? In a title defense against Diana’s Haruka Umesaki.

Shocking being that Umesaki has yet to appear in STARDOM proper and has instead teamed with Starlight Kid before bringing out her alter ego KARMA on NEW BLOOD shows. It certainly is not the defense many expected but STARDOM is trusting Umesaki in what will unquestionably be the biggest match of her career at Stardom Dream Queendom. There’s history on the line here not for Umesaki but instead Kamitani.

“The Golden Phoenix” will be trying to earn V12, bringing her within one defense of tying Momo Watanabe’s record of 13 successful title defenses with the Wonder of Stardom Championship. She is guaranteed to hit one year as the champion but it’s more about the record than anything else. Umesaki presents a threat but not one where we should be expecting a title change. This will be V12 for the champion. Prediction: Saya Kamitani

World of Stardom Championship
Syuri (c) vs. Giulia

The Stardom Dream Queendom main event is rightfully the biggest match of the year for STARDOM. And truth be told, it may be the biggest match of the year in wrestling. It’s rare you have a match over three years in the making but that’s what we have here with Giulia challenging Syuri for the World of Stardom Championship. Since the moment she stepped into STARDOM, Giulia has been seen as a future world champion. But the journey to the championship hasn’t been the way anyone would have imagined.

Losing her match to Tam Nakano at All Star Dream Cinderella in 2021 was the moment she had to rebuild herself to be a worthy champion. The injury that removed her from the 2021 5STAR Grand Prix was the road bump no one could have predicted. And the failure at Stardom World Climax against Syuri was the one that saw Donna del Mondo, the one constant in her career, come crashing down around her. So, what could she do?

She had to build herself back up once more time and use the 5STAR Grand Prix to catapult herself back to Syuri and the World of Stardom Championship. The matches challenged her with the final night against Suzu Suzuki and Tam Nakano being the perfect story to get her back to the top. Now she needs to be Syuri to reach her destiny of World of Stardom Champion. Not an easy ask as many would tell you.

There has never been a wrestler like Syuri in STARDOM. Her dominance has allowed STARDOM to climb to new heights with her as the centerpiece. She will officially achieve 365 as World of Stardom Champion at Stardom Dream Queendom — that’s greatness. She will then task Giulia with something that has happened only once — beating her in a singles championship match. Mayu Iwatani is the only woman to ever defeat Syuri with a singles title on the line and that was in 2020.

So can Giulia turn around her misfortune from Stardom World Climax and beat her former tag team partner? She has to. She needs to.

Stardom Dream Queendom and this main event, in particular, is the reason wrestling fans shouldn’t be so fast to name their wrestler of the year or their match of the year. This is going to be brutal. This is going to be violent. This is going to be emotional. And most importantly, it is going to be incredible. It’s time Giulia takes her spot atop the world of STARDOM once and for all. Prediction: Giulia

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