Building a legacy isn’t something everyone goes out of their way to do… it just kind of happens.
It’s those who become the very best in what they do that build the strongest legacies. In pro wrestling, many names have cemented themselves in history books as all-timers, legends, and any other word you can use to describe a special talent. Well, we are in the midst of a special journey and legacy right now—Syuri. The God’s Eye leader watched her World of Stardom Championship reign finally come to an end Thursday at an exact year (365 days) as Giulia finally was able to put the title around her waist. But even in defeat—one that in many ways was a long time coming—Syuri solidified her status as an all-time great as her Vermillion Legacy has officially been built.
Syuri’s Vermillion Legacy
From Quality Signing To All-Time Great
When Syuri signed with STARDOM in 2020, it was seen as a great one for the promotion—especially with all the changes the roster had experienced between Jan. and May 2020. She was an addition that was looked at as a quality Joshi veteran who had just returned from a run in the UFC that would be a great second in Giulia’s Donna del Mondo. One heck of a spot for Syuri but little did we know she’d go on to emphatically become the game-changer STARDOM needed.
On Nov. 15, 2020, Syuri defeated Bea Priestley to become the SWA Undisputed Champion, marking her first singles championship in the company. That came one month after she lost her first World of Stardom Championship challenge against Mayu Iwatani as she earned the opportunity after having to miss the closing days of the 5STAR Grand Prix due to the passing of her mother. It was then that Syuri’s goals in STARDOM went from hopes to promises, dedicating to her late mother that she’d become the World of Stardom Champion in her memory.
As the SWA Undisputed Champion, Syuri went on to make a championship that had lost much of its luster mean something. Defenses against Momo Watanabe and AZM in early 2021 proved to be all Syuri needed to begin heating up and direct her eyes to the World of Stardom Championship soon after.
We know now that the match with Utami Hayashishita at Tokyo Dream Cinderella is the match that took Syuri to a level no one expected. The former UFC fighter to that point, as we’ve said, has been a key member of the roster and was dominant in her own fashion — much like Donna del Mondo — but this match was the one to change her in the eyes of STARDOM fans and overall wrestling fans alike. After 43 minutes of an all-out war, Hayashishita and Syuri had nothing left to give, but as we know now they delivered a match that changed the game for the promotion.
A 5STAR Grand Prix run for the ages can only be called one of the very best tournament performances of all time. It goes far beyond having great pro wrestling matches each and every time out there (which she did) but also the importance each of her matches had. She never took her foot off the gas pedal and didn’t ease up on inferior opponents. That’s what sets her apart from the rest of the field and has for nearly two years. The final night of the 5STAR for Syuri was a generational-type performance. The 20-minute draw with Takumi Iroha followed by what remains the best 5STAR Grand Prix final in the tournament’s history against Momo Watanabe was the perfect way for Syuri to complete her journey to get back to Utami Hayashishita and the World of Stardom Championship.
STARDOM has built two straight perfect conclusions to their years, but the second isn’t possible without the perfection of the first. Syuri going head-to-head with Hayashishita once more by putting her SWA Undisputed Championship on the line with the goal to get the World of Stardom Championship. It was her lone goal and the one that meant the most to her. It was all or nothing and she knew that. The debut of her new finish Syu-sekai was the ultimate blow to put an end to Hayashishita’s title reign and finally crown herself as the champion. As we know now, that was the ultimate blow to defeat nearly everyone who stepped in her way over the next 365 days.
Where could Syuri go next to top all of this? Arguably the best World of Stardom Championship reign of all time and becoming the leader of her own faction — that’s how.
The reign and successful defenses of Syuri include:
- Mayu Iwatani
- Risa Sera
- Momo Watanabe
- Tam Nakano
- Nanae Takahashi
- Utami Hayashishita
To understand the accomplishment is to understand STARDOM’s current standing and history. Syuri represented herself by beating the future of STARDOM (MIRAI, Himeka, and Maika), the past dominance of STARDOM (Momo Watanabe), the history of STARDOM (Nanae Takahashi), an outsider (Risa Sera), and the pillars of today (Mayu Iwatani, Giulia, Tam Nakano, and Utami Hayashishita). She did everything you could ask for in a title reign and then some. Creating God’s Eye to separate her from Donna del Mondo and further her legacy was the cherry on top of her dominance. Syuri searched for each challenge, welcomed every challenge, and pushed herself to the top of STARDOM’s history books. It was a reign that pushed Syuri from a great story to a phenomenal champion.
Syuri was able to fend off the reality of what many wrestlers experience when the “chase” to the title ends and the reign begins. She not only had a great reign but one that ranks amongst the true greats in the history of STARDOM. That solidifies her as an all-time great for STARDOM, Joshi, and wrestling. And the loss to Giulia was the ending Syuri needed for her reign as World of Stardom Champion.
Their story is unmatchable. The parallels in what they’ve done to get to the top were nearly exact in some ways but not in others. Syuri and Giulia both had to win the 5STAR Grand Prix to get another shot at the World of Stardom Championship. They both had to overcome the one person who they couldn’t beat in that very much. But the difference is that Syuri didn’t have a down moment professionally in her run to the top. Giulia did… time and time again. And that’s why the match was perfect.
As I wrote in my review, the match was able to so perfectly combine their journeys.
“There were moments halfway through this match it felt as though it was over. Giulia hitting the Glorious Driver followed by the Northern Lights Bomb, a move that got her here after falling to rock bottom, was perfection as Syuri kicked out with ease. Some may have scoffed but the kick outs told Giulia’s story as much as it did Syuri’s. Giulia needed this title. This was her last shot. Syuri never wanted to lose this title. It was everything to her. Final blows, finishers, anything was on the table. You needed a complete knockout blow to win this and that was added importance.”
Overlooking and missing what they were trying to tell would be missing Giulia and especially Syuri’s journey.
— 朱里 (@syuri_wv3s) December 29, 2022
Syuri became the final boss of STARDOM. The peak and the mountain that someone, anyone needed to try and climb to solidify their own greatness. Giulia ended up being that woman by bringing out her brand new Glorious Northern Lights Driver. Syuri having nothing left but tears and embracing her former tag team partner and friend was the perfect way for her run to end on top.
With so much happening in STARDOM and the excitement at an all-time high for the product, it can get easy for Syuri’s run to be ignored now that her World of Stardom Championship reign is over. That being said, I feel it’s important to not only remember what she’s done as world champion but how her run can only be compared to Io Shirai’s time in STARDOM. However, the difference is that Syuri did it with all eyes on her. That’s greatness. That’s special. That’s prestigious. That’s a legacy. Her own legacy.
Syuri helped open the eyes of many to STARDOM and no matter what she does for the rest of her career, she should be appreciated and seen as a true all-time great.
That’s the Vermillion Legacy of Syuri.
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