The Future of Joshi series is an effort to highlight the best, young talent in Joshi pro wrestling for fans to keep an eye on in 2023 and beyond. Led by Scott Edwards, a number of Joshi podcasters, writers, and fans took part in hyping up the best young talent from the scene as 15 wrestlers will be highlighted as well as honorable mentions. Next up is a name that has become much more prominent in recent months, Diana’s Haruka Umesaki!

Haruka Umesaki

Closing out the year with a Wonder of Stardom Championship match at STARDOM’s biggest show of the year isn’t a bad way to put your name on the map! Haruka Umesaki surprised many when she challenged Saya Kamitani for the White Belt at Stardom Dream Queendom — the same show where Kamitani had won the title the year prior. The match would unquestionably be the biggest and most important of her career to this point as the Diana star has rarely seen crowds half the size of this one, let alone to the full extent. Inside Ryogoku Sumo Hall, Umesaki looked nervous and understandably so, but as the match went on, she found comfort along the way.

It was about halfway through the match that Umesaki found her footing and brought it to Kamitani, making every see why she was in this spot, to begin with. “The Golden Phoenix” had too much in the tank for the Diana star to keep up and end what is now a historic reign for Kamitani, but she showed multiple times throughout that she has what it takes to make it to that level again, and consistently, down the line.

But that one match doesn’t define who Umesaki is going to become. She’s already a great tag team wrestler which is evident via her team with Miyuki Takase — Luminous. Not only are they the reigning Diana Tag Team Champions, closing on a one-year reign, but have had two prior reigns in their run as a duo as well as previously held the Pro Wrestling WAVE Tag Team Championship as well. Their team is as good as it gets on the independent wrestling Joshi scene, so it’s another feather in the cap of what Umesaki has done at just 22 years old

Diana’s Haruka Umesaki is one of the top prospects in the Joshi scene. She is already a good wrestler that is so likable and charismatic that you instantly want to root for her the first time you see her. “The Super Idol Wrestler” just came off from the biggest match of her career at Stardom Dream Queendom, where she unsuccessfully challenged Saya Kamitani for the Wonder Of Stardom Championship in a great match in which she showed her potential to be a future Star and the future Ace of Diana. The 22-year-old is set to have a break-out 2023 with her currently feuding with the Top Champion of Diana Ayako Sato, having a big role in STARDOM’s NEW BLOOD plans under her alter ego KARMA and the Tag Team runs with her Luminous partner Miyuki Takase and Pink Elbow partner Sakura Hirota. It’s never too late to jump on the Umesaki train! – Peps (@P__Wrestling)

As Peps writes, Umesaki’s alter ego, KARMA, has provided her with a unique future when she competes in STARDOM. There’s no doubt that the 22-year-old is still trying to figure out that side of herself as the character brings a supernatural feel that the Joshi scene, let alone STARDOM, is not all that used to. She’s an unofficial member of Oedo Tai, continuing to share a lot of her experiences with Starlight Kid. As KARMA, the duo has reached the semifinals of the NEW BLOOD Tag Team Championship. Even if she doesn’t know all the answers, there’s no doubt she’s slowly checking all the right boxes on her way to being great very, very soon.

Working in STARDOM, being at the top of Diana, and competing in WAVE give her as bright a future as any on this list. Learning from three promotions and figuring out who she’s going to be is essential. If she were just working in Diana, who knows if the potential she’s showcased would ever be noticed? The work she’s done in WAVE through the Catch The WAVE Tournament is where she really has stood out as a singles competitor — even more so than the match against Kamitani.

As part of the Future Block in the 2022 tournament, she had great matches with Kohaku and Suzu Suzuki specifically, with the match against Suzuki being one of the very best in the whole tournament. She advanced to the Winners League part of the tournament and while she didn’t find the same success there as she did in the Future Block, it’s undeniable that 2023 could be an opportunity for her to go even further.

The work that Haruka Umesaki is putting in to be great is what will make you a big fan of her more than anything else. She’s only going to get better and as she learns who she is as a pro wrestler and uses more of the former idol she had in her, the sky will in fact be the limit for her potential.

She’s set for the Cinderella Tournament and a first-round matchup against Starlight Kid, so that should excite everyone all the more. Make sure to check her out more and more this year, whether it’s in STARDOM, Diana, WAVE, or wherever else she could show up.

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